Refusing to "Poop"

Updated on December 22, 2006
S.K. asks from Fort Worth, TX
5 answers

My son is 3 1/2 yrs old and he will go "pee" in the potty but will not go "poop". I am afraid with his age he won't be potty trained by 4 or by the time we want to send him to preschool. Any advice?

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answers from Dallas on

Hi S.. When my daughter was 3 she did the same thing so I bought a book about going to the potty and I also told her that all her friends do this. I encouraged her to read me the book and I bought a doll that would go to the bathroom. About a week and a half she was doing it. Good luck!




answers from Dallas on

My daughter did the same thing. She is now almost 6 years old and suddenly decided it is OK to "poop" in the potty. We tried EVERYTHING. We used a chart system, points, bribes, punishments (not for going "poop" in her panties, but for not saying something as soon as she did it. She would sit in it until someone noticed.) We took her to the doctor who gave her the "if you don't get cleaned up right away, you will get very sick" speach. They gave her a laxitive because she had gotten so backed up. She took that for months. Finally one day she came to me and said "I went "poop" in the potty." I was thrilled. I praised her so much. And really let her know how proud of her I was.

He may just not be ready, and sadly you cannot rush it. Or it could be that he has had a tramatic experience with going "poop" in the potty. When my son was 4 he all of a sudden quit using the potty for "poop". I thought something was really wrong as he had been potty trained for 2 full years. I took him to the doctor who said it sounded like he had had a bad experience somehow and was "holding it in" until his body could not "hold it" anymore. I left thinking "what could have happened?" Come to realize, a few weeks before he started having accidents, we had been camping and a GIANT SPIDER climbed out of the "out house potty." Yep, that did it. I reassured him that this would not happen at home and helped to create a comfortable atmosphere in the bathroom for him and in less than a week, he was all better.

My recomendation is that at least once a day, take your son into the bathroom and have him sit on the potty (with a stool under his feet if he uses the big toilet) and read him a story. There is a great book called "Everyone Poops" You can pick it up at the library or a bookstore. It is a very cute story to help kids understand that it is perfectly normal to go "poop" in the potty. My daughter eventually became more comfortable with the potty and I think that is what finally led to her using it. The biggest thing is for you to stay calm when he has accidents, also with my daughter I had her take most of the responsibility for cleaning up her messes. I would make her take off her pants and panties and wipe as best she could, then I would finish the job. It takes time and patience, but eventually he will decide it is much easier to use the potty. Good luck and I hope this helps.



answers from Dallas on

You know I have the same problem with my son. He is 3. He got the peeing in the pottie down but he will not poop. He poops everyday just not in the potty. So if you don't mind letting me know what you find out I'd really appreciate it, because I've been teaching him for about three or more months now. Soon I'll be trying to train my 2yr old daughter and I'd like to be prepared if she has the same problem. Sorry I couldn't give you any advice.



answers from Dallas on

I just potty trained my nephew and was having the same problem. I just stayed very consistant with him and bought him big boy underwear (superman his favorite) and after the first time he pooped in them and I threw that pair away (not really but he didn't know that lol) he has been going in the potty ever since. Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

S. this is a very normal thing for a child his age, they are at an age were pooping is private and they do not like to do it when they know people can see or tell what they are doing. The best thing to do is just talk to him as much as possible about this letting him know that it is ok and everyone does it even Mom! When ever he poops in his pants talk to him about how how it needs to go in the potty, DO NOT say ewww yuck gross to pooping in your pants...all he hears is yuck and gross and thinks that it is a bad thing to poop no matter where it happens and will not want to do it at all. If he understands put him on the potty tell him you will leave him alone for a little while so he can go and you will come help when he is all done. Also if there is an older sibling or cousin that he might be able to see go in the toliet that might help as well. I have potty trained many,many 3-4 year olds over the years as a childcare prof,these things have worked! I know it is hard now but her will get it soon!

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