The following articles by Candi Wingate were published on pregnancy.org.
There many benefits of hiring a nanny today:
- COST. If you have two or more children, it may be cost effective for you to hire a nanny as many daycare centers can cost you more. Also, many families are using 'nanny share'. This is an arrangement in which two families share one nanny. This cuts down on costs but you still experience the benefits of having a nanny.
- HEALTH OF THE CHILDREN. You may have healthier children by keeping them away from the large groups of children typically found in daycare. Germs are easily spread from child to child, so daycare centers can be breeding grounds for every cold and flu of the season. When your children contract illnesses, it takes an emotional toll on both you and your children. Further, they may miss school, you may miss work, and you may incur expenses associated with doctor?s visits and medications. Your children?s exposure to germs, and thus the risks discussed here, can be dramatically diminished by simply using the services of a nanny.
- WORKPLACE PRODUCTIVITY. If your children are sick, many daycare centers will not accept your children. However, if you have a nanny, you can still go to work as the nanny will stay home with the children. Further, if you have an attentive nanny at home with your children, you will be less likely to feel like you just can't concentrate at work due to concern for your children. By staying focused at work, your workplace productivity remains high.
- HOME WORKLOAD DELEGATION. A nanny can help you maintain work/life balance. For example, a nanny can be an extra pair of hands helping with household duties such as laundry, errands, transporting children, and starting the evening meal. This allows for more quality family time when the parents arrive home. No need to rush in the morning to get the kids out the door for daycare or school: a nanny is an extra pair of hands in the morning.
- MARITAL BONDING. Many parents become so over-committed with the tasks of working full-time on top of parenting, household maintenance, and a host of other daily responsibilities, that tending the marital bond simply isn?t on their radar screen. Years later, it may be too late when the couple realizes that they have grown apart. A nanny can help prevent that. Nannies can watch children in the evenings (which many daycare centers will not do), thus allowing parents an opportunity for a romantic evening out, or maybe just some private just-the-two-of-us time. These relationship-building evenings help maintain the marital bond.
- PEACE OF MIND. Daycare centers have staff turnover. Parents are not typically involved in the staff recruitment and selection process at their children?s daycare center. Therefore, you never know, on a day-to-day basis, who may be watching your children in a daycare setting. If you hire a nanny, however, you know in whose care your children are. You interviewed the nanny, performed background checks on her, and hired her yourself.
- CONTINUITY OF CARE. Children usually bond with their caregivers. This is healthy. However, it is hard for children to address separation from caregivers, such as when a caregiver resigns his/her employment. Nanny turnover is much lower than typical daycare center staff, so children with nannies tend to experience less frequently the grief and anxiety associated with caregiver turnover.
- CAREGIVER-TO-CHILD RATIO. Daycare centers in most states are required to comply with legal guidelines on caregiver-to-child ratios. In an effort to maximize profits, daycare centers will seek to have as many children as possible without exceeding the legally proscribed limits. If you hire a nanny, you can be assured that your caregiver is focused solely on your children.
- ALL THE COMFORTS OF HOME. For children, this last one is a big one. When a nanny is caregiving for your children, they can play with their own toys, nap in their own beds, and stay in the familiar environment of their own home throughout their day. If there is inclement weather outside, it?s no problem: the children do not need to go outside to go to daycare as their nanny comes to their home to care for them.
For many families, after considering their various childcare options, hiring a nanny is the clear choice. If that may be the choice that is right for your family, please visit Nannies4hire.com for all your nanny needs. Nannies4hire will provide you a database of available nannies, help you prepare to interview the nannies that you are potentially interested in, and give you the tools to perform background checks on your nanny candidates, and provide you with a host of information about employing nannies.
An important developmental step for every child is potty training. Most children begin using the toilet as toddlers, usually between 18-months and 3-years-old (it usually takes a little longer to potty train boys than girls). Boys, on average, can be successfully potty trained in twelve weeks. Girls, on average, can be successfully potty trained in ten weeks.
Signs Your Child May Be Ready to Start Potty Training:
- Staying dry for at least two hours at a time.
- Having regular bowel movements.
- Being able to follow instructions.
- Being uncomfortable with dirty diapers and asking for them to be changed.
- Asking to use the potty or saying that they need to urinate or have a bowel movement.
- Showing interest in the toilet and/or wearing ?big kid? underpants.
When You Begin Potty Training:
- Dress your child appropriately for potty training. Garments with elasticized waists, Velcro, and snaps are usually easy for your child to take off and put on.
- Choose a potty seat that your child can easily use on their own.
- Your child may want to personalize his/her potty: by letting him/her write his/her name on the little potty, a sense of ownership can develop. Your child may be more likely to use a potty if she/he feels it is uniquely his/hers.
- Assure your child that s/he will not fall in the potty (many children have fears of falling in a toilet while sitting on it).
- Encourage your child to use the potty at regular intervals - or whenever s/he show signs that s/he needs to go.
- Use proper terms (urinating and defecating) as well as the terms your child may be more comfortable with (peeing and pooping). Make sure that you define your terms so that your child becomes adept at using the terms him-/herself.
- Start with the basics. Both boys and girls should be shown how to potty from a seated position first. Once boys master urinating from a seated position, they can "graduate" to learning how to urinate while standing. The reason boys should learn to urinate while seated first is that bowel movements and urination often occur in the same bathroom visit...additionally, the delay in learning to urinate while standing minimizes the likelihood of your son making messes while enthralled with the spray he can create by urinating.
- Teach your child to wipe properly. Show him/her how to remove toilet paper from the roll, wipe, and throw the used toilet paper in the toilet. Instruct girls to wipe from front to back, which helps avoid urinary tract infections. (Note: your child may need help to wipe effectively, especially after a bowel movement, until about age 4 or 5).
- Be supportive and use rewards, such as stickers, when your child is successful on the potty.
More Helping Training Tips:
- Use praise, applause, special songs, reading a special book in the bathroom, or whatever else resonates with your child.
- Avoid pressure: your child will likely have accidents during the process. Don?t punish him or her for any setbacks.
- Be sure that your nanny understands your approach to potty training and is consistent with rewards, praise, etc.
- Let your child pick out new "big kid" underpants with his/her favorite characters (Dora, Thomas the Train, etc.) on them.
- Use potty-themed books and videos to reinforce key messages.
- Don't begin toilet training during a stressful time (e.g., moving, new baby, starting a new preschool, etc.)
- Recognize that your child has control of his/her bodily functions, and you can?t get him/her to ?go? on the potty until s/he is ready. Don?t turn this into a power struggle because it?s one that you won?t win. If your child seems to develop a resistance to potty training, don?t continue the potty training. You can resume potty training when you child again expresses an interest in learning to use the potty.
- When your child has completed a visit to the potty, show your child how to flush the potty. Some children experience fear of the flushing mechanism: they fear that they themselves may be flushed away. You may need to flush the potty for your child for a period of time, until your child observes no harm resulting from each flush. At that time, your child should naturally develop a desire to try his/her own hand at flushing the potty. Once the potty is flushed, show your child how to wash his/her hands.
Calmly and patiently teaching your child how to use his/her potty can be a trust-building, bonding experience for both of you. Let the potty begin!