12 answers

Almost 4, Still Not Potty Trained

My son is going to be 4-years old soon, but for some reason, he sneaks into his room to poop, and then he plays in it! Also, he won't go into the bathroom without someone telling him to. I've been trying at this since he was 3-years old, and it doesn't seem like he's making any progress. Has anyone else had a problem like this with potty training? Any advice?

REVISION:

I guess I should have mentioned some things. I have tried rewards and praise, but kids become overdependent on rewards and expect a party after every poop. I stopped the rewards and over-praise after a short time, and he seemed to be fine. I just had to keep reminding him to GO...he will not initiate the potty-process on his OWN or TELL ME when he has to go.
He doesn't have as much verbal skills as other kids his age and he doesn't really know any kids, so communicating "school" and "friends" doesn't make sense to him. Getting him to clean the mess makes it worse (I have tried). He smears it into the floor and matress WORSE than before I came in.

The two REAL PROBLEMS ARE THIS: 1) he sneaks and poops and plays in it. and 2) he won't initiate going potty on his own.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi W.,

It's been many months since you first posted this message, and I'm wondering how it's going for you.

I have an almost 4 yr old boy who is in underwear, has very few accidents with pee, but will not poop on the potty. He won't even poop in a pull-up. He goes in his underwear, and then I make him stay in the bathroom while we we clean up the underwear and the sink, then we get him dressed again.

My first son had some trouble with pooping too, but he knew when we put on his pull-up for naptime that this was his chance to do it. We had some trouble with him playing with his poop, but I think for him it was mostly that he didn't like it all over his bottom. So with him I explained that going in the potty meant he wouldn't get it all over his bottom, and the first two successful times in the potty we went to the store and got a Thomas train. That worked for him.

But my second one is very stubborn and doesn't want to be told when to go. It's so frustrating!!

L.

More Answers

I am having the same problem. My son will be 4 in June and he still isn't potty trained. We have tryed everything. I worry alot about this. Good luck and hopefully we will both have luck with this soon. B.

Hi W.,

When my older son was almost 4, he knew how to use the bathroom, he knew when to go to the bathroom, but he told me he just didn't want to. If your son is going to hide and playing with it, he's doing it on purpose. A friend's doctor told her to make her son clean up the messes he made.

This is what I did with my son. We had a big birthday party planned at Chuck E Cheese. I told him that since he wanted to continue to act like a baby even though he knew better, I was going to have to treat him like a baby. If he wasn't completely out of his pull ups with no accidents by the Friday before his party, I was going to cancel the party. On Wednesday, he walked over and said, "You can throw the pull ups away now, I'm done." and that was it. I was willing to go through with cancelling his party, but I didn't have to.

Good luck!!

Girl my son is 3 and i try to get him to go every hour and that doesnt even work my son just turned 3 on march and i have problems with him too and he knows the whole routine of putting the seat down and flushing the toilet and then washing and drying of his hands but other than that he wont let me know and he hides in his room or somewhere where i cant see him and then he will tell me he did it by grabbing his pull-up

W.,
My 3 1/2 year old is now fully potty trained. we did have a little trouble with the pooping issues too. he still has accidents. You can tell when he procrastinates because he'll hide too. He then tries to clean out his underwear before I found out. This first started cause he got diarrhea and was embarrassed that he didn't make it to the bathroom. I let him know that accidents wee ok as long as he tried to make it to the potty. i then showed him that it was neat to watch the poppy go bye when we flushed it away. And that it was easier to clean his butt when he didn't sit in it and rub it in. The most important thing is to reward good and encourage when he misses. make a sticker chart and let him get a sticker for each step along the way. making it in time, wiping, washing and drying his hands, and flushing. Good Luck.

S. L Jaskolski
www.ShazzArtisticVisions.com

well I agree with the reward system maybe stickers or something like that. Also what my help is the kind of potty you have some kids are scared of the large potty and my need his own special big boy potty. Also keep things in the bathroom that he likes and he may want to go in their more often. Then I would try having him help you clean up the poop every time he plays with it and not clean up in a fun way let him know he has to work every time he does this. Some times it just takes a while I know its hard but give tons of praise every time he does the right thing. Im sure your doing fine It will just take time Good Luck.

Hi, you are not alone in this issue. I have a 4 year old boy as well. I started potty training him when he was 3 and he would poop in the floor BESIDE the toilet. He would go in his pants and take them off and hide them. A week later, we would finally smell them and find them. I put him in headstart and he would go to a babysitter when I would work. Finally, he saw other kids use the bathroom and go by themselves, and the daycare people would also help and he finally got potty trained. He is an only child and doesn't have any friends or other siblings around except when he is in school. He goes by himself and doesn't use the bathroom in his pants anymore. BUT, He now refuses to wipe his bottom after number 2. It is a requirement to go into kindergarten, and we are trying to teach him , but he refuses. He will sneak and use the bathroom and NOT wipe. Later we catch him scratching his bottom and have to wash it. We have to monitor him when he goes to the bathroom. We can't get him to wipe and don't have any idea of what else to do. Maybe once your little boy gets into school or makes other friends and sees them going or I have heard that they will eventually get tired of doing it on themselves and they will go to the potty. My son knows how to wipe, he just refuses to. My son was slower than others when it came to potty training. My cousin has two girls and her oldest is the same age as my son. She was potty trained long before my son was. I have heard there is a difference between girls and boys. Just give it time. My pediatrician said for us to try with him and wait about 2 or 3 weeks and try agian. He said they are always growing and learning and what they can't do one week, they might can the next! Good luck!

Hi W.,

It's been many months since you first posted this message, and I'm wondering how it's going for you.

I have an almost 4 yr old boy who is in underwear, has very few accidents with pee, but will not poop on the potty. He won't even poop in a pull-up. He goes in his underwear, and then I make him stay in the bathroom while we we clean up the underwear and the sink, then we get him dressed again.

My first son had some trouble with pooping too, but he knew when we put on his pull-up for naptime that this was his chance to do it. We had some trouble with him playing with his poop, but I think for him it was mostly that he didn't like it all over his bottom. So with him I explained that going in the potty meant he wouldn't get it all over his bottom, and the first two successful times in the potty we went to the store and got a Thomas train. That worked for him.

But my second one is very stubborn and doesn't want to be told when to go. It's so frustrating!!

L.

my son was three and doing that. i put a pottie in his bedroom and the living room... try this to see if this works.

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