How To Potty Train When You Work Full Time

Jan 18, 2023 | 3 Minutes Read

Every family experiences potty training highs and lows, but it can be especially challenging for parents that work outside the home and families that enroll their children in daycare or preschool.

Pull-Ups potty training help for working parents
Whether parents are working full-time or part-time, most can’t be with their children every time they need to use the bathroom. Check out the following tips to help you and your child prepare for potty training, even while you work.

Be on the Same Page with Childcare Provider

“The most important part of potty training for parents who work is to use communication, cooperation and collaboration as you work with your child’s caregiver,” advises Pull-Ups® Potty Training consultant Jan Faull, M.Ed.

If your childcare provider initiates the training, or if your child shows interest when in their care, listen to their suggestions and approach. Be sure to discuss the potty training process and technique with your childcare provider to ensure you are on the same page, that way there won’t be any surprises.

“Be open with and listen to your provider, as he or she has likely taught many children to use the toilet. Their expertise may guide you. After all, if this is your first child, potty training may be one extra stress you’re not eager to take on. A person such as your child’s caregiver can offer you support as you guide your child to use the toilet at home,” advises Faull.

Communication is Key with Childcare Providers

As your child works toward using the toilet, talk each day about his or her successes and setbacks with your childcare provider so the potty training approach remains consistent. If you don’t have a chance to discuss face-to-face, create a daily potty logbook both you and the caregiver can enter information in. This way, you can each see the success or setback and how it was handled or rewarded, as well as track time spent trying.

“Talking about a child is a form of attention and reinforces their behavior. Therefore, talk up potty training triumphs, but when it comes to challenges or stumbling blocks, discuss these over the phone when the child is not in ear shot,” says Faull.

And “If your child is using the potty with the caregiver and not at home, remember that it isn’t a competition. Don’t feel like you are doing something wrong. Stick to the plan and the child will get it at home soon, too,” advises Pull-Ups® Potty Training consultant Dr. Laura Bennett-Murphy, Ph.D.

Constant communication with your childcare provider is essential for a successful training program. Ask questions daily, such as: What’s working? What’s not working? How did training go each day? By working closely with your child’s care providers and being consistent with a potty training routine, your child will be on his way to being a potty pro, both at home and at daycare.

Be Considerate of Potty Training Helpers

Keep in mind that potty training can be frustrating for childcare providers too, especially ones that care for multiple or multi-aged children, so be understanding and considerate of the potty training troubles they face.

If your child has lots of accidents in the childcare setting, be sure to provide extra Pull-Ups® Training Pants. Or when your child goes from training pants to underwear, it’s a good idea to pack extra underpants and clothes as well just in case; it will really be appreciated.

Be Consistent at Home and at Daycare

Debra Pritzker in Framingham, MA, has been a family daycare provider for 17 years. While she doesn’t have a potty training policy per se, she says “The most important thing is the consistency between home and daycare. I would not say that I necessarily adapt to the parents or they to me. It is on an individual basis where we collaborate with each other to find what works.” She adds “I need to trust the judgment of the parents, just as they would trust mine.”

Another proof point can be found with a father, Marcus Hopper, when he was worried that the potty training progress his daughter made at home would be set back on the three days a week she attends daycare. Initially, this was the case. “She really didn’t start making consistent progress until the provider agreed to work with us in following the same steps we take at home at daycare,” says Hopper, of Pleasant Hill, CA. The process was initiated when the provider asked what was working well at home.

Remember that Each Child is Different

Kim McMonagle, director of Tender Care Learning Center in Green Tree, PA, says she and the other staff members at the daycare adapt to the child’s routine, as it’s best to help a child learn to listen to their body.

“Because all children are different, so are their routines for learning new tasks,” she says. “You have to experiment to find what will work for your child. Also, remember to discuss new findings with your childcare provider and ask them what works for your child at school. Together, you can help your child succeed.”

Partner with your Childcare Provider

Planning your child’s potty training schedule can be a tricky task. But consistency, patience and open communication between parents and daycare providers can lead to a more successful training routine. And remember, a child may be ready physically, but not emotionally. When they are ready emotionally, it’s usually a painless process for you, caregivers and your potty trainee alike.


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