Before you ask.... have a look through the FAQs
As a Go Diaper Free certified coach, I use Andrea Olson’s method, as found in The Tiny Potty Training Book. Andrea’s approach is parent-led, non-coercive (in other words, no rewards or punishments) and simultaneously gentle and firm. The Potty Training Plan typically takes between 3-14 days, with 7 days being the average. This is a “no looking back” philosophy. The diapers are off, and they are out the door… forever. This approach/attitude works best for most children. But at the end of the day, you know your child best - his needs and learning style - so the plan can be modified to meet you child where he is at.
I give you permission to potty train starting at 18 months. Does that sound crazy-early? Did you know that in the 1950s, before the invention of disposable diapers, 92% of American children were potty trained by 18 months. Once upon a time, it was the norm. And I would love for it to be the norm again today. There is little to no scientific evidence for the “readiness” factor. In the 1960s, a pediatrician on the Pampers board started advocating that parents delay potty training until the child was “ready”. Maybe he was trying to sell more diapers???
Unfortunately, his message stuck, and we’re potty training children almost 2 years later than we did in the 1950s. This is problematic on many levels: Our landfills are full of diapers and sewage. Families are spending hundreds, if not $1,000-2,000 more per child on diapers. Children’s desires to be hygienic, to adhere to social norms and to be independent are being overlooked.
One of my biggest goals is to convince you that YOU are ready to potty train. You are leading the charge. I want you to be prepared emotionally and mentally. And I want you to know exactly how to proceed with the Potty Training Plan. Once you’re armed with information, fortitude and a lot of compassion for your little one,, you’re ready. And therefore, so is your child.
No. Once in a great while, a child will show a keen interest in the potty and then a quick, effortless and successful potty training event follows. It happens. It’s just super rare. Typically interest comes and goes in waves.
On their own, most kids can’t even envision life without diapers. They’ve been wearing diapers since day 1. Most kids feel comfortable sitting in warm, gooey poop. I know, it’s gross to us, but it’s all they’ve known.
It is your job to introduce the new reality of underwear and toilets. We know what is good for them. You wouldn’t wait for you kid to show interest in eating vegetables or washing his hands, would you?
Most parents who wait until their child shows interest delay potty training until after 30 months. Those who wait until then to start experience the majority of difficulties encountered during potty training. The 30+ month old child has been conditioned that much longer to eliminating in diapers. A near 3 year-old is much more likely to be resistant to giving up diapers than an 18 month old or young 2 year-old with a less developed sense of identity. Plus, constipation issues and bed-wetting increase dramatically when potty training is postponed until after the 3rd birthday.
Yes, if you choose to do Elimination Communication (EC), you will put in a lot of the work up front. Your child may not be verbal or mobile yet. You’re going to need to read his signals and transport him to the potty. While babies do have sphincter control, it is still developing, so he will not be able to “hold it” very long from when the urge arises to when he needs to release. So, yes, there will be accidents. Progress will seem to come in surges. It’ll click and then seem to fall apart. The learning process of EC is nonlinear as the baby moves through developmental stages, but most EC’d babies achieve daytime dryness between 10-18 months.
If you can relax into the nonlinear process of EC, you will really enjoy the journey, and the benefits will start piling up. You will recognize your baby’s ability to communicate about his hygienic needs. He will learn to trust you in return. You will save money. You will reduce diaper consumption. You will avoid diaper rash. You’re most certainly going to have a potty independent child sooner than you would had you skipped EC and signed up for the conventional potty training route.
$27-47 is a steal, if you ask me. Yes, it is more expensive than buying a best seller paperback book, but you get so much more. The books are a how-to guide (or manual) to get your child out of diapers. How much do you spend weekly in diapers? You’re going to make up the money spent on the book in saved diapers in a month or so. Andrea’s books, whether you opt for digital or paperback, come with a ton of resources, such a video and download library. By purchasing the book, you get access to the book owners’ private Facebook group, where you can get around the clock support and guidance from thousands of other parents. Additionally, you get lifetime updates on each book.
Yes, I offer live classes and the occasional free introductory workshop. I offer free support groups for families who practice EC, are in the midst of potty training or are moving toward potty independence. Check out the calendar to see a full listing of our live classes.
Check out the Bank of Diapers page for information about our Jackson, Wyoming based cloth diaper lending program. If you're interested in participating in the Bank of Diapers program, you can fill out the enrollment form.