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Potty Break
14 Month Update to Elimination Communication

The last few weeks have been a bit of a challenge. Our daughter went on a potty break. At the beginning it even felt like potty training resistance as she refused to sit down at all. Later it seemed as if she was willing to sit down when she really needed to go, but she couldn't relax. Instead, only seconds after sitting down she jumped up to play without producing anything. Usually I'd have to change her only minutes later.

While I found that quite annoying, I tried to stay calm and patient. With a bit of creativity I came to understand the reason for this potty break and found ways to cope with it and overcome it.

Finding reasons
for this "potty training resistance"

It seemed very much like her interest had shifted. Suddenly the potty was the most boring thing you can imagine. There were so many other, much more interesting things that sitting on a potty and try to relax and let go were just tooooo boring. At times she new, that she needed to go and brought the potty to me, only to run of seconds later. Not even reading books, singing songs or playing little games could keep her there.

She also seemed to have chosen a preferred place to do her business. Of all things it had to be a plastic play box that was sitting next to a window. She had loved to climb in there before and it had looked like she was playing boat or something. At some point I got the feeling that she had chosen this box because it had an opening like a potty, just bigger. This way it was easier to climb in.

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to this potty training regression

Realizing that she had a favourite place was like a little breakthrough for me. Suddenly I had an idea what to do about this potty break. While we had just kept the potty around before and had asked her once in a while weather she needed to go, she had stopped producing anything on there. (That is if she was willing to sit there at all)

Now, I moved her potty to her favourite place and I mainly asked her when I felt she made herself comfortable in her box. That was when we started to catch the odd wee again.

I like to compare it with learning to walk. Of course she fell a lot when she started to do her first steps and didn’t get around nearly as fast as when she was crawling. But even though, she took the risk and tried. Just like she took the risk and wet herself while figuring out how long she could hold on, or how she could go potty (or box) all by herself.

This felt very much like success, even though we didn’t catch consistently. We didn’t even catch nearly as many wees than we caught before she started her potty break. But it was a small step back in the right direction. That was about 3 weeks into her potty break.

The real breakthrough though was 4 days ago, about four weeks into her potty break. My intuition was finally kicking back in. Without much effort I noticed the times when she was climbing into her box, not to play but to do her business. That’s when I asked her if she needed to use the potty and as a response she usually went looking for it or climbing onto it. Finally we caught the first poos again in a long time. Plus, her favourite place seemed to have lost its exclusiveness.

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Sickness - a Toilet Training Problem?

Another reason for ending her potty break might have been that she caught a cold. When still healthy and full of energy she was just to busy to worry weather she’d wet herself or not. Instead she came looking for us quite reliable to get changed shortly after she’d wet herself. Funny she’d mostly bring us the potty to tell us.

Of course there are also times, when being sick makes her have more accidents.

Maybe not feeling well has made her more aware of how bad it feels to be wet and that she can make a difference. Now she brings the potty when she feels, that she needs to go. Or she lets us know in any other random way. It's a great reminder to keep the conversation up.

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Little Stories
Toilet Training Our Girl

This morning, for example, after she'd wet herself she refused to get a new pair of trainers put on. So I tried the potty and sure enough she did a big bowel movement. Thats one great advantage of baby toilet training. This early no more messy pants or nappies, just flushing, awesome!!!

Or yesterday morning her night-nappy felt really dry. I didn't take her to the potty straight away. Instead she asked for it and did a monster morning wee. Lately we also have less wet training pants during the day. Now, after her potty break, she's surely much more aware of her need to use the potty.

Related posts:

Elimination Communication main page
How to start early potty training

13 month update - daily routine
20 month update - since 14 month all poop in the potty

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