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Need help...potty strike!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello all, I'm new to the forums and would love some help with my 8 month old daughter.  I've been EC'ing her part-time since she was 8 weeks old and was doing pretty well until recently.  By part-time I mean my husband and I have always taken her to the sink or potty when she wakes in the morning, before and after naps, before bed, and throughout the day if we thought she might have to go.  However, we have done this only at home (and some at my parent's house, who aren't judgmental about our decision to do EC)...we diaper normally when out and about and at nighttime.  Although she never has learned to signal when she needs to go, and I've never been able to detect any kind of sign that shes about to go (she's a sneaky pooper/pee'er!), we've always done pretty darn well...we very rarely had any poopy diapers and caught pees probably about 50% of the time I'm guessing.  However, since she was about 7 months old she has been VERY strongly resisting using the potty, to the point where the second I put her on her potty she arches her back and tries to stand up from it, cries, fusses, and starts screaming if I don't take her off.  I thought maybe it was because of her teething, but both her bottom teeth have broken through and she STILL is refusing to use the potty.  She is learning to crawl now so maybe that's why? She will get all happy and excited when I sign 'potty' to her but then cries when I actually take her...it's weird.


I'm just so frustrated because this strike is lasting way longer than I thought it would.  This morning she arched and screamed again when I took her after waking up, and then when she was lying on the bed while I was getting her diaper ready to put on her she peed on the bed.  We've never had an accident like that before.  I'm to the point where I feel like giving up on EC completely.  Does a strike ever last longer than a month?  Anyone have any ideas on what I can do to maybe entice her to use the potty again?  My husband and I have tried different ways of distracting her to stay on the potty, which work in that respect, but when she's distracted she won't eliminate at all, so that kind of defeats the purpose.

post #2 of 14

Perhaps try different locations?  When my first became mobile he became obsessed with peeing outside.  He would even knock on the door to tell us he wanted to go out and pee.  It was pretty cute until winter came.  We joked about getting him sod to use in the house or a nice houseplant, but it never came to that.  We finally compromised by putting the potty on a low table facing out the window.  


Some kids really like variety.  She may prefer using the toilet (inserts are nice) or standing in the tub. 


My tiny baby signals well in advance of needing to pee, so he gets mad if I take him too soon after he says go.  So we talk about it, wander into the bathroom, undress and he is more ready to go by the time we get there.




Good luck.

post #3 of 14

My DS doesnt signal either. 


We're also in the throws of a pee strike (for probably 3 weeks now, just when I thought maybe we could move on to "potty learning") but thankfully DS still likes to poop on the potty.  DS is 18 months.  This is only relevant to you to say that they do go through phases of strikes, but will go back to EC eventually.  I remember DS having a strike around the same age as your DD.  They're really going through an intellectual growth spurt at that age. 


What I suggest is that you totally back off for a few days, maybe even a week.  Keep offering when you normally would, but as soon as you get the hint of a refusal, don't force the issue.  Just say "ok" and continue on.  Don't worry about the misses.  Remember, it's about the communication (hard to do in the middle of a strike sometimes) and if you don't listen when she says "no" then that's not good communication.  Often the problem is with us, and our babes sensing our eagerness/stress about the misses and cooperation.  Once we let go of the need for "success" they come back to cooperating.


I also agree with PP about trying different potties, locations, etc.  DS liked to pee in the bathroom sink at that age because he could see himself in the mirror. 


Don't give up!  Even if you need to just take a break for a couple of weeks, come back to EC after you and DD have a break and try again.  I'm sure the strike won't last forever. 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help!  I did try taking her to the sink several times today (which was her potty until she was almost 5 months old), but she refused each time except once, when we did make a pee catch.  Tomorrow I am going to try putting the potty in a few new locations in the house and see if she's more willing.  If not, I'm going to take the advice to take a break from EC for a week.  That honestly didn't even occur to me...I felt like just giving up entirely lol.  It will be nice to not stress about it for a little while, and doubtless she'll appreciate that too in her own way. :)



post #5 of 14

I think sometimes fussing about being taken to pee can become a habit.  It starts when you try it a few times in a row when the baby isn't in the mood.  Then the next time, she remembers being unhappy about it the last time you tried it and that makes her fuss again, and the more she does it, the more of a habit it becomes.  But if you make the situation really different from the one where she's gotten used to fussing, she may be okay with it.  So I agree with the suggestions to try a different location.  If the sink didn't work that well, maybe try the bathtub or a sink you don't usually use, or go outside if it's not too cold where you live.  You can also try to come up with some really good distraction.  And don't give her too much warning ahead of time.  When my babies were going through a resistant phase, I found it worked best not to say anything about going to pee, but just to pick the baby up and play some silly game on the way to the bathroom, and then quickly hold him over the sink before he had time to think about resisting.  If you can get the baby to pee without fussing a few times, you start to break the habit and form a new one - the habit of not fussing.

post #6 of 14

I just thought of this....she's at an age where she's starting to not want to be interrupted during an activity.  So I remember that it also helped to try to offer during "breaks" between activities and not interrupt.  Also, maybe you need to offer less often?  Maybe she just doesn't have to go as often as you think she does?

post #7 of 14

I completely agree with nstewart's last post.  My guy is 9 months and while we are still rolling along, I get MUCH better cooperation when I don't tear him away from an activity - sometimes, this means we have a miss when he's really excited about something new or in the middle of playing with visitors, etc., but I try to not worry about that.  Just look for breaks in activity (between toys, when baby looks up to see what you are doing, etc.) and offer then.  


