I began elimination communication with my LO around 10 months. By the time my LO was 16 months or so, we had a potty available in our living room and I also frequently took him to the potty to eliminate. Things were going great! Then, we moved. Things were still going well at 20 months and my LO even began announcing the need to eliminate, so we would go and that was that. I sold all our cloth diapers and covers. Then, after about two weeks of proclaiming the need to potty with an average of one miss a day, my little one started peeing in his pants all the time. I would take my LO to the potty and we had times when there weren't misses, but with an active toddler, I was missing more than we were having successes. My little one still announced the need to eliminate poop, though... PHEW, at least we didn't have poop in the undies. Then, slowly my little one began pooping in his pants too! So it's been a complete regression. I've refrained from buying any more diapers because I don't think that will help the situation AT ALL. I want to encourage going on the potty, which I did, but I'm concerned diapers will result in who knows what, ha. My little one KNOWS we he needs to eliminate. The poppy is readily accessible in one of our bathrooms and in our playroom, so it's not like there's an uncertainty about where the potty is. In fact, my little one has started to hide when the time comes to eliminate. I try to look for cues, but when the hiding takes place, the peeing takes place almost immediately. Sometimes we catch it, but that's rare.
I'm at a total loss for what's causing this regression. This has been frustrating and I keep my cool around LO so as not to stress him out, saying, "oops we had a miss. we pee and poop in the poppy." my LO even repeats it, lol so I know he can control pee and poop because he's done it before, but how in the world to I retrain?!?! I'm so baffled by the whole situation. We don't go out much. I'm cleaning up peep and poop off the floor and off a bottom....
Advice? I'm desperate. I thought this was a phase, but it's been going on for a few months now, the regression, that is.
Can you forego the undies? Nekkid butt? What I've found with my son is diapers/underwear, they make no difference. If he has to mess around with something covering his bottom in order to use the bathroom, he's not willing to initiate potty time. If he's running around nekkid bum, and sees the potty(very important, he has to see it), he'll initiate potty time. If he's wearing underwear, or a diaper, and if he sees the potty...eh...sometimes he'll inititate, but usually he'll just go in what he's wearing.
I have tried no diapers too. No change, except that the training undies don't catch anything, ha. We keep the potty visible at all times, too. One in the playroom and another is in the bathroom, so it's visible even when I'm using the "big" potty. Sigh...
It seems as though not many others have dealt with the challenge.
Does he not like the potties? I've found the ones with removable inserts often pinch or wiggle uncomfortably under my son. He'll only use them if desperate, and will only eliminate in them enough to take off the pressure. Are the parts of the house where the potties at quiet, or active? My son will NOT use a potty in a room full of people, nor in a room with a lot of noise in it. So when we're all watching tv, and he has to go, I move him, and the potty, to the next room over, and he'll go without a fuss, but will not do it in the same room everyone's at. I'm sure the bathroom must be quiet, but are there any smells he's finding offensive? We share our bathroom with the cat litter box, and if it smells, at all, he will NOT use his potty.
This may also just be that time when he is wanting CONTROL over something, anything, and he has hit upon the fact that he and only he can control where he goes. Maybe a great time to start "power games" (like my DS likes to throw his stuffed animals into the bathroom, where it grosses me out to have soft animals that aren't washable on the bathroom floor. But it isn't like he is throwing knives or anything so at some point we made a game out of it. I say, "Oh no!!! Get Mr. Teddy out of this bathroom right now!" and then I throw the teddy out and he laughs hysterically and throws him back in, repeat. Until he is done. Never when I'm done. Has to be when he is done with the game. Something like that. Something you don't like or usually stand for, but that you can let him own).
Also if you are in the habit of using physical force to get him into his carseat or things like that, it might help to not do that. He wants to be in control of his own body, and really, he is his own person, and he has the right to be in control of this own body and never to be forced against his will to do anything. Not to say you do that, but many parents feel it is their right not to be inconvenienced by their toddlers.
It might help to let him choose what to do during the day, to let him make some decisions for himself about himself.
Maybe you are already doing these things, and this aspect has nothing to do with his choice about where he's going potty. Generally speaking though, issues with toddlers are about autonomy, and maybe your guy needs more of it. Making sure he has autonomy and control in areas unrelated to pottying may help him get back on track. They really do want to do what we all do. (And we sometimes remind our DS of that when he doesn't want to go at crucial moments, like before bedtime- "This is just what we do little man". Mama went, Daddy went, Teddy Bear went, the dog went, now it's your turn.)
One other area with toddlers, they sometimes don't want to be distracted from what they are doing. Can you quietly offer a yogurt container or cup or something for him to pee in if he is standing up while playing? Sometimes kids just are so focused on practicing a new skill they'd rather pee themselves than be interupted.
"That's the way it is, if that's the way it seems to you."
"Cosi e se vi pare."