How to Solve Potty Resistance During Wrap-up: For Elimination Communication and Potty Training
Your EC experience was going great until you started to pass the baton. Then, wham, resistance! What does this mean? Is the process doomed to failure? Should you just “wait until they're ready”?
Listen today to hear why resistance happens during wrap-up, two tools to solve it, and how to tweak your mindset for the smoothest experience possible.
You will hear:
- why resistance happens
- how this applies to you (even if you're not wrapping up, yet!)
- two routes to wrapping up your EC (or diapering) experience
- the two tools you need to address resistance
- how to tweak your mindset to solve resistance
- tips for poop issues with late potty trainers
Links and other resources mentioned today:
- The Tiny Potty Training Book for 15 months+
- Building Blocks to Potty Independence” included with The Go Diaper Free Book
- Hybrid Plan (12-18 months) included with The Go Diaper Free Book
- book owners' support forums
- Go Diaper Free’s Tik Tok potty practice videos (more on the way)
- Why Babies Resist On The Potty
- How to Help a Constipated Baby Become Regular Again
Download the Transcript
If you can't listen to this episode right now (um, sleeping baby!?)...download and read the transcript here:
Transcript download: How to Solve Potty Resistance During Wrap-up
How to solve potty resistance during wrap up? This is a really wonderful question. So if you're doing potty training or elimination communication, any age babies or toddlers here today, today's episode is going to help you. We've got two very solid solutions for this. You can check out the show notes over at godiaperfree.com/171, where you will find a full transcript and links to any anything mentioned in today's show. Enjoy.
Hey there. Welcome to the Go Diaper Free podcast. I'm Andrea Olson, your host, author, and mom of five babies, all EC from birth, all out of diapers by walking.
All right. So today we're going to talk about resistance during wrap up. This applies to every one of you who are listening or watching today, because at some point you are going to want to wrap up elimination communication, or potty training with your baby. You're going to want to be done. Who doesn't want to be done? We need to finish this process because that frees up your child for the next developmental stage, the next learning, the next thing. That's why I'm waiting till three or four years old to potty train. If you don't know any better yet, if you haven't learned the truth and definitely listened to one of my podcasts, I have many on that, the whole history of diapers and the whole, "It's not a conspiracy, the diaper companies want your kids in diapers till three or four years old because they make billions of more dollars for every year your kid is in diapers."
Let's just be honest. Kids can be out of diapers and should be out of diapers between 12 to 18 months if you have the knowledge. And yes, some Day Cares won't go along with it until two, but you can still be doing this stuff at home. So no matter what age your child is today, we need to learn about resistance during wrap up. Why does it happen? Now this was actually a question that I got from one of our Facebook followers. And I don't remember your name right now, I'm so sorry. But it says, "Hi, Andrea, can you please do a live on potty resistance and put it on your podcast too? Potty resistance and why my child was so successful with EC, but as soon as the wrap up started, we are met with full resistance. I know you have a podcast on resistance, but I would love some more tips and maybe examples of what you did with your kids. Thanks so much."
So how many of you are in this woman's shoes right now? Or maybe you will be someday, or maybe you were and you actually have tips for her. What I want you to do is just take this advice and just remember it. When you are doing any wrap up with elimination communication, which is potty training for babies, if those of you are following me just on potty training, EC is primarily what I teach at Go Diaper Free. When the time comes to wrap it up and you get resistance, there is a reason for this. Now, I want to divide this into two sections. So one is wrapping up EC with pure EC, which you can do like I did with my kids starting at walking. The other one, track B we'll call it, is when you're wrapping up EC with a potty training experience, or when you're just doing potty training with a potty training experience.
