Potty Training

voices of your village Oct 15, 2020



Welcome to episode 142 of Voices of Your Village! I have a treat for you this week, today’s episode is a bit different than usual. For over a year y’all have been reaching out and asking for an episode on potty training, and I have been hesitant to put one out because there are multiple different approaches to potty training and so many different things to consider.


Potty training is not a one size fits all, so I interviewed a few different folks in the potty training world who have different approaches. I am sharing this as a compilation, so you can hear about different approaches to potty training to decide what works best for you and your family. I also popped in with another approach and considerations like the tiny human’s sensory system and how they play a role in potty training. 


“There are so many different approaches to potty training, and the one that works for your family unit is going to be the best.”


In this episode you are going to hear from Go Diaper Free founder Andrea Olson about elimination communication, Oh Crap! Potty Training author Jamie Glowacki about starting potty training at any age, and then I introduce the sensory system and emotion processing approach to potty training. I hope that you enjoy this compilation and you are able to find an approach that resonates with your family unit. Alright, let’s dive in!


First, I am up to chat a bit about my personal approach to potty training. As a preschool teacher I have been through potty training with tons of different kiddos, and I am here to share the research and sensory components about this process for everyone.


“I don’t care how you potty train your kid— as long as there is not punishment or shame involved.”


On average, for a typically developing child, neuromuscular development of the bowel and bladder control is present by 18 months of age. However, there are other factors of development like communication, gross motor skills, or the child’s sensory system, that may not yet be appropriately developed in order for the child to effectively communicate, recognize, and navigate toilet learning.


There was a longitudinal study that suggested that children may not be ready to start potty training until 2 year of age. And another study that suggested that if you started toilet learning prior to 2 years of age, the duration of the training could be relatively longer. 


“In the research we generally see that girls are successfully potty trained about 3 months earlier than boys. So, in a binary system we do see that humans who have a vagina potty train earlier than humans who have a penis.”


Remember, this is not one size fits all research. However, one thing that did stand out to me as I did this research on potty training was that there are statistical differences between parents who were encouraged to avoid negative terminology versus parents who used negative language. In these cases we did see that if we are avoiding negative language we do see faster potty training. Likely, associated with the kids feeling comfortable if they’ve had an accident without shame.


Next in the episode, I chat with Oh Crap! Potty Training author Jamie Glowacki about starting potty training at any age. Jamie never planned to become a professional potty trainer, but early on in her professional career began making it her mission to potty train kiddos. When it was time to potty train her son, she realized how much hot button discourse there is around the topic. So, she started to run a potty training class for local moms out of the back room of her store. She became so booked helping families in her community with potty training that she created a certification program.


I had so many questions from you villagers for Jamie, so we wasted no time diving into your biggest one. Up first: how do you know when a kid is ready to potty train? Jamie told me that first we have to look at where this phrase even comes from, before we can address it in our own family units. 


The real question is, “How do you know they are capable?” 


And Jamie was kind enough to provide a list of ways to know if your kiddo is capable of potty training. This list includes things such as, Can your child say the ABCs? Because learning the ABCs shows that your child can pick up on patterns and repetition. They learn their ABCs not because you sang them once or twice, but because you said it hundreds of times. 


Jamie went on to answer more of your questions about potty training— including that always hot topic: night training—  and we had a great time as she was doing it! Thanks for chatting with me, Jamie! For more of Jamie Glowacki you can find her book anywhere they sell books, on JamieGlowacki.com , on Instagram @jamie.glowacki and on he podcast “Oh Crap I Love My Toddler… But Holy F**k.”


Next, I chatted with Go Diaper Free founder Andrea Olson about elimination communication. For those of you who are new to elimination communication (also known as EC), I am stoked to introduce you to the Queen of it all, Andrea Olson. Andrea always knew that she wanted to raise her kiddos with the EC method and quickly began teaching it to parents.


First, I had Andrea give us a quick overview of how elimination communication actually works. Elimination communication works because human beings can hold in their pee and poop because we all have the ADH hormone, including babies.


“It is always two-way communication, from birth.”


Then, I dove right in to asking Andrea some of my questions about EC. Andrea told me that the main things to remember about elimination communication are that this process is all about communication, making the baby comfortable, and teaching them a language around this thing that is usually not talked about so they can start communicating to the caregiver when they need to go.


Andrea dove into all of our questions and if you want more of her, you can find Andrea Olson at GoDiaperFree.com and all of her products at TinyUndies.com. Thanks again for chatting with us today, Andrea!


As always, come find me after the episode and slide into my DMs to keep the conversation going around potty training. What is your favorite tip or trick you learned on today’s episode, I want to know!


Until next time,





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