Jen L'Italien is a certified Oh Crap Potty Training consultant and mom to two based in Maine who runs Oh Crap Potty Training From ME To You. Jen has been featured as a potty training expert in media outlets including Parents magazine, the Huffington Post, and CNN Underscored. She's worked with thousands of families around the world to provide potty training support through this challenging milestone. She's also the author of the course Potty Training Solutions, which shares solutions for resistance that can come up in the early days of potty training. And she co-created Oh Crap! How to Potty Train With Daycare and Preschool and the parenting course Pandemic Toddlers with Jamie Glowacki, the bestselling author of Oh Crap Potty Training. Before knowing the Bristol Poop Chart by heart, Jen worked as a magazine home editor for magazines titles including Real Simple and Redbook.
For many years, I lived in New York. My kids started life in Brooklyn, and I remember well the unique challenges of being a mama in the big city — third-story-walkups, tight quarters, babywearing one and chasing another, playgrounds (shops and sidewalk bodegas) with no public bathrooms, and making your way around the city with no car in every kind of weather.
Then we made Maine our home.
Now I know the different challenges of living somewhere more rural, where you mostly use your car to get around, where you have more space and easy access to nature, but it's not quite as easy to create that feeling of community. Wherever we are, I'm a mama who personally loves to be out doing things and exploring. So I quickly learned how to be out-and-about while my kids were new to the potty.
Every phase of childhood is so different, and I discovered that I naturally love the toddler stage, with all its ups and downs. Being able to make my kids laugh with the ease of a silly made-up word, making fairy jars to catch some magic, and seeing their curiosity about the world.
Philosophy-wise for parenting, Jamie's book is the only one I followed like a manual. Other than that, I follow the Montessori model for the preschool age, as I went through Montessori schooling myself as a kiddo and it made a huge imprint on me, my curiosity for learning, and my ability to create order in my world. My kids went through Montessori preschool/kindergarten and I try to create simple models of it at home.
While Oh Crap Potty Training is not meant for one type of parenting or school philosophy, I do feel like it's a complement to Montessori's core principle of following the child's lead. Every child will react to being diaper-free in a unique way, and Oh Crap Potty Training gives you tested strategies for working through that process with your individual child.
For me, learning really happens when the child is doing the work to get that awesome feeling of yes I can do it myself.
Oh Crap Potty Training from ME to You came out of my passion to help families in a small but meaningful way. When it comes to parenting, I do believe it takes a village. I would be honored to be a support on your path to your child using the potty.
how this started
I'm a writer, a former magazine editor, and a constant dreamer of what I want to create. During a blazing hot summer in New York, I gave birth to my daughter and became a mama — and poof, life changed forever.
When my son was two months old, and my daughter was 22 months old, I decided changing diapers for two kids was cuckoos. And my mama intuition told me that my girl could do it.
I had used cloth diapers, dabbled in diaper-free time, and through an online search stumbled upon Oh Crap Potty Training.
I read the book cover-to-cover and Jamie's advice just made sense. Being the type A person that I am, I thoroughly prepped to go diaper-free the Oh Crap way.
And then we got stuck in block one.
So I called Jamie on the blog radio show she had back in the day. Her advice for our problem worked in hours. Then I called again a few weeks later when another issue popped up. Again, her advice was spot on and the block passed.
Next, I was flying cross-country solo with my just-potty-trained daughter and 6-month-old son. I called up Jamie on her show. Her advice for traveling worked like a charm. My daughter was diaper-free day and nighttime without accidents. The light at the end of the tunnel.
I came across SO MANY people who were shocked that my two-year-old was potty trained. I listened to many moms at the playground, art class, and around town speak about waiting for their child to be ready. When the topic came up, I simply shared Jamie's book and before I knew it, my word-of-mouth recommendation to one mom friend turned into an entire co-op preschool using Oh Crap Potty Training successfully in my Brooklyn neighborhood.
For years, I personally shared the book with friends and family as the one piece of parenting advice I felt passionate about that works.
When my son turned two, I looked through Oh Crap Potty Training as a refresher, and we started the process. It was even easier. I had SO MANY people tell me that boys are harder to train than girls, that my son would be spraying our bathroom aimlessly with his pee, that boys cannot be potty trained at two.
That was not my experience.
Then I hit a speed bump in night training. I went back to Jamie's site to connect with her. I found she no longer was doing the blog radio show and that there were now certified experts trained to consult on the Oh Crap method.
A lightbulb went off.
And very quickly Oh Crap Potty Training from ME to You was born.