But the BIGGEST thing with my little guy at this stage is, he HAS to have a book read to him or plenty of toys to play with to keep him occupied on the potty.  He will often arch his back and fuss when we put him on the potty because he doesn't want to stop playing or be bored stuck in a stationary position.  But the fussing and resistance IMMEDIATELY stops as soon as we start reading a book he likes or playing with some toys (unless, of course, he really doesn't have to go - then the protesting continues and I know we just need to get up :-) ).  And it definitely helps to have lots of books or different toys on hand so you don't run out right before the big finale!

post #8 of 14

PS - sometimes singing songs also helps, once he's resigned to sitting there for a bit ;-)

post #9 of 14

PPS (sorry keep thinking of things!) - keeping his potty in the living room (or taking it to where he is) also helps, so I'm not dragging him into another room than the one he's already content playing in.

post #10 of 14

Hi thebluewyvern - I'm new to the forums too.  I was looking up ideas for ECing with my one year old when I came across this.  You got lots of great advice here.  I just wanted to offer an "I know how you feel!"  We've been ECing since our son was 4 weeks old.  He went on two very long potty strikes - about 8 weeks each.  First when he was learning to crawl around 8 months, and again when he was learning to walk around 10.5 months - so the strikes pretty much ran right into each other.  I was worried we did all this work for nothing.  He was never much of a signaller either.  But we kept putting him on the potty and trying to stay relaxed about it if he protested and didn't want to go on there.  But, around 2 weeks ago (he's now 13 months) he started pooping and peeing on the potty again!  It's like he can finally relax and go on there again.  I think even though they go on strike sometimes, all the work you've done is still there.  Good luck!

post #11 of 14

Update - so we just had an "off" day of about 3 or 4 pee misses (which is rare for us) - I figured out it was because we had had visitors and been out and about all weekend, which led to me being hyper sensitive (read: offering waaaay too often to make sure I didn't miss his signals - also like nstewart suggested, I was surprised that I was out of touch with how often he had to go!  Or at least how long he could hold it when having fun ;-) ).  My take is he had just had ENOUGH of the whole potty thing, while DH says it's because he started to lose association with the potty as the place to go, since I kept putting him on it when he didn't have to...either way, we are back on track (fingers crossed) as long as I take a chill pill and refrain from hovering and offering too often.  Keeping a relaxed and cheerful attitude is key - and showing renewed interest in his successes (whatever form that may take, whatever your take on praise may be) to keep it fun.  I had already fallen into the trap of becoming very matter of fact about it, and this seems to help - that said, I'm just learning as we go!!!

post #12 of 14

I am so glad I found this thread. My 8 month old daughter is doing the same thing. We've been doing EC since she was a week old. Suddenly (today) she wants nothing to do with diaper changes or her potty, yet she grunts and yells when she has to "go" as if she wants me to take her to the potty.

I'll try using a different potty and maybe moving the changing table.

By the way, right now she is sitting on the floor next to me lifting my 1.5 kg hand weights. So, when she bucks and doesn't want to be changed, it's really hard to wrangle her! Strong little bugger!

post #13 of 14

My 13 month old has been doing this for a month. We do our own version of EC, the same as we did with my daughter, who was in knickers by 22 months.  


But my son now goes nuts if we put him on the toilet (he hates the potty equally).  He used to sit on there nicely, typically do a pee and then often a poo too.  Now NOTHING.  He arches and often ends up with a foot in the toilet.  Sigh.  We backed off for a couple of weeks but now this is ridiculous.  The only way to get him on is if you catch him actually pooing and can get him sat there fast enough, then he'll sit just long enough for the poo to come out and then instantly throws a tantrum.  Ugh.

post #14 of 14

We had a similar resistance around this age - I second (or third) the advice about offering in many different places.  We also let him pick out and handle some things in the bathroom cabinet during pottying at the sink that would usually be contraband (as long as they were not actually dangerous) like our deodorants, toothbrushes, nail clippers (closely watched), etc.  It backfired a bit the time he grabbed a bottle of red nailpolish and threw it in the tub, so best to remove anything you really don't want touched beforehand if you try it!

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