Potty training experiences are by my book, Tiny Potty Training Book... It's the smaller of the two books because it's meant to take less time, it's seven days average. About 30 days to independence is typical. Now that can be done at 16 months and up. You can wrap up EC with potty training, or you can... Or if you're just doing potty training, it should not drag on. If it's dragging on, that is an indicator that you either don't know what you're doing, which means you need to read my book more deeply and go to our support forums that come with the book, and really get some help. It's usually a parenting style shift that you need to change, and a mindset shift, from more of a passive, hands-off, laissez-faire parent, which I totally am one of those, to a more directed... From a more gentle to more firm, from, if you literally couldn't buy a diaper tomorrow, how would your attitude be with your child about, "No, we're actually putting all the pee in the potty now?"
And that doesn't mean you're not gentle. It actually means that you are teaching them the thing that they need for survival. So if we go on a survival level, that will get us in the right mindset. In survival, we would not be mean about it and we would not force it on them. We would just say, "Hey, there, isn't a choice here. However, you could choose the mini potty or the big toilet. That's the choice we're going to give you."
So you really grow up as a parent when you do potty training, and when you wrap up with potty training. You get a big dose of grown up. "Hey, I don't want to be like my parents who are super overbearing and they spanked me and they did this and that." We aren't spanking kids with potty training, any of that, but we are changing from, "I don't want to be as harsh as my parents were," to, "I actually get why they were harsh sometimes, and maybe I was naughty, I don't know, but I'm not going to go that extreme, but I'm not also going to do what I've been doing, which is super passive. I'm going to find that middle ground of assertion."
We've got passive parenting, we've got aggressive parenting. Maybe your parents were aggressive and you've gone passive in response. We want to do assertive, where we know what is right and we guide our children towards that. So all discipline really begins with wrapping up EC or potty training where we are showing, "Yes, I've been baby led this whole time and now I'm going to say the buck stops here with potty, this stuff needs to go in the toilet for our health." All right. It's basically for our health. And that gift also again, frees them up for learning. So that's a little bit on that plan B.
Plan A, or part A would be this, "Are we wrapping up just with pure EC?" So why does resistance happen? Let's first go to those of you with younger babies. Why does resistance happen when you move from part-time to full-time EC or when you stop using diapers and you're in that 12 to 18 month range? So for me, whenever I experience resistance with my kids... And I took them all out of diapers anywhere from nine to 17 months. 17 was way too late. He wasn't even using them, it was me being lazy. But around 12 months old is average for my five kids. When I would hit resistance is when they really wanted to own the whole process themselves, but they didn't know how to do that thing that was missing. So what it required... Resistance always requires two things with EC. One was more privacy and two was more training on non potty times.
So during non potty times, we learn how to mount the potty, how to get on and off the potty. And I have a little snippet on my new TikTok channel, @godiaperfree, that has practicing on the potty at a very young age. So as soon as they're able to stand and creep along the furniture, but not stand alone but they can pull themselves up, we want to teach them how to mount the potty and put the potty right behind their calves and say, "Sit," and we just repeat that. And they love repeating things up until 18 months until they've become very independent. They still repeat things, but not the things that we want them to repeat.
So privacy, how do we give privacy when there's resistance? So resistance, often you'll put your baby on the toilet, and they will cry and cry and then pee on the floor five minutes later. How many of you have also felt that or seen that happen? Okay, when that happens, it stinks. Dude, it's terrible. You're just like, "What am I doing wrong? Nothing's working anymore." When that potty resistance happens, it means that you need to move to the big toilet, use a toilet seat reducer, stick your baby on it, leave the room like you forgot something and listen, because your baby's going to go once they feel privacy has been given to them.
If you want to line around the floor with towels or pillows or blankets or something, the first time, I guarantee you when you get far enough away, they will not try to dive off because babies really want to preserve their lives. They like to stay alive. They have these really strong instincts for self-preservation. If you've read the continuum concept, you'll know what I mean.
So with EC, if you're getting resistance when you're starting to pass the baton, you're starting to wrap it up, maybe you're doing... Just stopping using diapers during the day. What you need to do is number one, give privacy, which might mean moving them to the big toilet so they can't escape. If you want to give privacy with a mini potty, just stay in the bathroom, close the door and lock it. You're in there with them and totally ignore whatever they're doing, and really focus on something other than them. Avert your attention so that they feel like you've given them privacy. They have no bottoms on, they have the mini potty there. Say, "Sit, and put your pee there," and then turn your back and let them have that privacy to do it themselves. So that's one way to solve potty resistance with wrapping up EC.
