My 3 Yr Old Has Started Pooping in His underwear....Why?

Updated on February 28, 2007
S.S. asks from Bainbridge, GA
5 answers

My 3 year old has been potty trained for quite a while now. He has started pooping in his pants lately. It seems like it comes in spurts. Sometimes he will be fine for weeks and then he will poop everyday in his underwear. Can anyone give me some advice on how to hadle this? I have tried to be sympathetic. I have tried the other end of the spectrum and told him it was gross and people would make fun of him. We have threatened to put him in diapers or take away toys. Anyone have any good advice?
Thanks, S.

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answers from Pensacola on

I have a 3 year old also. My suggestion to you is to make your child responsible for their own actions. When he poops in his pants, don't say anything except "Oops. Guess you had an accident. You forgot to go poop on the potty". Then the first time you do this, show him how to take his underwear off and dump the poop in the potty (where it belongs). Then show him how to rinse off the underwear in the sink (not important how well he does it, only that he tries). Then show him where his clean undies are and have him put on a new pair. then tell him the next time he has an accident, he has to clean his undies by himself and put on new ones. So next time he has an accident just tell him "Oops. You forgot again to go in the potty." Take him to the bathroom and tell him to clean his mess and put on new undies. Then don't say anything else about it. After a few times of having to do this by himself, it won't be fun. Alot of times pooping in the pants is an attention getting behavior. If this behavior continues regardless of him cleaning it up, I would take him to a doctor to be checked out. Best of luck! jen



answers from Tallahassee on

Sometimes it hapens that without any reason at all kids regress when dealing with going to the bathroom. Other times the regression has to do with changes in their life. Our son has been potty trained since he was two but then we moved into a new home and had another baby and he started to pee in his pants or in bed. We tried to give him more of our time and tried our best to confort him and eventually he corrected himself. I don't know your situation but I'm sure it's just a phase your son is going through.

D. T.



answers from Tampa on

Hi S.,
I have been through the potty training thing already and my son is seven years old now. He still has accidents occasionally. It is upseting but I know it happens because I tried to potty train him too early for one (he was 2 and a half)second I pressured him to much and that can cause anxiety over going potty. And three if there is something traumatic going on (and it doesn't have to be anything big to you but to him it may be)...he will have set backs. Not every child matures at the same rate and you can only back off when he makes mistakes and comfort him when he does. This will go on until he learns to feel safe when he goes potty or when he learns to feel the impulse to go easily. Many times they don't want to stop playing to go potty. Every time we go on vacation or to some event my son holds it. Some kids get it easily and others it just takes time so my advice is to comfort him and do not threaten to take away things or punish him. Bear with him and give him support. If I could do it over I would have waited to potty train and let him tell me when he was ready. When your son is regressing....he needs to know he is not bad. It is going to happen so if you support him and let him feel safe he will improve. It will just take some time. Good luck.



answers from Sarasota on

My son is 3.5 and I was having no luck getting him to do #2 on the potty...he wasn't really having accidents...he thought it was rather funny...I know today's professionals say do not punish around issues of potty training, however, I told him that if he messed his pants again, I would take away a toy and when he went on the potty he would get it back...he messed his pants, I did what I said I was going to do and he's never even so much as had an accident again! Keep in mind that I have already established myself as a firm consistent parent (3rd child, learned my lesson!), so he knew I meant he's proud...& I'm very happy! Good luck!



answers from Gainesville on

I have the same problem with my daughter right now!! It's Gross!! She was potty trained at 28 months (which I don't think is at all early) and doing great and all of a sudden this weekned pooped her panties 3 times! I thought at first that maybe she was getting sick since my 18 month old is getting over a stomach virus. But it wasn't at all loose, it was a normal poo! So I put a diaper on her. Maybe some of you will think I'm barbaric and that punishing her for pooping her pants is bad, but so far it's worked.

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