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Why newborns cry while peeing: This common phenomenon can unnerve any new parent!

GDF Podcast 43

So today let’s talk about why babies cry while peeing.

You hold your newborn baby over the potty, as carefully and calmly as you’ve been taught...and then your baby begins to cry!

Talk about something that can both unnerve you and cripple your confidence in elimination communication.

Why does this happen? And what can you do?

First, don't panic. Okay? Okay.

This is actually a common phenomenon, and also one that I've experienced personally. We're going to talk you through it today, so hold on to your postpartum sweatpants.

You will learn:

  • What crying while peeing can really mean
  • Methods for soothing your baby through this phase
  • What to do when negative self-talk creeps in
  • About the fourth trimester
  • More options to hold your baby over the potty comfortably
  • When to rule out possible health reasons with your pediatrician

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: Why newborns cry while peeing

Watch the Video Version (new!)

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!

Does your newborn cry while peeing? Have you figured out a solution that I didn't name...or did one of these work for you? 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 Anna on May 21, 2019 at 7:56 am

    I find that my baby (now 3 months) will sometimes cry right before she pees and relaxes after. So, I treat it as an early warning signal to get her on the potty asap if it’s not a routine-based potty time. However, if she’s crying too hard, I have to soothe her enough for her to relax to pee. She is also more likely to cry on the potty if she needs to poop.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 28, 2019 at 10:53 pm

      Hi Anna! It sounds like you have done a great job figuring out your daughter’s signals. That is great! xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Corina Yoder on May 21, 2019 at 9:07 am

    I remember my babies cried at times . and I would hold them over the sink . with their feet in my right hand knees bent and cradle their he’d in my left hand. And just put my head next to theirs and talk soothingly till they relaxed and went.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 28, 2019 at 10:54 pm

      Hi Corina! What a great way to soothe your baby, thank you for sharing! xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Mamabird on May 21, 2019 at 9:20 am

    As was stated, babies cry to communicate. I believe that crying can be a way of saying: wow, I need to pee, and man that feels better now that I have. Sometimes I cry when I’m happy, sometimes because of frustration, sometimes I don’t even know exactly why. As a side note, babies do pee in amniotic fluid, and I’m pretty sure that they poo also since meconium can be in amniotic fluid since that is a tool used to assess stress in a baby…although it doesn’t seem likely to happen often since it indicates stress.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 28, 2019 at 10:56 pm

      Hi! Exactly, crying is communication! xx Andrea

  4. Avatar Ricarda on May 21, 2019 at 3:54 pm

    Interesting post for all parents, I guess. I started EC in with my 1 week old baby, morning catches only, and I was quite confused about the crying. We had the impression that the classic EC hold was not comfortable for him and used the craddle position. I think after 1-2 weeks he got used to this experience…

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on May 28, 2019 at 10:58 pm

      It is very common for new parents to feel confused in the beginning. I’m so glad to hear you worked your way through it. xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Lori on July 19, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    We started trying ec at 2 months. It was going pretty well but now at 2 months 3 weeks she’s beinginng to resist wanting to ec. She’ll straighten her legs and cry and we end up not doing it. Then a few minutes later she’s pooped in her diaper.

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

      Hi Lori! I would try a different position or sitting her on a potty. Things like running the water, singing, etc will help her relax. xx Andrea

  6. Avatar Suzy on July 20, 2019 at 10:17 am

    She isn’t really resisting (as in I don’t want to ec!)…she’s fussing because she needs to go, and she may not be able to relax, or maybe what she’s feeling is new to her, and she’s not happy about it. Try nursing her while you ec her, sometimes the comfort of nursing makes them just do what’s needed.

  7. Avatar Ali on September 24, 2019 at 9:18 pm

    Thanks for the advice! Just starting with the newborn and crying is hard to hear…how long should u wait for them to go before changing positions etc? And always offer pee and poo noises?

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 13, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Ali! You don’t want to hold them over the sink/potty for very long. If it isn’t working, try again later with a new position. And yes, you always want to cue. Just make sure to work on the association during observation. Congratulations on your new little one! xx Andrea

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