When Elimination Communication Backfires: Potty Pause

“Potty Pauses” are a normal part of Elimination Communication particularly when your baby is hitting new developmental milestones such as crawling, standing, walking etc … Like anything, there are always drawbacks, setbacks and times when it just backfires! Recently we have been having a serious potty pause to the point that I wonder if I have any wisdom to share anymore! I have 2 options; to cry or to share some of our recent distasters and hopefully some of you will laugh with me!

Ok, I wear Birki's and yes, that's BiP's pee on her sock AND my foot! (excuse the lack of pedicure)

What’s a Potty Pause?
“Potty Pauses” are when your Elimination Commuication efforts with your baby grind to a halt! You’ve had weeks of straight sailing; catching pee’s and poops as if your tiny baby is already potty trained and then it stops! Overnight all your efforts are no longer going down the toilet (well, potty) they are going everywhere else!

When the floor just isn’t good enough
Standing up and peeing in the bath is a common favourite and that’s ok – peeing on MY feet has become a favourite that I don’t love that much but I guess I’m lucky to have come this far without being peed on!

Diaper Free Time on the Terrace
Spring in Provence is warm so BiP runs around outdoors diaper free with a potty within easy reach. She misses and that’s fine when it’s a pee – until she decides that she is going to pee on dolly. Poor dolly. I’m OK with this for now – I’m not so cool when it’s a poop – and yes, we’ve had poops. TIP: Keep a watering can close to hand!

Poor dolly!

When a dog becomes your best EC friend (warning this is NOT for the squeamish)
Just today BiP was playing in the garden playing with the dog and wanted to poop. I whipped off her diaper and held her in the bucket hold and she went. Just as I was cleaning her up I turned around to see that the dog had eaten her poop *gag* OMG! I was almost sick. Damn dog won’t eat the rice she drops on the floor but he will eat that *YUCK!*


SO, there you have it, the glamour of EC backfiring royally! I swear if that dog DARES to lick BiP’s face he’s going straight to the taxidermists!

Any EC backfiring stories you’d care to share?

21 thoughts on “When Elimination Communication Backfires: Potty Pause

  1. MLMom

    Hats off to you! Oh my… LOL you are a saint and have some enormous patience! I admire what you do. I really do! We got LilO a potty last weekend and I knew I would get dirty looks even while in the store because people would think I’m insane.

    So I have no input except to admire and learn learn learn from you! I don’t even know what we’re doing with the potty, to be honest. Maybe do some sort of potty training or EC… I have no idea. But I see I need to have a camera handy, just like you! 😉

    1. mummyinprovence Post author

      HAHA! Yes, a camera and a smile is key! Keep me posted on your EC journey and don’t forget to mention the disasters!

  2. Pocket.buddha

    I am so lolling right now.

    We’re on a pause too. Last week I would have told you that graduation was happening. This week Oliver (19mo) is flat out refusing to even sit on it while dressed…. Unfortunately he’s also flat out refusing to wear diapers or training pants. So you can imagine the stress my carpets are under at the moment. :-/

    1. mummyinprovence Post author

      Laugh, go on, laugh at me!!! LOL! I am laughing at your carpets! Fun fun fun! BiP has figure out how to take her diaper off too … at least it’s warmer weather so we can just deal with the mess without the added hassle of wet clothes!

  3. Fee

    I’m laughing so hard my stomach hurts!! If only we had a dog then the sheepskin rug would still be in tact!! We aren’t as accomplished as you in Ec but I thought we were slowly getting there. I was learning to read the signs and started to look at the pile of nappies with a smug grin – pride comes before a fall eh. Now each time I go to potty my little girl she has just done it – on the floor, the rug or in her nappy. But she is learning to walk and so I guess it’s to be expected. It still doesn’t ease the blow when your picking up lumps of poo in random places around the house!!
    But i’d rather be trying and having some misses than just letting her sit in it. Yuk, i still feel SO guilty that I didn’t research enough and find out about Ec from the beginning, but hey as we know, we do our best.
    Thanks for the laughs, it makes it seem worth carrying on knowing others are being peed on too!!

    1. mummyinprovence Post author

      Glad you can laugh at my mishaps! Glad your little one is peeing on you and destroying the rug too! Makes me feel like things are a bit more normal, maybe, perhaps, around here!

    2. Alex Greene

      Uggh, you’ve expressed my exact thoughts:
      1. I shouldn’t have been so proud of “our” progress. Look at me now, cleaning poo from under little fingernails and other unsuitable places. (That’s right, as soon as the nappy comes off, the hands go into the cement. AAAAAGGGGGH.)
      2. Yup, I’m pretty mad at myself too. When he was 0-6, I was convinced that he knew when he was weeing and pooing – but the “experts” said, “no he doesn’t, babies are idiots”. I hate these voices of deceit, but I hate more that I was deceived by them.
      Anyway, now that I know that this “regression” is basically normal, I’m not as mad at myself I guess – since others are making just as genuine an effort as we are, and their kids are on strike too! Lol.
      Le Husband is going to say, “I told you” when I tell him about this.

