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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

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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

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