This is a re-post of an article originally published by Andrea Olson on December 27, 2017
We are going through an elimination communication potty pause.
Yes, yours truly, Andrea Olson, queen of infant potty training, also has potty pauses.
I am catching the morning pee (and poo if I’m lucky).
The photo above is what Branson, 10 months, looks like on the toilet right after he wakes up:
Happy. Willing. Engaged. Pottying!
Then, he gives a very common poop signal – staring off into space:
To my very trained potty eye, he is about to do something.
Sure enough, next up is the infamous baby poop face:
The big push!
(If your baby does this while in a diaper, gently say wait and transport to the toilet. 9x out of 10 baby will finish on the toilet.)
And this, folks, is our ONE catch of the day, lately.
Why the potty pause?
Often babies have a potty pause (which means they resist the potty, or won’t go in it, but only in the diaper back-up, for days, weeks, or months on end) because they are about to reach a developmental milestone.
My baby? Well, he is working very hard on 2 new teeth.
And he is working very hard on this:
And he is just about ready to walk.
How it feels for me to be in a pause
Since I know that a pause precedes a developmental leap, I am relaxed about it.
I know that EC is not ruined. That all is not lost.
That we will be back on track once B is done with all the big work he’s doing.
I am savoring our ONE catch of the day!
Practicing major gratitude for that one, for sure.
As I do this, guess what?
Magically, day by day, hour by hour, I am catching more and more.
Our pause has lasted a total of 2 weeks so far. We’ve caught 1-5 pees or poos a day, had a ton of misses (some in the diaper, some DISASTERS on the floor – remind me to share that story!!), and we have kept on keepin’ on.
After 4 babies, we know that this is just part of the process.
And we stay the course.
What I plan to do next
In light of the pause, here is my current plan (what I’m doing to get thru this pause with flying colors):
- I am staying the course. I will not stop doing EC. I will do the 4 easy catches and anything extra is bonus. This is what we do. The diaper is not a toilet. It is a back-up (the perfect tool for a pause!).
- I am switching to cloth during the day. I’ve been lax, using disposables, and he is beginning to not mind peeing in them. Therefore, we will return to daytime cloth diapers next week in preparation for the upcoming transition to a fully-walking baby.
- Once he’s walking, I will begin teaching him the potty process. I will teach movement to the potty, more sign language, how to push pants down, mount the potty, and get into a solid routine (transition times). Learn more of that here.
- I am also providing lots of privacy. When we go to the toilet, I busy myself with other things and I place him on the toilet seat reducer (this one) to ensure he doesn’t escape. I am close by in case he jumps (!) – use caution! But usually, with my baby, turning my back for a moment gives him the privacy he needs to relax and pee/poo.
And I would suggest the same to you…plus:
If you are going thru a potty pause…
Definitely check out my minicourse on potty pauses. It is uber-helpful and covers exactly what I recommend in much more detail (but not too much…we don’t have time for that, now, do we?).
I would also do the above (the 4 things I’m currently doing).
And I would take heart, trust the process…know that this is part of it!
Now I want to hear from you:
Are you in a potty pause? If so, what are you going to do differently, based on what you’ve read in this post?
If you aren’t in one now, have you been in the past? If so, how did you get through it?
Please comment below!
Do share! And hang in there. “Babies grow up so fast.”
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Getting EC Back on Track: a minicourse that walks you through observation, logging, and getting back on the EC wagon
Potty Time Mastery: a minicourse that helps you get extremely good at detecting the 4 ways to know the baby has to pee
Go Diaper Free: my popular EC book that simplifies EC, beginning to end