10 (Unconventional) Tips for Potty Training...

Be sure and check out our GIVEAWAY while you're here.
    When Little Owl was first born I had dreams of changing very few diapers thanks to elimination communication (or EC). Well, two years into this journey called motherhood I was starting to have visions of changing a five year olds diaper! It just didn't seem like it was working for us. 

    We would make progress and then regress. Make progress, and then regress.... It didn't help that I got into a car accident right around the time when Athena was just starting to be mobile, and I couldn't lift her for months. It didn't help that we had "potty rebellions", and that we lived in carpeted housing at times. So I just decided maybe EC wasn't for us, and just basically gave up any hope of potty training before five! 

    Then, a few weeks ago, when we moved into our new space on the Eco-village, something clicked. And, now, potty "training" is done. We've had two accidents in three weeks. So, I guess, by all standards, we're done. And before two. (That's not bad, right?) It's really hard to believe. And I'm not even sure how it happened, but I'm definitely not complaining!

    People have asked me if I think doing EC has been worth it. And even before I knew I would have a fully potty learned two year old, even when things weren't going so well, I would have said a resounding YES. I am so grateful I was introduced to this idea before Little Owl was born. I highly recommend it! Even catching a few poops in the potty instead of having to deal with blow-outs makes it 1000 times worth the effort, IMO!  ;)

    But, now onto the real reason I am writing this post. It's more than just to update you on my experience with EC, but to tell you my "tips" for potty training. It seems like bloggers these days are full of advice, so I thought I might as well jump on the band-wagon! Here are my 

    10 (Unconventional) Tips for Potty Learning

    1. Chocolate. 

    Really this should be part of any how-to for any stage of parenting. Always chocolate. You DON'T need to invest in a lifetime supply of Hershey's, you could even make your own. But, I highly recommend always having some on hand. You never know when it might be needed.

    2. Wine. 

    What goes better with chocolate than wine? Yes. This should always be around too. It can be especially helpful after a long to of unsuccessful potty learning. But it also doubles in the case of a successful day of potty learning... as a reward for momma!

    3. Naps.  

    Always a good idea. Take naps whenever you can. It's a good strategy for all aspects of life... so why not apply it to potty learning. You deserve some shut eye, momma!

    4. Meditation.

     This is kind of like napping, except sitting up. 

    5. Long Walks. 

    On the beach, in the city, in the woods, with baby, without baby, with a stroller, with a carrier... however you do it! The fresh air is always helpful. 

    6. Deep Breaths. 

    You have to be careful with this one during potty learning. It's all in the WHERE you do it. Just don't do it right over a diaper blow-out or a potty "miss" and you'll be golden. 

    7. Yoga. 

    I don't have much experience with this myself. But people always add it into advice lists so I thought I should include it, too.

    8. Massage.

     Yes. Just, yes. Get a massage. Your potty learning a baby! You deserve it!

    9. Pedicure. 

    Unfortunately, I am too ticklish for a pedicure, but that shouldn't stop you!

    10. Hot tea. 

    Hot beverages cure a million ailments. Potty learning included. This is my personal non-caffeinated favorite! But, really, you can't go wrong. Pour yourself a cup of tea and know that, someday, your baby will be potty learned. So that's comforting, right?

    That's my list, Mommas. Pretty unconventional, right? ;) It's a good list, though I think. I'm going to keep it around for other parts of parenting too... like temper tantrums, sibling fights, teenager debates, etc. 

    But in all seriousness, I don't feel like I have a lot of advice to give. But I do have a LOT of sympathy! If you want to learn more about elimination communication I can't recommend highly enough Ingrid Bauer's Diaper Free: The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene. Even though, I didn't follow exactly what she advised, I learned a LOT from it. And I know you will too. 

    I also wish all parents would read Mei-Ling Hopgood's How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between). She talks about EC in the book, but it is also just a good look at parenting in other cultures, to help us put our own in perspective. 

    As far as "potty learning" tools go, I highly recommend you check out www.NaturallyDiaperFree.com to see what this momma has to offer in the way of EC materials. 

    For our family we used two different potties. When Athena was really little, we used the BABYBJORN Smart Potty which was great because it was very small. 

