Sitting on the Toilet

Updated on May 01, 2012
M.V. asks from Carrier, OK
8 answers

My 7 yr old grandson will not sit on the seat to poop. He strips down to nothing, lifts the seat and hovers, sometimes for an hour, trying to poop. I feel sooooo bad for him because he has such a fear of sitting on the seat and relaxing to move his bowels. Also, because of his fear he usually only "goes" every 2-3 days. What can I do to relieve his fear of "sitting down on the seat"?

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So What Happened?

So many wonderful comments, thank you all very much for your ideas and concerns, I am going out today and but an insert for the toilet. He is very small and thin but in perfect health, in fact his dad is a doctor, after reading your comments two things jumped out at me, he did kind of fall in the bowl when he was about 3 yrs o,d and ever since then he has been saying that there are spiders under the seat on the porcelain, we show him that there is nothing there, but..... We have started giving him Metamucil on the advice of his pediatrician and he is going more often, but still no sitting! Can't wait to try the insert, thanks again to all, kindest regards, M.

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answers from Bloomington on

My little brother used to stand on the seat when he was little. We always knew what he was up to because we heard the pretend sirens at the same time! Lol. There's an uncovered memory!

If he is truly scared of sitting down, can you you slowly train him the toilet is ok? Maybe have him sit on the closed seat, and let him flush it several times? Then maybe have him flush cheerios or something down the toilet? Get him used to the toilet, so when it's time to sit on it, it's not that big of a deal?

Talk to him, and let him explain what scares him? He is old enough where he should be able to do that, right? Maybe he saw/heard about snakes, rats, or gators coming up a toilet?

What about getting some paper seat covers? Would that help him think there isn't a big gaping hole underneath him?

Good luck!!! Phobias are hard to deal with because they are so irrational.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Redding on

Maybe see if he would be more comfortable straddling it backwards.
Possibly someone has told him that sitting on the toilet is for "girls" so he's thinking he's not supposed to sit to sh*t too?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I agree with Dawn...he's constipated. My son did this too (it was sooo annoying). He said he standing and using his legs would make pushing easier (it didn't). Try giving him things that will soften him up - more fruits, vegetables, and add fiber in his diet like sprinkling flax seed in his food. If anything, sneak some Metamusil in his drinks!

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answers from Washington DC on

I just took my 6 year old to a GI specialist at Children's in the beginning of April. He wasn't going on the potty period, except in his pants or in the tub. He has been toilet trained since he was 3.

What she told us to do was to clean him out using a high dose of Miralax (2 cap fulls 3 times a day for 2 days in 4-8oz water or juice). She stated that he should try to sit 3 times per day every day (producing 1-3 apple sauce consistancy BM's per day). After he is cleaned out then a cap full once a day for 2 months until a schedule is developed. My son is already on a routine and it has been a blessing for him as well as Mom and Dad. It can be quite stressful to everyone involved.

Basically she explained that the muscle that tells the body "I have to go", stretches out and the sensation goes away. The child thinks it's better to hold it as they remember the discomfort of the constipation so it continues to get worse. This is a very common thing to occur in boys, very treatable early on.

Good luck!

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answers from Charlotte on

Bless his heart - he's terribly constipated. Please take him to the doctor to get some help. It's very important to deal with this constipation.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I would gently ask him what the fear is and brainstorm with him about what might make him feel more comfortable. Is it germs? With a daughter, I teach her how to put toilet paper on the seat when no paper cover or spray is available in a public toilet. If he's afraid because he fell in, I'd get a seat insert for him with handles.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Is this new behavior or has he always done this?

Truthfully I think I would consult a therapist to learn to get past this. I am afraid it will become so ingrained in him that he will not be able to break the habit or overcome the fear.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

Welcome to Mamapedia. Great first question!

I would inform his parents.

1 mom found this helpful
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