21 answers

How to "Poop" Potty Train

My 3 1/2 yr old daughter is fine with peeing in the potty- but will poop in her pants only. She knows when she has to go, but won't tell us until after she has already gone in her underpants. She only wears a pull up at bed time. She is dry from pee all day long. We have tried EVERYTHING we can think of....praise, rewards, etc....What has worked for you???

What can I do next?

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I am in the same boat with my 3 1/2 year old son. It wouldn't be so bad, but he poops his pants sometimes 3 times a day. I am at my wits end! When we started potty training he picked it right up and then had an accident about a month later and it has been downhill ever since. This has been going on since December. He will be fine for a few weeks and then back to pooping his pants. He has no problem with peeing. I know he can do it which is why it is so frustrating! I have tried rewards, sticker charts, M & M's, you name it! I have him back in pull-ups all day now because I am sick of cleaning poop off of the underpants. I guess for now I am going to lay off and maybe take some others advice and make him clean up after himself. We'll see how it goes. Best of luck to you. let me know how you make out.

I am actually having the exact same problem down to the letter so if you have received anything from anyone please let me know. I am at the end of my rope!!!

More Answers

Hi M.,

I had the same problem with my daughter who is now 4. She would pee on the potty but would go into another room by herself or hide in a corner and poop in her underpants.I also used praise and rewards and that didn't work. What I did was buy her a little barbie desk that had a small pad of paper with different pictures for coloring, crayons for drawing, glitter glue and small safety scissors, it also had little slots on the side for storing the crayons. She loved it. She could only use it on the potty when she had to poop and that made her want to poop on the potty more often. If it doesn't work don't push it with her because she may go backwards instead of progressing. I hope this helps because I know what you are going through. I've been there myself.

C.

I am in the same boat with my 3 1/2 year old son. It wouldn't be so bad, but he poops his pants sometimes 3 times a day. I am at my wits end! When we started potty training he picked it right up and then had an accident about a month later and it has been downhill ever since. This has been going on since December. He will be fine for a few weeks and then back to pooping his pants. He has no problem with peeing. I know he can do it which is why it is so frustrating! I have tried rewards, sticker charts, M & M's, you name it! I have him back in pull-ups all day now because I am sick of cleaning poop off of the underpants. I guess for now I am going to lay off and maybe take some others advice and make him clean up after himself. We'll see how it goes. Best of luck to you. let me know how you make out.

When I potty trained my kids, I let them run around without anything on thier bottom. I would put the potty in the playroom and a gate at the door. When they need to go poop knowing they had no diaper, they would have no choice but to sit on the potty. If they were in the living room watching TV, I would put the potty there. Where ever they play the most that's where the potty would be. Also keep an eye on them for the signs that they have to go and encourage them to get on the potty.

mm's...that worked for my daughter. I gave her one every time she would pee but told her that she could have five if/when she pooped. I would stick her on the potty about 30 mins after she had lunch or a few times I heard her pass gas and then stuck her on it. They typically master one then the other. They also say it is a power thing, so as much as you want her to poop on the potty you have to act like you don't care, but when she does (and she will) give her lots of praise! Call Grandma or anyone she will talk to on the phone. But don't stress about it, I did too and then I stopped and that is when she started going too.

Good luck!

I am actually having the exact same problem down to the letter so if you have received anything from anyone please let me know. I am at the end of my rope!!!

I would say that as long as she is still regularly pooping in her pants, she should be wearing pull-up diapers, not underwear. If she understands that wearing underwear is a privilege for big girls who poop only in the potty, this may provide the motivation that she needs to stop pooping in her pants. It may seem like regression to switch back to diapers for a while, but ultimately it could get the message across that pooping in her pants is not the way to go, by providing her with a clear incentive to stop doing this. Also, it will make clean-up for you easier.

Good luck!

we used to read books to our little girl on the potty to poop. She was on a pretty good schedule so we knew around what time of the day we should encourage her to sit and we would read.

