Help with Potty Training - Saint Petersburg, FL

Updated on August 15, 2009
S.R. asks from Saint Petersburg, FL
10 answers

Hi moms - I have a vexing situation that I need a little help/encouragement with. My daughter is 2 years 5 months old and recently started pre-school (I had to go back to work a month ago). She is "pee" potty trained and has been for some time. But the poop is the issue. She occassionally (very occassionally) will do this in the potty, or (ugh) in the yard (don't ask - thank the dog), but most of the time, she does it in her pants. This was not too big an issue when I was home with her, as I usually knew when the time frame to put a diaper on her (she was wearing underwear the rest of the time). But at school, they do not want to "go back" to diapers at all. They tell me to keep putting her in underwear and send an extra pair. Well, I do, but she rarely goes poop in the potty there. She will go in her pants, and it is a good bet that they will throw the underwear away (unless it was a solid BM and the underwear didn't get too dirty). I talk to her about not getting her pretty underwear dirty because they will get thrown out, and to let the teacher know when she has to go, and she says she will, but then... Anyway, just need a little advice on this. She is not pooping at home during the week anymore as she does it at school now. She is pooping in her underwear on weekends too, unless I catch her "look" in time. She sometimes says she has to poop and then sits on the potty, but produces nothing. And forget pull-ups - she rips them open like diapers, and they make her "lazy" about going pee on the potty. If she is wearing a diaper or pull-up, she will pee and poop in it (although she used to pull them off to go pee in the potty). Any advice will be appreciated.

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answers from Miami on

Do not allow the daycare to throw away the underpants! Send in several pairs as well as at least one extra complete outfit. Also give them ziplocks (that style baggie - it can be the generic brand) to put soiled underwear into. If the teacher has a problem then see the Director of the school. It is completely unacceptable for them to throw away the underware.

I agree with many that she may not know in time, especially if she has loose stools. My son is 3.5 and he was pee trained about 2.5 but didn't finish poop training until about 3 years and 2 months. We did use the m & ms at home for poop training and he wanted them so badly that he would hold the poop at school and do it at home to get the candy! We gave him 3 m%ms for poop in the potty and boy did he get the concept!!

Hang in there, don't do PullUps or diapers, that is totally correct, and just rinse the dirty undies in the potty before you wash them. It really isn't that bad. We must have a lot of wimpy mamas on here.

Good luck!

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answers from Tampa on

Hang in there, buy some cheap underwear (maybe something not so nice if it's going to get thrown away, and tell her you will buy pretty again when she learns to go poop on the potty) and keep sending her to school in her underwear AND keep it on her at home all the time too. I had the same problem with my son and they told me at his daycare the same thing. Sure enough in a couple weeks it was all over. She knows how, she's just not doing it, and she will start when she realizes everyone else does it. it's amazing.

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answers from Boca Raton on

hi sue. my daughter is on the tail end of the potty training adventure. she turned two this month. and i can shamefully boast (lol) that we have been successful with m&m's. :) in the beginning, 1 for every pee and 2 for poop. now she pees and rarely asks for a "candy". but still every poop we give her 2 m&m's. and now she is learning her numbers and colors because of it. she says, "um 1, 2, and 3? m&ms?" lol. and i say no, just 2. and then i ask her to pick out which color she would like. its been going really well. maybe you can ask the preschool to work with a reward system. if they aren't thrilled about candy, maybe using raisins or even the yogurt raisins or something. hope this helps. i know this stage is gross right? only a bit longer...:)

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answers from Miami on

Hi, S.. Well, instead of throwing out good underwear, why not send her to daycare in those PullUps? If they're going to throw away her panties when she poops in them, they shouldn't object to throwing away PullUps. In the event that she overcomes whatever disturbs her about pooping in the potty, she can pull them down, do her thing, and pull them back up -- that's why they're called PullUps. I wish to God they were around when my son was little!

And why is it that daycare gets to dictate to you when she's ready to leave diapers behind? If you're paying them to watch your child, then they need to be more flexible.

I know PullUps cost a bit, but they're probably cheaper than replacing a pair of underwear each day. She's not ready to poop in the toilet for some reason -- maybe she doesn't want to do it in front of other kids or even other adults?? I know everyone is probably sick of me saying this, but when a kid is scared of pooping in the potty, one way to ease that fear is to demonstrate how nice it is to poop in the potty.

That's right -- let her see you going to the toilet, sitting down like a good girl, and letting it go where it can't hurt anything. Tell her how good it feels to not have poop touch your buttocks (or whatever word you use for buttcheeks). Then nobody has to touch it, etc., and no one has to get dirty cleaning it out of the underwear. You can even let her flush for you.

At her age, she is finding it important to be a girl and to copy what you do as her main role model of how to be a female. If you stress to her that it feels good to be a girl and go poopy in the toilet, this will give her more incentive.

Another factor to consider is that #1 -- she's not capable of warning you in time, because she's just over 2 years old and has no sense of time. All time is now; she knows she's going when she starts to go. She probably can't help herself. #2 -- she gets a little bit extra attention for pooping in her pants, even if it's negative attention. Again, ppl are probably sick of me saying this, too, but try making sure she gets extra attention for other things at other times, and this may ease her craving to get attention for pooping in her pants.

