24 answers

3 Year Old Will NOT Poop on the Potty!

My 3 year old daughter is doing so great with tinkle on the potty, but poop is NOT happening. And I mean that - she's literally doing days and days without pooping, and tonight after 1/2 hour on the potty, got all upset and said her bottom hurt and she wanted a pull-up on so she could poop, which I eventually gave to her, just because I know she needs to get that out! But once I put it on her, she still didn't poop and now she's fallen asleep for the night. Has anyone else been in this situation who can give me some advice? I'm getting worried about her.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My kids went through this phase too. It only took my son one time of pooping on the potty to get over his fear, but until then we went through the same thing as you. I agree with Gale - lots of water will help. I tried to have my son at least "try" to poop several times a day and just let him sit there as long as he wanted - 10 seconds or 10 minutes (usually it was 10 seconds). It took a couple of weeks until he finally did it, I think. You'll get through it.

1 mom found this helpful

I have been there too!
1. don't stress
2. try miralax.
3. ket her use the pull up, eventually she do it in the pot
4. when she is ready play with toys and read on the pot
5. offer a big toy/prize for doing it.

It may seem like it will never end but it can't last forever. She won't get married wearing a pull-up...that is what my Grandma told me! My daughter was 4 when she finally went from pooping in the pull up to the pot and we had a party for her with her Grandma and us and she got her special toy she wanted.

Good luck!

More Answers

My son is doing the same thing, we dont push the poopy thing. He goes all day just peeing on the potty then about 7 at nite we put a pullup on him so he can poop. ONce he poops the pullup goes on him for the nite. Make sure she is drinking lots of water during the day, makes it easier for the poop to come out. If she goes to long it will hurt coming out and she will be afraid to go.

1 mom found this helpful

My kids went through this phase too. It only took my son one time of pooping on the potty to get over his fear, but until then we went through the same thing as you. I agree with Gale - lots of water will help. I tried to have my son at least "try" to poop several times a day and just let him sit there as long as he wanted - 10 seconds or 10 minutes (usually it was 10 seconds). It took a couple of weeks until he finally did it, I think. You'll get through it.

1 mom found this helpful

I can't believe no one has suggested Miralax! It is not a laxative, it is a stool softener and it works wonders on children holding their stools. It makes the stool so soft, they can't hold it. My 2 year old was great with peeing on the potty, but would hold her BM for up to 4 days; she wouldn't even go in a diaper or pull up. Then she'd cry and cry and eventually go on the potty. The doctor told me all about Miralax and I did my own research, and it was a life saver. She started going every day on the potty and got over her fear. Once she got past the fear, we weaned her off the Miralax. My girl got a 1/2 capful every day, but talk with your pediatrician to see if it's right for you. I have discussed this with numerous other parents, and I know of at least 5 other children who have been helped by Miralax. Check it out.

This is not unusual and it's about fear and control for your daughter. If she is asking for a pull-up, that's better than just going in her underwear. She knows what is going on but not ready for the next step yet. You might try putting her in a pull-up when she asks but tell her she has to stay in the bathroom to go and them move it to sitting on the toilet, then removing the pull-up. I know it seems strange but it happens with a lot of children

My son just went through this. He is 2 1/2 and would pee in the potty just fine, but wanted a diaper to poop in and seemed afraid to poop in the potty. I started to try to at least have him poop in the diaper while in the bathroom. Then after he was done I would empty the poop into the potty and explain that the poop went in the potty and let him watch what happened. Then he'd wipe with toilet paper and I'd let him flush it down. It only took about 3 times of doing this when he told me he wanted to poop on the potty! Ever since he has done it and it has been about a week with no accidents! I find sticker charts help as well to encourage whenever they pee or poop in the potty! Good Luck!

My 3rd child, a boy was the same way. He would actually go hide behind a chair or somewhere and poop in his pants. It was after age 4 before he actually went in the pot.

My son turned 3 in December. We have been potty training him since he was two, but I never pushed it, just reward with stickers when he does go. Well for the past 5 months he hadn't pooped in his pullups anymore, he would only poop in the potty (still working on peeing though), but it began to where he would go less and less and when he would go it would be really hard big stools and he would scream and tell me it hurt. So I tried more fiber in the diet... that worked for a while, but then he would still hold in his poop until it hurt because he was scared of pooping. I really didn't want to have to do meds, but his case got so bad that he developed IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome.... he would hold his stool in too long and poop would clog his rectum and loose poop would go around the clog and leak out because he couldn't control it... oh it was horrible. Then after like 3 days, he would sit on the toilet for like an hour until the clog came out and it would hurt his little bottom so bad. Well we just went to the dotctor today and got prescribed some miralax, I have heard you can get it over the counter but with a prescription, his insurance covered it. Anyway, the doctor says a half-teaspoon a day in his drink will fix his poop problems. I sure hope so!! Don't wait until your daughter gets IBS to take her to the doctor! If she's constipated, she may need meds.

well, both of mine had a harder time with that too. Our son would go in his pull up that he wore at night. Eventually with prizes laid out in the bathroom he was able to do it on the potty. Our daughter would do it in her panties and that was disgusting. I just would not let her out of my site and when she went to squat grabbed her to the potty. If she chooses to go in her panties I suggest having her clean herself in the tub and washing them out, could cure it in a day!

