It’s the day every parent fantasizes about: Never having to change a diaper again. If only potty training were as easy as showing your kid where to sit, how to flush and patting yourself on the back for a job well done. Learning to use the potty is a major milestone in young children’s lives, and there will be plenty of challenges for both you and them along the way. And if your children have a nanny or other caregiver, partnering with her is an essential part of the process. Here are some ways you can work with your nanny to achieve potty success.
Look for signals. There’s no point in starting potty training if your child isn’t interested yet. You and your nanny should monitor your little one for signs of readiness, such as complaining about a wet diaper or showing an interest in big-kid underwear.
Get out the gear. It’s time for that potty to make its bathroom debut! Have your child sit on it, with or without a diaper, and get friendly with it. Additionally, encourage your nanny to do potty-themed activities, like reading potty books during story time. Be sure to agree on having a no-pressure approach, since pressure can cause a child to develop a potty aversion.
Create a potty break schedule. And stick to it. Decide with your nanny what times of the day are the best times for potty breaks, and keep them up on the weekends or any other days when you’re home with your child. (Of course, if there are other times your child has to go, then go!)
Motivate. The tried-and-true incentive is an M&M or sticker as a reward for a potty-going success. This doesn’t work with all kids, though. Talk to your nanny about items or activities that might be good motivational tools for your child — as someone who knows your child quite well, she may have a few ideas you haven’t thought of.
Accept that there will be setbacks. For most children, potty training is not a straight line from start to finish. Your little one is happily peeing in the potty…but refuses to poop. The potty at home is okay, but the one at the mall is a no-no. Things are going so well that you’re skipping the overnight pull-ups…only to be treated to a week straight of bedwetting. Keep the lines of communication with your nanny wide open about these little hiccups. Comparing notes will help you come up with solutions — or make the mutual decision to take a break from training for a little while.
Most of all, draw from your nanny’s experience. If your nanny has previously worked with children, chances are this isn’t the first time she has potty trained a child. So talk to her about it and get her advice. Collaborating with a potty-training veteran can only make this process easier.