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The re-set: When you’re at your wit’s end…time to do a re-set! Here’s how.

The re-set

What should you do when EC feels overwhelming, or you’re feeling unsuccessful, and you just need a break from it all. Or, what I like to call: The Re-set.

Maybe there is resistance at potty time, or maybe you are feeling stressed. Whatever the reason, if nothing seems to be going your way with pottying your baby, it can totally stink. Pun intended.

The solution is the re-set, and in today’s episode, I will share what it looks like and why you may need to do it immediately.

You will learn:

  • Why you might want to try a reset
  • How to give yourself permission to take a break
  • How to design a reset that works for you
  • What to do during your reset
  • How to get back on track when the reset is over
  • A tip from one of our readers!

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: The re-set

Watch the Video Version

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

Thanks for Listening!

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  • Share your thoughts by leaving a note in the comments section below!

Have you ever done a potty re-set or do you plan to? Have any questions for me? Please leave a comment below with your experience!

I look forward to chatting with you in the comments.

xx Andrea

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 Rozelle on June 11, 2019 at 7:02 am

    When using the diaper as a backup during a re-set, how often do you change baby?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 13, 2019 at 2:39 am

      Good question Rozelle! Cloth or disposables, change them when they are wet and/or soiled. I never advocate leaving a baby in a diaper when it is wet! If you prefer a timeline, at least change every hour on the hour. xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Suzanne on June 11, 2019 at 11:56 am

    So helpful! I don’t need a re-set right now, but I know I have this option if I feel tired, overwhelmed or if I don’t catch anything anymore…

    I have a question for you: I recently had sleep issues (by the way thanks so much for the advice to go to the Babysleepsite which helped us a lot), and I started to catch less during those times. I needed to stop to respond immediately to all my baby’s calls in order to let her fall asleep or go back to sleep, combined with some sleep deprivation on both parts. Do you have any tips for doing EC while sleep training?

    Thanks a lot for your book and your podcasts, I am always happy and impatient to have a minute to hear it


    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 13, 2019 at 2:49 am

      Hi Suzanne! I’m so glad the Baby Sleep Site was able to help you, they really helped us as well. I would say that sleep training is the priority. If night EC is making everyone tired, don’t do it. You can try again down the road, it will be just fine. xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Mary on June 11, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    My 14 month old has been resisting the potty for quite some time, so I have been giving him some space and trying not to force. We tried switching to the reducer and I walk away to give him some privacy, he’s crying the whole time. We’ve done part time EC since 3 months. I’d love to figure out how to get past this or even get out of diapers. He’s very aware of when he’s going, but has made no move to go towards potty on his own. He is just starting to walk but the potty has always been accessible to him and he’s never crawled to it. I have only been offering once or twice a day so I feel like we’ve already been in a pause, not sure what my next step should be. We are taking two different week long trips in the next month so I am guessing it wouldn’t make sense to try any big changes until we’re home from those trips. Thank you for your support and awesome resources!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 18, 2019 at 5:36 pm

      Hi Mary! Often at his age potty resistance is a sign it is time to wrap up EC. Ditch those diapers, work on teaching skills. You might want to wait until he has mastered walking a bit, that will throw off potty learning. After you’re done traveling next month will be the perfect time.. xx Andrea

