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Odyssey Montessori Family Resources

Thank you for attending the Hello Potty Workshop Series! Feeling motivated ? Don't stop now. Here's your roundup of resources to support you as your guide your child to toileting mastery.

Your Hello Potty Workshop Materials

Read and review the Workshop #1 or Workshop #2 slides any time.

Download and complete the Workshop #1 Parent Handbook to have on hand as you navigate the early stages of potty independence and Workshop #2 Parent Handbook to help navigate challenges and solidify progress.

Your questions answered

Yes! Hold that excitement about starting and make your trip all about building awareness and interest.

Point out toilets, bathroom signs, create stories about everyone's toileting needs during the trip, and introduce fun song and chants.

All of the connection building and rituals will really pay off when you come back and start.

Your child seems to love telling a good joke! And let's be honest, poo/pee jokes always get a quick smile.

Here's what you can tell your little one. "Telling jokes about poo and pee is confusing. It makes me think you need your diaper changed, that you don't feel good, or your clothes got soiled by accident. Oops! Your teachers might get confused too."

Invite your child to learn some animal, food or transportation jokes so they can practice their delivery without relying on poo or pee to get a laugh.

Here are some examples to get you started:

"Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Interupting chicken!" "Interupting chi...""Squack!!!"

"What do you say to a cow who is in your way?" "MOOOOO-ve"

"What do you call a train that sneezes?" "ACHOOO-choo train."

Check out this great roundup of toddler friendly jokes from happiestbaby.com.

The body feel comfortable to relax and eliminate when it feels safe.

The bladder muscles contract when we go on our tippy-toes. And the bowels align perfectly for easy and complete elimination when our knees are above our hips.

Having a small potty that allows your child's feet to comfortably and firmly sit on the floor in front of them, and have their knees above their hips is the ideal scenario for a smooth and confident transition from diaper to potty.

Read our article "Montessori Potty Training: How to choose the right potty" for an in depth roundup of 10 considerations when choosing your first potty(potties).

Normalizing bodily processes will help your child accept, appreciate, and respect their body as well as others, and the female menstrual cycle is part of this.

You might find that your child wants to look at your undies or into the toilet when you go to the bathroom, be around when you get changed, and even help replenish your supplies at the store.

Your child might be seeking your reassurance that you are safe and well. They might also be curious about why it looks different from their toileting.

Embrace their interest by explaining in simple terms that female bodies produce and egg each month in preparation to make a baby. When the egg doesn't get fertilized by a male, the body keeps itself clean and healthy by sending it out in preparation for the next egg.

Use simple, matter of fact language. The younger, the more simple. But you night be surprised at how much your little one wants to know, and how seriously they take this very special information.

"Yes, I'm on day 1 of my cycle. My body knows that my egg wasn't fertilized, so now it's making room for a new egg."

"No, it doesn't hurt. I can feel my uterus squeezing. Kind of like when you make a poo you feel a squeeze. It just happens. Sometimes it feels like a big squeeze so I take 3 big breathes like this - 1...2...3. And then it feels better. Want to try with me?"

"Every mama animal has tiny eggs in her body that need fertilizer from a daddy to grow into a baby. Dogs. Cats. The birds in the nest at school. And yes, like mama spider we saw yesterday on the flower. What a lovely mama."

"When you're older, your brain will release hormones that get your body ready to make babies too. I'll help you understand and feel prepared for it. It helps when you know what to expect right?"

"No it's not pee. I know it looks like it's coming from the same spot, but it's not. The pee comes out of my urethra. My menstrual cycle starts in my uterus and comes out from my vagina, which is between the urethra and the anus - yep, that's right. In the middle. That's the same tunnel that babies come out of right? Do you remember how I told you that you grew in my uterus? That's at the top of the tunnel."

Using anatomically correct words not only helps our children build and accurate model of how the body works, something young children are naturally keen to learn, but is also an important part of their ability to communicate boundaries and body safety.

Partially - Yes and no.

The cottage is a great time to build lots of awareness and practice diaper free time. Right after a poop, try letting them go diaper free, in undies, or a bathing suit, so your child to feel and see every time their body eliminates. Use it as a time to narrate the toileting needs of everyone around you. Let them see and help other kids using the potty or toilet by getting toilet paper or unwrapping the soap so everyone can wash their hands. Talk about all the animals toileting needs and stop to observe as many poops as you can, wondering, hmmm, which animal made that nature poo?

