Welcome to the Go Diaper Free Podcast where we're all about helping you potty your baby as early as birth. I'm your host, Andrea Olson, author and mom of five EC’d babies. This is episode 61, Pees 5 minutes later.
Welcome back to the show, you guys. I am so thrilled about all the positive feedback about this podcast. If you could please take a moment today and leave me a review on iTunes, I would gratefully appreciate it. It helps more people find out about EC, which is a really good thing. So in today's show, we're going to talk about what to do if your baby is offered the potty and then doesn't go and pees five minutes later on the floor or in the diaper. Can be super frustrating. It's very, very, very common. And I'm going to give you some reasons why this happens and what to do. So let's go.
The first reason is that baby has grown, your baby's bladder has obviously grown, can hold more, and baby's natural timing is now expanded. So obviously, everybody grows. Everybody becomes full-size human at some point. And with this, everybody can hold it longer and longer as they become young toddlers, and big toddlers, and little kids. This also happens to your baby, believe it or not, and happens pretty rapidly. Maybe last week he went every 20 minutes, and this week he could hold it every 45 minutes. It can jump. It can expand. It can shrink for various reasons.
So since babies grow, and bladders grow, and natural timing expands, here's what to do about this. You can do observation. Download my log over at the show notes at godiaperfree.com/61 and grab my free observation log. Download it. Print it out. And you want to log anew. So you want to update your knowledge of your baby's natural timing, how often does this kiddo go now versus last time I checked, which may have been never, which may have been six months ago. If your baby's peeing five minutes later, it's usually because natural timing has expanded and you haven't updated to their natural timing. You can easily do this through our other podcast episode that talks about getting EC back on track. I'll link to that in the show notes for this episode as well. If you follow the instructions there, you will definitely be updated.
This should solve that. But if it doesn't, we have four other reasons why baby might do this. The next one is that baby is experimenting with how long she can hold it now. So as a baby begins to crawl and masters... Well, first, they master rolling over, and then they can sit up, and then they can crawl, roughly in that order. At some point, they start to go, "Wait a second. I can actually hold it for a little while, and then see how long I could hold it, and let it out whenever I feel like it."
So there is this period that does start to happen at around... I don't want to give it an exact age because it's so different every baby, but let's say around six to eight months. They can start to experiment with how long they hold it consciously, and see how you react, and see how their bodies react when they do this, which is... This is a great sign. It means your baby is definitely coming close to independence, even if it's 6, or 8, or 12 months away. But this is the beginning of that independent streak, whether you knew it or not. Go back to my podcast, two podcasts ago, I think, on passing the baton to learn about how to roll with this experimenting.
But here's what to do also. If baby's experimenting and they're peeing five minutes later, no matter what the reason is, another solution for peeing five minutes later is to close the door when you're in the bathroom with your baby, get the pants off of him or her, ignore the baby or busy yourself, pretend to do something else highly engaging so that your focus is off the baby and they feel like they have privacy, even though you're in the same room as them, and just take pants off and say, "Put your pee in there.” They've got a mini potty down there on the ground. If you need a really short mini potty that could totally cause independence, definitely grab the mini potty I offer over at my other site, tinyundies.com. Babies like six months old can sit on it if they're sitting unassisted, especially they can touch the ground and this can help.
So anyway, you've got the door closed. You're in there with baby. Baby's got pants off. You said, "Hey, here. Put your pee in there," whether they get up and won't sit down, which we covered in last week's episode, or whether they sit there and just get up. Maybe they pee on the bathroom floor five minutes later. Well, at least they're in the bathroom. This is a good step, and not on your carpet. But we want to ignore them and give them that privacy. And sometimes that privacy and having the right receptacle, the combination of those two things can cause your baby to stop peeing five minutes later. And maybe they want to work on getting up, sitting down, getting up, sitting down, mounting the potty and work on that developmental task a million times.
It won't make any sense to you why they're doing this, but this is what babies do. We want to give them the opportunity to do that, and then to, because they're experimenting with how long they can hold it now, to release when they feel like they want to because this is their body and they get to operate it. This is the beginning of that exciting journey for them. The point of what to do on this one is close that door so that happens inside the bathroom and give privacy so that they can really feel like you're not hovering over them and watching them and they really can own this process.
All right. The next reason why baby might be offered the potty, possibly resist, and then pee like five minutes later, maybe the baby is older now and wants to be doing something else besides pottying. So maybe they want to be working on pulling up on every piece of furniture in your living room or they want to work on creeping down the couch to try to grab that cat's tail. There's something on their mind. They're definitely distracted and preoccupied with other shiny objects.
