I’ve mentioned before that we practice “Elimination Communication”, which means that at only a few months of age, our baby has used a potty, instead of only his diaper. Soon after making the decision to try “ECing”, we came across the book,  The Diaper-Free Baby: The Natural Toilet Training Alternative, which was a great resource in giving us confidence to be be “part-time” EC’ers who aren’t overly obsessed about our child running around naked and never using a diaper. EC’ing has always been great for us!  Well, at least for Ethan and me (I confess that my husband, Jared, has absolutely NO intentions of ever putting a baby on the potty, and while he is supportive, he will not do it himself. But I digress…)

On our trip to the states this summer, Ethan wore diapers (of course!), but he went a minimum of three days without even wetting them during our 12-14 hour van treks!  In fact, he was less demanding than our older girls, who often insisted on potty breaks. Not to mention our 3 year old who seemed to have forgotten she was potty-trained at one of the most inopportune moments in Mexican Customs.  I’m telling you, it is a COOL feeling to not have to change a diaper, and I was shocked day after day by his amazing potty abilities!

But, there is a downside. Our trip to the States set us back.  I must have neglected to give my baby the potty attention he needed, and we all suffered for it. On the trip back, he had one diaper mess after another (literally), and it was not very fun cleanup! After all, I admit that I am spoiled to not have to change nearly as many poopy diapers as most moms!

And when we returned home, he absolutely refused to use the potty.  He was 13 months old, and his constant refusal to to even sit on the potty really weakened my potty morale!  I kind of let things slide…and would try it when I could…but he would squirm and scream at me!

I had already lent the “Diaper Free Baby” book (mentioned above) away, and therefore didn’t have it as a resource at home.  Instead, after about 3 months I got on author’s Facebook page and begged for some help and advice to assist in my baby’s refusal the use the potty!  They reminded me there was a chapter on the dreaded “Potty Pause” (which I probably skipped over, because it hadn’t applied to me at that time). They told me to keep trying, and suggested a few other options (such as teaching him to pee standing up…which I find to be an impossible thing to try to teach a baby, in all honesty)!!

Then, our friends from Discover Share Inspire visited us, and with them arrived a nasty bug that had everyone running to the bathroom for almost a week. It hit Ethan, too…and suddenly…he suddenly was willing to sit on the potty again!

So, 16 months old, and I can happily say that Ethan has gotten over his “Potty Pause”. Well, mostly. He now is very opinionated about whether he even wants to even try to use the bathroom, and lets me know immediately if he has no intentions of sitting on it.

Sure, he may pee 2 minutes later on the floor, before I’ve even put a diaper back on him. But such is life…

After all, no baby is perfect, right?  Then again…this one is pretty close!

For those who experience a similar “Potty Pause”…don’t give up!  You can get through this, too!

And don’t miss reading this book!

2 Responses to “Potty Pause”

  1. Desperate in Chicago says:

    Thank you for sharing this. My 15 month old has been going through a 2-month long potty pause and I’m getting very frustrated. It’s encouraging to hear that even a potty pause this long can end. (Although I don’t think I can try to give her diarrhea…)

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