The other thing is on the job training, but not during I have to pee moments. Let's teach them how to mount the potty, how to push their pants down. I don't have any undies or trainers with me right now, but my learn undies with the bear on them, they teach your child how to self dress. Let them play with those. Fill the potty with water outside, let them practice dumping. You can do so many things. These are all outlined in my book. I feel like I have none of my supplies. I have potties way over there, but I have none of my supplies for those of you watching. Those of you listening, just use your imagination. But what I want you to do is look at my book and there is a whole section called The Building Blocks To Potty Independence, in the Go Diaper Free book. So training could include putting those building blocks in place. It could include doing a hybrid potty training, EC experience. So we've got number one, is privacy with EC, and number two, is training.
And the other part of it is you've got The Hybrid Plan that comes with my book as a free download. You can do a one or two day naked training day with your 11 month old baby, your 13 month old baby, your 15 month old baby. If they're walking, do the hybrid plan. Couple of days of teaching, there are so many things that will fall into place and that reduces their resistance 100%. So privacy plus training equals no resistance.
So that was our plan A, for those of you listening who have a baby, who's zero to 18 months. If you've got a baby who's 15 months up to 2, 3, 4 years, and you're doing potty training, whether you've done EC or not, I do not care. I'm sorry, I know that's harsh. But it really doesn't matter. What matters is that you do the entire potty training experience by the instructions in my book, the Tiny Potty Training Book, which is the one for older babies. You could start this anywhere from 15 months and up. I keep lowering the bar because there are some babies who are just like walking, talking... They don't have to be talking to potty train, but they are super on the fast track in life. If you have a baby like that, you know what I mean. And they deserve a rapid wrap up, which again is more gentle because it's firm and clear and they get it, and you get it.
So read that book, you really only have to read half of it. It's very short. That gets you in the mindset that tells you exactly what to do and when to move on. They again, during the potty training process with wrapping up EC, whether you've had success with EC or not, like this woman asking the question, has been successful and then wrap up net full resistance, probably because she's not giving enough privacy. That really is what it comes down to. We're over offering or we're not giving enough privacy. There's this weird thing that has happened. You have to let go of control while you're giving them control over something that they physically don't have all the pieces to yet. And there's pee involved and poop involved. So you might not feel totally comfortable with that.
So I just want you to know that if that's you, it's totally normal, stick with the plan, follow it step by step, and I promise you it'll be over before you know it. So resistance with the potty training process, do the potty training just as if you did no EC at all, from beginning to end, don't skip any parts. Okay. Deal? Pinky promise me. All right. And if you're just doing potty training and you're like, "What is this EC thing? I have no idea what you're talking about." Cool. Just do the potty training exactly by the book.
If you're meeting resistance, you need to look at yourself. You've got one, give privacy with potty training, just like I explained for the EC part. Stick them on the toilet seat reducer, leave the room and listen, you will hear it. The other thing is, besides privacy with potty training, is your mindset. So parents derail potty training more than not. In our private support forum that comes with both books, you've got a lot of parents who need a mindset tweak because they're moving from full on responsive baby parenting to, I have a toddler now and they are the boss, and they terrify me. So if that's you, you really need some mindset coaching and on our support forums with my book, you can get that. So with potty training, again, we've got resistance, whether you've done EC or not, you're going to solve that with privacy and your mindset.
The other two and a half for potty training and resistance would be with poop. Sometimes... And we have a whole episode on the podcast about constipation. Sometimes they're just a little bit afraid, if you're potty training at two or three or four years old, of pooping anywhere other than on their skin. With your next baby, please do EC, so poop is not a surprise. But since you didn't know that, or maybe you couldn't make it happen, or maybe you didn't have my book, you're potty training now, and that's what you've chosen, so go with that. If you have a poop issue, you are going to probably need a little bit of patience. It's going to take some days maybe for that poop to finally come out. And once it does, it'll be good to go. The other thing is the sphincters and the canal at the very end of the rectum, it does expand if you've got a large poop and constipation, so you have to get a daily poop so that that can start to contract.
