Why I Chose The Tiny Potty Training Book to Potty Train My 18 month old

Why I chose The Tiny Potty Training Book to potty train my 18 month old

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

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.

What potty training method or book worked for you?

How to get started with Elimination Communication: tips from an EC and Potty Training Coach

How to get started with Elimination Communication: tips from an EC and Potty Training coach

How to Get Started with Elimination Communication: Tips from an EC/ Potty Training Coach

I’m in the midst of potty training so having a friend who coaches this stuff has been a big help. Here is part two of my series on elimination communication (EC) and potty training. My first time hearing about EC was at a Bringing Baby Home class while pregnant with my son. On the last day, the teacher of the class mentioned that everybody should look into it. She explained that babies could pee and poop in the toilet from the beginning. According to our teacher, some people tried catching all pees and poops and some people did it every once in awhile. My husband and I loved the idea of not having as many diapers to wash and giving our son the opportunity to get an early start eliminating in the toilet.

Then my son was born, we didn’t know when to start holding him over the toilet to pee. But I was watching him to see if I could tell when he was pooping, I was so excited that I had that figured out. Being a new parent was overwhelming and life with a newborn was not easy so EC did not happen early on.
How to get started with Elimination Communication: tips from an EC and Potty Training coach

Today’s post is an interview with my friend Helen Martin of Born Ready LLC. I’m excited to share Helen’s knowledge of elimination communication (EC) based on her experience and training.

My first encounter with Helen was in the women’s restroom at a church conference. She came in with her two little boys and after removing the younger one’s diaper at the changing table then took him into the stall so he could pee. I was impressed; this was my first time seeing somebody doing EC. I was so excited and intrigued that I immediately told my husband.
Later, we became friends even though I was intimidated by her EC and baby wrapping skills. She became an EC/ potty training coach and announced that she was going to become a postpartum doula shortly after I had decided to become one.
I am so exctied to introduce you to Helen!
“Hi, I’m Helen! I’m an Australian living in Seattle and “mummy” to two young sons, with both of whom I practiced EC. In March of 2015 I completed certification through Go Diaper Free as an elimination communication and non-coercive potty training coach. In October of 2015 I completed a DONA postpartum doula skills workshop and am in process of NAPS postpartum doula certification. Additionally, I serve with Babywearing International of South Puget Sound as a leader in training. I can be reached at www.bornreadydoula.com or helen@bornreadydoula.com.”
According to Helen EC is a journey and looks different for everybody. “You did the best you could with the knowledge and support you had. You had an EC journey that brought you joy, deepened your sense of communication with your baby and you had some catches! That sounds like a successful, valuable EC journey to me!” This was Helen’s response when I asked her what I should have done differently in my attempt at EC.
“Going diaper free is an exciting possible perk of practicing EC, but in my mind a more attainable and sustainable goal is the communication part of elimination communication. If we focus too much on ‘success’ or catching everything we can get burnt out and discouraged.” Those are wise words, I personally think that applies to a lot of aspects of parenting.
Helen’s EC Journey
When Helen first heard about EC, before becoming a parent, she quickly dismissed it as something she would never do but when her first child was 10 months a leader at a breastfeeding support group suggested that one of the mothers potty their infant when he was popping on and off the breast. Her interest was piqued. Their family was cloth diapering at the time so the idea of reducing her cloth diaper laundry appealed to her so she decided to try EC. She had nothing to lose by trying EC because she didn’t enjoy diapering and all that it entailed. Immediately, she bought the book, EC Simplified (later republished as Go Diaper Free). “We started catching pees the next day, I realized this crazy thing actually worked and we never looked back!”
How to get started with EC
If you are interested in beginning EC (for babies under 18 months) Helen suggests offering “pottytunities” according to generic timing (times that all babies often need to eliminate).  “Some examples include immediately upon waking, before and after a feed, when they get suddenly wriggly in a baby carrier, etc.”
Helen decided to become an EC coach because a lot of people around her had heard (or not heard!) about EC but she was the first person they knew in real life who was actually doing it. “Everyone who was curious started sending their questions my way! It sort of grew from there, leading to me choosing to open a small business as an EC coach so I could provide professional help to families outside of my personal network.”
As an EC coach, Helen facilitates monthly support group meetings in the Seattle/ Tacoma area as well as moderating an online support group. She also offers group classes and private consults for ECing and EC curious families. She helps other birth professionals learn how to better support their ECing clients. Helen considers herself an ambassador and advocate for EC in a diaper dependent culture.
Top tips for Success
 “I think education and support are so important for a successful EC journey.”
1. Read a book about EC
2. Connect with a local EC educator
3. If you’re planning on ECing from birth, consider hiring a postpartum doula who is knowledgeable about EC
3. Start attending classes and/or support groups
4. Get to know ECing families in your area (if you don’t know any, find an online EC group)
5. “Fight the urge to focus on catches and success but simply aim to incorporate EC into your family’s routine to a degree that brings peace and deepens communication.”
Long term benefits of Elimination Communication
The long term benefits of EC include saving time and money by using up fewer disposables and/or creating less cloth diaper laundry, deepened infant/caregiver communication and trust, baby spends less time with their waste and pee in contact with their skin, lessened incidences of diaper rash, and complete graduation from diapers often happens earlier and easier than with conventional potty training methods.
For more EC resources, visit part one of this series.

