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Potty Training Made Easy: Starting Early for a Positive Experience

Diving into the potty training journey with your toddler can be exciting but also incredibly challenging. Let me share some essential products we use and some helpful tips, especially for those with small bathrooms, to make this transition smooth and successful.


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Early Start: The Benefits


Starting potty training earlier than people typically expect can have some benefits for both you and your little one! Beginning potty training around 12 months has advantages, like allowing your child to get accustomed to using a potty and gradually helping build a comfortable routine. Early exposure can help your little one develop a positive attitude towards potty training, making the transition from diapers to undies less daunting when they're older.


Elimination Communication (EC) is a practice in infant care that involves identifying a baby's cues for needing to eliminate waste and then helping them use the toilet or potty. This approach to potty training can start as early as infancy. It is based on the premise that babies are inherently aware of their elimination needs and can communicate this in various ways. We have to learn how to recognize the cues and follow them!


Key Aspects of Elimination Communication:


  1. Observation: The parent or caregiver closely observes the baby for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. These signs might include certain facial expressions, sounds, or movements.

  2. Timing: Over time, parents notice patterns in their baby's elimination habits, such as urinating upon waking up or a specific time after eating.

  3. Cueing: Parents often use a specific sound or cue to encourage the baby to eliminate. This sound can be like a gentle "ssss" or a verbal cue, which the baby learns to associate with going to the toilet.

  4. Intuition: Some caregivers also rely on their intuition or sense of timing to predict when their baby needs to go.

  5. Communication: The process involves two-way communication, in which the caregiver interprets the baby's signals, and the baby learns from the caregiver's responses.

  6. Toilet Learning: The caregiver assists the baby in using a toilet or potty. This can involve holding the baby over a toilet or a potty, often squatting, to help them eliminate.


Benefits of Elimination Communication:

  • Reduces Dependence on Diapers: EC can lead to earlier potty training, reducing the overall use of diapers.

  • Environmental Impact: With fewer diapers used, there is less waste.

  • Enhances Bonding: This method requires close communication and can strengthen the bond between the baby and the caregiver.

  • Cost-Effective: It can save money on diapers and related products if your little one gets out of diapers quickly.

  • Promotes Early Potty Training: Babies who practice EC often transition more easily and earlier to using a toilet independently.


Considerations:

  • Time-Consuming: EC requires a significant time commitment and constant attention to the baby's cues.

  • Not Always Feasible: EC might not be practical for some families, especially those where caregivers work full-time or have other children to care for. Do not feel bad if this is your situation!

  • Cultural Differences: The approach is more common in certain cultures and less so in others, where traditional potty training methods are the norm. (You may get some pushback from family members and friends who don't understand the process!)


Must-Have Potty Training Supplies


Click the picture to the right to see my favorite potty training supplies on my Amazon list!


  1. Undies: Opt for 100% organic cotton undies. They're soft and breathable and provide a realistic transition from diapers. Plus, they're comfortable for both home and travel. TIP: You can also opt for training pants or underwear. These have more padding to absorb accidents that are bound to happen when starting this process!

  2. Potty Seats: A comfortable, sturdy, and easy-to-clean potty seat is essential! Folding models are great for saving space and convenient for travel. We use this potty at home and love it. (It's also perfect for throwing in your car when you go out! We also use this white potty, and it's great because it looks like an actual toilet but toddler-sized! This travel potty seat is perfect for traveling - it suctions to the toilet seat, is easy to wipe down, and comes with its own bag!

  3. Supply Caddy: Keep a caddy for storing non-toxic disinfectant spray, wipes, and other cleaning supplies. Organized supplies ensure quick and efficient clean-ups!

  4. Educational Books: Interactive books about potty training can make the process fun and engaging for your child! It also offers something screen-free to do while they sit on the potty.

  5. Stools: Stools are perfect for small bathrooms, helping your child easily reach the toilet and sink while fostering independence. We use this one, and it has been PERFECT.

  6. Bathroom Fidgets: This might not be one you think of, but fidgets are great for keeping your toddler engaged and calm during potty time!

  7. Heater: Bathrooms can get cold in the winter, so the toilet can feel cold for your little one! Grab a heater so the temperature stays warm and your little one doesn't dislike the potty due to the cold!


Tips for Small Bathrooms

  1. Space-Saving Potty: Choose a compact, foldable potty seat that can be tucked away when not in use or one that stays on your toilet seat and can be easily lifted. This potty seat hooks onto your regular toilet seat but can be lifted up and out of the way when not in use!

  2. Wall-Mounted Storage: Use vertical space to store potty training supplies. Wall-mounted shelves or hooks can keep essentials within reach without cluttering the floor. You could even use an over-the-door organizer to store potty training and other bathroom supplies!

  3. Foldable Stool: Look for a stool that you can easily fold away when it is not in use! This stool is perfect!

  4. Minimize Clutter: Keep only essential items in the bathroom. A less cluttered space makes potty training more focused and less overwhelming.


Encouraging Positive Potty Habits

  1. Routine: Establish a consistent routine. Early exposure to sitting on the potty can make it a regular part of their daily life.

  2. Praise and Encouragement: Celebrate every small success to boost their confidence! You can even get a potty chart for your little one to encourage them to use the potty! Amazon has a TON of different options for a potty chart, so pick something your toddler loves (princesses, animals, cars, dinosaurs, etc.) and grab one that's perfect for them.

  3. Lead by Example: Let them see family members using the toilet. Toddlers love to imitate adults! This would also be a great time to encourage proper hygiene techniques, such as wiping and washing your hands afterward.

  4. Patience is Key: Every child is different. Be patient and understanding of your child's pace! Try not to get discouraged when your little one doesn't follow your expected timeline, or be encouraged when it happens faster than anticipated!


Potty training is a significant developmental milestone! Starting early, being equipped with the right products, and having patience while using positive reinforcement can make this a rewarding experience for you and your toddler. Remember, each small step is progress, not something that happens overnight! Be encouraged as you walk through this next significant achievement with your toddler.


Xo,

Jess


L E T ' S B E F R I E N D S!









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