Hi,
I had a similar prob w/ my now 4-1/2 yr. old daughter. As a toddler she had some issues w/ constipation, so I think she was slightly fearful when it was time to go poop to begin with, so it made the training more trying. Like your daughter, she learned to pee on the potty quite well. Anyway, the Nurse Practitioner informed me that it was all about "control"...her wanting to control when and where she pooped. It did sometimes feel like a power struggle, as she was certainly old enough to understand that "this isn't what big kids do", yet she still went on doing it. The N.P. advised me to do the following, and though it has taken some time, it is finally working. We gave her fairly high doses of laxative (1 capful of Miralax mixed in a drink)...at first 2x a day, until it had a result...then 1 time daily. (You probably want to run this by your "ped" before doing this, but for the record, Miralax is non-habit forming and safe.) Basically you are re-training their bowels as well as behavior..they start to realize that they don't have control over it anymore, and it's MUCH more preferable and comfortable to go in the potty. I did start rewarding w/ toys, once a week, but the older the child is, the more complex it gets w/ all of the negotiating, so I started to emphasize how proud we are of her, and how proud she should be of herself for being such a big girl. (and just like the other kids in her preschool class...the peer pressure starts working here too)
Good luck!

We just recently went through this with my 3 1/2 year old son. He would tell me he had to poo and then ask for a pull-up so he could go in that. He had no problem going pee in the potty, but refused to go poo for some reason? I told him that the pull up fairy was going to come and take all his pull-ups and give them to little boys and girls who really needed them and that he was a big boy so he didn't need them anymore. We put a few pull-ups in a big envelope with a letter to the pull-up fairy saying that he was a big boy and didn't need the pull-ups anymore. I told him that he could ask the pull-up fairy for something in his letter and that she would bring it for him if he went poo in the potty. And it only took one time and he did it!! So we put the envelope on the front porch with the pull-ups. The "pull-up fairy" came and she left an envelope for him on the front porch with the cars that he had asked for. He was so excited to get a package from the pull up fairy and since then has not gone in another pull up and always goes on the potty.

Goodmorning M.
How to train to potty train, When you go to the bathroom for yoy B.M. bring your child with youput him on the potty with you and show him that you push and maybe he'll follow your step by pushing like you and if he does give him a treat, congratulate him or even when you husband go he can do the same thing,
GOOD LUCK AND MAY GOD BLESS

My daughter went through the same thing. I felt like she was never going to go on the potty. I tried talking to her and even tried to bribe her but it didn't work. My older daughter trained so easily. But my younger one took a while to poop on the potty she did pee and barely ever went pee in her pants or in her pull up at night but the pooping took a while longer. I just kept talking to her about it and she eventually did start going on the potty. I can't remember the exact age when she did it. She is now five and never goes in her pants any more. I know when you are going through this it feels like they will never train but she will when she is ready. Hang in there...

I don't know if you read Dr. Rosenmund's column, but he recommends putting the child on the potty in the morning and telling them, matter of factly, that they can get off when they have put a poop in the potty. I wish I had tried this! My fifth child took until 36 months to poop in the potty and after a year of cleaning pants every day since 25 months (when he was dry), I was sick of it, too! I did have him clean himself up, ostensibly, but of course it took some help from me as well. Bribery worked for my other 4, but they got poop and pee at the same time. Hope this helps!

Hi M.,
My son did the same thing and I am starting to notice my daughter doing it too. I told my son that he didn't have to sit on the potty, but he had to stand in the bathroom to do it. I also kept him in pull-ups until he was all the way trained. I did not want to clean up yucky diapers daily and then get mad at him and myself. Good luck!

Hi

I read this in the Providence Journal and it worked for us. it is a three week process - for one week put her on the potty and she can poop on the potty with her diaper on - do this for one week. After a week of her sitting w ith a diaper on and pooping in it cut a hole in the diaper. I know - but it sooo worked for us. We cut wholes in five diapers and had them on hand and my son said I have to poop put a diaper on me so we didnt tell him that it had a whole . Once he pooped through the whole we showed him and he realized it wasnt a big deal or didnt hurt - we did that for a week and the third week - no diaper on the potty and all over.. let me know..

Bribing does NOT WORK. This is a power struggle, pure and simple. Give her control. Put her in diapers if you're going out, and teach her to change herself (Pullups, I guess then - cloth, if you've got them!). Then, STOP asking if she needs to poop, or wants to use the potty. If she does go in her pullup, teach her where the pullups are, how to change herself, & where to throw the soiled one. Don't give it ANY NOTICE. My daughter wouldn't poop at ALL at 3 & 1/2, and it was a power struggle too - my mother tried bribing, my daughter just got more furious and intent on "never pooping again".

