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Won’t sit

GDF Podcast 60

Today we're going to talk about what you can do when your baby won't sit on the potty (or won’t stay seated on the toilet). 

Does your baby fuss every time you put him down to sit on the potty?

Does she stand up right after she’s seated and either crawl or walk away, before doing her business?

Will your baby ONLY pee or poop standing up lately?

Don't you go worrying, now. Don’t quit elimination communication just yet. This is actually VERY common, and in today's episode I’ll break it down.

But first let me say it out loud: this is a really frustrating issue you guys! I’ve been there, done that. Know that you aren't alone and that I am here to help you figure it out.

We have a few things - 17 things, to be exact - that you can try that have worked for other parents. So, let's dive right in.

You will learn:

  • 17 things to try when your baby won't sit on the potty! 
  • How to make the potty as comfortable as possible
  • How to provide a bit more privacy
  • When it might be time to switch potties
  • How to help baby feel secure on the potty
  • How to rule out medical issues
  • More, plus tips from a couple listeners!

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: Won't sit

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!

To help out the show and help more parents find out about EC:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes
  • Share your thoughts by leaving a note in the comments section below!

What will you try to help your baby stay seated on the potty today? Do you have any other ideas that have worked for you? Please leave a comment below!

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.)


  1. Avatar jessica garner on September 17, 2019 at 8:22 am

    just wanted to say that i LOVE that you offer the transcripts for all podcast! Such a huge, huge help, and i dont see that much on podcasts- thank you thank you thank you!!! <3

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 13, 2019 at 2:07 pm

      I’m so glad it helps you Jessica! I try to make my information as accessible as possible. xx Andrea

  2. Avatar Lei on September 17, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this podcast to come out for a while now, baby’s been refusing to sit on the potty for what feels like forever! We have the mini potty and a seat reducer but she will just arch off of those. One day after an unsuccessful potty attempt I sat her on the edge of our sink (to wash her feet cause they were dirty) and she peed! And that’s how we’ve been going for a couple weeks…

    • Avatar Isabelle on September 17, 2019 at 3:34 pm

      Hi Lei, how young is your babe?! I like to leave mine bare feet too, and they end up cleaning the floor (instead of me doing it, obviously, I have little time for that, but I do vacuum). How I know he cleans the floor!? His feet are black lol. Maybe I will try that default when washing his feet. Thank you for sharing! :)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 13, 2019 at 2:08 pm

      Nice work Lei! I’m so glad you found something that works for her. xx Andrea

  3. Avatar Isabelle on September 17, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    Hello, great podcast with refreshing ideas, and love the encouraging recommendations at the ending. I did set a goal to wrap up EC at 16 mths and have yet to succeed. I feel like it’s too much pressure at this time, especially with the MamaWorx program that I’ve just started. My thoughts are; would it be just as okay to resume ECing my now 17mths and a half, and just let the process happen naturally with the option to potty train later. I think I will try getting a potty cozy for the tiny potty in the main living area, and maybe contain it in his Teepy, because he’s been peeing there during diaper free time. I would like to get a wall mounted vertical bar in addition to his realistic looking mini toilet from SkipHop, located in the bathroom. A urinal sound interesting, as he likes to pee standing. Or maybe the sit him on his potty in the tub idea sounds good.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 13, 2019 at 2:10 pm

      That sounds like a great plan Isabelle! If you increase diaper free time slowly while doing EC you’ll likely have an organic wrap up happen. It doesn’t need to be a big ordeal, just gradual progression. I’m so glad you’re in MamaWorx! xx Andrea

  4. Avatar Sarah Kaye on September 19, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Distraction seems to be key for our little one when she’s fussy and doesn’t want to sit. Doing something silly to make her laugh takes her mind off her discontentedness, and she’ll relax and sit down. Lately she’s been pleasantly distracted when I blow in her hair— she gets a big smile on her face! On the rare occasion that she becomes constipated, it helps her if I hug her while she’s sitting on the potty and sing her a song (“Row, Row, Row Your Boat” has been our go-to in that scenario)—that seems to give her the comfort and strength/confidence to push that poop out of there! Also, bath toys—we always have a rubber ducky right near the potty as her potty toy. And, of course, there are times when she’s so fussy and just downright refuses (in some of those crazy big developmental phases) and I simply say, “Say, no thank you, momma,” as I move her away from the potty to get her back in her diaper back up.

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 13, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      Distractions really do work Sarah! It sounds like you have figured out some really wonderful ways to work with your daughter. xx Andrea

  5. Avatar Rosa on September 20, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    After reaching the point where my kid was stable sitting on the potty, I’ve found sitting on the toilet at the same time really helped. She was out of diapers around 20 months and I still do that to convince her to sit on the potty or toilet before leaving the house, for example. It’s potty time for everyone that way, so there’s way less resistance :)

    • Avatar Andrea Olson on October 13, 2019 at 2:12 pm

      So true Rosa! Family potty trips really do work, I am so glad you discovered it. xx Andrea

  6. Avatar Kristina on October 4, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Thanks for this podcast. We have tried quite a few things from that list. It constantly changes so if something didnt work before, might work now :)

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

      Hi Kristina! EC really is a constantly evolving practice. Babies change so quickly, we have to be able to adapt. You just never know what will work! xx Andrea

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