This week on the Mommy Labor Nurse podcast I chatted with Allison Janadu, a potty training consultant and the face behind the popular potty training Instagram account @pottytrainingconsultant! At the time this episode aired, she and her team at Potty Training Consultants have helped over 2000 families meet their potty-training goals.
I know a lot of you have toddlers at home, and when I came across Allison’s page on Instagram, I thought it’d be an interesting and educational episode for all, and she definitely did not disappoint!
So listen in to hear all about the ins and outs of potty training and tons of practical tips that you can use if you’re in it now, or tuck away for when the time to potty train sneaks up on you! Because we all know that time flies as a mama.
Here’s a peek at what we discuss in the episode:
- What’s your best advice for someone that’s completely overwhelmed by potty training? (7:24)
- What are some signs of readiness for potty training? (12:08)
- Any advice for parents whose child is afraid of the potty? (17:30)
- What’s better: potties that go on top of the toilet or stand-alone toddler potties? (21:46)
- Myths and misconceptions surrounding potty training (29:57)
- How to handle potty training accidents (34:26)
- About Allison Janadu
What’s your best advice for someone that’s completely overwhelmed by potty training? (7:24)
After we do some introductions and hear about how Allison got started with her potty training consulting business, I wanted to dive right into her best advice for someone that’s totally overwhelmed. I remember all too well how much information was out there and not knowing where to start when I was potty training my first! It’s seriously a lot to take in.
Here’s a bit of what she had to say in response to that,
“So our philosophy here is kind of that, there’s no perfect way to potty train – there’s no one size fits all way that’s going to work for every single child. It’s just not possible because every child is so different! They learn differently [and] they have different personalities. So my advice would be to do a little research and find stuff that is from reliable sources, preferably stuff that’s more science and evidence-based stuff, instead of just like, Oh, hey, I’m a mom, I’m writing a blog post about how I potty train my kid, you should do it this way, too.
And that’s not to discount them and their experience. But it’s not guaranteed that it’s going to work for you. So, try to find some good guidelines, and then think about the way that your child learns, and think about their personality, and try to tweak those things to, you know, customize it as much as possible, so that it works for them.”
When you tune in, you’ll hear Allison share some specific examples of what might and might not work for certain personality types and a little more about how to really examine your child to determine the best way for them to learn.
What are some signs of readiness for potty training? (12:08)
What I love is that all of her techniques and advice are rooted in research. So, not surprisingly when we started talking about signs of potty training readiness, she turned to the research!
Here are some points that she made in the episode:
- The 24-month mark is usually when kids are ready
- If your child is staying dry for longer periods of time throughout the day that is a good sign that they’re ready
- Staying dry during naps or for overnights is another good sign that they’re biologically ready for potty training
- Hiding to poop in their diaper shows awareness and is another great sign
- Generally wanting to imitate and take part in more of the things their older siblings or parents are doing around the house
- They have a good grasp on gross motor skills
- Your child has an interest when you use the bathroom
Any advice for parents whose child is afraid of the potty? (17:30)
Allison talks about the fact that this is a very common phenomenon because there is a lot of sensory stuff going on related to using the toilet! In her words,
“There’s a lot of sensory stuff happening there. If you think about it it’s stuff that they’ve never necessarily encountered before. So, it may bring out hypersensitivities that you never even knew that they had until you start potty training.
There’s a lot of cold surfaces and hard things and loud noises and different, you know, different sensations. When a child’s been wearing a diaper their whole life and they pee or poop and it comes out and it stays right up against their body. And then you take the diaper away, and you ask them to pee or poop in the potty and it comes out and away from their body. It’s a really different sensation, which a lot of kids are a little freaked out about at first.”
In this part of the episode, she goes on to share some tips and advice to help with this. The heart of it all is to introduce as many positive associations with the potty (and peeing and pooping in general) as possible! She shares some great talking points and shifts we can make to our language to help with this even while they’re still in diapers.
What’s better: potties that go on top of the toilet or stand-alone toddler potties? (21:46)
Allison pretty much said that she likes both and thinks it’s a personal preference! The benefit to using a floor, toddler potty is that it can move around the house with you for the early days of potty training. Then there isn’t always a mad dash to the bathroom. And it can promote independence because they can get on and off the potty without help.
But incorporating a potty topper is also a good idea because it helps get your little one ready to use the potty when you’re out and there is no little potty available. Exposure is key!
Myths and misconceptions surrounding potty training (29:57)
In this part of the episode, Allison addresses a lot of the common myths surrounding potty training and that really every child is unique! Boys often get a bad rap of being later and harder to potty train – but in her experience with thousands of families, it’s a really 50/50 split on who needs a little more support and who potty training comes more naturally to.
Listen in to hear her elaborate on this a little more, and talk through some of the subtle differences between girl and boy potty training.
How to handle potty training accidents (34:26)
We go on to talk about how to handle accidents, and right off the bat, Allison mentions that accidents are a good thing and are a critical part of the learning process. She talks about how accidents affect our child’s brain connections surrounding potty training for the better.
I don’t want to give too much away, but when you tune in, you’ll hear Allison talk a lot about the language to use surrounding accidents and again reiterates the key of keeping things positive. One of the best ways to do this is to really focus on TONS of positive language and reinforcement when they use the potty successfully instead of harping on when an accident happens.
She also talks about must-haves for your “potty training survival kit” to make public accidents a little bit easier to manage. She recommends swapping out the diapering supplies in your diaper bag with the following items during potty training:
- 2 changes of clothes
- 2-3 extra pairs of underwear
- Wipes to clean them up if an accident happens
- Absorbent cloths to clean up any messes (burp cloths work well!)
- Plastic bags to hold wet clothes
- Sticky notes to go over automatic flushers in public restroom
We round out our conversation about accidents and briefly touch upon the practice of Elimination Communication so be sure to listen in!
About Allison Janadu
Owner and founder of Potty Training Consultant, Allison Jandu, is a mom just like you. When it came time to potty train her oldest, she was quickly overwhelmed by all the conflicting information available online and was missing the support and guidance she was after. She didn’t think it seemed fair for mamas to have to guess their way through potty training – toddlerhood is challenging enough!
So, after over 5,000 hours of research, she created Potty Training Consultant where she has helped thousands of families potty train. She does not just provide a place to get that one-on-one expert support, but a community where moms can come together without judgment, ask the hard questions, and get evidence-based facts that drive potty success. Follow @pottytrainingconsultant on Instagram for free potty training tips and tricks, and info on her online courses.
Check out her online course here: https://courses.pottytrainingconsultant.com/