I have a 3 and half month old girl. She's started getting offended and sharing her opinion loudly sometimes when I hold her over the potty. I shush her a bit, and often she'll pee once she relaxes. Am I setting myself up for failure later by having her potty when she doesn't want to, or is it good set boundaries now about who decides potty times?
I'd be curious what others with more experience have to say, especially in terms of how long do you wait before stopping, but we are always trying to respect the no (as Ingrid Bauer talks about in "Diaper Free").
It's very hard to say. It's good that she's still going once she relaxes- if she wasn't relaxing, it would be better to back off. You do not want a negative association. As the prior poster said- it's hard to tell when your baby is upset because they have to go and it's uncomfortable, and when they're upset because they don't want to be on the potty. It would be good to try and find a way to make it more pleasant for her, for one thing it'll get her to calm down more quickly so she'll go sooner. Singing, reading (or reciting a favorite book), giving her a toy to play with, etc can all be ways to get them to settle down for pottying, try various things and see what works.
Now, for this: "is it good set boundaries now about who decides potty times?" This is not a bad idea, because I think you may be a little confused about who decides potty times. Your baby decides when she has to go potty. You should be responding to your baby's signals, and you give her cues to indicate you want her to use the potty, but ultimately it's her choice. A few people refer to EC as "potty training the adults"- because the adults are being trained to respond to the baby's needs. There ARE areas that you need to set boundaries for babies, but it's a bad idea to set boundaries on biological needs until your baby is a child who can understand and communicate when it's an emergency.
The baby is also learning, of course- babies learn that if they're put on the potty when they haven't signaled, it's usually because there's going to be a period where they can't potty easily (going in the car, in the highchair, in a carrier, to bed, for a nap, etc)- but that takes time, and has to be done in conjunction with you responding to your baby's needs.
This is one you learn with trial and error. It does take practice to learn when your baby's upset is "I'm uncomfortable because I have to go" and when it's "I don't want to be on the potty!". It sounds like you're doing the right thing- it's good for your baby to learn that if he isn't comfortable on the potty, he'll be taken off. It reaffirms his trust in you and keeps the potty a safe place.
I know someone who was pushed to do a very harsh brand of potty training by her childcare provider. Her toddler was held on the potty despite screaming and flailing- not only is she NOT potty trained now, she refuses to have anything to do with the potty so future potty training efforts are all the harder. And that was with a toddler who can be told and understand why she should use the potty. Babies don't understand that, so it's even more important to respect their wishes.
Babies can still have strikes and regressions with pottying, just like they can with nursing and sleeping and anything else. Illness, teething, upsets to the schedule, developmental milestones, etc can throw everything off- including pottying.
I agree with the PP that if she's relaxing and going then it's probably fine, but if she gets more agitated, take her away from the potty.
The whole thing is very much a joint endeavor. I do not "MAKE" my kids use the potty if they don't have to but there are times when I do make them try, like when we're about to leave the house for a long drive. There will be times she tells you she needs to go and there will be times you tell her that she needs to try. And you're getting a jump start on working out that relationship now =)
Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
When I was referring to boundaries, I was definitely referring to setting potty times, not forcing her to pee. I decided early on that she should have independent control over bodily functions, states of conciousness, etc. I would even help her wake up if she decided to wake up and start over with getting to sleep - she slept much better when she decided to than when I tried to keep her asleep against her will. But I did set boundaries about when she would nap, and what I was willing to do to help her settle down or not.
So, I agree with the concept that the children should absolutely be in control of certain things, including whether or not they're going to pee or poop. However, potty times seem like a different thing to me. It seems like having her sit there for 30 whole seconds ("there" being on my lap over a bucket, still) isn't the same thing as forcing her to urinate. If she cries, I'm shushing her a bit to relax and see if she goes or not, or sometimes stopping immediately if she's really out of sorts. I even took a break completely for a few days when she was dealing with sleep regression symptoms. I use a pacifier to help calm her. I really like what rubelin said about the two way communication. That's how I'm hoping this will turn out, but I am a little apprehensive about it.
Also, the whole part of the theory about following the babies cues unfortunately doesn't work for me. I really can't see any cues for pee, at all. I'm really looking forward to when she might start communicating about it. Anyway, given that, our whole arrangement is that I do decide potty times. Whether I persist past a little fussing or not is the main question. I think we are doing okay with it right now... but what are signs to look out for if I want to be careful to avoid it becoming a negative association? Does anyone know from experience or have any ideas? As long as she does settle down and doesn't get more upset, that sounds okay right?