So what to do? Give them a shiny object. Not maybe specifically, but give baby something to hold or a potty-only toy. So whenever Twyla, who's currently 10 months old at the time of this recording, does not want to go, and she resists me, and I'm holding her in arms over the receptacle, she does not want to go, she doesn't like to sit on it yet, she has just started to pull up and to try to let go to stand, she's very developmentally focused on something else. So I just give her something really cool to hold, like a hairband scrunchy, or like a headband, or whatever I can grab in the bathroom, maybe one of those little Tylenol syringe dispensers, you know, the little plastic ones you give baby medicine in. I hand her something to hold. She holds it. I say “pssss.” She relaxes. I have a little mirror on the back of my sink or my toilet so I can see when she's going. And yes, I do sometimes use the sink. If you do EC, you're not going to judge me for that. It's my sink. But anyway, she usually will pee after she's been given something to hold on to, and she'll usually pee a lot.
This is a temporary thing, and it won't last forever, this sort of resistance and peeing five minutes later. So to get you through it, you want to give them something to hold maybe, or they're sitting on the toilet seat reducer, or they're sitting on the mini potty. Give them something to hold that's interesting that they don't usually get. Or you could have a potty-only toy, but just be careful to when the toy starts to distract them and there's no more productive potty time with that toy. Then you want to replace the toy with something else or stop using a toy and just say, "Hey, do your business, and we'll get back to play."
The other thing that is a temporary bandaid for this, because it doesn't last very long, but it can get you through it and keep you enthused about EC, is to potty your baby outside using the classic EC hold while squatting. We will put a picture of that up on the blog post as well. The show notes are at godiaperfree.com/61 so you can get a visual of what the classic EC hold while squatting looks like. So we want to potty outside. Definitely gives them a change in scenery and less of the typical routine to resist while they're exerting their independence.
Another reason why baby might resist and then pee five minutes later or just not go and then pee five minutes later is the baby might want control over the process. And not just some control, but more control than they had before. What we really want to do here is teach some stuff. It's not exactly going to happen at the same time as this resistant, pee on the floor five minutes later thing. But in overall in day-to-day life, we want to teach some of the steps to potty independence. If you're wondering what to teach, this is in the “Passing the baton” podcast, which was number 59. It's also covered in depth in my book in the “Building Blocks to Potty Independence” section. Definitely get my book.
If you're winging it off of free information from my blog, this podcast, my YouTube or whatever, and you really aren't totally feeling successful with EC yet, just get my book. Come on. Just do it because it really literally has everything you need in it to find full on success with EC, including what to teach and when. If not, that's fine. You can keep listening, and I will still love you.
So the last reason why baby might pee five minutes later after being offered the potty is the baby wants a change or the baby wants a promotion. We might want to promote them up from being in arms to sitting on their own mini potty, or we want to change them from the mini potty to the big toilet with a seat reducer on it, or maybe baby wants a little bit of a change as in more control like we just talked about, or maybe baby wants to wear a different backup. Maybe baby wants the water running now, or doesn't want it running now, or wants to use words or sign language instead. Something needs to shift and change. You can start by changing the potty type and see if they just really want to go on the big toilet where you guys go and they're tired of using this cheesy little kids toilet. That can totally be a reason. I do have podcast episodes on transitioning from in arms to the mini potty and from the mini potty to the big toilet if you want to listen to how to do that. But, sometimes baby just wants a change and they indicate this by peeing five minutes later, so we definitely want to honor that and work with them to find a solution.
That's basically it for today's show. I would love for you to read...or leave a review. You can read them, too, if you want to do. But leave a review over on iTunes so that other people can find out about EC today.
I do have a tip from a reader to share with you as well. Our tip is from... This is from Linda in Tustin who began EC at four and a half months. The baby's age was 16 months when Linda shared this with us. Her website is lindarife.com, R-I-F-E.
Okay. She says, "My biggest tip is based on my own experience as well as what I've seen other parents talk about in the various EC Facebook groups I'm in. My impression is that some EC parents approach it with a lot of diaper-free time. Then they have trouble later when they want to wrap up EC. The child has essentially learned that the floor is the potty. This isn't bad in and of itself, having a lot of diaper-free time, but my feeling is that diaper-free time should be done only when you can focus all of your attention on your child the entire time so that when they give the signals or they start to go, they can be moved immediately to the potty.
I've read about so many parents who spent a lot of time cleaning up pee from the floor and some who have said that they just let their baby go in the garden outside. And again, then they have trouble later when they want to wrap it up. How is this different from learning that the diaper is the potty? I think it's important to remember that EC stands for elimination communication. The important part here is the goal, to communicate with your child about where the pee pee goes. While accidents can happen, it's important for us to respond immediately and communicate to them that they should go in the potty."
