FAQs

How do I know if my child is ready for Potty Training vs. Elimination Communication?

Elimination Communication: You can start as early as birth, for any child.

Potty Training: What culture do you most identify with? That will probably greatly influence the answer to that question. According to Diapering Habits: A Global Perspective, “cultural norms greatly influence the age at which a baby begins toilet training.” Countries such as China and India that predominantly use cloth diapers tend to begin Potty Training before age year old. Russia on the other hand is an example of a county that primarily uses disposable diapers, but also practices early Potty Training. Countries that wait until about two years of age include the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. Nearly all countries, even just two generations ago, started at significantly earlier ages.

Countries that start Potty Training at ages 0 to 12 months: 

  • Kenya (4-5 months)
  • Vietnam (9 months)
  • China (before age 1)
  • India (before age 1)
  • Russia (before age 1)
  • United States (12 months, in years 1920-1940)

Countries that start Potty Training at 13 to 24 months of age: 

  • Palestine (14 to 15 months)
  • Iran (ages 1 to 2 years)
  • United States (18 months, in the years 1940 - 1960)

Countries that start Potty Training at ages 2 years or older: 

  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States (2 years, in the years 1960-1980)
  • United States (2.5 years, in the years 1980 to 1990)
  • United States (3 years, in the years 1990 to present)
Goode, Erica. “Two Experts Do Battle over Potty Training.” New York Times, January 12, 1999. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/12/us/two-experts-do-battle-over-potty-training.html.
Thaman, Lauren A., and Lawerence F. Eichenfield. “Diapering Habits: A Global Perspective.” Pediatric Dermatology 31, supplement 1 (2014): 15-18. Doi:10.1111/pde.12468.
How do I know which service to select?

Personalized Phone Consultations: These are best if you have specific questions, a unique situation, or are just wanting a listening ear and one-on-one support. We have a range of families who choose Personalized Calls for a wide variety of reasons, including, but not limited to: not knowing where to start, not knowing what to do next, first time parents, a high volume of questions, not knowing how to deal with fear, stubbornness, constipation, withholding, nights, naps, undies, multiples, hectic schedules, split parenting opinions to get on the same page. We are happy to meet you wherever you are at on a Personalized Call.

Home Consultations are for those wanting Potty Training super powers straight from the get go. We will advise and encourage you with what to do. We have activities planned to kick off the process with a sense of fun and enthusiasm for the task at hand. This is the opportunity to feel rest assured that what you are doing (we’ll help figure out exactly what that will be) is encouraging and effective and troubleshoot as we go along. We are there in real time so get to be part of making Potty Training incorporate directly into your family situation. We come ready, so you don’t have to be.

Membership Group. If you are looking for community and support to get you through this while learning expert advice for your journey look no further. Access to a pottying path, live (and recorded) Q&As, expert sessions, and community. It’s not just high fives, but is coupled along with actual Potty Training advice and answers to your questions. You will be with other parents who get what you’re going through and want the best for you and your family, which means getting that pee and poo in the potty - but not at the sake of taking away a parent’s sanity or pushing parents, or children, past what they can handle. This encouraging environment is a great place to start. If you’re not sure which service to request, start here!

Online Courses. 24/7 access to a course that you can start and stop at will. Our signature course is a choose your own adventure course giving you advice most pertinent to your family, and preferences. Access is for 90-days from purchase. There are also static mini-courses available on various specific topics.

Who should I consult with first? The Potty School, our pediatrician, a behavioral therapist or an occupational therapist?

If your child is age 5 or older, we recommend seeing your family physician before contacting us to rule out any sort of physical problems. For children ages 0-4 we love seeing you whenever you are ready. We are not a substitute for traditional or holistic medical advice, or a substitute for seeing your primary doctor, but remember we talk Potty Training all the time. This is our speciality. We are here whenever you are ready to reach out. Clients have chosen either route, exhausting all of the other services and then coming to us, or circling us in from the beginning and then they can incorporate our suggestions into any other therapy plans their child may have.

