17 answers

Potty Training advice-Urinates in Toilet Perfectly but Poops in Pants Daily

I have a 3 1/2 year old son that uses the toilet everytime hes pees without having accidents (for the most part) But I can not get him to poop in the toilet. He would rather in his underwear. Any suggestions? I have tried sticker charts which worked for the peeing. Rewards, talking to him, big time bribary. I need help!

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I'm in the same boat, and anxious to see what advice people give you. Someone on here gave me the advice to give some fiber at the time you want him to go every day. Then it may become predictable and you can set him on the potty then. We just started it so we'll see if it works!


I had a friend with the same issue. She put her son is boxer shorts. He no longer had the secutiry of a tight fit ariound his bottom. It took a few days put things got better. Good Luck.

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I could tell when my son had to poop, the faces, the tense shoulders, running to hide somewhere... When I saw the signs I took out the potty chair and asked him to go. He resisted of course so instead of making him sit down, I distracted him by playing a jumping game. Impossible to hold it in when you are jumping up and down. And when I new he couldn't hold it any longer, I quickly pulled his pants down and told him to quick sit down and get it out. He did it! He got excited that he did a good job, and then it was no problem after that. Once they realize it is not hard to do, and that it doesn't hurt, and they feel the reward and satisfaction of pooping they can do it all on their own. Most kids are scared of the pooping. Sometimes it hurts to poop, especially if they are gassy or constipated. They have to have a good experience in order to want to do it again. Try the Jumping. I would hold my sons blanket up in the air and he would have to try and get it back. Sometimes I would let him get it, others I made it more challenging so he had to jump higher or more.

I have not tried this actually but a parent with four kids and a parent with five kids did this and said it worked like a charm. Each time your child poops in his pants you have them stand in the tub with clothes off from the waist down. you rinse them off with cold water. The parents that did this said they began pooping in the toliet within 3 days. Good Luck!!

I had the same problem. I told my son he had to go into the bathroom to poop or I would not clean up his pullup (he would have to do it himself). He was very worried about having to clean it up himself so he did what I asked. We did that for 3 weeks. Then I said he had to sit on the toilet with his pullup on and poop. We did that for 3 weeks too. Then when I knew he had to go pretty urgently, I talked him into trying without his pullup. He did it and has never needed a pullup again and it has been 4 weeks. Good luck!

I just went through the same thing with my 2yr old daughter but now she is pooping on the potty!!! Here's what I did...

A few weeks ago we were at my parents, she went with my dad to go buy a birthday card for my stepmom. While at the store he bought her a baloon, and she popped it on the way home! When we got back home she was telling daddy all about her baloon. We told her we would get her another baloon if she went poopy on the potty. A couple days later she came waltzing int he kitchen ''Mommy, I went poopy!!'' Sure enough there was pooping in the potty!! So daddy picked up a baloon for her on his way home. The next couple days she pooped in her pants. I had to try another tactic.

My daughter is really into Word World. So I made a chart with 15 squares on it and got some stickers. I explained to her that everytime she pooped on the potty she would get to put a sticker on the chart. When she had all the spaces filled with stickers we'd go to the store and she could pick out a Word World toy. Within a week she had the chart filled in and has not had a poopy accindent since!!

I would try something like this. He's old enough to understand how it works. Depending on your son, he may need a constant visual, you might want to buy the toy and put it up on the fridge above the chart so he's constantly reminded of what he gets when he gets his chart filled in. Incentive works if you find the right thing. It could be a video, a boys night with dad to a baseball game, going out to a movie or a special toy, whatever yout hink will excite him the most!


training boys to pee in a potty is easy...give them a target and they squirt at it....but many child psychiatrists say that for some reason kids regard "poop" as something that belongs to them...even a part of them...and so for many kids pooping in a potty is having to give up something that they feel an identification with....