I sat down with my daughter, and told her: "You are the boss of your body. YOU are in charge of getting the waste out, as poop & pee - to keep your body healthy, YOU Need to get that waste out at least once a day. If it sits in your diaper, it gets on your skin, and can give you a rash, and your skin won't be healthy. You're a big girl, and you are in control of your body - JUST YOU."

We stopped asking her about potty use - even if she was dancing in front of us. Told my Mom & anyone else around to IGNORE HER with regards to potty issues. WIthin two days, she was no longer refusing, and going ON THE BIG POTTY to poop.

I wish you luck - just don't punish - this is a control thing, she's learning what parts of her world she CAN control, and which she can't. Like it or not, she can control this part - and she needs to learn HOW to manage these things.

Good Luck!

My 3 1/2 yr old son was having the same problem. I found that I was really pressuring him when I took a step back and looked at it. I also bought the book at www.pottytrainer.com and read it. It is a very easy read with great info. I asked my son what his very favorite candy was. Just so happened it was skittles. His favorite color is purple....they are now "poopy skittles". Every kid is different, so you'll have to find something that works for your daughter here, but there is something. Just make sure that when you ask her, you don't mention anything about the potty.

Then I would ask him maybe 2x a day if he needed to poop...he always said no. He would hide in the corner and go. Turns out he didn't want us watching. After he would go in his underwear, I would help him get them off and then make him dump it in the potty. I would say, I know this time you had an accident and that's ok because we all do at first. The poop goes in the potty see. My son also has a imagination like crazy now, he thinks there is a potty monster......so, we feed the potty monster when he poops.

He finally started wanting to go because everytime we fed the monster the poop from his underwear, I would say "Next time if you can go in the potty, you can get your purple poopy skittles!"

About 3 days of this, and he finally went on the potty. Slowly but surely. Now he has gone 4 days!!! no accidents even overnight. Every time he goes tt or poopy on the potty, I give him a big hug and kiss and tell him how proud I am and what a big boy he is. I also make sure we update daddy when he gets home everyday and he does the same. We call grandparents, etc. As much positive attn as possible! It has worked beautifully so far.

Good luck! Hope this helps! :)

Hi,
We used bribery. Everytime she pooped on the pottey she got to put a sticker on a visible object. Ours was a screen that keeps the cold out of our kitchen from the mudroom. Prior to that we'd tried a couple diffent bribes but they didn't work. My daughter is 4 in August and she did this a year ago.
I know how you feel!

M.

I went through exactly the same thing with my son. He did finally train at 4. I am wondering, could your daughter be a little bit constipated? I'm asking because that was a problem for my son, and his pediatrician told me that sometimes kids find it easier to squat and poop in their pants than to sit on the toilet and strain. Kids that young don't have the words to tell you, they don't even know what constipated means. But when my son approached 4 years old and was still sneaking off to poop in his pants, his dr. put him on a low dose of laxatives for a while and he did stop doing it in his pants. Good luck! I know how frustrating this is! P. B.

I work in a preschool and I notice that children from ages 18 months to 3 years will kind of go into a corner and do the deed. If you catch your daughter doing this or if it looks like she is about to, get her to the potty. Try giving her a piece of her favorite candy as a reward for going on the potty instead of her knickers. Our room is not a potty training room but we have an elmo seat thata goes on to the toilet itself and all the kids want to sit on "elmo" Half of them are not even 2 yet and are almost potty trained.

M.,

I feel for you. My 4 1/2 year old son did the exact same thing. It turned into a huge power struggle. He would even hold it until night time and wait for me to put on his pull up, then poop in it and tell me to change him before he would go to bed. It was exhausting! I am here to tell you she will eventually go in the potty...at her own time. I changed so many poopy underwear I thought I was going crazy. With my second son none of that happened (my sister potty trained him at 2 1/2 when I was in the hospital recovering from my c-section from our third son.) Try new things...keep trying to be positive...and know that eventually this will end!!

Hi-
I just went through this with my daughter. Her doctor told me to have her help with the clean up, which I didn't try, because I tried a sticker chart instead. And I made the rewards things that would happen that day that she really wanted (like 2 books at bedtime instead of one or to watch Dora before she went to bed) and that really seemed to snap her out of it. She still has accidents though, but it is MUCH better now.
I hope this helps, I know how hard it is!!

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