Skip to content

5 reasons why now is the time to potty train: Potty training during coronavirus (or any 3-7 days off from work)

5 reasons why now is the time to potty train

This is a guest post from Kate Falk, our certified coach in Jackson, Wyoming. Enjoy her super-encouraging reasons to potty train now! xx Andrea

Believe it or not, the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic make the prospect of potty training a lot more attractive.

Time at home could accelerate your toddler’s potty training trajectory.

Potty training will offer you a structured way to connect with your child during the next few weeks.

I’m not saying anything new here, but potty training will save you money.

Additionally, it is possible that diapers will be harder to obtain, if the pandemic continues for many months.

In short, potty train now and stay ahead of the curve.

1. The Potty Training Plan explained in The Tiny Potty Training Book calls for a caregiver to set aside several days to two weeks to focus on potty training. Step 1 of Phase 1, aka naked at home, calls for you to be exclusively at home. Step 2 allows 15 minute outings, and Step 3 still requires distraction-free diligence while at home while developing pottying routines around leaving the house, still for only short periods of time.

the potty training plan by go diaper free andrea olson

Download our free Potty Training Plan PDF

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Often, the thought of staying home for step 1 produces anxiety in parents. Many parents try to find a way around it, but part-time potty training isn’t as effective as following the Potty Training Plan. Now, many of us are sheltered in place and many more are staying home (from school and work) to consciously practice social distancing. Not staying home isn’t much of a choice anymore.

To sum it up: you’re home for weeks to months. The resistance to stay home in order to potty train has circuitously been removed for you. Why not make the most of your time and potty train?

structured downtime for kids during coronavirus

2. In chaotic times, I find two things are calming: structure and down time. Sure, they seem to be opposites, but they work well together. The Potty Training Plan offers you a structured, parent-led way to potty train. Potty training mastery comes more quickly this way than via a child-led, part-time potty training philosophy. Toddlers thrive in structured situations. Messages need to be simple and clear for toddlers to process them. Additionally, toddlers are more likely to be cooperative and participatory when there is a structured plan.

As an analogy: my 4 year-old is a leader, compassionate, kind and a great listener at preschool. At home, I don’t always see that top-notch behavior. One big difference is that routine and structure are ALWAYS present at preschool, while only sometimes at home. Children do better with structure.

While the Potty Training Plan is structured and parent-led, it is also gentle and respectful of the child’s needs. Once you learn the steps of the Potty Training Plan and develop a growing confidence about the process, you will be able to relax and feel ease while implementing the Plan. (I know confidence doesn’t soar immediately for all caregivers, but fake it til you make it and do your best to convey confidence to your child while potty training.)

Feeling informed and confident, implementing the Potty Training Plan should feel like downtime. The only things it requires you to do are engage with your child and learn his potty signals and rhythms. Yes, there will be accidents. Yes, there will be ups and downs.  But generally, there should be spacious time for you and your child to play, read, create, exercise, cuddle and potty train.

stop checking the smartphone so much

3. A second aspect of the Potty Training Plan that is difficult for parents to swallow is the giving up of smartphones, email and everything that distracts us from actively noticing the child’s signals. I know I’ve been checking my smart phone way too frequently during this pandemic. Although difficult, I think reducing news checks to a few times a day will add a sense of calmness and clarity to your day. If you decide to potty train in the near future, it can offer (yet another) solid reason to distance yourself from the news, social media, emails, phone calls and texts, except when necessary.

save money by potty training

4. Anyone worried about finances? You will save somewhere between $30-100+ per month when your child is potty trained. Use the coupon code POTTYTUNITIES to save 15% on your order of The Tiny Potty Training Book. That’s only $22.95 for a digital copy (at the time of this writing/recording), a fraction of what you spend monthly of diapers. (And you get support from our certified coaches on our private book owners' forum - essential during potty training!)

hoarding diapers at the store

5. I hate to sound like an alarmist, but we have all witnessed how the Covid-19 pandemic has awoken a hoarding tendency among some of the population. Who is on their last roll of toilet paper? If the pandemic continues for months upon months, it is possible the manufacture of diapers and/or supply chain necessary to receive diapers could be disrupted. If potty training has been on your mind or if your child is over 18 months, now is the time to break your reliance upon disposable diapers.

holding baby over toilet

For those who've done elimination communication (above): You may decide now is a great time to potty train your EC’d toddler. Conventional potty training is an excellent way to wrap up EC in a timely and effective way.

Again, all this time at home will allow for ample practice for your toddler to gain mastery and confidence around toilet learning.

Are you gonna potty train this week? Let us know below so we can virtually (and safely) high-five you!


PS - here’s the video version of this episode in case you prefer to YouTube it. ;)

Kate Falk

About Kate Falk

I am a mother and educator who has used Elimination Communication with my two sons. I was thrilled to have an alternative to full-time diapering. The process was different with both of my sons, partly because with my second son, I was more experienced and taking the Certified Coach program. Elimination Communication is accommodating. There is a way to incorporate it into every family structure.In addition to Go Diaper Free coaching, I am a certified Reading Specialist who works in private practice, mostly with children with reading disabilities.I enjoy traveling, climbing, cooking and recreating in nature with my kids. I have lived between Jackson, Wyoming and southwestern Colorado for the past 6 years and am happy to be settling full-time in Jackson.


