#37 The poop enigma

GDF Podcast 37

What in the hey do you do when your EC’d, potty independent child starts resisting the potty...and pooping her pants?

Maybe you can relate to Kate from Eugene, Oregon, who has a 20-month old daughter:

“Hi Andrea. My name is Kate and my child is almost 20 months old and she has not pooped in her pants since she was probably six months old. Recently, we went on a vacation and she started pooping in her pants again. Not every time, but more regularly. She's very opposed to potting right now, both pee and poop, but we can usually get her to pee, some of the time. But poops are kind of an enigma to us now because she hasn't pooped in her pants for so long and we don't know what to do. We were hoping for your help. I think that's all the information you need. Thanks so much. I really look forward to hearing your answer. Thanks. Bye.”

When your child takes a big step backwards, you can feel like all the elimination communication (or potty training) you've done was for nothing.

Truth: Major changes to a child's routine, such as a vacation, can definitely spur on a potty regression.

What you are going through is completely normal...but how do we get out of this dreadful situation?

Today we'll talk about a few things you can do to help get your child back on track if they start resisting the potty...and begin pooping their pants after a near-lifetime of not pooping their pants. :)

Listen to the full podcast episode for a special musical surprise at the end!

You will hear:

  • How changes in routine can impact EC
  • How to check your vibe
  • What “misses” really indicate at this age
  • The surefire way to get out of a potty pause at 20 months (you’d be surprised that it has nothing to do with EC)

Links and other resources mentioned today:

Download the Transcript

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

Transcript: The poop enigma

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Has your baby ever resisted using the potty after a vacation or change in routine? Please leave a comment below with your experience!

I look forward to chatting with you in the comments.

xx Andrea

Resource Recommendation

Go Diaper Free: my popular book that makes EC dummy-proof

Top Hat Potty at TinyUndies.com

Mini Potty at TinyUndies.com

Andrea Olson

About Andrea Olson

I'm Andrea and I spend most of my time with my husband and 5 children (newborn to 8 years old) 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.)

13 Comments

  1. Avatar Nicole Stiles on April 2, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    I didn’t know babies can go through potty pauses. My baby is 9 months and we’ve been doing EC part time although I’m transitioning to doing it full time. I didn’t know this could happen. It’s great to know ahead of time so that I don’t panic if it does occur. Thanks for the great info!

    And your insight in that potty training is providing independence re-enforces my thoughts on the difference between potty training and EC. EC is about training ourselves and potty training is about training the baby.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 3, 2019 at 12:43 am

      Hi Nicole! It really does help to know it can happen and that there are ways to work through it. xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Liza on April 2, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    I also thought I never needed to do potty training since I did EC with my son from when he was 3months old. But turns out potty training was that extra push to wrap up EC with him after many frustrating potty pauses. That need for independence Andrea mentions is so real. The first time my son completed the whole process from start to finish all by himself, he did a victory run all around the house!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 3, 2019 at 12:45 am

      Hi Liza! That is so adorable! He must have been so proud. And you are right, sometimes it does take that extra push to wrap up. I am so glad it helped you and your son. xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Cindy Rueckert on April 2, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    My two-and-a-half year old had a major potty regression over Christmas break when we spent a week at Granny’s. Things went from unfamiliar to awful when my father-in-law died unexpectedly, which resulted in us spending another week there, on and off. She was wetting her pants all the time. I was completely speechless when I found her walking around with poop in her underwear for the first time in a year.

    I couldn’t focus on the potty regression until after the funeral, but once home, I realized more was going on- frequent, foul urination. She had a UTI.

    Hang with me here because I’d never heard of this! The doc showed me that her menora (small lips of the vagina) had grown together, almost covering the urethra completely, which prevented her from eliminating completely and allowed bacteria to build up. He said he sees this all the time. Around 2 years of age, little girls have a major drop in estrogen, which often results in the menora coming together. So the solution was simply to apply estrogen cream until it opened back up.

    Talk about a crazy potty regression storm!!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 3, 2019 at 12:50 am

      Hi Cindy! I am so sorry for your loss. It definitely sounds like there was a lot going on to cause your daughter’s regression. UTI’s are quite often the cause when kids suddenly begin having frequent misses. I have heard of the adhesion problem that can happen to girls. I am so glad that you were able to figure out what was causing the problem and get everything back on track. xx Andrea

  4. Avatar Coco on April 4, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Hey there, I have been using all of your resources like crazy. I have one problem. Poops.

    This girl will be walking and poop without breaking stride. I am partially proud she has a great diet that gives her easy poops, but I am at a total loss because there is never a warning, I had tried to catch her and potty her after big meals (she poos 2 a day) but she will not go on the reducer or mini potty even if I leave her in the room with privacy. She is not really a stealth pooper, she does not hide, she just has a talent for pooping in the middle of any activity without ever breaking rhythm.

    She pees just fine every time, even brings us to the bathroom when she needs to go. But poops are a complete fail to catch on my part. Any suggestions are welcome.

    • Avatar Coco on April 4, 2019 at 3:49 pm

      She is 15 months by the way**

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 7, 2019 at 12:55 am

      Hi Coco! Have you tried having her help clean up? Not as punishment, but taking responsibility. Have her do as much as she can with help. Point out how much longer it takes than to just use the potty. You can also change up how she is dressed to see if that helps. If she’s in undies/trainers try commando. xx Andrea

      • Avatar Coco on April 7, 2019 at 6:48 pm

        Hey Andrea,

        I do make her come to the potty and we talk about poo poos and how they go in the potty and we take her panties off (we are in your tiny undies), I let her see the poo poo, we put the poops in the potty & tell them bye. We also put our undies on the sink so they can be cleaned & go through the process of wipee bath & new undies, then she goes to her activities as before. I was curious if it was the undies, I will try commando again for a little while, do you have a time frame? “No longer than a week” “no less than 3 days”?

        • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 10, 2019 at 1:57 am

          I think your instincts are spot on to try commando for a while. I would have her commando for 2-4 weeks if you have ditched diapers recently. Sometimes undies feel similar to a diaper and kids just go without thinking. It takes a little while for that trigger to go away. xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Lucy on April 5, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    We had a difficult time with our son after I became pregnant with our second (about a year ago now).. I was constantly vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum) and even was admitted to hospital. This was very hard for A, 18 month’s at the time. He had been signing potty to me every time for while before.

    At first he would be signing potty all the time to get me up (even when he didn’t need it). He also stated having so many misses. My mum told me to put in back in nappies (diapers), but I refused as he’d been out of them since 12 months old.

    I stopped worrying too much about wee misses but tried to get him to always sit in the potty while I read a couple of stories after waking and eating. So we generally caught most poos.

    When after a few of months and I found a combination of meds that worked for me I was much less sick so things were mostly back to normal for A. His pottying improved a lot but he’d still have many misses if we went away for a weekend or something. I tried not to worry but kept up communication. Just before the baby was born he wasn’t having any accidents for about a month. Then after she was born we had another potty regression for about 2 and a half months. But not a bad as before! Now baby is 4.5 months old and A is 2.5 years old and I think were he’s actually done now!

    PS. Been doing EC with baby since birth, and all is going well :)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 7, 2019 at 12:57 am

      Hi Lucy! I’m sorry you were so ill during your pregnancy, that must have been difficult. It sounds like you did a fantastic job of working through the regressions. Congratulations on officially wrapping up! xx Andrea

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