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What to do when your child won’t sit on the potty

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EC has been going great and then suddenly, out of nowhere, your baby just won't sit to go potty. What exactly are you supposed to do with that? Tune in to this week’s episode as we troubleshoot questions from three mamas who are going through this exact, super-frustrating dilemma.


You Will Hear:

  • What may cause some children to suddenly refuse to sit on the potty
  • Strategies for providing your LO with more potty independence
  • What it looks like when toddlers are seeking privacy during potty time
  • Tips for finding a potty seat and set-up that works for your kiddo


Links and other resources mentioned today:


Download the Transcript

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Transcript Download - What to do when your child won’t sit on the potty

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Resource Recommendation

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

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What strategy did you use when your baby just wouldn't sit on the potty? How did you find success?


xx Andrea

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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 Erin on June 6, 2023 at 7:34 am

    My 18 month old has the issues described in the podcast but it’s missing the big mark of our problem…our issue is he HAS to go, but sometimes he won’t tell us or he resists potty completely then goes and pees in floor. Or we ask he says no won’t go to potty then 5min later pees himself. At least 3 times a day the potty is this huge fight he’s saying all done trying to climb off WHILE ACTIVELY PEEING at times or again will pee 5 min later in the floor. It’s so frustrating.

    • Avatar Mindy on June 7, 2023 at 11:15 am

      I am having the same problem as Erin with my 2 and a half year old. Sometimes she will climb up on the potty and completely go independantly and at times she will just (almost intentionally it seems) go completely on the floor. We are having a hard time knowing how to respond to these full pees… we do not want to shame her or discipline her about it.. but want her to learn it is not ok (if intentional). Thanks for any suggestions

      • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on June 8, 2023 at 10:32 pm

        Natural consequences can be a great help here. Have her clean up after herself, give her a super quick shower, not a bath, it’s not play / relaxing time, it’s time to get clean and quickly so we can go about our day. Most littles dislike being showered, and if used consistently, when you know she very clearly knows what she’s doing, it can help. Also, as she cleans up after herself, making it a point to say pee goes in the potty not on the floor and not in your undies, then follow up with asking her where pee goes, this way we use repetition to really cement the concept that pee goes in the potty. You got this momma!

    • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on June 8, 2023 at 10:24 pm

      Yes it can be super frustrating! Keep on keeping on momma, you got this! Have you tried doing a reset starting with some naked observation time?

      • Avatar Emma on August 23, 2023 at 2:21 am

        Hello! I have been having the same problem with my 11 month old. He used to pee and poop on the mini potty but then out of the blue he started hating his mini potty. He used to signal if he wanted to pee or poop but he has not done it recently. He has not yet learned to walk and is still crawling. What can I do to get back on track with EC?

        • Andrea Olson Andrea Olson on August 26, 2023 at 8:15 pm

          Hi Emma, babies can go from signaling reliably to not signaling at all, especially when they are working on developmental milestones they are work on. Try using a seat reducer on the toilet, incorporating some toys or books that he can play with to help relax him into going. Go back to those easy catches to help him get reacquainted with the potty. Using timing also helps a lot when baby isn’t as reliable as they used to be with signing.

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