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I potty trained my toddler after starting EC with my second baby

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This is a guest post from
Lisa "Dee" Perusse
, our certified coach in Montreal, Quebec. Some links here may earn her a referral commission. We only refer to products or services we’ve actually tried and think are super useful, because we’re practical and helpful like that. :) ALSO, because these are tough times, financially, there’s a discount code if you scroll all the way to the end! :)

People ask me all the time why I only did Elimination Communication with my second child and not both. The answer is simply - I had never heard of EC until my first was 2 years old. At that point, I thought I’d missed the boat. I earmarked the knowledge of EC for my next baby and started what I felt was “classic potty training”.

Fast forward a year to me being pregnant, nauseous, exhausted and frustrated. My kiddo had no interest in learning to use the potty and all I could do was coax him onto the potty with screen time. I was at my wits’ end, but since I was so nauseous, I couldn’t fathom taking on any more serious form of potty training. I knew I was absolutely done wiping poop out of skin folds, but that’s all I knew at the time.

When my second baby came along, we started EC almost immediately (I needed a few weeks to physically recover from the delivery). And then for a brief month or so, my baby was using the potty more reliably and with more frequency than my then-3.5-year-old.

We would routinely have interactions like this:

Me: Hey kiddo, you look like you have to poop squeezing your legs like that, shall we go to the potty?
Kid: No, I’m good, I don’t have to go *continues playing*
Me: Are you sure dude? Let’s go sit on the potty to make sure.
Kid: NO!! I’m busy!! I don’t need to go to the bathroom *starts walking over to a corner and grunting*
Me: Dude, I can tell you’re about to poop. I’m not changing your diaper, let’s go make that poop in the potty
Kid: Grrrr i’m unggghhhhh not rrrrrrrrrrrr going to use the potty
Me: You’re pooping right now!
Me: * rolls eyes so far back into head they fall out *

At this point, I was at a loss. I’d tried stickers, screen time, fruit snacks, and if I’m honest with myself, I probably shamed him a fair bit when he chose his diaper over the potty. What I didn’t realise is that he wasn’t choosing his diaper, he was choosing autonomy.

I started to research more techniques for teaching potty skills to older kids and came across Diaper Free’s Potty Training Experience. Here were all the missing pieces - a program to teach your kid to use the potty. All the common knowledge around me was to basically condition your child by putting them on the potty at set times, then rewarding them if they should happen to pee or poop. I knew that this kind of coercive training wasn’t teaching skills, it was only reinforcing a desire for rewards. In fact, this became super obvious at one point - he started asking to use the potty when he wanted a sweet treat, or to watch TV after dinnertime!

I was still very early in my EC journey with the newborn when I decided to wrap up with his older sibling, but I felt the time had come long ago and was eager to ditch those diapers. The Potty Training Experience went swimmingly for us. I stopped coercing my child into potty time and began teaching him the skills to take himself to the potty. By dinnertime on the second day, he peed in the potty on his own and then exclaimed “Mom! I think I’m really getting the hang of this potty thing!” and did a little celebratory dance.

Truly, this was the only approach that worked for us and it blended so well with doing EC with our baby. As a family, we practised outings and took both kids to the bathroom at IKEA. My older kid started helping make sound associations with the baby - something he had no interest in before he mastered the toilet basics. He started to giggle at the pfffftthhbbbb of a poop being caught in the little potty. It was amazing.

I know that we often recommend wrapping up Potty Training with an older sibling before beginning EC with a new baby, but for my little family, blending the two worked very well. The only thing I would do differently is - if I had a time machine - I would go back in time and learn about EC with my older kid from the get-go. And since that’s not possible, I would do it all again just as we did!

Watch the Video Version

If you want to watch the recording of today’s podcast episode, you can do that on my youtube version right here:

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Have you potty trained a toddler and EC’ed a baby at the same time? Share your best advice for other parents going through it!


xx Andrea

Resource Recommendation

Go Diaper Free:  my popular EC book that simplifies EC, beginning to end

The Tiny Potty Training Book: empowering parents with accurate information and step-by-step guidance to potty train

Tiny Unides: 100% cotton tiny baby underwear, short potties, and more! Code GDFWDEE gets you $5 off!

Easy Start Guide: my simple one-page guide that teaches you how to start EC with your 0-18 month baby, and catch a pee TODAY!

3-Day Potty Training Primer: 3 short emails with my best nuggets 'o' wisdom to prepare you for potty training your 18 month + toddler

Lisa Perusse

About Lisa Perusse

When her first baby was born, Dee quickly learned how under-supported parents are in our society. Her path to becoming a postpartum doula began with this all-too-common experience of loneliness, exhaustion, and anxiety. Now, she is here to support parents during their difficult – and immensely rewarding – journeys. As a mom of two and a pre- and post-natal yoga teacher, becoming a postpartum doula was a logical progression in her mission to help parents. She is obsessed with the Pelvic Floor!! As a science nerd, she focuses on nervous system down-regulation through pranayama (breathwork) and asana (yoga poses), as well as meditation and mindfulness. She offers group workshops and individual consultations for both elimination communication and potty training, and she firmly believes that new parents – especially birth-givers – need to commune with each other during this adjustment period to meet this challenge with grace TOGETHER. Visit her website to learn more about her offerings.

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