Tag Archives: routine

Ready Set Go Potty!

Hi this is Terri Borman child care provider and author of “Shapes Go to School.”  A big milestone for the little ones in my care is potty training.  I usually start potty training a child around the age of 2.  I look for signs that he/she may be ready and then I talk to the parents. In order for the child to be successful, the parents and the day care need to be on the same page. Consistency, routine, and patience are critical for success.

Here are some signs that a child is ready for potty training. 1.) The child understands and follows simple instructions.  2.) The child may tell you through words or actions that he/she needs to go potty.  For instance, the child may pull at the diaper while he/she is going potty.    3.)  The child stays dry for periods of 2 hours or longer during the day.  4.)  The child can pull his/her pants down and then back up again.  5.) The child can sit and then get back up from a potty chair unassisted.

If the child can do most of the things above, then the child is ready for potty training. If there were several things above that the child cannot do, then you should wait a little longer before starting to potty train.  However, this does not mean give up to the idea of potty training.  You should start working with the child on the things above that had he/she could not do.  For instance, if the child could not pull down and up his/her pants, then start working with the child during diaper changes by having them help you pull their pants down and up.

Fisher Price Potty ChairWhen you decide it is time to start potty training, then you need to get the right equipment.  The best potty chair I have found that keeps potty inside especially little boys potty is made by Fisher Price (see picture).  This chair is also very easy to clean and sanitize. It’s also time to get rid of the diapers and go to pull-ups.  Pull-ups will be easier for them to pull up and down by themselves.  Also, dress the child in clothes that are easy for them to manage.

Schedule potty breaks often.  I schedule them every hour and half hour and always right after a snack/meal with drinks.  If you can get them quickly on the potty chair right after they wake up from a nighttime sleep or a daytime nap, they will almost always have success on the potty.  Let them sit for several minutes and be positive regardless if they are successful or not.

They love to put stickers on their worksheets so have a sticker chart for them to track their potty time successes.  Set up a reward system for so many stickers you get a prize like a new book.  I would love to plug my book “Shapes Go to School” sold at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.  You could also use trips to the park or a picnic as a reward.  Click on the link for a free printable Potty Success Chart. Potty Success Chart

For whatever reason, some children take longer to train themselves to do their #2 business on the potty.  One of my daughter’s was very reluctant to doing #2 on the potty.  She would bring me a diaper when she needed to go #2.  If I refused to let her wear a diaper, she would hide somewhere and do it in her underwear or she would hold it for days.  One day she just started to go #2 on the potty.

Help your child be successful staying dry at night by cutting off all liquids at least an hour before bedtime and always have one last potty break before bedtime.  Remember it’s about consistency, routine, and patience.



sleep deprivation 2 sleep deprivation

Hi this is Terri Borman child care provider and author of “Shapes Go to School.”  One of the most common complaints I hear from parents as they drop their kiddos off in the morning is about their sleep deprivation.  They are holding their eyes open with toothpicks and looking for the Folgers so they can wake up.  What is causing their lack of sleep?  Well, if you guessed their children kept them up all night, then you are correct. This isn’t just a phenomena happening at my child care…. It’s a phenomena happening all across the USA.

The National Sleep Foundation recently released its annual “Sleep in America” poll.  They polled parents to see how much sleep their child usually gets per night.  The estimates were well below the foundation’s recommendations for all age levels.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends preschoolers (ages 3 to 5) to get between 11 to 13 hours of sleep per night.  School aged kids (ages 5 to 10) should get between 10 to 11 hours of sleep per night. Teens (ages 11-17) should get 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep per night.

So what’s the solution to this widespread problem?  I researched several articles and came to this conclusion for getting a better night’s sleep.  First of all, children need to follow a nightly bedtime routine that is consistent.  A consistent bedtime routine makes it easier for your child to fall asleep and sleep through the night. 

Set a bedtime that is at the same time every night.  Make bedtime relaxing with no television or videos.  According to Dr. Shelby Harris, a sleep psychologist and director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, the blue light from device screens makes our brains think it is daytime and stops producing melatonin.  Melatonin is produced in the brain when the sun goes down, signaling that bedtime is coming within a few hours, and melatonin helps to regulate sleep.

Here is a sample bedtime routine:

1.)    Make a light snack.  Bananas, avocado, peanuts, almonds, figs and milk based drinks all contain tryptophans, which aide in the production of melatonin. 

 2.)    Have your child take a warm bath or shower.

 3.)    Have your child put on comfortable pajamas.  FYI, don’t let them put on the outfit they picked for the next day or at least draw the line at the shoes.  Yes true story I did catch my daughter in bed with her shoes on once.

 4.)    Have your child brush their teeth.

 5.)    Read with your child a book like for example “Shapes Go to School” available at Amazon.com.  Sorry I had to throw my book a plug.  Did you also like the title of this article Star Light Star Bright?  I thought it tied into the book nicely too!  Kudo’s to Pinterest for the help!

 6.)    Make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature.  You may want to run a fan for the white noise and for air circulation.  If the weather is cool, I will still run the fan for the white noise but I don’t let it blow directly on the children.

 7.)    Put your child to bed awake and encourage them to fall asleep on their own.  A child who can fall asleep on their own will be able to return to sleep during night time awakenings.  Infants who are put to bed tired but not asleep, are more likely to become self-soothers which allows them to fall asleep independently at bedtime and put themselves back to sleep during the night time.  Infants should be put on their backs to sleep with nothing in their beds except a passifier.  Swaddling is no longer an accepted practice and is considered dangerous to infants 8 weeks and older.

Be blessed and to all the parent’s out there happy dreams,

Terri Borman

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