What has been your experience with EC? What have you heard about EC?

Let me know in the comments.

Elimination Communication and Potty Training Resources

Elimination Communication and Potty Training Resources

I am in the prep stage of potty training my 19 month old son so I figured this would be the perfect time to start a series on elimination communication (EC) and potty training.

Elimination Communication and Potty Training resourcesElimination Communication

Potty Training

What resources would you add to the list?

5 Goals for Mothers of Toddlers

5 Goals for Mothers of Toddlers

At the beginning  of each year, I make a list of all of my goals, wishes and prayers for the year. This year, my list includes continuing to take steps to strengthen my marriage, getting certified as a postpartum doula, potty training Hezekiah, and getting him to sleep in his own bed.

5 goals for parenting a toddler

As a parent of a toddler, it can be difficult to have many goals other than– get more sleep (that’s my goal for life). Last month I posted 7 goals for parenting an 18 month old. This month’s goals are ones that will benefit moms of toddlers of all ages.


  • Do something to make yourself feel good.

Many cities have beauty schools where you can get manicures, pedicures, and haircuts for a low cost. I am planning on getting my haircut this month. When I lived in Seattle, I would get free haircuts by volunteering to be a “hair model” for students who were getting tested.


  • Take child to the dentist.

My son had his first dentist appointment when he was around 12 months so he is due for his next appointment this month. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check up every six months for children.


  • Get outside (and be active)!

Hike it Baby is having their Hike it Baby 30 challenge this month (January). The challenge is to hike (walk, run, snowshoe…) 30 miles outside with your child or spend 30 minutes outside, 3 days a week all month. So far, my family has done 6.5 miles. I’m hoping that this challenge will motivate me to be active outdoors even though it is tempting to hibernate indoors and avoid the cold snow. If you haven’t joined your local Hike it Baby group, I encourage you to do it.

get outside and be active



  • Potty train

I was originally planning on potty training Hezekiah last month but the holidays have kept us busy so I will do it this month. I am going to buy The Tiny Potty Training Book from my friend, Helen this week so I will be ready to start ASAP!


  • Host play date (Socialize with other moms)

Due to the holidays, this did not happen last month as planned. I am an administrator for the under 2 playgroup for MOPS so I need to set a date then invite the group over to let the babies play and give us some time to be with other adults. I still want to try the Nutella hot chocolate recipe in my crock pot (yum!)

What are your goals, wishes and prayers for this year?

goals for mothers of toddlers