when my eldest was little, my mother convinced me that she had me 'completely potty trained' at 7 months ....later my pediatrician told me that she had probably spent her entire day watching my face for signs that i was urinating or pooping and then she would grab me up and put me on the potty....that's not really trained....but she made me so paranoid about it that i started following my poor little guy around yelling "DO YOU HAVE TO POOP??....DO YOU HAVE TO GO POTTY??"...he finally got so he would hide in closets to avoid me...and was actually freaked out by the sight of the potty chair.....when i talked to the doc about it, he said i should just ease up on the subject...he asked me if i had ever seen a normal 21 year old man in diapers....said kids will eventually train themselves if you just let them be...each kid according to their own internal schedule...and putting all sorts of pressure and stress just interferes with their natural processes....

with my other kids i folowed his advice...left the potty out and available ...no pressure...and they both did just fine.....

when my grandson was little, his mom's boyfriend was also a poty nazi....and the poor little kid was also traumatized ...and he actually continued to have 'accidents' into his pre-teen years....his little sister has already gotten the idea at 20 months with almost no coaxing other than an occasional mention and the presence of her potty chair....

my advice is to ease up on the kid....take the pressure off him...praise him when he does use the potty and call him a big boy...but don't make such a big deal out the poops in his pants....

Same exact problem! My husband tried BIG TIME bribery and it worked. He slips every once in awhile, but for the most part is using the toilet. At this age, I think it is just finding your child's individual motivator.

I recently posted a similar cry for help! My 3 year old is doing great with potty training, but poopy training is a no go. In fact, the more we pushed the poppy training, he started having potty accidents as well. Also, he would wait until we were out of the room to poop in his pants, or wait until he was somewhere else. Awful! My SIL suggested a book called "Mommy, I Have to go Potty." It has several suggestions for how to handle situtations like this, as well as helping you understand the whole process of training. What has helped somewhat is that we took all pressure off our son to poop in the potty. We told him to ask us for a diaper when he needed to go. And someday he would poop in the potty. This actually has worked! We rarely have an accident in his underwear now. And he does not hide that he needs to go. The next part of the suggestion from the book is where we're having trouble. She suggests that after they start asking for the diaper, then you ask them to go poop in the bathroom. Then sit on the toilet. And finally, when they are ready she said they will take their diaper off themselves. At first our son did agree to go into the bathroom. But after a few times of that he is resisting. So now I am stuck! But not having a mess to clean up in his underwear is awesome!

There is also another suggestion...something about calmly and quickly cleaning them up, with no attention at all. No talking, etc. After a while of this, put them in the bathtub and tell them that they can go poop in their pants, but that it is their responsibility to clean themselves up. Do this even with a large protest. Let them do most of the work, and then of course finish off the job. Early on, before I had read the book, I had tried this with my son and he pretty much made as awful mess and could have cared less. So I don't know. I was not real calm at the time though...and he probably was getting my negative attention.

What also helped me is she talked about more than just the physical readiness of training. My son honestly seems scared or overwhelmed with the sensation of pooping. I think emotionally he just is not ready. Someday something will click, just like it did with potty.

Good luck, hang in there, and e-mail me if you need more support!

My nephew took a different approach but had his 2 year old potty trained in just days. He let her pick out her own panties which she chose My Little Pony. When she pooped in them he told her that that ruins her panties and threw them out. She, of course didn't like losing her favorite panties and after that he just reminded her that if she pottys or poops in them, she will have to throw them out. It worked like a charm and I think he said he only had to throw out a couple pairs.