I'm going to see if Danielle will do a special bonus podcast on that particular topic soon, because it's something that I don't understand that well, but what I do know is that with Twyla, we had to give her a suppository every day to get her to poop every day, so that the poop would be smaller and easier to get out, and then she wouldn't resist as much. So that's 2 point... 2B for potty training.
So hopefully that answers all of the questions around, what if we have potty resistance after having success with EC or potty training, resistance pops in, "Oh my gosh, what do we do?" That's what this was all about. Please review this once more if you'd like to, and definitely leave some comments, ask some questions, and we will be sure to help you out. Thank you so much for listening to this.
Here's your action for today. What I want you to do is if you do not have my hybrid plan or my potty training book, and you're trying to wrap up EC or do potty training, I want you to get either of those resources, by getting my book today. That is your action item. Go to godiaperfree.com, and you just click on my shop, on my store, and you will find either the book for 18 months and up, or the book for zero to 18 months. I want you to buy it if you don't have it. That's your action plan today. And what you're going to do is either read The Hybrid Plan and The Building Blocks To Potty Independence, in the Go Diaper Free book, and try starting those... No, don't try, just start doing those. Or you're going to get The Potty Training Book, and read those. And do as I say in those books, you guys. We are not born knowing how to potty train, especially in this diapering culture. They don't want us to know what we're doing. So let's beat them at their own game, all right.
So that's your task. I want you to email me when you've done that and you've had your success, because I love success stories. Please definitely send those to me.
Again, you can check out the show notes with the full transcript and links to everything I've mentioned in today's show over at godiaperfree.com/171. And please leave a comment over there, ask a question, interact with us, we would love to help you and also hear your story over there, and we answer every single comment.
Look forward to talking to you all there.
Thanks so much for listening. This is the Go Diaper Free podcast at godiaperfree.com. We'll see you next time.
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About Andrea Olson
I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my 6 children (all under 10 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.)
I have a 13 month old and struggling with getting him back on the potty. I will try sit down and pull pants down to see if that helps any. But how can I give privacy when he can fall into the toilet or fall off his baby toilet? He’s still crawling…
Looking away can sometimes help, and getting busy. Like doing something on your phone.
You can also try putting pillows down in front of the potty if you are afraid of your little one getting hurt if he falls off.
Oh my gosh this is exactly the guidance I need today! I’m in this process and feeling close to putting it off because my daughter is getting so upset! So, thank you! I have three follow up questions… (1) My daughter gets panicked if I try and put her on the adult toilet (with a reducer). Can you offer any guidance to helping her get comfortable on it? and (2) when I give her privacy she hops right off the potty. If I close us into the bathroom will she eventually stay seated on the potty when I turn my head? (3) If I’m working toward putting her on the adult potty, is there any problem with also having the tiny potties around the house for her to go on that by herself if she wants? or should I just simplify and have her only go on the adult toilet?
Love when things work out like that!
To answer your questions:
1. Do some role playing with a doll or lovey that sits on the toilet. You can try distracting her while she is on the toilet. Sometimes having them look at photos of themselves or reading a book. Talking about sitting on the toilet a lot throughout the day.
2. That’s great that she stays seated when you are in the bathroom. Offering privacy by turning your head or pretending to do something can give her privacy with your presence. You may also try saying… I’ll be right back… I forgot something, and then step out for a minute.
3. No problem to have other potties around the house available. Or for her to even use those independently when you are busy.
My first baby I did EC really inconsistently and finally potty trained at 2.5 years, and it did feel like finally, though it was earlier than most, and it was over in a couple of weeks and I thought, wow this is great, why didn’t we do that ages ago. Baby 2 is 9 months now and I’ve been way more consistent with EC though don’t really ever do diaper free time. I’d been thinking do it til about 2 and then potty train, but this post came at a good time for me and I’m feeling hopeful for wrapping up EC earlier. (yes I have the book, I read most of it early on but never got around to the wrapping up bit of the book yet)
Thank you for sharing your story, and glad the post gave you some motivation to wrap up sooner!
