Why babies resist the potty

GDF Podcast 42

Today let’s explore why babies resist the potty and what you can do about it.

When your baby resists the potty while doing elimination communication, it can be a frustrating experience. You might be wondering what is going on, and if there is something that you did to cause the resistance!

Don't worry. Potty resistance is normal, and I'm going to help you get through it.

You will learn:

  • Reasons babies resist the potty and what it might mean
  • How to let go of self-doubt and see the whole picture
  • Questions to ask yourself when your baby resists the potty
  • How to help your baby adapt to change
  • Information about developmental leaps
  • How to help your baby through a potty pause
  • How to get in touch with your baby's changing rhythms
  • How to offer your child privacy

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 download: Why babies resist the potty

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Has your baby ever resisted using the potty? 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 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.)

12 Comments

  1. Avatar Fiona Whitehead on May 14, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    We have just started training our 22 month old son. Day 2 & not going well. He used to be fine on the potty, but since we’ve gone without nappies, it’s as if he knows what we’re trying to do and has decided to reject it. He won’t go near a potty. It feels like the desire for more control. But I don’t really know how to deal with it. He’s going everywhere except the potty…. I’m also finding it a challenge to know when he’s about to pee. He has cold and cough at the moment, so not 100%. Can’t bear to think that day 3 will be as bad!!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 16, 2019 at 2:06 am

      Hi Fiona! This is very, very, common. You are absolutely right, he is testing you to see if you are going to stick with this. You might try bringing the potty to him instead of taking him to the potty, it can help. xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Colleen on May 15, 2019 at 9:49 am

    Thank you!! I’ve been so confused by why our 6 month old all of a sudden started resisting his potty chances. We’ve EC’ed since 2 weeks and never had a problem until now when he does everything he can to twist and turn and squirm out of the potty hold. Now I have a much better idea of what to look for at the cause(s). This came at the perfect time for our family.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 16, 2019 at 7:16 pm

      Hi Colleen! I’m so glad it was good timing for the information! xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Maiken on May 15, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    Oh my, now I know why😅 baby has the chicken pox (we don’t vaccinate against that here, so every child gets it at some point). She just had her first two tiny teeth. She is working on learning to crawl. And she’s just a few days shy of the fith leap😅 I guess that’s why she’s not very cooperative at the moment

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 16, 2019 at 7:16 pm

      Oh goodness, that’s a lot going against her. I hope she’s feeling better soon!! xx Andrea

  4. Avatar Mandy on May 17, 2019 at 2:28 pm

    Hi Andrea, we are on day 1 and my 21 mo old is refusing to even sit on the potty now- she was this morning but after nap she’s screaming and clinging to me whenever I try to bring her to the port or the potty to her. It’s like she’s afraid of it now. It’s already clicking some as she notices when she pees or goes uh oh when starting, just can’t get her to sit on the potty. I have read your book. Any suggestions? Thanks :)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 18, 2019 at 12:56 am

      Hi Mandy! Resistance can crop up in the beginning because it is new and they’re testing to see if you’ll stick to it. If you feel that she is fearful, I would do some potty play. Play with her toys/dolls and have them “go potty”. Cheer them on, be silly, have fun. Really fun distractions like bubbles when she’s on the potty will help too. xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Coco on June 9, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Andrea, I am back, my last question was April 7 in podcast 37, but here I am trying to get back on track and this is step 1, I did it back in April and it literally saved my life.

    The baby was resisting more and more after doing amazing in all aspects. It made no sense at all and nothing… NOTHING has changed. I zoomed out and payed attention to me, a few days in I noticed my heart would race every time I was bringing her to potty & she screamed and arched until I set her down to go back to play and inevitably pee in the living room…. I went to the dr bc the racing heart was odd, especially since I have been so into EC and potty training early with major success til then. After months of testing I got my answer last week. My heart was responding to random brain signals nearly killing me. I had 186/111 blood pressure chronically and was on the verge of a massive stroke. I started my heart meds Wednesday of last week and my crazy heart has levelled out.

    As of today our little one is back to telling us and taking us to potty 99% of the time and more into it than ever. My rascal’s potty training turn truly saved my life.

    I hope that others can zoom out and see that ANY difference is noticed by these kids, mine was 15 months old and knew before I ever could have dreamed that I was in danger. Yay for potty training! My life saver!

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on June 13, 2019 at 2:46 am

      Wow! I am so relieved to read your story and I never even imagined you could zoom out to something on this level. Definitely adding to my current update of the book as a possibility – check yourself out! Thank you for sharing! Would you mind sending me a pic of you and your little one and giving me permission to share this on Instagram? This is so touching and so needs to be heard by others. Sending you well wishes for continued recovery!!! xx Andrea

  6. Avatar Danette on July 30, 2019 at 10:04 am

    Been having about a week of pause with our 6 month old. She does appear really ready to pop some teeth though (increased fussiness and wHItE gums). Trying to be patient and continue to offer as we did before.
    Also, we often miss a lot of BMs. She must really like the position of her car seat for pushing out those BMs. Any recommendations for emulating a car seat position over the toilet? I’m usually in tune when she needs to go #2 and offer but many days she just prefers to wait and go when we are in the car. Trying to stay positive.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on August 11, 2019 at 10:26 pm

      Hi Danette! You can do the classic EC hold over the toilet, or sit her on a low potty like the Tiny Undies mini potty. That will put her in a similar position. Offering the potty before and after a car trip is a good idea too. She will learn to use those opportunities. The car seat can often be the last hurdle, so just keep at it and don’t stress! xx Andrea

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