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.
Download our free Potty Training Plan PDF
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?
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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. ;)