Though there are many different approaches to potty training children over 18-months, Gentle Potty Training uses a non-coercive approach that respects a child's developmental abilities, desire for hygiene (animals don't sleep where they defecate), is parent-encouraged and allows a child to learn mastery over a process while getting the poop and pee in the socially acceptable receptacle for children and adults, in a timely manner.
Gentle potty training is a method of non-coercive potty training for children ages 18 months and older that does not use rewards or punishments to teach potty use. Instead, children are taught in a loving way that using the potty is what is expected while giving them the tools needed to be successful. There is no time limit enforced on this process, but we also do not allow the training process to continue beyond a healthy time frame. Per Andrea Olson at Go Diaper Free as noted in her Tiny Potty Training Book, the process typically takes between 3 days and one month, but most often between 3-7 days.
Using methods that make sense to a toddler, diapers are eliminated and the potty becomes the new receptacle for pee and poop. This method works if you’ve used Elimination Communication (EC) with your child or not. It will require you to sacrifice a few days of your time to first learn when your baby needs to potty, helping him learn when he needs to potty, and giving him the skills to do it himself. If you have used Elimination Communication (EC) with your baby, the goal is to give her the reins and transition from the mindset of, “I go potty when mommy helps me” to “I take myself potty when I need to go.”
Below is a video example (of my daughter), at 22 months potty trained. She can let me know when she needs to go to the potty, can take herself (sometimes needing assistance with clothing) and can clean-up as well (sometimes needing help with clean-up as well). But, overall, this is what we'd call a "potty independent" child...and this is possible! Like any child when she's enthralled in doing something, she needs a reminder to go to the potty, but usually all it takes is a gentle reminder that she should at least try to go. No M&Ms, stickers, or threats involved! This is what "gentle potty training" is. The intent is to be non-coercive, patient, encouraging and to normalize the potty process with an end result of potty independence.
If you're interested in the "Tiny Potty" board book she's reading, you can order it here *, on the "books" tab.
For more information on getting started, I recommend the Tiny Potty Training Book, found for purchase here *.
If you’re interested in help getting started or with troubleshooting any issues once you’ve started, visit my Services page to see how I can help.
* If you order through the above links a small portion of the sales goes to The Potty School. THANK YOU! It helps us to offer the Support Group for free to those who have taken a class.