Thank you for all your resources. I admire tour work.
I have been reading a lot of your EC teachings and tried to apply them.
My son will be 18 month next week. Last month I bought your potty training book ans started the process. By the Book. For 2,5 days (all I had).
Now. I have a consistency issue. I had it with EC, and I have it with potty training. I am alone in believing in the process. My husband thinks it is all more or less crazy. He will do the same as me (and he has all along), but only once it has started working. And if it does not require an extra effort.
The nanny won’t quit the diapers for now, I guess until there are no more accidents (?), but then my son cannot learn until he us left without diapers …
So. I am the crazy pee-poop-obsessed mom. This mom has been travelling for work a lot lately, knowing that my son is – most probably – not being potty-trained at home “By Andrea’s Book”. So it is dragging on…
I would really really enjoy a podcast about Husband Resistance !! Pleeeeaaaase . I have been meaning to ask you that for… Nearly 18 months ! ;) :-) And I could totally share my experience on this.
Thanks again for all the work !
Remember to be gentle on yourself. Husband Resistance is a rough one. Here is a post I have done on the topic: https://godiaperfree.com/when-daddy-wont-do-ec-how-to-get-your-husband-on-board-with-toilet-training-and-possibly-save-your-marriage/
Hey Andrea! I am attempting to wrap things up with my twin 17m olds and while one is doing great and is in underwear during the day, the other is resisting like crazy! I have tried giving privacy but she just screams for 5-10 minutes until I finally give in and take her off. Just a few weeks ago she was doing great and telling me 75% of the time and then all of a sudden, literally within 24 hours she just quit and cries every time we go potty. She will sometimes tell me when she needs to poop and will occasionally pee in the tub but that’s it. Any advice would be most welcome!
Hi! Sounds like your little one is resisting going to the potty, which often happens when we over offer or need to start pushing back the amount of time between pees. Therefore, try backing off a little or offering less often.
Hi Andrea! I loved this episode, it’s given me a few ideas but I’m dealing with a scenario that isn’t quite addressed here.
My 17mo old does fine sitting on the toilet with a seat reducer and we catch some pees, working on poops. The issue is that during commando time he freaks out when I whisk him to the toilet after a miss. He cries and refuses to sit, I think because he isn’t independent in those moments. Should I set commando time aside and just focus on the EC/natural timing part of things for a while longer?
Hi! Focusing on his timing to get him to the potty before he pees will definitely help.
I’ve been part-time ECing since 6 weeks old. Now at 15 months old, my daughter has a yeast rash that refuses to clear up with any kind of diapers (seems to be worse during the hot and humid days), so I feel an urgency to get her out of diapers.
We were progressing well, catching 98% of poops on the toilet and having various pottytunities during the day. She even woke up dry for a few mornings, and last month she began signing when she needed to go.
She’s been in underwear for most of the last 2 days and is now resisting the toilet — both her toddler potty and the toilet seat reducer. She cries and kicks if I try to get her to sit on them, even after she’s signed that she needs to potty. She’s usually fine once she’s seated and distracted with a book, but getting her seated is a huge struggle. If it weren’t for her rash, I would backtrack and not push it. I’m just at a loss. We’ve tried extra privacy and giving her the independence to go to the toddler potty without help, but she refuses everything at this point. Is 2 days in a big hump, and I just need to be patient for a little longer?
I’ve been binge-listening to your podcasts and appreciate all that you share! EC has been amazing for us this last year. My husband brags to everyone who will listen, so he’s doing what he can to spread EC to others!
First off, you are doing great! Using undies was a great call! Try to be patient, I know it can be hard and super frustrating. Doing some naked time for observation with a reset could help get her back on track. Definitely give it longer go, two days might not be long enough. Also, thank you so much for tuning in to the podcasts!