A Villages of Urbana resident just launched a company specializing in a task most people despise: potty training.
“I love potty training,” said Allison Jandu, laughing. “Usually you don’t hear people say that they have an interest in potty training, usually it’s something you dread doing! But when it came time to potty train my son I really delved into it.”
Mom of a now three-year-old son and 21-month-old daughter, Jandu said she did extensive research, reading books and studies and online information trying to narrow down a system that would work based on her son’s personality and signs of readiness.
“I didn’t want to waste my time,” she explained. The method Jandu crafted was a three-day method with a personal spin on it.
“I made it a really fun thing—a party! This was our special time together and really trying to empower him through the process. It was an amazing experience for me. Seeing him be so proud of himself felt really good.” Jandu said she used a sticker chart reward system, a dance and song every time he used the bathroom successfully—as well as making the whole three days a fun experience. She said they baked cookies, colored, did crafts, watched his favorite movies—making positive memories at home.
“It just really works,” she said. Jandu is soft-spoken as she explains her story. “I don’t want people to think I am a know-it-all, I want them to understand that there is support out there and if you have questions you can go to someone for advice who is not going to judge you or think you are a bad person for what you do.”
Last month, Jandu launched Potty Training Consultant, a business doing just that. She offers a flat-rate service that includes coming to your home, talking through your previous experiences and creating a customized plan for you. In addition, she will come to your home the day of your potty training launch if you’d like—and she is available via text at any point for encouragement or advice.
“I love the feeling of seeing the kids be proud of themselves and seeing the parents be proud. So, I decided that I wanted to make it more of a social experience for mom because it is one of those things that you don’t really talk about. It is one of those personal things. It is one of those touchy subjects.”
Mandi Marshall is an Urbana mom who sought out Jandu’s advice for her now 22-month-old son, Jayden.
“Allison suggested I start with him saying goodbye to his diapers. Saying goodbye to them jump-started his brain,” Marshall said. Marshall explained that Jandu helped her come up with a plan and then stopped by midday on their start date. “Children are really drawn to Allison. She is loving and caring and kids feed off of her energy.”
Jandu explained that part of the success is finding the right age for training. Historically, Jandu said, in the ‘40s and ‘50s, children were potty trained by 18 months across the board. “It’s easy to see why, they were washing all diapers by hand and that would get old really quick.” According to studies she found, modern children are potty trained around 37 months—twice as old as 70 years ago. Psychologically it has been proven that a child’s brain is ready for potty training by around 18 months, Jandu explained.
“If you start the process early enough, the child starts to get it, from my experience. If you can catch a child between 18- and 24-month range, that’s ideal. They are eager to please, very impressionable and it makes it easier on everybody involved. An older child tends to want to maintain control over things and the willingness to change gets that much harder,” she said.
Jandu said when she moved from Baltimore to Urbana two years ago, potty training came up from time to time. “Moms would ask how old my kids were and say, ‘Wow, they are potty trained—they must be so smart!’”
Jandu noted that it really isn’t an intelligence issue. “I don’t think it has anything to do with it at all. That’s definitely a misconception. It really is about taking the cues from the child and using those kind of things as a baseline for when to start,” she said.
Jandu said simple signs include asking to be changed, hiding when going to the bathroom and showing any interest in the toilet, such as wanting to watch it be used. Jandu began casually helping her friends, sharing her method with them from time to time, and watched their kids quickly succeed.
Jandu said she also offers group classes, which she hopes will promote healthy conversation about potty training and other topics.
For more information, go to www.pottytrainingconsultant.com.