    As Athena got older we wanted something a little more sturdy and found this Munchkin Arm & Hammer potty seat at a second-hand store. I highly recommend looking for these sorts of items second hand! It's amazing what you can find at thrift stores. 

    And now... as a CELEBRATION of the fact that I will no longer be washing cloth diapers! (Can I get a WOOOHOO!!) I am so excited to offer one lucky reader a Gift Certificate to the awesome Naturally Diaper Free website. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

    Here is a little bit about the site from the page itself: Here you will find products for Elimination Communication (EC). EC is a gentle, natural way of meeting your baby's elimination needs. I create many of the products for sale on this site. The products that I create are made from 100% organic cotton or upcycled fabric, both from local sources. Our goal at Naturally Diaper Free is to provide you with the tools you will need to practice EC in the modern world.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway *********************************************************************************

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    (Note: This post might contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you shop around after clicking on them, you might be helping to support my blogging endeavors. Thank you!)

    Who's Your Crunchy Momma? {A GUEST POST SERIES} Featuring April from THE MENTORED MOM

    Be sure and check out our GIVEAWAY while you're here.

    Goodness! I can't believe another month has come and gone. I hope you have been enjoying getting to know the different moms who have written guest posts for this "Who's Your Crunchy Momma?" Guest Post series. I know I have! There are so many wonderful mommas working so hard to make the world a better place both in their homes and outside their homes as well.

    Today's guest poster, April is no different. I am very glad I've gotten to know April a little bit and I know you will too! So without further ado...

    Hello from April of The Mentored Mom!

    Hi, I'm April from The Mentored Mom. I'm a homeschooling momma to four children ages 18, 8, 5 & 2. I am passionate about natural living, learning through play, hands on learning and inspiring a love of music, art, and storytelling. I'm also passionate about being good stewards of our bodies and nurturing them with real foods and healing holistically

    I live with my family in the Silicon Valley of California, right where the last bit of agricultural county meets the city. We have put our business up for sale and are praying for the opportunity to move somewhere else that we can homestead. If that doesn't happen, we'll make the best of where we are. Our family is close and it's a fun dynamic having the various ages. 

    A Little Background

    I started blogging because I've been blessed to be mentored by some incredible older ladies, that have taught me so much. My heart is to share some of the things that they have taught me, and some things that I've learned on my own, and to encourage other moms. As a child, my two aunts introduced me to whole foods, wheat grass, and herbs before it was a common thing. They both raved about going through menopause with herbs, and as a teen, I took note. 

    Ten years ago, I came down with severe food allergies stemming  from auto-immune condition. After conventional medicine failed me, I started to seek alternatives. I found a forum of ladies that were a wealth of knowledge and still am in community with this great group of gals. They taught me about so much about what we put on our bodies, and into them, and alternative health protocols.

    What is a"Crunchy Momma"...?

    What does "crunchy" mean to me? To me it means being able to think outside of the box, and it often means going against the grain in order to make rewarding health choices. Crunchy could look like: growing your own food, cloth diapering, fermenting food and drink, etc.

    I think crunchy looks different for each family, but it starts with an opening your mind and making better choices. Crunchy in our house looks like my kids reminding me to not discuss parasites when we have company over and learning the hows and whys of why we do things. It's truly educational in itself. 

    The best part of being a momma is...

    My favorite things about being a mom are the hugs, insightful talks with the older one, and seeing the excitement when they learn something new. I also love the unique personality traits in each child, and the bond of family. 

    The hardest part of being a momma is...

    The hardest thing about being a mom? Shopping with a crew of kids, finding time to be alone, and knowing that there are children out there going through hard things, who need love.

    A few of April's Favorite Things...

    For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. It has great ideas about a gentle, relaxed approach to educating the whole child, as well as inspiring creativity. 

    Internal Bliss by Natasha Campbell-McBride - 
    Our family has many food allergies and this book has helped so much. 

    One of my favorite quotes is:

    "Today when you nurture, love and meet the needs of your beloveds with beauty, it will make a difference in how they face their whole day."

    - Sally Clarkson

    You can find April on her blog, The Mentored Mom, and on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.