That was so awesome, Linda. Thank you so much for offering that tip to everybody else listening. We just need to focus on the communication. And remember, what are we trying to teach here? So even if we have a temporary bandaid that helps with the pees five minute later thing, it helps us get through, we always want to get back to where do we want pee to go and when to go. When we get in alignment with our kids about that, this two-way communication and get on the same page again, that's the goal here. So thanks for sharing that, Linda.
Thanks all of you for listening to this week's podcast. Please comment over on the blog what you're going to implement from today's show that will help you to resolve this issue of peeing five minutes after being offered. Go to godiaperfree.com/61 and leave your comment there. I answer every one. I look forward to hearing from you over there. Talk to you next week on the show. Have a great week. Thanks so much.
Thanks! I especially liked the part about “responsible diaper free time”. My 6 m. old was peeing on the bed a lot (so much laundry!). I started only giving him diaper free time when he has most/all of my attention or is napping and I am nearby. Less laundry now.
I went through the 5 minutes later pee phase not long ago. His body has changed recently and now he does not need to go to the potty as frequently and I am not taking him at the wrong time very often. Yay for being flexible!
That’s great Mandy! Adjusting your diaper free time to make it more useful will be so helpful to your practice. I’m glad you figured it out. xx Andrea
This definitely inspired me to do an updated observation on our 15 month old. Before starting EC she had 7 diapers per day which ended up being around 12 separate eliminations, without diapers and has since gone back to around 6-7 times without diapers after training. So she’s definitely retaining more than she used to. She is at a point where she has demonstrated in her over a month of training, that she understands each of the key points and identifies every step individually, from going to wiping to flushing etc… BUT she is at a point where she seems to be holding on as long as she is physically able, until she has an accident, while refusing every attempt to put her down before it happens. Our catch rate has dramatically fallen. Also important to note that ur daughter is the one signaling to the potty each time we attempt putting her onto it, but she is still refusing to sit. It’s as if she’s saying “i feel something, i think i need to go, but i DO NOT WANT to sit on that thing and go” Not sure what to do next but I’m thinking of starting fresh with a new observation log because I refuse to put her back into diapers and I hate feeling useless. Any additional suggestions would be great. She seems confused/uncomfortable about something. Thanks!
Hi Joe! It is very normal for kids to play with how long they can hold. You can try changing up the potty. If you are using a tiny potty, try a seat reducer. Then use distractions to keep her happy. Running the water in the sink or giving her a cup of water to drink will help encourage her to go. You can also have her “potty” a toy first. That helps with the transition. xx Andrea
Hi! This was helpful! Now, how do I figure out which one is it?
Observation is always a great place to start!
This is a bit off topic, but not sure which blog post to ask it…I have been struggling with my 5 mo peeing as soon as I open his disposable diaper even after I ask him to “wait”. I try not to react, but it’s hard. Usually I say, “Oh…. You’re supposed to go in the potty…” in a frustrated tone. He frequently smiles as of after he does it. Is this him trying out his bladder or is this some sort of reward (my reaction)?
+Began EC at 4 mo…
+This has been happening for about a week or week and a half.
+super Part-time EC..I am the only one doing it (husband doesn’t feel comfortable doing it).
Not sure how to get back on track. We were doing well with this easy catch…
Stick with the easy catches, and if you know he pees right when you take off the diaper, try having the potty near by so you can place him off of it. Or you can try taking the diaper off while you have him on the tiny potty.
Often times the exposure too cold will cause little ones to pee.
Continue to be patient, usually these things works themselves out with little intervention. 💕
My 17 week old son. Does the big business in the potty, but he usually pees later on the changing table. What can I do to make him pee in the potty?
I would take him off the potty after going poop, and then before you lay him onto the changing table, sit him back down on the potty to go pee and cue.
Is there an alternate way for me to get my hands on the observation log? Placing my email address to submit a request for it does not work. My EC is going pretty wrong and I’m only able to do it part time right now because the only good time I know to catch is right after waking.
Also, my son does pee 5 minutes after the potty is put away and he’s placed on the mat for a new diaper– whether or was 5 minutes that I had him on the potty, or 20. So that maturing ability to hold for longer doesn’t seem to apply here. He’s also only 2 months old. What do you suppose the reason for this is?
Send us an email, and we can make sure that you get the observation log. In the meantime, check your spam folder. That is usually where it ends up.
As far as peeing 5 minutes later. I have a whole post dedicated to that, I will post it here.