That said, the cottage isn't a time to transfer ownership over to your child, expecting them to be able to focus and build capacity to independently make it to a potty. To do that, they'll need your undivided attention to support to build their confidence in those first few days.

However, when you come back from the cottage and are back to your regular routine, it's a great time to build on all of the awareness and interest by transitioning to a potty at that point.

After 24 months children transition to a new awareness of themselves and others as they make their way out of the discover phase to the consolidate phase of the absorbent mind. The develop and independent sense of self, separate from their parents and exercise their increasing autonomy.

Part of this is deciding when they will go to the potty or not.

Totally normal. Totally frustrating.

Try this: take the stance of helping your big kid "know" if their body needs to go or not.

You can try listening or looking games like:

1) Listen and guess what you hear Hmmm...I'm guessing a toot, but no poop. Oh I was wrong!

2) Don't look until they are done. Surprise! What's in the potty this time.

3) Guess the size (Will it be a tiny, small, medium, or big pee or poo? Let's see!).

4) Same same? I'll go, and you go, and then we'll see if it's the same.

You can also make use of your child's strong desire for increased independence by requiring a potty visit before teaching, practicing, or going somewhere. "I'll wait right here. You go to the potty. And then we'll be ready to go scooting."

Their resistance isn't a reason to back away from potty progress. It's more likely that they'll appreciate even more autonomy around their toileting routine like checking that there's always an extra TP roll, washing and folding their undies, and making sure the whole family has used the bathroom before a trip.

This adjustment stage won't last long. Once you find a way to collaborate with their maturing brain, you'll see the potty willingness come back bigger and more independent that before.

Plane travel with a newly potty independent toddler that supports their learning and progress is totally doable.

Here's the risk when you pop on a disposable pull up: toddlers can see this as lack of confidence in their abilities, or permission to rely on diapers again, slowing their motivation to be potty independent and could lead to potty refusal.

Ideally you're able to lead them with confidence into this new challenge.

You would pack extra clothing, and if a miss happens, you'd wipe your child down with a paper towel in the bathroom, pop their soiled clothes into a wet bag, change into dry clothing, and move on with the adventure.

But, travel can be stressful enough so if you're big time worrying about how to navigate travel with a newly potty independent toddler, you aren't alone.

The good news? You're not alone! And you have options to support you and your toddler:

1) Bring a potty. You would not be the first to pop out a potty on the floor at security/customs or into the isle of the plane on a busy flight if the bathroom is occupied. It's a worthwhile backup plan to avoid soiled clothing. Just remember to pre-fold some TP to pop into the bottom of of the potty to absorb liquids so they don't spill before making it to the bathroom to dump and rinse. Tip: pack the potty it in a wet bag/plastic bag with a towel to wipe it down after you rinse it so you're not travelling with a wet potty.

2) Bring a puppy pad, or washable waterproof pad to place under their bum in the stroller, while seated at the gate, or in the airplane. A little protection can put us at ease.

3) Let staff know at security, on the plane, and at customs. They're often happy to offer extra support and accommodations like hoping out of line to use the potty and pointing out the next nearest bathroom.

4) Anticipate transitions such as needing to get out of the stroller for security, by getting out of the stroller just before and going to the bathroom then, or staying on the plane until it's empty to use the potty before customs. Don't allow your child to snack/drink during waiting times - instead give them something to manipulate with their hands and play with them - eye spy, finger/hand games, books, and songs.

5) Set a time to help you remember your child's natural timing (ex. every 30 mins) as it's easy to loose track at the airport/ in the airplane.

5) Make use of "First this, then that.". "First let's see if your body needs to pee, then we can go look at the big planes. Let's go quickly before the next plane comes - do you remember where the bathroom is? Hmm what does the sign look like? Yes - you spotted it!"

6) Own the vibe - find ways to make it fun, keep toileting accessible for them, and tell them how well they are doing.

Most importantly is knowing that your child will feel good if you feel good. When you've prepared with a plan that works for the whole family, and execute with calm confidence, they'll better be able to tune in and voice their own needs.

I read and answer every email! Send your questions to erika@buenomarket.com, and submit your feedback here.

Let's keep this going!

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Thank you!

It was joy diving deep into toilet learning with you. The laughs at the awkward and silly process and your candid questions were so much fun.

Please take a moment to share your experience with me - the good, the bad, and the what I could do better!

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