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, but it's not as easy to create that feeling of community. Wherever we are, I'm a mama that 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. I love being able to make my kids laugh with the ease of a silly made-up word, making fairy jars with them to catch some magic, and seeing their curiosity about the world. Most days I wish I could record half of what they say. And I feel lucky to be around the light and energy they seem to simply radiate.
Philosophy-wise for parenting, Jamie's book is the only one I followed like a manual. Other than that, I follow the Montessori method for the preschool age, as I went through Montessori 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 are going 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 OCPT gives you tested methods for working through that process with your individual child — so that your child wants to use the potty because he/she can do it. Not because of a reward. For me, learning really happens when the child is doing the work to get that awesome feeling of yes I can do it myself.
I love to connect with people and hear their stories. It's probably why I fell into journalism, because I'm a curious person who naturally asks a lot of questions. But in the many creative hats I've worn since my first big job as an editor at Real Simple magazine, I've always wanted to do work that truly helps people. Yet some obvious jobs were not in the cards for me (my parents were both in medicine, but I never had a knack for science!)
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 to you and your child on the pathway to the potty.
Hello! My name is Jen L'Italien. I never imagined seeing the words potty consultant attached to my name! Here's a little about me and how I came to start Oh Crap Potty Training From ME To You.
I'm a writer, a trained journalist, a former magazine editor, a home expert of sorts (ask me anything about laundry, eco cleaners, paint, or organizing closets), an interiors stylist, and a constant dreamer of what I want to make with my hands. During a blazing hot summer in New York, I gave birth to my daughter and became a mama — and poof, life changed forever. I'm now a mama to two amazing spirits, a girl and a boy.
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 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 OCPT 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 would come up, I simply shared a link to 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. This was not my experience. But around the age of 3, 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.
B.S. in Journalism
Certified Oh Crap Potty Training Consultant
certified 2016 with excellence