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Surviving Potty Meltdowns


Everything seems to be going just fine with EC (or potty training), when suddenly your LO has a total nuclear meltdown about using the potty. What gives? Join us for today’s episode where we talk all about what can cause potty meltdowns, what you might be able to do to try to avoid them, and how to survive them.


You Will Hear:

  • The difference between potty resistance and meltdowns
  • Prevention strategies for most tantrums surrounding the potty EC
  • How to best support your child through a potty meltdown
  • What to do after the meltdown has occurred
  • Strategies for helping your child achieve potty independence more confidently


Links and other resources mentioned today:


Download the Transcript

If you can't listen to this episode right now (um, sleeping baby!?) and read the transcript here:

Transcript Download - Surviving Potty Meltdowns

Watch the Video Version

If you want to watch the recording of today’s podcast episode, you can do that on my youtube version right here:

Resource Recommendation

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

Thanks for Listening!

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Have you dealt with potty meltdowns? What strategies have you found helpful in your elimination communication or potty training journey?


xx Andrea

Disclosure Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from purchases made through the links on this page.

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 McKenzie on May 9, 2023 at 11:06 am

    This is an incredibly timely post. At Christmas grandma and grandpa spoiled my son and fed him way more junk food than I ever allow at home. As a result, he was really constipated. It was terrible and apparently a little traumatizing. We’ve been having poop meltdowns like the ones you described ever since. They’ve been fairly manageable, but the past couple weeks he’s really ramped up! He’s been withholding longer and screaming while sitting on the toilet when he can feel the poop needing to come out. It’s been really sad, but I’ve been working on it. Keeping a calm posture, saying reassuring phrases, and trying pleasant sensory input like hand squeezing. This past weekend, though, he pooped his underwear…that has NEVER happened! In over a year of underwear, he has never pooped in them! Pee? Sure. Poop? Never. So that resulted in a meltdown too. The next time he needed to go, he got it in the toilet after another 20 minute meltdown. I was just starting to wonder if I’m doing something wrong or should be doing something more or differently to help him. This post has reassured me! I’m doing what I can and things are getting better. It’s a slow process, but I’m taking care of my son’s needs and we are working through it. Thank you for the suggestions and the reminder to take a deep, calming breath and keep on keeping on! ☮️ ❤️ 💩

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on May 13, 2023 at 12:44 pm

      Thank you so much for being part of our community! I’m so happy that things have gotten better. You got this momma!

  2. Avatar Mathilde on May 19, 2023 at 9:39 am

    I must admit I am a bit lost. All was going so well, pee and poo in the potty since she is 15 mo. Except at Nanny’s, who wanted to « wait ». She was probable right, cause all was going well when wearing dress or nothing, but as soon as she was wearing undies she would peed them, signaling too late. We got back to bottom naked and dresses. Pb is, lately we had some pee accidents. At nanny’s she sometimes ask for the potty but nothing happens. We had 2 poos in the pants !!! Not signaling when wearing undies. Sometimes she goes on the potty and nothing happens (sometimes she also goes at night to avoid bed time I think !!). But, we can’t say it’s bad either, she keeps on going on the potty, it’s not a resistance. Sometimes she goes for each pee and poo. But I don’t know why the step back and don’t know how to reply move forward !! (She’s 19 mo now, we don’t use diapers at home anymore – except at night and we always miss the first morning pee because she wakes up too early and I don’t have the energy to rush in her room !). Do you have an advice ?! I feel a bit discouraged, we were so close !!!!!

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on May 19, 2023 at 8:26 pm

      You got this momma! Remember that EC is not a linear journey there will be ups and downs, pauses and maybe even some regressions. Having consistency is key, as well as a good routine for meal times as this will help in creating a routine potty schedule as well. I know it can be super frustrating and down right disheartening when our littles go through regressions or pauses. Take the pressure off, try for those easy catches if absolutely nothing else. Perhaps even doing a rest could help, going back to naked observation, then slowly reintroducing undies once she is communicating her needs well. You got this momma!

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