Oh Crap! Potty Training Block 1: Being Naked

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Oh Crap! Potty Training" by Jamie Glowacki. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is block 1 in the Oh Crap! Potty Training method? How long should block 1 last?

According to Glowacki, the first step to potty training is to have your child pee and poop naked. Once you notice they need to go, you should bring them to their potty chair, so they can form an association.

Keep reading to learn about the first step of potty training, according to Glowacki’s method.

Block 1: Peeing and Pooping While Naked

During Oh Crap! Potty Training block 1, keep your child fully bottomless and focus entirely on them while they are awake. This way, you’ll immediately notice every time they start to pee or poop. Once they do, quickly bring them to a potty chair. These steps allow your child to consistently practice using the potty, and to make a connection between the potty and the act of peeing and pooping. 

(Shortform note: While Glowacki acknowledges the difficulty parents working full-time might have setting aside multiple days for potty training, she claims that you’ll need to prioritize your child over work. However, her suggestion might not be financially realistic for you. If you can’t take several days off for potty training, experts recommend coordinating with your child’s daycare or caregiver to keep potty training consistent even if you aren’t present.)

As block 1 progresses, start to learn the signals your child gives when they need to pee or poop—this could include agitation, becoming quiet, or signs of physical discomfort. Also learn the general rhythm of when your child pees and poops each day. These signals and rhythms help you recognize when your child needs the potty so you can prompt them to go. (Shortform note: While Glowacki suggests you look for signals that your child has to pee or poop, other experts argue that you should teach your child how to communicate when they need to go. They recommend announcing when you need to pee or poop and allowing your child to see, so they can mimic this behavior and indicate when they need to pee or poop.)

Glowacki notes that, throughout these blocks, it’s okay to put diapers on your child while they sleep—training your child to use the potty during the day and at night right away puts a lot of stress on you and your child. However, explain that these diapers are only temporary until they’ve trained more. This keeps your process clear and consistent. (Shortform note: Glowacki’s advice on training your child to use the potty at night is somewhat inconsistent. She says she separates day and night training (which we’ll discuss in a later section) to avoid overwhelming parents but also claims that simultaneous day and night training is ideal. However, some experts contrast with the latter claim, saying your child might not use the toilet at night until around five.)

You’ll know it’s time for block 2 when your child can pee and poop on the toilet while naked, whether you take them, prompt them, or they go by themselves. This usually happens between one and three days into potty training.

Oh Crap! Potty Training Block 1: Being Naked

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Here's what you'll find in our full Oh Crap! Potty Training summary:

  • How to practice the Oh Crap! Potty Training method
  • How to overcome a number of potty training challenges
  • What to do if you need to restart the potty training process

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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