    Are you a crunchy momma? Do you run a blog or other website? Are you interested in submitting a guest post? Please PM me through the LittleOwlCrunchyMomma Facebook page. I would love to get to know you. 

    (Note: this post may contains affiliate links. Meaning, if you shop after click on them you might be helping to support my blogging endeavors. Thank you!)

    Life on an Eco-Village

    Be sure and check out our GIVEAWAY while you're here.

    Welcome friends! This is a post I've been intending to write for almost three months now. If you've been following the blog for a while now you know that as a family we have lived in some unusual places. When Little Owl was first born we lived with my family in their home. Then we moved on to an organic farm where Brian worked for the growing season. Then, we moved back into my parents house for a short time and now we live on an eco-village!

    Welcome to Lost Valley!

    The place we are living now is called Lost Valley. It is a permaculture educational center and eco-village. In a future post I can explain more about what permaculture is for those of you who are not familiar, but for now I want to share with you a bit of what life is like. Mostly, I will explain briefly what we have been up to the past three months in pictures and a few words.
    What are we doing at Lost Valley? Brian is volunteering as the assistant garden manager in exchange for room and board credits. I am attempting to continue blogging, working odd jobs, and mostly taking care of Little Owl (and now a new family member... more on that later!)

    Life in a Barn Loft

    When we first moved onto Lost Valley we were staying in a barn loft. The bottom part of the barn functioned as a storage area for garden tools, seeds, and other items. As I mentioned on Facebook, when I approached our home from this angle, I felt like a bird coming home to its nest.
    Here is a view from the inside... It was... cozy, quaint, snug... and really pretty dirty. But, it worked for a short time. We enjoyed it. But, we are also glad that we've moved into a bigger space now.

    Then comes the snow storm...

    Of course, everything changes when a snow storm hits. A few weeks into our stay we had a snow storm blow through and we lost power for a while. To stay warm we piled under blankets at night. Thank goodness for co-sleeping! We all stayed nice and snug. 

    I love how no matter the weather, kids still have fun. Here is Athena chasing the ducks even in the snow...

    Life for Little Owl...

    Really living on the village has been absolutely wonderful with Athena. She loves to chase the chickens and ducks, pet the baby bunnies, say hello to the neighboring cows, and welcome the baby chicks with papa
    I'm pretty sure a kid couldn't ask for a better life. No matter if things are a little more difficult for me than they would be in a "conventional home", seeing her joy makes it all worth it a hundredfold. 
    Not to mention that it's pretty awesome to just walk out our back yard and have this to gaze at... (A forager's paradise!)
    Athena and I love to go for walks around the property. It's over 80 acres and we've barely explored any of it. There are LOTS of kids living out here. And it seems like more show up every week! There are six kids just around Athena's age. It's like a play date everyday! (So THIS is what living in a village used to be like!

    Our New, New Home... and Our Newest Family Member!

    We moved out of the barn loft about three weeks ago. Here is a picture of Athena and I with our NEW DOG! Yes, we welcomed a new family member. Her name is Piper, she's five, we got her from a shelter. Her favorite place to sleep is curled up in a ball, under the covers at our feet. No need for an electric blanket when you co-sleep with a dog! Athena is loving having her around, and so are Brian and I. She's a keeper. 

    It's really nice now to have a more function-able space for our family. When we lived in the barn loft, we had to use the group kitchen to cook, which isn't very toddler friendly (read: NOT toddler friendly AT ALL). Here, we have a little kitchenette with a toaster oven and hot plate. It's nice to be able to cook a little bit again while Athena just plays (or begs to be let up and held!) It's also nice to have places to store our food the we canned and dehydrated last year... 

    There is so much more I could share... but I need to finish a few projects (hopefully!) before the little one wakes up from her nap. I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our new lives. It's been a wonderful experience so far and I will continue to update as time goes on. Brian is loving all that he is learning, I am enjoying being around so much beautiful nature, and getting to know the other people and families who live out here. Hope you are all well! Blessings! <3

    - The Crunchy Momma

    What have you been up to lately? Are there any new developments in your life? Share them with me in the comments! I'd love to know. 


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    (Note: This post might contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you shop around after clicking on them, you might be helping to support my blogging endeavors. Thank you!)
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