Help! We Need to Change Daughter's Poop Time

Updated on March 02, 2013
M.S. asks from Troutdale, OR
17 answers

This might be too much TMI and if it is, I apologize and warn ahead of time.

My 3 year old is all potty trained except at naps and night she wears a pull up. She is not afraid of going poop on the toilet or anything like that. She used to go poop everynight before she went to bed and it was great. But, the last couple of weeks, she hasn't needed or been able to go before bed. So, she is waking up in the morning with a poopy pull up and a burned butt. We have tried telling her that if she needs to poop to let us know so she can go to the toilet. Or, if she poops to let us know right away, even if its at night, and we will change her. But, she seems to just sleep through it.

Our problem is how to help her change her time of day of pooping so that she doesn't get a burned butt every morning. Any suggestions?

PS, she eats quite a bit of fruit and veggies already. She doesn't eat any dairy or cheese, and only drinks about 10 oz of goat milk a day. She does some juice, but not a lot. Otherwise, she eats pretty normally.

Thanks for your help! We really appreciate it becuase she is not a happy camper, but doesn't know how to change it.

Edited to add: We are not trying to get rid of the pull ups, she is a long way from that, and its ok. We just don't want her to keep ending up with a burned butt because she is sitting in her poop too long. She does still pee in them at night, and that's ok. She is the one who is upset that she has a burned butt when she wakes up and doesn't like it. There is no stress or upset about it from us, just her.

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So What Happened?

She is doing much better now, we added some probiotics and that has made a huge difference! She isn't waking up with ickies anymore and is able to go during the evening like she was before. Thanks for the advice and help.

Featured Answers



answers from Baton Rouge on

I'm 48 and can't schedule when I poop. Just coat her little botttom with Boudreaux's Butt Paste before she goes to bed.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Sorry, but I have never known that pooping timing can be changed. Unless it is the person's own body and how they are.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

Have you been able to change the time you poop? I'm not talking about being able to hold it until later. I'm asking about your ability to tell your body to not need to poop and to stop giving you the signs that poop is needed? Just something to put this in perspective.

I, too suggest that this is just a matter of her body not being quite mature enough to wake her when the need arises. Her body isn't able to wake her to go poop. It may not even feel the need while she's asleep. This is a stage in "potty training." One cannot train night time pee and poop. One has to wait until the body matures some more.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I don't know how you change the time you poop. I would just slather her with diaper rash cream at night.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

i would check on her at 10 or 11 pm and change her if she has messed, or you could wake her up at that time and try to get her to go potty usually that works better for urination.

try looking at what time she eats and move that up? like no bedtime snacks??

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

My kids both went through this pooping at night thing for a while - maybe a few weeks? It went away on it's own. Does she pee in her pull ups at naptime/nighttime? If so, keep a pullup/diaper on her. If not, I'd say to try no pullups at naptime.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I am not sure you can change a time your body does a bio function. The only thing I can think of .. would be

1. Coat her tush with Vasoline, so there is protection and it will not his the skin directly.

2. Try to get her to go before she goes to bed, or wake her to try before you go to bed?

3. take the pull up away for a few nights and see if it wakes her up to go, vs going in her sleep.

I was under the impression that you did not do that unless you were awake? But Maybe I am wrong.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

You are right in knowing that her body isn't ready to send the right signals to wake in order to use the toilet at night. Waking her etc isn't the answer.
What I would do it put a thick layer of diaper cream like Triple Paste on her to protect her skin from the poop. Also, ifyou go to bed after her, check on her before you go to bed to see if she's already pooped. If she has try to see if you can change her pullup just like you always did with diapers. My kids always slept through diaper changes or would only stir a little bit and go back to sleep. Don't make a big production of dragging her out of bed and down the hall to use the toilet. That is just too much.
My boys went through this for a short time.
There is nothing you can do to change when her body needs to poop. All you can do is things to help with the diaper rash and irritated skin she's getting from being in a dirty diaper all night.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Remember -- no human being can make another one eat, sleep or poop or pee on command. Just keep that in mind.

This is not the last time her body's personal schedule will change. So it's going to happen again, though it's likely that by next time she will be able to get up and go on her own.

If nothing has changed with her eating schedules or the foods she eats and when she eats them, then she may be in a phase -- and it's normal -- when she's just sleeping more deeply than usual and her body is not waking her to poop. It sounds like she is fine using the toilet otherwise so this does not sound like a power struggle or refusal to poop.