  4. Avatar Isabelle on June 12, 2019 at 1:58 am

    Thank you Andrea! I’ve been trying out EC since my babe was 4 months, but could never seem to get passed the observation phase, (maybe because I found EC too daunting despite my good intentions, or held back because I hadn’t allowed myself to fully experience it, hence believe in it). We recently finished a reset as he was turning 14 months; yes Andres, I was excited and blown away by the results, I felt confident and accomplished! Our son was “clicking”, he now would signal in sign language “toilet” for pee and poo, while in the cloth diaper, which was astounding to me how quick that had happened, the timing was right on, at the end of the 2 weeks reset (I guess we backed off enough that the signals was coming from his willingness). Time fly, he is now 15 months, and having some potty resistance; even though he will continue to signal, when I put him on the toilet seat reducer he’ll just scream and want to come off, and then goes to hide somewhere else to do his business (I hear him grunting somewhere behind…), and same thing when I put him on the potty, he just comes off. A recap of episode #42 potty resistance, and I gather that it might be developmental, since he’s mastering walking soon getting into running and jumping I assume, so I offer my support with patience and nurturing. He might also be asserting his independence, that also came along with the recent screeching screaming (its frustrating for him that he needs my help most the time and can’t verbalize everything yet), and so I address this by coming to his level with a calm tone and encourage him to use his indoor voice, point or speak in sign language. Also possible that he has food sensitivities from my diet passed through the breastfeeding. meanwhile, I continue to teach the foundations of potty training; (sitting on the potty with a fun rhyme, pulling up and down undies/pants,). Though I wonder if it might be because, I’m more “part time” with the EC, and not having fully integrated the maintenance portion of it after the reset (like continuing to use the cloth diapers at home rather than undies or commando pants), but we were out away for a full week, so that might be it too. Also wondering is how many resets can you do, how far apart should they be?! My intention is to gain further info during diaper free observations so I can hone in on his timing, and maybe prevent over offering. My goal was to potty train him at 15 months (I guess I kind of am now), but since he’s been “clicking’ (alternating his signal from ‘Im peeing/poo-ing” – “I peed/poo-ed’, wrap it up at 16 months. What do you think?! Thank you for including me in this post; happy to share!

    • Avatar Isabelle on June 14, 2019 at 1:42 pm

      My son will signal in the cloth diapers and in the sumo style, but not while in commando pants or in undies. and he’s resisting the potty and the toilet seat reducer. I don’t know what to do anymore, please help.

      • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 18, 2019 at 5:44 pm

        There is a learning curve once you ditch diapers, just keep at it. It will take a few weeks or so for him to get the idea. xx Andrea

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 18, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Isabelle! It sounds like you have been doing a great job working through resistance. I think your plan of potty training at 15-16 months is a good one since he is currently mastering walking. You may not need to if wrapping up continues to go well. If you do wind up potty training, if you feel a reset would help you can do one right before. You don’t want to do resets often, only when needed. Once you have fully ditched diapers for the day, you’ll only want to do one reset if you need to. You can’t do more than one with potty training or it gets too confusing. xx Andrea

      • Avatar Isabelle on June 26, 2019 at 10:48 pm

        Much appreciated reply Andrea, thank you for the encouragement!!! Yes, I felt I was doing well also, and then I saw myself back off because of his resistance to the potty and toilet, and now, nearing at 15 months, EC has really come to a halt; he stopped signalling in sign “toilet’ when he is going or has gone pee or poo. His back teeth have been coming out, and its been yet another challenge for both of us. The ball has dropped!!! The whole re-set process was quite interesting, but I feel like It was for nothing.

        • Avatar Andrea Olson on July 14, 2019 at 8:19 pm

          It wasn’t for nothing. It is so much easier to get back on track after a short while than a really long time. He’ll get back to it once his molars are feeling better. It’s also a pretty common age for resistance anyway. Working on wrapping up will help. If you feel stuck I do have a Wrapping Up EC mini course. xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Em Huns on June 25, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Hi Andrea! I’m on my second round of part-time EC with my second kid, who is 10 months right now. I was almost certain that I needed to do a re-set, but it turned out that she just didn’t like me holding her over the toilet anymore! We switched over to our tiny IKEA potty and she has been peeing and pooping on it for most of the “pottytunities.” Now if she really resists, it’s usually because she doesn’t have to go!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 26, 2019 at 2:03 pm

      Hi Em! I’m so glad you figured it out! Sometimes all you need to do is shake things up a bit. xx Andrea

