14 mo hating the potty all of a sudden. help? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 10-13-2011, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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we started ec at 10 weeks. she took to it easily and happily, letting us know when she had to go. maybe once a month there would be a poop in the diaper. we almost always catch pees in the morning and after naps.

then there was a regression with crawling and now again with walking. but this "pause" is completely different. she arches and screams when i try to put her on the potty regardless of her preferred baby potty or the big potty.and i know she has to go. and i think she does too.

we've always read books, sign the potty sign, sing a song...it's always been a pleasant experience and we stay on the potty reading until she stands up or reaches to be picked up.

but now i mention potty and she runs from me. a few times i insisted she sit on the potty and eventually caught her attention with a book and she calmed down, sat still and peed.  but lately it's a fight. i don't want it to be a fight. i don't know what to do. 

i don't want the potty to be a negative experience i just don't understand why she doesn't want to do her business or sit on it.

she gets lots of diaper free time and pees in the  house, on the deck, outside, in her diaper. lately if her diaper is on and she has to poop and won't sit on the potty she'll go and hide behind a chair and poop in her diaper. it's frustrating for me b/c i offer the potty and she flips out and then diaper on or off, she'll go right after.

this week she pooped in the kitchen and outside on the front steps.

i know it's just a "pause" but are there any tips? i can't even offer the potty with this reaction and i don't want to ignore her signs.

it's just weird after almost a year of positive potty learning and body awareness that she is not interested. is the world so exciting that pooping in her pants is worth it?

how long will this last?

i thought we were ready for trainers but i thnk i need to buy the next size up prefolds at this rate.

DD: 8/10

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#2 of 7 Old 10-14-2011, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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anyone been through this? tips?

DD: 8/10

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#3 of 7 Old 10-27-2011, 01:15 PM
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Sorry I didn't say anything earlier! I didnt' get on the main EC forum for a while.  Ayway, I cut and pasted this nearly wholelsale from another post - I seem to keep offering the same advice, but I think its pretty good!

When we hit a similar sounding stage also right around 14 mos, we used a combination of backing off and trying very hard not to make pottying a confrontation issue, ie. respecting his communication (and his desire for autonomy), even if it does not lead to a catch.  I wound up putting him back in the waterproof trainers we hadn't used in months so that I wouldn't be so annoyed with puddles, and basically backed way off for several days, even a week at a time, and only offered after sleep or if he obviously signalled. 

These are the strategies that helped things get going again:

For pee, I try not to interrupt what he is doing - I would wait for when he was standing up, gently pull down his underwear and/or pants and put a widemouthed bottle or quart yogurt container under him and let it rip. [I realize that won't work exactly for a girl, unless she is bare butt!] Or just sort of off handedly strip him and point out a potty strategically placed nearby and say, 'hey, I thought I'd take your pants off in case you need to go' and let him decide if it is right now or in 5 or 10 minutes.  When he was playing sitting down, I just left him be - he never stayed that way for too long. 

For poop, I didn't try to get him to sit anymore. When I coudl tell he had to go, I would remove his lower clothing and follow him around with a wide mouthed tupperware and sing funny poop songs we made up to help him relax.  Occassionally, he would wind up pooping on the floor or the ground outside (outdoors always did help him relax BTW).  Now he is generally ammenable to pooping in a potty, though he often won't sit down until the last possible moment.


At around 18 mos, he started having many days with 1 or no misses, with periodic lapses.  Just in the past week or so (22 mos now) he has taken on the responsibility for pottying entirely, so that I do not use timing at all, or ever initiate. He yells 'peeing!' or 'pooping!' when he has to go, and always seems happy to be given a jar or potty at that point.  Most of the time he yells in time for a full catch.  If it has been a really long time since he last went, I say 'hey, its been a really long time - do you need to pee?' and he'll almost always say no, which I accept, and then he'll say 'peeing!' a few minutes later. 

So it took a while, but it all pays off eventually!

Best of luck! 

