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Help! My baby goes poop while in her car seat or high chair.

Baby Poops In High Chair
Q: I have been practicing EC with my  7 month old daughter, June, for 2 months. I provide a number of pottytunities during the day, before nap, after waking, before and after most feedings, before and after car rides, etc and we have many pee catches during the day. She only poops once every other day, and we often miss this catch because she goes when she is in her car seat, while I am driving. Do you have any suggestions for how I can help her become more comfortable “going” outside of the car seat? ~Amy Compani, Hayward, CA, USA, @junebugbliss


Noah signals strongly during dinner time so I will take him out of his high chair. When I take him potty, he doesn’t go but when I put him back into his high chair, he’ll eat again. It’s like he’s knows and is faking it! Any suggestions? ~Melina E.


A: Hey Amy! Hey Melina! Great questions. Totally annoying when they go in the car seat or high chair. Been there, overcame that!

First off, Melina…

Yes, I’d wager that he does know that you’ll take him out if he claims to need to potty. If he’s going 3 out of the 10 times, continue to offer. But eventually you’re going to have to tell him that he shouldn’t signal unless he actually needs to go potty.

I do think a re-set might help, but during a re-set, remember that you should take him if he clearly and adamantly requests it during the two-week time period. So keep that in mind!

Amy, here are my thoughts:

This is a tough one, kind of like the “he’s now only pooping in his high chair” one.

The good thing is that it DOES pass, but being in the midst of it is unnerving.

If you haven’t gotten that every-other-day poop yet, you could try putting her in the carseat, driving around the block, then pottying her in a container or potty in the backseat of the car, while it’s still running. You could pretend that you forgot something and then offer it to her.

Also, going poop easily in the car seat means that she is super relaxed in that scenario. Can you, when you’re at home and are certain it is her time to poo (or close to it), help her relax somehow FIRST and then potty her when she’s good and warmed up?

It’s important to know that this is pretty common behavior, as is high chair pooping, but that it usually always passes.

Reason behind this? Baby is relaxed and hasn’t yet realized that pooping at the dinner table or in the car isn’t exactly appropriate social behavior. But she will…something will click…and it’ll be over.

Lastly: count your successes. You have plenty of successful pottytunities. And she only poops every other day.

Thanks Amy and Melina for your great questions!

I hope that some of this helps…but also keep in mind that, for both of you, this quirky thing will soon pass!

Do you have a similar story or question to share? If so, please post them in the comments section below.

Thanks! xx Andrea

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Resource Recommendation

Potty Time Master is my minicourse about the "when" behind pottying your baby.

EC While Out + About: Eager (or afraid) to try EC on outings or travel? This'll get you going.

Go Diaper Free: my popular EC book that simplifies EC, beginning to end

Andrea Olson

About Andrea Olson

I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my 6 children (all under 12 yo) and the rest of my time teaching other new parents how to do Elimination Communication with their 0-18 month babies. I love what I do and try to make a difference in one baby or parent's life every single day. (And I love, love, love, mango gelato.)


  1. Avatar Stephanie on March 8, 2017 at 8:04 am

    We had pretty good success with EC in the first several months. My daughter was EC’d from the time we brought her home from the hospital, and by 1 month or so we were catching several pees a day and most of her poop. However, around month five she started pooping in her car seat, regardless of whether she’d been offered the potty just prior to leaving. She’s now 8 months and we’re still having the problem, so I’m wondering how long to expect before this “passes” or whether I need some new strategy. Since this issue started, it seems that she’s gradually started signaling less overall and I’m worried we’re losing or wasting all the success we had early on and that she’ll become content to go in her seat/diaper!!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 8, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Stephanie – 8 months is a very very common time to stop signaling. Too much going on in the new world of mobility! I always try to catch that poop before leaving. I also keep an eye out and have been known to safely pull over and get baby to finish or do her poop in the portable potette plus (with the rubber insert or a to go or yoghurt container). Do you have a mirror in your car? Anyone else in the car who can help keep an ear out? Also for the signaling issue see my new video course called Potty Time Master Course – – or my book for more info on what to do other than rely on signals during this developmental period. :) hang in there! You’re not doing anything wrong!! xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Shayna Barnhill on March 8, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    My daughter has a period around 7 months we’re all of the sudden the car seat was the poo place of choice. I don’t know if this was the best solution but I was able to stay home for three days or at least not go out until after she pooped. That seemed to work for us.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 13, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Excellent advice Shayna – I’m so glad that worked for you and I think it’s a great idea for others to try, too. :) Andrea

