Sunday, February 15, 2009

Potty Strike

Last Monday someone asked me how the ECing was going. I think my response was "awful" or "terrible." Margaret was going through a potty pause/strike.

She just DID NOT want to be on the potty for the past couple of weeks. I don't want her to associate the potty with frustration, so I relaxed a bit. We still had naked butt time, but I also had to repeatedly remind myself that missing the potty isn't a failure, it's just part of learning. By this Wednesday, though, she was back to the regular pottying life we had before.

At 10 months things are a little different. She doesn't signal because she's too busy playing- though she'll stop playing and have a little potty face right before she pees, so if we're paying attention, it works, but it's not obvious. We've been using the toilet sign ever since she was 5 months and I'm sure one day she'll pick up on it. She would prefer to play than to sit on the potty, so I have to bring a puzzle or read a book to her while she's on the potty. We also have to go off of timing. In the morning when she wakes up, she goes more often, so I offer the potty every half hour. As the day progresses, she goes longer without pottying so I offer every hour or so. Offering the potty regularly is probably the most successful way for us to EC right now. If I'm on top of it, we catch everything in a day.

She's also back to holding it over night and on outings. We woke up Friday to find that she hadn't wet her diaper all night. All morning was naked butt time, so we used no diapers. When I went to the grocery store that afternoon, I put her nighttime diaper back on since it had been dry. When we got back from the store, she was still dry. Then we did more naked butt time in the evening and put that diaper back on her that night. Having less diapers to wash is always a good thing.

Why the potty strike? Potty strikes occur when a child is going through big changes: developmental milestones, life changes such as a sibling or moving to a new home, sickness. This isn't limited to babies- toddlers who are potty learning will have pauses due to these, too. When the strike first happened, Margaret had a stuffy nose. The strike happened until she was over her cold. I think the majority of it was her stuffy nose- who wants to deal with pottying when the rest of you body isn't feeling well?

Before the potty strike, I had been considering getting her some panties since we were doing so well. Unfortunately no one sells panties small enough for a 10 month old. XXS is too big. I'm thinking of going to a thrift store to buy some cheap cotton pants and cutting them down to panties. Sure, I could buy the expensive tiny training pants from the EC store, but I'd rather be thrifty here. Anyone else have suggestions for small underwear?


  1. Alondra is just coming off a potty strike too, horray it seems to be over! I found that Camila's 2T size panties actually fit Alondra ok. By that I mean they don't fall off, but they are quite loose :) I made her some trainers with the 2T panties and I took them in about an inch around the waist so they fit better. I hope we can get back to them now.

  2. I just use the little panties that come with dresses.

    Margaret seems to be doing great for her age. Rebekah is 18 months and just recently woke up with a dry diaper for the first time. However Sariah has never woken up dry before even though she has been diaper free during the day for almost a year now.

  3. YOu could probably find a sewing mama to make them. They would be super easy, and if you provided the material, super cheap.

  4. Wow, that's ambitious. Switching to panties. Good for you, Heather!

  5. I made my own panties out of old jersey cotton sheets when my super skinny non-EC'ed oldest child potty trained right when she turned 2. I also made some training pants out of fleece and flannel that turned out really cute. I'll probably make a bunch of those for when I have my next baby. I didn't put my Roo (the EC'ed babe) into panties until she was 19 months, which was when she started using the potty completely independently. She was consistent for months before then (striking at 12/13 months for a week or two), but her ADD mom would forget to take her potty and not pick up on her signals!

  6. I used panties from for DD from about 8 months on. They are a wee bit pricey, since they're handmade, but they last FOREVER. She's now almost 2 and a half and still using the same panties. They fit well enough on a 6mo -- loose but fitting -- and still fit her now, they're just more 'trim'. So it was DEFINITELY money well spent IMO.

    Now that she is 2, we've bought some 'real' size 2 underwear for her. They just don't fit as well. They're high-cut and the legs are loose and the crotch is too narrow and she's always getting wedgies... But the continuum-family undies are still rocking!


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