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#4 of 7 Old 10-28-2011, 10:41 AM
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Maybe back off for a while and then start full on with fun, fun, fun! We had to be extremely creative with our little guy because he was very determined to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted! We found making it fun and different really helped. We tried all different crazy stuff and something would always end up grabbing his attention enough to start using the potty again. Of course, sometimes we would have weeks of 'no-go's' or only going for me or only going for his father. It's ok though. You just have to go with the flow. Some things we tried (or others have mentioned using in those phases) include:


-imitating pottying and accidents with toys

-reading potty books and watching potty videos with potty in view (my kids *loved* Once Upon a Potty)

-She might want privacy at this time. If you can, set up a cozy and private place for her to go herself. Have her in split crotch pants or diaper free so she can go without your help (if she can do that yet)

-Have her help wipe up the messes

-Do some fun activities on the potty or in the bathroom; tape paper on the wall for her to color on after she goes, turn down lights and let her play with a flashlight or you can make flashlight animal shows while she goes, have her close her eyes when she goes (I know, sounds weird but worked for my DS!), definitely let her flush and wave bye bye when she's done, play with special toys on the pot she doesn't usually get like an old remote or dead cell phone, let her turn the bathroom light on and off (we held up DS and let him do this with his feet and he loved it!) etc.

-If you can afford it buy different potties or get a potty warmer. We got cool old wooden ones on craigslist and they worked for a while. A seat that attached to the big toilet helped us a lot too.

-Bring a radio on the bathroom and sing potty songs or dance, tell funny potty poems, etc.


Good luck! Let us know what happens!

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#5 of 7 Old 05-19-2012, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Well. She stopped hating it and were back maybe 50%. She'll pee upon waking and that's about it. She doesn't tell us about pee anymore and we backed off on offering. I still ask her if she has to pee or poop and she says no so I don't force her. She's peeing outside a bunch and tells me after she goes. She's aware if it but I think has better things to do. Its hard bc she doesn't mind being wet. She will tell me when she's starting to poop and will finish on the potty.
It's hard for me to get back into the routine of offering the potty regularly. She enjoys sitting on the ring now and making me sit on the little potty and read books. She enjoys making her dolls pee but it doesn't seem to help. It feels like a long road now.

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DD: 8/10

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#6 of 7 Old 05-24-2012, 08:20 AM
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It's great that she's resisting less. At least a step in the right direction. My almost 14 month old went through a pause a couple of months ago and we were able to get through it pretty quickly. she was never a full time EC kiddo, and pees VERY often so we make about 2 to 4 catches a day and she doesn't really signal consistently. When she had the full out potty tantrum with arched back and screaming, I backed off for about 3 or 4 days, not taking her to the potty at all. Whenever I noticed her going and every diaper change I continued to talk it through though: "you went pee/poo in your diapy. Pee/poo belongs in the potty and soon you will put it in the potty again." Then one morning I took her straight to the potty again and she didn't fight. Nowadays I don't ask her, I just say it's time to potty and take her. Often she's not into it and stands up and walks away after a second. I don't fight it, just go diaper her (which she doesn't like lol) and explain that when she uses the potty more, she won't need to wear a diaper. I try not to stress over it. We still have poop in the diaper but about 80% make it to the potty. I'm just trying to help her stay aware of her bodily functions and plan to do more structured PL in a few months when she is a bit older, has more words, and hopefully a bigger bladder.
I don't think there is any problem in scaling back or taking a short break from using the potty. I think the most important thing is to help LO stay in touch with the sensations so that once this hiccup passes, she can get right back on the potty train :-).
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#7 of 7 Old 07-11-2012, 12:07 AM
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My 13 month old also hates the potty right now. She was really good about using the potty until about 9 months, when she started to crawl. She really hasn't been interested in it since, especially now that she started walking. She arches her back and screams when we put her on it or on the big potty. She doesn't mind being wet or sitting in a poopy diaper, whereas she used to scream until we changed her poopy diaper. It's almost as if she stopped realizing when she has to go. We've been doing the potty sign with her since birth, but she never uses it. She does use the "milk" sign and waves, so I think she could use the potty sign if she wanted.

We rolled up all the rugs and let her go naked often, thinking she'd start associating the urge to go and the act of going again. She pees on the floor seemingly without realizing it, then happily spashes in it or tries to clean it up. If we put her on the potty right after, she screams. If we put her on the potty when we think she has to go, she waits until she gets off and then pees on the floor. We've varied the amount of time on the potty, from 1 minute to 10, but she'd still rather go on the floor.

I can sense my dh is getting frustrated with this, and dd likely can sense it too. He's with her all day while I'm at work, so whatever we decide has to work both for her and for him.

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