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Can I stop my baby from pooping while in the high chair or car seat?

This is a re-post of an article originally published by Andrea Olson on March 8th, 2017

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

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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.)

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