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The laws of natural development: Part 1 of our Montessori-inspired EC series

Translations of this post: Italian

The laws of natural development

Well hey there. Today's episode is the first in a four-part series based on the Montessori approach to toilet learning, starting at birth. Over the course of four weeks, we are going to deconstruct Merry Hadden’s fantastic Montessori toileting article and emphasize how elimination communication is a truly Montessori-friendly toilet learning method.

Today's episode will focus on part one - the natural laws of development.

In this bit we’ll discuss how newborn babies were perfectly formed during their time in the womb, prepared perfectly to come out into the world and mature in the most natural setting, according to certain natural laws of development. By understanding this development, we as parents can honor the child and assist where we see fit, from birth, instead of botching Nature’s intention by adding a long-term diaper-as-toilet to the mix.

Why Montessori? We happen to value Montessori principles in our home, although we are not exclusively dedicated to the method. Importantly, and where I feel a kinship regarding EC, “Montessori practice supports the natural unfolding of human development in the earliest years” and in this article, specifically, “ toilet learning is approached using Montessori principles and respectfully maintaining the dignity of the child” (Montessori Guide - The Journey to Independence).

So, today we’ll talk about the natural laws of development so you can understand what Mother Nature intended for your baby from the day s/he was born...and also the following:

  • How we can use infant cues to assist in development
  • How Montessori views the parent-child relationship
  • Where the Montessori and EC timelines sync up
  • How we can return to our instincts and trust the natural laws of development
  • A quote from Maria Montessori
  • Two tips from our readers.

Links and other resources mentioned today:

Download the Transcript

If you can't listen to this episode right now (um, sleeping baby!?) and read the transcript here:

Transcript download: Natural Development

Watch the Video Version

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

Thanks for Listening!

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What is your biggest take-away from this part of Merry’s article? Anything to add? Please leave a comment below!

I look forward to chatting with you in the comments.

xx Andrea

Andrea Olson

About Andrea Olson

I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my 6 children (all under 12 yo) and the rest of my time teaching other new parents how to do Elimination Communication with their 0-18 month babies. I love what I do and try to make a difference in one baby or parent's life every single day. (And I love, love, love, mango gelato.)


  1. Avatar Skie on November 20, 2019 at 9:22 am

    This is *so* exciting! My older children go to a Montessori school and we practice some Montessori at home, I also did toilet learning with my third child. When I first learned about ec when my fourth baby was 6 weeks old, the part that got me the most was when you talked about how ec and Montessori work together. I’m so excited for this 4 part series!!!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 24, 2019 at 8:46 pm

      Hi Skie! I’m so happy to hear this will be a helpful series for you!! EC and Montessori really do work well together. xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Beccy on December 1, 2019 at 1:15 am

    It‘s so great to hear that it is common practice in Montessori that they swap to undies/training pants around 12 months. When all the adulsts help together, the toilet learning works so smoothly. I hope this mindset will get to more and more people and the myth of waiting for readiness will be forgotten.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on December 8, 2019 at 9:33 pm

      Hi Beccy! That is my hope too! Readiness is such a perpetuating myth, it needs to go. xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Bonnie Dening on December 17, 2019 at 7:06 am

    Yay I’ve followed you a long time and I am loving seeing your Montessori/homeschool info

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on December 30, 2019 at 8:38 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that Bonnie! xx Andrea

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