  6. Avatar Beth on August 2, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Dear Andrea,
    Thank you for the podcast. Lots of good information on there. I am considering a reset. I have been pottying my son since he was 8 days old. He is 95% poop trained and we catch 1-5 pees per day depending on the day. Recently, I have been a little impatient with the process/being too obsessive/overly focused on trying to catch more pees and I need a break. My question for you is this: we are going out of town in 2 weeks, so if is started today with the reset, we would be “getting back on track” while on a trip. Is this a bad idea? Should I wait and do a reset once we get back from our trip? Or will this be okay?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on August 11, 2019 at 10:31 pm

      Hi Beth! I think it’s just fine to do your reset while on a trip. You can stop EC completely, or just go for easy catches. Then when the two weeks are up dive back in. Safe travels! xx Andrea

  7. Avatar Bethany on November 15, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Please help, I am feeling so stuck! My 13 mo old daughter has been EC’d since birth. Big potty with seat reducer since 7 mos. She recently started having major resistance and since there’s a lot going on right now (her first cold, teething, there was some constipation at first, mastering walking, company staying in our house…) I decided it was time for a re-set. Well then two days ago she pooped in her diaper and it burned her skin so bad that I have had to go totally cold turkey on diapers and she’s been bare bummed for two days in a row while the diaper rash heals. We’ve caught a little more as a result but she still resists the potty most of the time and prefers to go in her closet (or the bathroom) and pee or poop on the floor. If I do the calm swoop she just seems to hold it from there. (This includes going back to EC hold over the sink or shower or toilet. She just arches back and resists.). I’m at a loss. I feel like I have no choice but to go back to diapers but that’s when the book says I should ask for help in the support group and tag Andrea. I especially don’t want to go back to diapers now that I’ve seen what poopy diapers can do to that delicate skin! But how long will it to convince her that there’s no other option than toilet?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on November 24, 2019 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Bethany! I would consider doing the hybrid plan, you can download it from the book owner’s website. It will help her connect the dots a little faster. xx Andrea

  8. Avatar Julia on April 8, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Hi Andrea,
    I have a one year old who is walking since 4 weeks now. We’ve been doing our trying to do EC since he was five weeks old and for some time it worked quite well for pee and poop. But we never got to the point of not depending on the diaper. And since the last few months catching pee does not work anymore besides after waking up. Catching poop was kind of possible a few weeks ago but is now completely impossible even though I can tell right away that he is pooping. My question is what to do to get back on track (I just learned about the re-set and will try). But why I‘m writing here is an additional thing: until today we have used a simple bowl for pottying which worked really good for holding him on there for longer times and even while nursing. We tried with a small potty already 6 months ago when he was able to sit but he didn‘t seem to understand that this is the potty now so we stopped again. No he is able to sit on the real potty pretty good but doesn’t want to stay on there, far away from using it. So how does the re-set in combination with introducing the new potty make sense? Or should we stick with the bowl for now/only for the reset/after it? He seems to be distracted by his walking abilities and the corona shut down right now but he also is someone who has a huge sense of independence (with eating for example). But he won’t be able to use the bowl as a potty on his own. He also started to signal for food but never really used the sign for pee/poop. Thanks a lot for your help and work on EC, I really appreciate it :)
    Best, Julia

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on April 9, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      Hi Julia! A potty pause is very common with learning to walk. A reset is a great idea! When you come back to it I would go with a tiny potty or seat reducer on the toilet. It is more age appropriate. Continue to use the signing, he will pick it up eventually. Some signs take a little longer for them to use. xx Andrea

  9. Avatar Carolyn on August 31, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    What would you say about pottying outside during a reset? Our 12-month old is resisting the mini-potty and reducer every time (and leaving puddles all over the house), but hardly ever complains when I ask him to pee outside, and almost always goes.

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on September 28, 2021 at 4:04 am

      Outside is fine, as long as we are always working towards getting them to go inside, since this is eventually where we need them to go.

      If your little one is standing to pee outside, then you can try using a travel urinal or toilet and allow him to stand up too pee.

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