Even though she's proud of being a big girl, she also is missing out on the baby nurturing she has to give up in order to be a big girl. This is one way that little kids compromise -- 90% of the time, they're big girls or big boys, but they cling to that one part of baby-nurturing for a bit longer. They need to see that it's worth their effort to leave the pooping problem behind and be a bigger kid. I'm sure it's different for every child, but I think that paying more attention to her about other things can help diminish the need to be nurtured by having her bottom wiped.

I hope this all works out to everyone's benefit and happiness.


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answers from Orlando on

If she is in full time day care, I feel it is a big part of their responsibility to potty train her!! You would think they wouldn't want to have to clean up a poop accident and they should be more watchful of her to catch her when she is about to go. They should NOT be throwing away her undies either. My son used to have accidents and they'd put it all in a bag, which was really so gross that I'd end up throwing it away myself, but they should be giving you the option to keep/wash on your own to save money if that's what you want to do. I would imagine that most day cares will not be open to the reward-with-candy idea that many parents love, but maybe you can give her candy at home on the days when she poops on the potty at school. Speak with her teacher and see what can be done to help catch her before it happens.



answers from Miami on

Get her the ugly training diapers (the white thick ones). Give her an incentive to go poop in the potty which will be her nice pretty, BIG GIRL panties. After she stays clean for a few days (even 2 or 3) then she can wear the big girl panties. if she poops in her pants (or in the yard ... lol) then put her back in the white trainer pants until she is clean for a few days.

Whatever you do, don't put her back in the diaper. Your daycare people are right. Like pull-ups, they are just a crutch to not go. It's very possible she just doesn't want to stop what she's doing to go to the bathroom. That's very common with toddlers & preschoolers.

BTW ... Send several sets of the ugly undies in case she goes in her pants more than once and send ziplock bags to put the dirty undies in. That way you can clean it when you get home and they won't throw it away. I never had that problem w/my kids if I provided a non-smelly alternative. :)

Good luck!!!



answers from Lakeland on

It will come in time. There's not much good in "forcing" it. My 2.5 year old is finally letting me know she has to poop before she does it (instead of after). I think we've had 2 dry days now... :)

I would tell the school that your daughter is obviously not ready to be 100% potty trained and that if they are not willing to use pull-ups then not to throw away the underwear since you can't afford to be buying new underwear each week.



answers from Gainesville on

Do not put a diaper on her during that "time frame", instead put her on the potty. You are sending her mixed messages by putting a diaper on her to poop in.

BM's are generally pretty predictable, so keep a VERY close eye on her for the time being, and anytime you notice the cues that she is about to have a BM, rush her to the potty quickly and have her poop in the potty. Then, when she is done, you will want to make a REALLY big deal about it like it is the best thing in the world that has ever happened...sing, dance, high-five, wave bye-bye to the poopy, tell her how proud you are. Likely, the day care is not able to watch her as closely with all the kids, so you may just have to deal with the accidents at school until you've got her trained. Also, put her on the potty about 10 minutes after every meal when she is with you. She may not go (if she does nothing after five minutes, wash up an d be done) but she might, at which time, you make a REALLY big deal about it again. She will catch on pretty quick that pooping in the potty is a REALLY good thing.

I would also swiftly put an end to the yard pooping, as it may be leading her to believe that she can do it anywhere she wants, in the yard, in her pants, wherever. Let he know that poopy only goes in the potty, nowhere else, and only animals poop outside, DEFINITELY not little girls.

I don't believe making the child clean up accidents themself (unless they are over age four, maybe) or punishing accidents, so as to avoid any negative association with potty training.

My son was poop potty trained at 20 months, so it is completely possible at her age, especially if she is already pee-pee potty trained (BM's are actually easier to control).

Good luck!



answers from Tampa on

Hi Sue, we did the m&m and skittles. Trent was his teacher's first student to potty train. She said we would get it done in 1-2 weeks. And boy was she right! Trent got 2 skittles for peeing and 4 for pooping in the potty. We did the same at home with m&m's. Trent was potty training in 2 weeks. He was such a success that his Teacher used him as an example to the other parents. Good Luck, L.



answers from Fort Myers on

My daughter is about the same age and has been potty training for 2 months today... we recently had a couple days of regression where she just forgot about the potty and peed on the carpet but I kept calm and kept her in undies and she's getting back on track. Anyway, what your preschool said about not going back is right on and I wouldn't think that they would throw away the undies. You may need to remind her to use the potty every hour and/or when you think she needs to go. Patience is key and cheering too! The first time my daughter went poopie in the potty I sat with her for an hour or so, holding her hands, reading all of her books, singing weird lil songs I made up and saying what a good job she's doing and... Ta-Da!! she finally poopied! Also, I give my daughter Fiber help make it easier and less painful just 1 a day... the package says 2-3 but that would meet her daily fiber intake and I just use it to help her get enough with fruits and veggies :) Hope this helps!

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