      1. Ameena GORTON

        There’s zero certainty when it comes to kids it seems!!! Keep going! You’re doing great! And laugh! It helps!

  4. Janine

    OMG OMG OMG that is horrifying.

    Sebastian lately fights the potty but will usually go when put on it. He is obsessed though with grabbing his penis so half the time he sprays all over himself and the floor. Nothing I offer as a distraction can compete with his peep, apparently! He also complains less now if he is wet, I assume because there are so many new things he can do now that he crawls well. At least he does seem to hold it as long as possible. And he will almost always wait to poo. Sometimes he will do a partial poo in the diaper and then finish up on the potty even.

    Knock on wood we have had no poo anywhere other than potty or diaper yet.

    1. mummyinprovence Post author

      Just you wait until he starts walking … can’t wait to hear your version of events!

  5. Jessica | Cloth Diapering Mama

    Poor mummy!

    We don’t ec but we do a lot of diaper free time and lately my little one has enjoyed pooping and peeing immediately after i take his diaper off… last week he pooped and i didn’t notice (lol..second child gets more freedom) and he was squishing it in his hands and was about to try to eat i!!!!!!!!!!!! thank GOD I stopped him in time…

    its a phase, she’ll be back…she’s just busy learning to explore…my grandmother always tells me that kids brains only want to focus on one big task at a time and sometimes once they walk they regress in other areas.

    great post!

    1. mummyinprovence Post author

      Wow! I think you win the pooping prize! So far we’ve escaped such antics! Gaah! I am sure it’s soon to come. Please no!

      Thanks for sharing Jessica!

  6. Elimination Communication

    If I laugh I’ll wake my toddler.

    Here is a backfire for you that I haven’t published in my blog yet.

    Just this week our girl was mad that I was showering and brushing my teeth alone. Her dad was trying to distract her with playing and general fun. Well, she wasn’t having any of it. She is 21 months old. He said she walked up to him, crawled in his lap, looked him straight in the eye, and peed on him…on purpose…just so that she could get into the bathroom!

    1. mummyinprovence Post author

      Hahaha! That is hilarious! Thanks for sharing! It’s amazing how manipulative our little ones can be (and resourceful!)

  7. Andrea | EC Simplified

    Yup on 2 counts!

    We’ve been having the typical “do it myself” sorta pauses lately. “Ah, I want to pee on the big potty.” “NO, wait, on the floor.” “Nope, I don’t want you to take me. I want to experiment with soaking my pants.” “Um, what EC Mommie?”

    But, yes, back to dogs eating baby poop. My 14 yr old dog has been following around 13 month DS for the last few weeks and eating EVERythiNG that comes out of his hands or mouth or…yes, even his anus. When she used to eat cat poo, I thought that was too far….but baby poo?

    Uh, yeah. *blush*

    1. Ameena Falchetto Post author

      Hahaha … yes, our dog has done the same. Lovely eh?

  8. Louise

    Great to read others have issues!! My daughter is 13 1/3 months, walking and WON’T stay on the potty any more. I try sitting her on the toilet or potty, or holding her over the basin when I can tell she needs to go, 40 mins of interchanging between the various options go by, and she won’t go! As soon as I take her off the potty she goes. Makes me think she must be able to hold on?!

    Anyone have any advice? I don’t know anyone else who EC’s and its seems like it is no longer working at all. 🙁

    1. Ameena Falchetto Post author

      That’s normal – it’s really frustrating – but when they fond new skills they prefer to master them than sit on the potty.

      BiP decided at 22m to stop wearing diapers full stop but the 12 months leading up to it were very much hit and miss … go with her cues!

  9. Sarah

    My husband told me about a culture where babies don’t wear diapers, the floor of their home is dirt so pee isn’t a big deal, and poop is taken care of by the dogs in the same manner your dog took care of your child’s poop.

    1. mummyinprovence Post author

      2/3 of the world don’t have access to diapers – and yes, I guess not having carpets helps with the process but I can assure you that our dog was NOT an active part in our EC journey!

  10. Ms. Starlight

    So glad I came across this as I was doing a frustrated 4am internet search. My daughter has not worn diapers since 2 wks old. I would have 2-4 misses on a bad day, maybe once a week. Otherwise I was catching them all & it was so wonderful! We had wood floors so lots of naked bum time & no worries if I missed… In the last 2 weeks we have moved houses to a carpeted place 🙁 reluctantly I started putting a few cloth diapers on her sometimes. Then I began working (I am a nanny) in a carpeted house with a high needs older kid & put diapers on mine while working to save other people’s carpets! Mine has also learned to crawl and walk a around holding one hand and the last 2 nights she’s peed a bit (stopped when I jumped from the warmth on my leg!) in our bed!!! She has not peed in bed since a few weeks old. I have been feeling terrible and stressed! I want to keep catching her cues but she arches her back when I take her now and fusses, only to pee a few mins later as she cruised around. I guess according to all of you this is a normal regression from so much going on & I feel now as though I will get thru it. Long post here but thanks for letting me share my story! You have renewed my patience. 🙂


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