This is part 3 of my series on elimination communication and potty training. I recently read The Tiny Potty Training Book by Andrea Olson because I wanted a guide that would teach me step by step how to potty train my toddler. I chose this book/ method because it is simple, non-coercive (no punishment or rewards) and goes well with elimination communication (read more about EC here). This book is for toddlers 18 months and older!
Why I Chose The Tiny Potty Training Book to Potty Train my 18 Month Old
Potty Training is a controversial and fearful topic. In fact, I am afraid to bring this topic up when I am with other moms and I know some parents have such a horrible experience potty training that they refuse to train their younger children.
Because of this fear, the current trend in the US is to wait longer and longer to potty train (or not potty train) children. I was recently reading a thread in a Facebook group where a mom was quite proud that her almost five year old is still in diapers.
Fears associated to potty training include:
- the child not being ready
- the parent not knowing where to start
- worrying that potty training will take a long time
- the parent not having time, the parent will miss diapering
- pee ruining their carpet
- the child’s daycare not cooperating
- having a potty trained child is not as convenient as having a child in diapers
- not having enough support
- and the belief that boys are more difficult to train.
According to Andrea Olson, author of The Tiny Potty Training Book, part of the fear comes from a lack of an “intact culture to pass on potty wisdom organically from generation to generation”.
I’m not willing to have a toddler who is capable but prefers to be in diapers. I am not going to let my child decide when he wants to be potty trained; I am the parent. I am ready to be done washing diapers two times a week and constantly fighting with a child who does not want his diaper changed. I am also ready to be done trying to keep my son’s diaper area rash and irritation free.
If you are looking for another way, a simple guide for non-coercive potty training, I suggest reading Olson’s book. Olson did research on all of the potty training philosophies and methods out there and compiled the practices that work. The method laid out in this book does not use rewards (m&ms, sticker charts, etc.). In my parenting style, I try not using rewards so it is important to me that my potty training was the same.
This book is simple in that it is concise, easy to read, and has short sections. I read the bulk of this book while riding in the car on a five hour road trip. The Tiny Potty Training Book lays out a plan and includes a supply list and troubleshooting section.
This book is a guide for potty training that gives you a plan that does not drag on. According to the author, the average length of potty training with this method is one week.
There are lots of books out there on potty training. How do you know which book or method is right for you? I think it is important to choose a method that aligns with your parenting style/ philosophy. I would also avoid methods that “guarantee” to be completed in a certain amount of time. Those methods could lead to disappointment and being unprepared for long term training.
I understand the frustration of potty training taking longer than it is “supposed to” and Olson does not guarantee that her method will take a certain amount of time.
Purchase of The Tiny Potty Training Book (paperback or digital) includes access to an online member’s area which includes a private support group, downloads, and a digital copy of the book.
For more potty training resources: part 1 of this series.