about the team
Ditch the Diapers project was created by Julia and Carrie after learning about the SPU communities waste free grant.
Julia Deák Sandler is a community organizer with a background in language education as well as quantitative and qualitative research. Her work these days is focused on sustainability and community resilience, and she has worked to share intercultural wisdom for sustainable lifestyle changes since 2016 on the blog she created, Re-ThinkGreen.com. She lives in Lake City, where she has enjoyed raising her son, who was in a home-based daycare several days per week starting at 10 months of age. They did part-time EC, part-time cloth diapers, and at 25 months of age completed daytime potty training with the intensive "Oh Crap" method
Mara is an early childhood educator and executive functioning coach. She has over four years of experience working in preschools as a lead teacher with two-year-olds. Contrary to most, Mara’s favorite part of teaching preschool was potty training! While it may be messy, this period of learning is filled with opportunities to build connection, cultivate independence, and foster body autonomy. She believes that few things compare to seeing the pride on a child’s face when they experience the success that comes with taking on this challenge. Mara is thrilled to share her joy of potty training and work with families to navigate this phase with ease.
Heather is a certified EC coach and has been practicing elimination communication (EC) with her daughter since discovering EC when she was 6 months old. Working full time and only practicing EC on a part time basis, her family successfully ditched the diapers at 15 months. She was able to work with her childcare providers to find a balance that worked for her family. "It felt good to have one more form of communication with my daughter. I felt so luck to bond with her in this way. I found a love for EC and wanted to share my journey and help introduce infant pottying to others along the way.”
Rachel is a certified EC coach and mom of two. She found out about EC through her birthing class and thought it was a CRAZY idea, but the idea stuck around. "When my daughter was 15 weeks old, she woke up from a nap dry, so I went ahead and tried to potty her. It worked! And I was hooked. We went on to have all kinds of successes and struggles, (also from three loads of diaper laundry to two in the first week) but we both learned together and she was out of daytime diapers at 13 months and night time by 18 months. I started with my son at birth and though I had worked through most of the troubleshooting issues with my first, I had a whole different child with a very different personality. He's very chill and really didn't mind wet pants! So we had to adapt. We were still out of daytime diapers at 15 months and nighttime at 22 months. Sharing EC with people has been a real joy. People learn that their babies are way more capable than they ever expected and that translates into other parts of their relationship. And that's an amazing thing to be a part of!"
Carrie is the owner of Diaper Stork and the business lead on this project. "When I was pregnant, only one acquaintance mentioned elimination communication to me. The first time I tried it my baby was 1 month old, and she pooped over the potty. I felt a deep sense of reward and excitement, I was hooked. By the time she could sit up, I was only changing a poopy diaper once per week. My friends and family were skeptical and continue to be, but my experience made me want to build awareness that babies and toddlers are way more capable than our society has taught us to believe. As owner of a cloth diaper business, I am aware that many families will never choose cloth as an alternative to disposables so using less is the next viable option to making a dent in our diaper waste, plus someone has to combat the billion dollar disposable diaper industry that encourages families not to worry about potty training because they got you covered with SIZE 6 diapers."