Hello, I'm Andrea Olson with Go Diaper Free, and I teach new parents about EC or elimination communication, infant potty training from as early as birth. Today, we're going to talk about the pros and cons of starting EC with a young toddler, 12 to 18 months.
So, starting with a young toddler 12 to 18 months. Whether you've heard about EC this whole time and you're just now finally getting a handle on this new parenting thing, and that's totally fine. Or, you just found out about EC and your child is between 12 and 18 months, or maybe you're researching early potty training and you really want to start during this age range or see what it's about, I've really good news for you. The pros include Montessori, Maria Montessori. Her whole philosophy was, "Do not do for a child what the child can do for him or herself." You want to set up the environment, and teach the child, and help them to be independent at age-appropriate times. But guess what? And, guess what, there's no buts here. The great thing is, the 12 to 18 months in Montessori way of thinking is the sensitive period for starting and completing toilet training.
So if you're in a Montessori Academy, your child's in Montessori preschool or school, they actually will put them in cotton pants, starting as early as 12 months old through 18 months. So their 12 to 18 month class, their toddler class, wears cotton pants. And they have got many potties. And they potty all the children together. Whether you potty train at home or not, the Montessori schools are going to be doing it for you there, because it's developmentally appropriate.
In 1957, 92% of children in the United States were potty trained by 18 months. That's not even the average age. That's all of them by that age. Today in the US, the average age is three-years-old, which means you've got five-year-olds still in diapers. So, this is definitely a good time to take advantage of starting EC, and finishing EC between 12 and 18 months.
The other advantages you have in your court are that baby is probably walking, and able to move to the potty, and able to learn how to mount the potty. My baby is in the swing over there as we talk, and he's probably going to wake up soon. But, they can Mount the potty. They can learn these things. The other thing is between 14 and 18 months, says Baby Center, babies have the mental ability to hold and retain repetitive action and thought, so they can learn things and they'll stick. So, you're teaching the different parts of potty independence, and it sticks. They can pick it up and they can retain it, they can repeat it, they can do it.
So if your child doesn't show an interest in the potty and you don't think they're ready, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, forget all of that. Your child is capable, was born capable. There are people in this world, 50% of children are potty trained by one-year-old in other parts of the world, where there aren't diapers. So guess what? Diapers are part of the problem. During this age range, you can absolutely ditch daytime diapers. Some can even ditch nighttime diapers. It just depends on your baby's temperament, how hard they sleep, etc. We talk about that in other videos as well.
Other pros of starting at this age are communication. They can actually say or sign or infer what they want, and very strongly. You've got the beginning of tantrums, which is great, because that means that your baby can express what he or she wants. And that includes going to the potty in the appropriate place.
The other thing is, the pro about starting at this age, it's awesome. You're not too late, you did not miss the boat. You've done diapers for only 12 months, only 16 months. It's not really ingrained in them yet. That's okay. The other part is, they're not in the no stage yet. They're not telling you no about everything yet. 20 months, 20 to 24 months, they're going to start telling you no about everything. So take advantage of it, start and finish EC now, and I'll teach you how to do that at godiaperfree.com. I have lots of free resources, I have lots of paid resources. I got lots of resources. That's what I'm doing this for is to help you.
All right. The cons of starting at this age, that the baby has been in diapers for 12 to 18 months. That is a habit. You have taught him to use that as his toilet. You need to unteach that. It's easier now than it is later, so start now, but that is definitely something that's going to be a little bit of a challenge for some people.
The other thing is, baby's mobile. It's hard to observe a mobile baby. They're walking and running around. So, you can use a Sumo-style backup, and watch my other videos for learning how to do observation. And, you can take my Potty Time Master Course, to really master when baby needs to go to the bathroom, even at this age. And I show you, step-by-step, how to do this with an eight-month-old mobile baby. It applies to young toddlers too. There's a course within the course that will teach you that. So go to academy.godiaperfree.com if you want to learn on that.
The other cons are, you might be back at work. So you might have to deal with the daycare and caregivers. And I'm going to cover that in another video as well. I cover that in my book. I really strongly believe in part-time EC, but I also believe that you can teach your caregivers too. I've got a child who's in preschool right now, who's 20 months old. And he has been out of diapers for the last two months because I've sent him to preschool and diapers because he wasn't... He's my laid back kid. He wasn't very reliable yet. We stopped using daytime diapers at 17 months with him. My others at nine months, 13 months. But with him, he's just a little bit more laid back. So I taught the daycare workers... Oo, he's about to cry. I taught the daycare workers how to potty him. I just dropped off a mini potty there today for them. So there are ways. It can be a challenge, but they are not insurmountable.
So that's about it for starting at this age range. Baby Branson is crying, so I’ve got to run. I'm Andrea with Go Diaper Free.
So that’s it from my starting with young toddlers video...hope you enjoyed listening if you’re contemplating starting EC with your young toddler (and wondering if you’re too late). Again, this episode is sponsored by my Wrapping Up EC minicourse, which will teach you how to complete what you’ve started with my book, Go Diaper Free. These two will set you up with success to start and finish ECing your young toddler within the 12-18 month span. Visit godiaperfree.com/wrapup to sign up for that class.
PS - here’s the video version of this episode in case you prefer to YouTube it. ;)