My 3 Year Old Keeps Pooing on Her Self... Help!!!!

Updated on October 01, 2010
O.C. asks from Burbank, CA
8 answers

My 3 year old has been potty trained for a few months now and about a month or two ago she started peeing in the potty but will still do #2 on her self. Even this morning she went #2 on herself and I cleaned her up and then she went pee in the potty. I have tried so many things to stop her from going on her self, but nothing works. What should I do at this point????

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answers from Dallas on

I know this is going to sound terrible, but we took away my son's favorite toys until he stopped doing that! It worked! We just explained to him that big boys don't go potty on themselves and if he couldn't be a big boy then he couldn't have his big boy toys. He really hated it and it broke my heart having to do it but he now is fully potty trained! HTH!

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answers from Portland on

Plenty of kids have a hard time with pooping in the toilet, even after peeing is reliable. It's helpful to treat it as an entirely different stage of training. The children in a few young families I've known continued to ask for a diaper for pooping for several months after pee training was successful. It did not appear to confuse the children, who can be pretty sensible about what will work for them.

The urges and sensations for peeing and pooping are different, sometimes even painful, and can be complicated by diarrhea or constipation, or swing from one to the other. It usually takes a lot longer to poop than to pee – my grandson gets pins and needles in his legs from the pressure of the toilet seat by the time he's done. Some kids are very regular, some might poop four times one day and then skip two days, and never know what to expect. So it's often much harder, and this isn't your daughter's fault.

And some kids develop fear of the potty, or the sensations, or are terrified when they see a "part of themselves" in the potty and see it flushed away. This fear is hard to reason away in a young child, but usually they outgrow it when their cognitive functions are better developed. Parents can sometimes help this by understanding that the fear is real, and perhaps cheerfully encouraging the child to flush when the parent has a bowel movement. And explanation of "when food goes in, poop must come out" can be useful.

Most developmental specialists suggest that children be allowed to approach this challenge at their own speed, with parents acting as coaches, personal assistants, and cheerleaders. Kids do take on the challenge when they are matured enough physically and emotionally. Then it becomes a positive process for the child, and they are as proud as they are with any other new skill. Many parents report that any stage of training can take from one day to a couple of weeks when the child is confident he can do it.

Your daughter is old enough to understand the desirability of using the potty, but hasn't sorted out all the urges yet. If she tends to poop at a regular time, you might ask her to sit for a while and read to her, or line up a few of her toys to role-play successful pooping (my grandson still loves this if he's having an uncomfortable poop.)

If she's successful, be pleased but not overexcited for her, and don't assume it is necessarily anything more than a happy accident yet. After a few repeats, she'll probably start to get the "sequence of events" figured out.

If she's not successful, just cheerfully appreciate her trying, and express your calm confidence that she'll be able to do this pretty soon. She will. It just takes some kids more time, and the more pressure she feels to succeed, the less likely she is to get in touch with her actual bodily sensations.

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answers from Honolulu on

She will get it, on her own.
Don't force it.
Pooping IN a toilet, is the later stage of toileting....

My daughter, even though we didn't force her, got anxiety and stress just from pooping and thinking of going in a toilet. She got constipated. We then had to take her to a Pediatric Gastroenterologist. HE said, this is COMMON and sees kids like this everyday. IF a child fears popping in a toilet... they get constipated, then 'withhold' their poop on purpose... thus getting constipated. THEN it is a medical problem and then an emotion-based problem... because constipation causes PAIN in the child from holding it in and then if/when it comes out, it is painful. So then the child withholds their poop even more, NOT wanting to poop. At all.
It took my girl THREE months, to get her constipation better.
A child, if having poop problems/constipation... it can also lead to other medical problems such as "Encopresis" and bulging/blocked bowels etc.
So, you do not want this to happen.

For my son, who is now 4, he actually thought his poop was a part of him and it scared him, that it went in a toilet and got flushed. He just got so scared, to poop, unless in his diaper.

Just let her poop. Even if for now, in a diaper.
But encourage her.... calmly and nicely.
And mostly, don't 'scold' for it.... it will make them MORE resistant. And it will then not be a good.... thing for them.

My son, would even tell me loudly "IT'S MY BODY!!!!!!" and yes, it is.
I personally, cannot do number two, on command, either.

Your daughter, is not potty trained yet.... it is a process....

all the best,

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answers from Detroit on

She's not potty trained if she's still not pooping on the potty. If a diaper bothers her, let her know that she can't go without one until she can go poop and pee on the potty. My daughter wasn't fully potty trained until she was almost 4.

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answers from Dallas on

I'm experiencing the same thing with my son who is 3 1/2. I've tried everything, and nothing seems to work. I don't have any answers, but I thought it might make you feel better to know that I can relate. Good luck with your daughter. And as for the person who said she isn't potty trained, I disagree. Don't let those negative words discourage you. You've accomplished a huge task by getting her to urinate on the potty. Soon you both will accomplish the other. I do, however, feel at this point that I'm going to have to accompany my son to prom in case he has any accidents! :)

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answers from New York on

I agree that it's probably fear. Hope you can find out whats scaring her. Fear of the toilet? get her a little potty. Fear of a painful bowel movement? give her fiber, apple prune juice, and miralax for a while



answers from Portland on

She's probably scared of something. And it takes time to get over that. You can try letting her run naked and see if that will get her past that.

My son was 4 1/2 before he would poop in the potty. He would completely strip and poop on the floor. He would get hysterical if you tried to make him poop on the potty. I never learned what he was afraid of, but eventually I got tired of it and forced him to sit on the potty until he pooped. He than learned that it wasn't as scary as he thought it was. I have no problems now but it took a long time before he got over whatever he was afraid of.



answers from Kansas City on

I didn't try this myself, but I heard it worked from a few different moms...basically just take her panties and pants off her. When she has to poop she will either go on the potty or it will fall on the floor. From these other moms' experience, the poop on the floor freaks them out so bad they want to potty on the toilet. I don't know...but maybe worth a try!?! I will say that my daughter has never had an issue with poop on the potty (thank goodness...cuz I know it's pretty common!) but one time as she was getting off the toilet, some smeared and did fall on the floor and she did freak out about it. She was very disturbed and we had to clean it up before we could clean maybe there's something to it! It's kind of gross, but if you've tried everything else, maybe keep it in the back of your mind as a back up plan! Good luck!

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