B., Don't stress about the potty thing! Believe me it will happen when she's ready. reassure her that it's ok to poop in her pull up if that's what she wants. I think you did the right thing by giving her a pull up. not going is more dangerous than pooping in a pull up! Give her time, be encouraging that what ever she wants to do is fine at this point. As soon as she feels the pressure is truly off her shoulders she will go to the potty. When she has control of it on her own, she will have less accidents for sure!
Good luck & God Bless on your new little one also!

I was in your exact same situation...only I have a son and daughter.
Good advice I had gotten was:
1) Don't stress about the potty thing. She will likely regress after the baby is born, so even if she gets it now, you will likely have to buy 2 sizes of diapers/pull ups for a little while. Also, if you stress, she'll stress and nothing positive will come of that.
2) (A follow up to #1) After a period of regressing, she will likely come to the conclusion that babies wear diapers and she's a big girl now. It may take a little while, but in any case, she'll come around!
3) We started giving my son fiber wafers that worked wonders! We started with giving him a half of one, to see how well they worked, and then moved up to a whole one a day. It definitely helped ease the situation, if you know what I mean. He gets plenty of fruits and veggies, but they just weren't enough of the right fiber.
4)Praise, Praise, Praise!
Good Luck and Congratulations on your new little one!

My daughter went through the same thing 8 years ago! I started giving her baby food prunes, which she liked and it would make her go. I have a 3 yr old right now that has been potty training for about 1 month. He has the peeing part down great, but we still struggle with getting him to poop on the potty. He has gone a few times already on the potty, but still resists and would rather poop in his underwear, I dont use pull-ups. After about an hour of dancing around last night and showing all the signs that he had to go, my son pooped on the potty! I just kept sitting him on the potty until finally he couldn't hold it anymore, poor thing..he missed the toilet! He was probably trying to get down when my husband left the bathroom for a minute. But hey at least he pooped in the bathroom near the toilet. Be patient, as I have been, but it will happen! Just stay consistent with talking to your daughter about pooping on the potty and if possible, get rid of the pull-ups, it may only encourage her to use that instead of the toilet. Good luck with both your daughters!
V.

I have no advice to offer you, just encouragement! I just informed my almost three year old today that when his box of diapers is gone he will be wearing underwear and he said, "no, I don;t want to wear underwear, put my diapers on me." He is SO ready I'm bursting, but he is also so stubbron abuot it! And this is just peeing, I can't imagine how it will be the first time he has to poop with out a diaper on! Anyway, good luck!

I had the EXACT same situation. My daughter would refuse to poop on the potty. I got SO frustrated. I don't know what you have tried as far as motivation goes. Maybe a toy she can play with only if she poops on the potty (that didn't work for us...but has for others) We started using a little Miralax. I gave it to her once a day and it just loosened her stools so it was harder for her to hold it. I would allow her to use a pullup to poop in, but I made her stand in the bathroom while she pooped (so she couldn't keep playing and therefore reaping the benefit of not having to stop what she was doing) and after a few weeks we set a goal. We picked a date and we talked about how at that time she was going to start pooping on the potty. It was a definite power struggle for us. The day came, there were some tears as we stuck to the date. She pooped on the potty that day. And then she saw how easy it was. She was still a little hesitant, but once she got it down we stopped the miralax and she has been going ever since. The doctor just told us to BACK OFF and not make a big deal about it, b/c the more important it seemed to us for her to go on the potty, the more resistant she was. SO I just said okay I don't care, didn't make a big deal of it, and I think she finally wasn't getting the attention she wanted from it. I hope this helps. Keep us posted. She WILL do it, she just has to decide when and there isn't much you can do about it.

B.,

My son had the same problem, he had a fear of pooping on the toilet. He would literally run around going "OH DEAR" "OH DEAR" and cry. It was like he was afraid he was losing a part of his body. It was kind of comical but sad at the same time. Our Doctor recommended giving him a baby laxitive. So that's what we did. We used Fleet Babylax, you can find it at any drug store probably the grocery store too! He did not like the rectal liquid suppositories but after we squeezed it in, he had no choice but to run to the bathroom. After a couple of times of using it or telling him we were going to use it because he hadn't gone in awhile he started going on his own. He is now 8 and doing just fine in that department except for wiping but that is a whole other topic of conversation! You might give it a try. Best of Luck----J. C

I have been there too!
1. don't stress
2. try miralax.
3. ket her use the pull up, eventually she do it in the pot
4. when she is ready play with toys and read on the pot
5. offer a big toy/prize for doing it.

It may seem like it will never end but it can't last forever. She won't get married wearing a pull-up...that is what my Grandma told me! My daughter was 4 when she finally went from pooping in the pull up to the pot and we had a party for her with her Grandma and us and she got her special toy she wanted.

Good luck!