  1. Avatar Liz Lo on March 21, 2020 at 10:46 am

    I am potty training my second child this week (18mo dd) hopefully it will go well considering she just broke her arm 2 days ago :0

    • Avatar Kate Falk on March 21, 2020 at 11:04 am

      So sorry to hear about the broken arm! As if we need more to juggle these days. My youngest broke his tibia just shy of his 2nd birthday. I was super worried, as he was in a full leg cast. But kids recover SO much faster than adults, in general. As for potty training at 18 mo: I have two clients potty training similar aged toddlers right now, and it’s going very well. They’re both surprised. But toddlers in the 18-24 month range typically are so much more compliant with potty training and significantly less habituated to diapers, so I find that most families cruise through the Potty Training Plan quickly and relatively easily. Good luck!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 22, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      Oh poor baby!! If she’s in a lot of pain and grumpy I would hold off on potty training. You can do some EC potty learning if she’ll tolerate it. If she’s acting normal go ahead and go for it! xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Antonina E. on April 6, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Yes before seeing this post I’d thought the same of this Covid-19 situation & how I’ll use it as the perfect opportunity to potty train my son. However we’ve just had our third day and we’re looking to take a break tomorrow as our 21 month old prefers to walk away and pee privately away from the potty or away from prying eyes, I haven’t caught Any pees yet. I have a 3 year old also who is around and already potty trained, thanks to your book, for some time now and a 4.5 month old baby so there is a bit of an audience for him, meanwhile at the same time he’s been drooling a bit and biting (unusual for him) so we wonder if he’s teething. I’m also guilty of hovering, though have tried to follow him loosely and look busy lol We made a song up and he’ll sit on the potty if we place him on it, but he won’t go to it voluntarily, even when I moved it to more private corners of the house.. Late yesterday he was showing signs of strong resistance and we didn’t want to push him for fear of him forming really negative memories of the potty.
    My questions are: How long do you think we should take a break for? And what can I do differently when we try again? My husband suggested we do casual half days outside (we’re in New Zealand and it’s Autumn but still warm enough to be outside without a nappy), however I’m worried that might confuse him and it’s better to take the ‘draw a line in the sand’ approach instead? Thanks in advance Andrea xx

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 6, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Antonina! Resistance is very common on day 3, they are testing the new boundary to see if you will stick with it. I wouldn’t take a break, just keep at it. You can have him potty a toy first or teach him a skill to help with the resistance. Keep up the awesome work! xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Hannah on April 15, 2020 at 5:27 am

    I have been catching wake up pees since 12 months, my daughter is now 14 months. I have all the best intentions of starting the hybrid plan just can’t get the courage too. I have some tiny trainers and standard underwear. I did start with diaper free time twice a day for an hour after each nap for around a week but she didn’t really seem be noticing she needed to pee. She would just pee on the floor and only in the potty upon waking. She has a definite signal but only once she already peeing. She knows what the potty is and can sign when I say the word but hasn’t made the link to let me know when she needs to go. So the diaper free time has now just stopped and I just catch wake up pees. I guess I’m asking how long will it take for her to understand what the potty is for and to let me know, am I just not being persistent enough? Guess I’m just struggling to motivate myself to get started properly :(

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 15, 2020 at 1:57 pm

      Hi Hannah! This is the perfect age to dive into wrapping up! I know it is intimidating. Once you’re in it, it just becomes the new normal. Just write a date on the calendar and go for it! Once you have ditched awake time diapers completely you will start to see progress. xx Andrea

  4. Avatar Allie on April 15, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    So my three year old has been potty trained for some time now, but has suddenly started regressing. It’s definitely behavioural: he only does it in view of me and when I started reducing clothing (no underwear, shorts instead of jeans, etc) and reminding him to use the potty when it had been a while he reacted to that like it was a punishment – it wasn’t. Do you have any suggestions? I’m stumped.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 16, 2020 at 3:28 pm

      Hi Allie! I would have him be responsible for cleaning up, not as punishment just taking responsibility. Say “pee goes in the potty” and hand him a rag. Have him wipe up, take off wet clothes, put them in the hamper, get dry clothes, etc. Let him do everything he is capable of, you can assist if needed. That should do the trick. xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Sarah on May 28, 2020 at 11:40 am

    Hi Andrea,

    Similar to others issues, my 14 month old seems to only signal while he’s peeing or not at all. I offer the potty on the big toilet or his smaller one and he won’t pee then he just goes on the floor a few minutes later. Any advice on how to get Better with the cues?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 28, 2020 at 6:29 pm

      Hi Sarah! It might be time to do some observation again, see if you can figure out his timing. Another option is to do the hybrid plan that comes with the Go Diaper Free book. It will help him get the idea that pee goes in the potty. If you haven’t already, this is a great age to ditch diapers. You will see so much progress once they are out of the picture. xx Andrea

Leave a Comment

Scroll To Top