When to do it

You can start the process of your child gaining Toilet Awareness from birth. This is possible by:

  • Giving your child a rich language environment and consistently naming body parts, bodily functions, etc.
  • Providing opportunities to sit on a potty chair once sitting independently.
  • Using cloth diapers and underpants.

By walking age (around 10-12 months) your child will have voluntary control of their sphincter muscles. This means they now have control over when they go and are for the first time able to consciously hold it.

“Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence. “

– Dr. Maria Montessori

Why to do it

  • We want our children to reach their full potential.
  • We want them to follow the normal path of development.
  • We want them to be independent.


  • Be positive. Your child needs to know that using the toilet is a natural part of every day life.
  • This process will not last forever. Consistency is key!
  • Every child is different, so every process will be too.


How to do it

  1. Choose a day to start the process.
  2. Have the environment prepared with all necessary items.
  3. Tell your child, “Today you are going to start using the toilet.”
  4. Name all of the items in the prepared area.
  5. Help your child get undressed, naming all body parts as you do so.
  6. Point to the toilet and tell your child to sit on it.
  7. Once sitting tell your child they can push their urine out into the toilet.
  8. Be patient and allow them all of the time they need or want.
  9. Acknowledge what did or did not happen and tell them that they can use the toilet any time they want to.
  10. Invite your child to use the toilet every hour or so until successfully using it on their own.

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

– Dr. Maria Montessori

Supplies and requirements for the home environment:

  • Cotton diapers/underpants (a large supply)
  • Vinyls (a large supply)
  • Workable clothing (elastic waist bottoms)
  • Flexible shoes with a velcro closure or crocs
  • Potty seat or cushion for toilet
  • Sink
  • Step stool
  • Soap
  • Hand towels
  • Laundry basket
  • Wipes or Toilet paper

“Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur.”

– Dr. Maria Montessori

CDS students take Standardized Achievement Tests several times per year and score competitively with similar peers on the North Shore. And yet our emphasis is not on test taking: We are an academically rigorous program fortified by a commitment to character growth.

The Measure of Academic Progress Test

MAP Test (Measures of Academic Progress created by Northwest Evaluation Association) Score Comparison Graphs
School Year: 2014-2015. Download the full PDF report here.

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