We just went through this with our 2 1/2 year old. She had started peeing on the toilet in Sept and we gradually kept asking her to use the toilet, until it started to click and she was peeing less and less in her diaper, so we started using pull-ups, calling them undies. She caught on that she was wearing pull-ups and she basically got lazy and peed or pooped in her pants vs. trying to make it to the toilet. I put her in undies and it seemed to help her get the idea more because she didn't like the feeling of peeing or pooping in her pants. She herself would get upset about it. Then she was peeing in the toilet, but still scared to poop. Again, I never made a big deal about it but she would get upset after she pooped in her pants. Still I always put her back in undies regardless if she was probably going to poop her pants. She got it within a week!!

Get rid of the diapers and pull-ups, I think it's even more confusing to them to go back and forth. She'll poop when she needs to!

I did up her juice intake and pushed as much fruit and raisins I could so she wouldn't get constipated. Also sour patch kids candy was a great incentive too and my daughter could care less about bribes but this candy worked!!

I'm right there with you! My 3 yo daughter is holding her poop also, and has become super constipated. We started her on Miralax this week and it is helping. I have to keep adjusting the dosage, so her poop is soft w/o being too runny. The Dr. said it could take a week before I figure out the right dosage. Anyway, worth a shot. You can find it at Walmart, Target, etc.

Has she had a bad experience on the toilet? Are her stools hard? She may need a little help. You might try giving her some Miralax. It puts water in the bowels to soften the stools and make it easier for her to go. You can now get it over the counter.

Hi B., My oldest daughter went through this same thing when she was 3. With her she had a little constipation and she tried going on the potty and it hurt so she was then scared to go on the potty. What we finally did is bribe her - good old fashion bribing. She was into little people - we told her that if she went on the potty we'd buy her the big little people thing she wanted (don't remember which one it was - it had a whole world of those things). But it worked she did it. And for about a month after that we kept a sticker chart and if she didn't poop in her pants and she went on the potty (got a sticker everytime she did) then on Saturday she got one of the small little people things. It worked. Once we got her to go on the potty then she seen that it didn't really hurt it was just the one time we've been going good for almost 5 years now :o) But I would try to give her something to help if she's constipated (prune juice or something like that). If it's hurting her to go then she's really not going to want to. Good luck!

My daughter went thru the same phase, she was in daycare and would go all day, then would come home and ask for a pull-up,like you say they have to go, so I would just put the pull up on her, let her do her business and she would want to put her regular underwear back on, she eventually
stop asking for the pull up, I think that was her way of still being the baby

Good Morning B., Our Gr son Corbin did that same thing for quite a while. When he did the ole man shuffle and held his hinny I knew he had to go, but was trying not too.
Cause there was pain involved. He would be constipated big time. We put pull-ups on too and when he napped he was relaxed enough he would go in the pull-up.
I knew it would hurt and I usually sat with him in the bathroom, holding his hands, singing silly songs or reading to him as he tried to poop. When he would finally at time he would have such a HUGE movement he would think it was from a adult, and he did have tiny bit of blood when cleaning him. We started giving him the Fletcher laxative for children when he gets like this. He does eat a lot of fiber, oatmeal, celery, carrots, apples. Drinks more water daily then milk. You would think his BM would be easier but they aren't. We do the 1,2,3 PUSH it out too....lol

Let her know you understand it can hurt, but only for a tiny bit and you will be with her. In my mind there is nothing wrong with the pull up until see gets more comfortable with the BM.. Corbin does great now so no more pull-ups at all. Yea he still says Nana it's gonna hurt, but I am right there with him doing the 1,2,3 PUSH it out...lol

God Bless and Best to you and your little Princess
K. Nana of 5

We had the same situation with my youngest son. He was potty trained unless he had to poop. He would come to us and ask for a diaper, poop, then we would change him. This went on until he was almost 4 years old!! It was very frustrating because I knew he could do it and just was being stubborn. I talked to our doctor and he said keep putting the diaper on him when he needs it. There is some reason he didn't feel comfortable pooping in the toilet. He said to never allow him to have to hold it for any length of time. The Dr. said if he was going to be starting Kindergarten and was still in diapers, to call him then, otherwise keep doing it until he feels like he wants to go in the toilet! Good luck!

Call the Dr. to see what he recomends to help her go now that she is constipated. Then allow her to wear pull-ups when she has to go 'poopy'. It may sound counter-productive but what it d'poopyoes is take the pressure & negative feelings around going "poopy". In fact, ask her a few times a day if she has to go poopy & tell her that when she does she can get a pull-up to go poopy. If she needs your help to put on her pull-up, offer it to her. I did this with my daughter & it made going poopy a more pleasant experience & she eventually went in the potty one day & has ever since. I hope this helps. You are so very close to the end of potty training... hang in there!

J.

OMG! I literally posted a request myself before looking at other requests first! I have a 5 year old with the same problem! I am going to have to look through your reponses and hopefully get some insight, however, I think since mine is 5, I might get a different response! Good luck with this as I know how frustrating it can be!
K.

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