  3. Avatar Arianna Francis on March 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    Perhaps this is why I’ve seen those antique high chairs with a potty hole in them! Lol We keep a potty chair in the back of the car and just pop the hatch, sit and chill with a water bottle. All three of mine enjoy sitting there watching the cars, birds, people and they relax enough to go consistently. As far as false alarms in the high chair I’ve brought their food and water to the potty with them and that usually does the trick…. Snacking and water on the potty is just another tool in my EC kit. :)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on March 13, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      LOVE it, Arianna! Sounds like me in the car line waiting for my 1st grader…newborn, 20 mo old, and 3 year old all take turns waking up and sitting on the potty looking at the clouds and such. :) Def have brought food to the potty too…hehe! I guess we just pay attention and offer *creatively.*

  4. Avatar Stacey Woodard on May 31, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    My daughter started using the potty at 8 months. I started putting her on the potty before bath/bed and she peed the first time. She caught on very quickly and learned the potty sign quickly. I kept increasing the number of times I took her to the potty. She went through a period where she wouldn’t even sit on the potty but after a few weeks she would again. The second time she went through that phase we put her on the regular toilet and she went. Her potty seat is now there. I am on my 3rd attempt at getting her out of diapers. The first attempt was at 11.5 months and it majorly stressed her out so I stopped after 3-4 hours. The second attempt was at about 14 months. She has your tiny trainers and she doesn’t care AT ALL when she is wet. We tried naked time but she doesn’t care then either. I just started again today (a few days from 16 months) and she doesn’t care when she is wet. Last night I put her on the potty before her bath for at least 5 minutes, filled up the tub, put her in the water, and then when I said I had to pee and started, she peed. I told her she was supposed to do that in the potty, and she stopped peeing and laughed. About 5 minutes later she peed in the tub again and laughed. She knows what she is doing but she is being super stubborn. Sometimes she tells us when she has to go or walks to the bathroom but other times she doesn’t. She used to not be able to hold it if I ran water but now she is holding it. How do I “break” her of this stubbornness, and make her care when her trainers are wet, and finally get this transition done? Her doctor keeps saying she is so young for potty training but I know she is ready. Thank you!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on July 26, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      Hey Stacey! Sorry, just seeing your comment. Are you still having difficulty? She is now 18 months, if my math is correct, and it is time to potty train for sure! Get my book if you don’t have it already – – and set your dates and train. This level of stubbornness means she is PERFECT for a quick, low-key, calm-vibe wrap-up! :) Andrea

  5. Avatar Shalini Suby on August 19, 2017 at 3:08 am

    Hi Andrea,

    I love your book and have been EC-ing by daughter since she was 2 weeks old. She is 8 months at the moment and I am finding that she seems to pee on the high chair a lot. When I ec her at night, i just take her to the potty sit her down and she would pee straightaway most of the time. I wonder how she knows that it is the potty with her eyes closed and no lights. May be she is confusing the high chair with the potty? How can I solve this? Thanks in advance.

  6. Avatar Abigail on March 29, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Andrea, I am having the same problem as Shalini. I just started EC with my 10 month old (just found out of about it!) and it has been going great, but she keeps peeing in her high chair during meals instead of waiting to go in the potty when she is done. She doesn’t seem to have a clue there is a difference! What can I do? Thanks.

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