Is there an extra fee for children with special needs?

Absolutely not, and there never will be. Even though our costs are higher to make sure you have a highly qualified consultant, the cost will never be passed along to our special needs families. People are people. That’s what we think, and we love working with all types of families, especially those who have children with special needs.

Is there an extra fee for multiples (twins/triplets), children of various ages on the same call?

No, but we require you to book at least a 1-hour Personalized Call.

We don’t have a conventional family, can you still help us?

We have helped all sorts of families. The way your family is set-up may influence how we decide a plan, but it will not determine whether or not we will work with you. We happily have, and will, work with all types of families.

We don’t have 3-days in a row, can you even help us?

Does anyone really want to be stuck in a bathroom with their child for 3-days straight? We don’t think so. That’s why we offer flexible advice to fit with your schedule, and need for fresh air. Though we do suggest having a solid day, or ideally two or three, available to potty train consecutively when you first start, you don’t have to. We will work with the flexibility that you have.

What is the basic plan that you follow to teach Potty Training? 

To put it clearly, we don’t have one specific plan that we teach. We have basic principles that guide what we do and there are definitely best practices that we teach, but there is not a set “everyone do this and it will work for all of you” method. Our foundational teachings are based on communication, a child’s natural abilities and the pivotal role that you, as a parent, can play in the process. Nearly everything else can be tweaked to go along with your family’s preferences.

Who is doing the actual Potty Training for homes? Will you touch my child?

We are your secret weapon. We will train and guide you throughout our time together and prompt you on what we’ll be doing next. We will engage, help focus, talk to and treat your child like the special little human you raised them to be. But, that said, we will not touch your child at any time. For your peace of mind, and the safety of your children, ALL of our consultations are background checked and cleared.

What do I need to do to prepare for my consultation?

You will be given an in-take questionnaire upon booking and then you will be able to schedule. For Home Consultations you will be given a supply list ahead of your consultation. If you have a Personalized Call scheduled, you don’t need to do anything past the in-take questionnaire preparation.

How long does it take from the time of booking, to the time of scheduling?

Consultations are based upon availability. 

Typically, for Personalized Calls you can schedule within 48-hours, depending on your availability. For seasons of high volume, it can be up to a 2-week wait, but generally if we are not busy you can shoot us an email and we’ll open up some additional consultation slots for you to choose from. If you need to book a consultation within less than 48-hours, there is a $50 rush fee. You can request a rush Personalized Call by emailing back after you submit your invoice, and it will be based upon availability (though we’ll try our best).

For Home Consultations we request at least 1-week advance notice from the time of booking to the start date of the Home Consultation so that both your family and we can be best prepared for the time. If you need to book with less than 1-week’s notice, there is an additional $500 rush fee. Home bookings for summer (our most popular season) can take place as early as January of that respective year. A non-refundable $500 deposit is required to book a date on the calendar for an Home Consultation.

What is your return policy?

We have a no return policy on a consultant’s time. That said, we require 72-hours advance notice for rescheduling and cancellations of Personalized Calls. If you booked within less than 72-hours there are no refunds and no rescheduling.

If you are late for your consultation by more than 15-minutes, your consultant will spend the remainder of his/her time working on sending you email advice and suggestions in response to your in-take questionnaire questionnaire questionnaire. This will account for the time scheduled, and there will not be a refund, or the option to reschedule, as we value our consultant’s time.

If your consultant is more than 5-minutes late, please check the email that you booked with for any update. If there is no email from @thepottyschool.com, please call us at: 949.229.0114 so we can find out what’s going on for you.

Can my co-parent be involved in the consultation process?

Absolutely, as long as they are over the age of 18. We are happy to do a 3-way Personalized Call. One other family member/co-parent over the age of 18 is allowed to be in the home during a Home Consultation. See special needs section for questions about therapists, and additional support people.

What is your COVID-19 protocol?

For Home Consultations we follow CDC, and state guidelines, which may include wearing proper PPE and extra cleaning. There is the possible option to do it outside as well.