So I would just wake her late, a few hours after she's been asleep but before you go to bed yourself, and walk her to the toilet and get her to sit. She may do it then. Keep the lights very low; don't turn on the overhead light in her room, the hallway or bathroom as that could make her more wakeful; talk as little as you can or not at all. Just gently sit her up, guide her to stand and - keeping a hand on her shoulder or arm for safety -- guide her to the toilet. Pull down her pants for her and she likely will automatically sit since she's well trained. Let her sit a few moments. Don't engage her or talk to her other than the briefest "Uh-huh" if she sleepily asks, "Am I pottying now?" or whatever. When she's done, help her wipe (she's half asleep so don't expect her to do her full big-girl wiping routine). If running water over her hands would wake her too much, use a wipe on her hands. Get her back to bed.

We did this with our daughter for a while when she needed to pee in the night but wasn't quite waking to do it on her own. We'd get her up like this around 11 or later when we went to bed. She always peed and she never, ever remembered it the next day and it worked well for keeping her dry all night. It is not a phase that lasts very long so you won't be doing this for years!

Otherwise -- consider her not quite fully night trained and keep those pull-ups for now. She's doing just fine; her body isn't quite caught up with her potty training when she's sleeping, that's all.

If this routine wakes her too much and you find you have to redo the bedtime routine afterward, it's not for her, and I'd just give this more time.My daughter fell right back to sleep as soon as she hit the bed but you would need to see if that happens with your child.

Don't discuss it with her during the day except just at bedtime when she has one last potty stop. If you talk about it too much she will start to stress about it and that makes it tougher, not easier, for a little kid to poop. In the mornings, if there is poop in the pull-up, don't overemphasize it or treat it as cause for discipline or anything like that. Just be swift and matter-of-fact about cleanup and move on.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Have a nice cup of something warm to drink and sit on the potty while you read to her for like a half hour.

Then just hope after a week or two that things will kick in.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i cannot for the life of me figure out how you regulate a poop time.
bodies just can't be ordered around to this extent.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I can't help you with the timing, but I think that you could help her butt by applying petroleum jelly to it. Just clean it good and then slather on that jelly, to protect her skin.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Personally, i think it's more of a potty training issue rather than a change her poop schedule issue (which I'm not sure is possible) I never used pull-ups b/c I felt they were confusing and giving a mix message of what you're trying to accomplish. have you tried to wake her up before you go to bed and take her to the bathroom? do you think she would go in underwear if she had them on instead? Consider trying this: put on training pants with rubber pants on top so not to make a huge mess and just be ready to change the sheets in the middle of the night, with this on, she'll be more likely to feel it and wake herself up, after a few nights of this, I can about promise, she'll start waking herself up if she has to go. I know it sounds like a nightmare and alot of work, but it will only take a week or so, AT MOST;) Also, i would lather her bottom with layers and layers of aquaphor to shield her hiney from getting red in the meantime. Good Luck;)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I honestly find it a bit odd that she's pooping at night. I've never had to poop at night...ever. Nor have my children.

Perhaps you could try adding a snack to her day that has a laxative effect, like two prunes at afternoon snack time (no more than two!), or something like that. It should make her want to go before bedtime.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I don't know of any way to change the time she poops...other than moving her entire eating time/schedule forward by a bunch, even then not sure if that would work?! If I were you I would lather her butt with the diaper rash cream before she goes to bed (like others have said) and then *I* would go in and check her before I went to bed (or have Daddy do it, which ever of the two of you stays up the latest) and if she has pooped wake her up and change her, that is the only way I know of to *ensure* she doesn't have to sit in it all night. A sore butt is NOT comfy for anyone!

Hope you find a definitely needs to be addressed! Poor baby!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I never used pullups, they are diapers and confuse little ones. They feel comfy going in them. We used cloth trainers and covers.

A warm bath before bedtime often helps, is it part of her bedtime routine? My sister found this when my nephew potty trained and he became constipated. His pediatrician said to let him play in a warm bath to relax him. The first time he actually pooped in the tub, he couldn't help it. My BIL took him out, cleaned the tub, added fresh water and bubbles, and he had to go again (but made it to the potty.)

My guy had problems holding his poop when he first trained so I would put him in the tub, he always went. Even now at almost 4 if he needs to go but can't a warm bath always gets him going. And he usually poops in the evening regardless, so the bath is just an additional help. He really doesn't have to think about going, he just needs to once he's had his bath.

So, I'd 1) increase her water intake or start it (you didn't mention any), it helps fiber move through our system, 2) make sure she has plenty of afternoon/evening physical exercise to get "things" going, and 3) a nice, warm bath every night.


answers from Kansas City on

i agree with a small bit of laxative. consult her pediatrician. then after she takes it, after the appropriate amount of time, sit with her on the potty with a drink and a book and wait it out. i do think that you can regulate it a bit, it has to do with what you eat when. again, i would talk to her pediatrician.

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