I am potty training my daughter right now, too. It's not fun, is it! My daughter turns 3 in a couple weeks and she is having the same problem your son is with #2. I did try putting the potty in front of the t.v. so she would relax and that does help- that's actually how I got her to go pee the first time! Once she realized she could do it, she started being able to do it more and more. She is still only about 50% at best with #2. Does your son tend to go to the bathroom about the same time everyday? One thing I realized is that even if my daughter just went pee, I still have to ask her if she feels like she needs to go poopies about 10 minutes later, because often around lunch time or nap time, she does. I also made it into a game. I sit on the toilet and pretend like I'm trying really hard to make poopies in the potty- grimacing, making funny noises, using my arms to show that I am trying really hard- and I get her to try to do that with me. One day she put the game and the need to go together, and did it herself. Surprised me, but it shouldn't have because that was the whole point. Maybe that would work for your son. One great book I read that had some great ideas, including a whole chapter on pooping (if I remember right- we moved and it is in a box right now). It's called The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Potty Training Problems - it's a pocket guide that is orange and I got it at Barnes and Noble for about $8-10. It was very helpful and helped me understand what they are thinking and what things to try to help them. I definitely wouldn't take any privileges away, but maybe you could give him a small reward that he would think was great- maybe talk about if he goes poopy on the potty you'll go to the park today, or something along those lines. Another thing I had to do for a few days was to lose the pants and then work her up to training pants. Basically I had to devote a few days of just watching her like a hawk (maybe it would only be a few hours for you if your son tends to go poop around the same time every day) and as soon as she started to squat or stand like she was going to go poop, I put her on the potty. It's still a process because shes not all the way there, but I hope that some of these suggestions will help you. Best wishes.

we had the same issue with our son who is now 5 and still has occasional accidents. There are lots of things that we tried, but what did not work was punishment, as we found out the hard way. The more we pushed, the more he resisted. He ended up withholding stool and being totally compacted, needing an enema and a daily laxative. We had to resort to pull-ups for a short while until his body recovered and then we went back to underwear. That was just over a year ago. If he could, I think our son would still be in diapers with us changing him!

We did have some eventual success with bribery (he owns every hotwheels track known to man!) and instant gratification - candy right in the bathroom.....setting clear limits (pooping must be done in the bathroom, no one walks around in messy pants, soiled [favorite] underwear gets thrown in the garbage,... also helped. His frustrations mostly lie in "being interrupted" from what he is doing and he still struggles with that. Your child might be feeling the same way. We acknowledge his frustrations, sympathize, and stick to our rules.

Our son is also what some might call a "late bloomer" in that department. He still wears pull-ups overnight and has only been dry once in his entire life in the morning. His two-year-old sister is already completely potty-trained and dry overnight, and she did it almost entirely on her own. Every kid is different.

Good luck and know that there are many, many people out here who have this problem. Hang in there!


I had a friend with the same issue. She put her son is boxer shorts. He no longer had the secutiry of a tight fit ariound his bottom. It took a few days put things got better. Good Luck.

Is he pooping in a diaper or a pull-up? If so, I suggest putting him in underwear. Pooping in underwear feels much more uncomfortable than a diaper or pull-up. That's how I poop trained my boys. If he's already in underwear, then maybe he's bored in the bathroom while pooping, so he doesn't want to take the time to go. Put some "bathroom only" books in there for him and see how that goes. Good luck!

I found that was the case with my daughter, so one day she was watching Dora and I could tell she had to go so i got out the little potty and set it in front of the tv and she sat on it and went. I think that she may have been afraid or unable to relax enough to go. After that she seemed to be able to go on the toilet. Hope this helps.

I'm in the same boat, and anxious to see what advice people give you. Someone on here gave me the advice to give some fiber at the time you want him to go every day. Then it may become predictable and you can set him on the potty then. We just started it so we'll see if it works!

My son was the same way at 3 1/2. He would pee on potty but wouldn't poop. We tried bribes, stickers, letting him poop in underwear...nothing worked. Finally over the long 4th of July weekend, I let him run around naked from the waist down. When he had to pee, he let me know and we went on the potty. He pooped once on the floor (we kept our spot bot handy that weekend!), watched it come out...thought about it for a while. Next time he had to poop, we put him on the potty and he went. No major accidents since then. It's like he needed to see that it was actually coming out of him and that it needed to go in the potty.

Children potty train at their own pace. The most important thing to know is to never punish (take things away) for not being able to go. For example, if a child didn't walk at 1, dress themselves at 2 or tie their shoes at 4, it would be absurd to punish them.

My advice: Try to make it a relaxing environment. If a child feels stress while they are trying to go, they won't be able to go.

Same thing happened to my cousin. It sounds harsh but she just told her son, if you're going to go poop in your pants, you have to clean it up. So after one time of him cleaning himself up, he never did it again.

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