First Potty Strike @ 21 Months Old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-26-2013, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Brought on by...nothing that I can figure out. It started when we were visiting DD's grandma for a few days starting on Monday, so I guess that just changed up her routine, though it's not like she hadn't been there before.


DD has been EC-ed since birth. She was out of diapers at 12 months old and night-trained at around 16 months old. We have long since forgotten what it's like to use and wash cloth diapers. I KNOW potty strikes are normal. But we just had it so easy with her and never had to deal with this, and I am SO ridiculously upset and frustrated. She just refuses to sit on the potty, even when it's time to go, even though we've gotten her a new cool animal potty, even though we've tried other places (like the shower, or her old standby, the potty sink). It's hard for me not to make a big deal out of it, too, and just sit back and wait. We thought it would end quickly since she's back in diapers and so not used to them, but she got over wearing them again quite quickly.


Help? Advice? Support?



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#2 of 4 Old 05-09-2013, 01:33 PM
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There was an interesting article about exactly this topic but I cannot find it (flyrabbitfly - do you know where it is?).  The basic point was that a 'potty strike' at this age may very well be the child's indicating that they are ready to take over - on the very cusp of graduation, and as a symptom of their developing autonomy, they resent our parental interference, and exert their autonomy by a full refusal. 

When DS was at this stage, we had several strikes.  It helped to give him reminders based on timing, but also to not cross him on that subject - he was trying to make it 'his' which was what I also wanted.  So if I thought he had to go, I would say 'hey, its been a long time since you peed.  Do you need to?", to which he ALWAYS said 'no'.  I would then say 'ok', and go on with whatever we were doing, but a few minutes later he would announce that he had to go and we would run together to his urinal.  

My other tactic was not to interrupt him if he was concentrating.  If he was standing up, I would just quietly pull down his unders a bit and put a jar in place and he would relieve himself and we never even discussed it.  If he was not standing, I just waited until he was or until he was less concentrated or talking to me otherwise and would then make a reminder.  I realize that isn't going to be as easy for a girl, but maybe if she is wearing a dress and leggings you could just slide a potty under her for minimal interruption? 

After several months of using these techniques (ages 18-22 mos or so), I realized one day that I was no longer reminding him.  I considered him grad at that point, although he did have one regression at 24 mos that lasted 2 weeks or so that I attributed to chaos around X-mas time.  

I would also like to say, that from 15-18 mos or so, I was TOTALLY frustrated with EC and felt like I had been potty training for years and was so sick and tired of cleaning up pee that I found it very very very difficult to be relaxed about things.  I got through it by backing up to waterproof trainers at times when I was feeling stressed about it, and not making any potty offers for a few days.  This usually worked as a sort of reset - I usually found that I had been offering too often and not noticing that his bladder capacity was expanding or control improving or something.  

So bottom line - take heart!  It sounds like you are probably very close to the finale!

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#3 of 4 Old 05-10-2013, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your reply, Ma Cactus! I would love to read that article, and it was great to hear the experiences you had with DS at this stage. I guess we have been implementing similar tactics with my daughter. But things have changed in the last week or so...she is fine with our taking her to the potty. She is still not ever announcing that she needs to potty--instead, she asks us to hold her when it's time to go. Interesting...but since she is not one to ask to cuddle, "Want to sit with Mama/Baba" has just become "Need to potty." Still don't get it, but I guess we'll roll with it, especially since she generally doesn't mind if we ignore her request to sit and just potty her instead. :) I hope this is really the home stretch for her, too!
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#4 of 4 Old 06-04-2013, 07:52 PM
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We have a 2 1/2 year old and it wasn't long ago that he did the same thing for about 2 weeks. We tried and tried to figure it out. He would simply pee through his pants entirely and never raise an eyebrow. There had been, and occasionally are still tiny pees when he is playing to relieve the discomfort and allow him to play a little longer, but more and more, he is starting to make subconscious gestures hinting that he has to pee (pee pee dance), and away we go. Even with those, I still get frustrated and have tried a number of things and they keep happening. One thing that could work - if you have not tried already, is taking the book reading approach. Read books about how big kids are peeing on the potty all by themselves. What I have learned from books, especially at this age, is that they take those things to heart and start associating them into their lives. Ours is now starting down the road of make believe, and you won't imagine how many sandwiches made of books, and milkshakes made of sand I have been offered in the last 3 months.

Another thing I learned is that by just leaving them in the bathroom with the door open, they either a) throw a fit then go pee in the potty, or b) just go pee in the potty. They are coming into the age of tiny dictator and I have found that more often than not, when I can't seem to get through to him about anything, I simply leave him to do his own thing and he does. This goes for cleaning up, eating, pottying, etc.

You might find a couple other resources at Go Diaper Free as well. She has a fair amount of helpful information on the New Here? page.

In the end - laugh... At least when they get older and you are speaking at their wedding, you can publicly share how they threw a fit on the bathroom floor because they didn't want to go pee.

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