Toddler Obsessed with His Poo

Updated on December 08, 2007
S.V. asks from Medford, OR
8 answers

My friend has a 20 month old son and he is absolutely obessed with his poo. She is trying to potty train him, he will go pee in the toilet but refuses to go poo on the toilet. I know this is common for kids as it was for my son. But the really bad part is that when he goes poo in his diaper and you don't catch him quick enough he take his diaper off and smears the poo all over the floor and furniture and sometimes even himself. Has anyone had to deal with this before?? I think using the toilet will just come with time, but until then how do you teach him not to touch it??

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answers from Anchorage on

Can't agree more. It's a common stage kids go through. Out of 4 of my kids I had only 1 child do this. Yes it passes if taught it's icky. Just like we have to teach them not to stuck things in to light sockets, play with foods, not run around the house naked or not to drink bleach etc..

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answers from Anchorage on

wow.... this should e a phase.. I have also heard of kids doing this.. not continually though. She will have to be very careful and watch him.. maybe even chart the times of day when he has his BM so she can be sure to be near him when he is about to have one. And when he does... tell her to sit with him while he does his thing.. maybe read a book or something .. then when he is done.. take him to the bathroom, and let him take the diaper off.. and let him dump it in the toilet from the diaper (if it is solid enough to come off the diaper). Have her let him participate somehow in the way it is disposed of.

Have her try not not to make any faces that would reveal disgust at how it looks or smells.. it is his and he may be offended.. some kids do get attached to what is theirs .. even if it is poo.



answers from Spokane on

My daughter liked to do that too (we called it finger painting). We had her "help" clean it up, and make sure it got into the toilet where it belongs. We also made sure she got the tactile stimulation she needed through other sources - she got her own little lump of dough to knead when I made bread, we bought some playdough, got her some real finger paints, etc. Once she figured out that smearing poo on the walls was far more trouble than it was worth, she quit. It wasn't an overnight change, but she quit within a week or so.



answers from Seattle on

I have heard about this problem quite often I have a friend who's daughter painted her room with poo when she was young it stoped as soon as she was fully potty trained more than likely it is a phase but your friend should explaine that poo is yucky kids understand that terminology pretty well and more than likly he will stop.



answers from Seattle on

I believe this is a control issue, your friend needs to assure her son that she is responsible and in control, and does not tolerate this behavior with whatever disciplinary actions she thinks fits the "crime." Also encouraging him with positive ways to get mommy's attention and focused time together.



answers from Seattle on

When he does it then tell him it is not good, that he needs to go in the toliet, and have him clean it up. Of course the mom will have to go behind him and clean more, but, he starts the process.
Also, if he can take his diaper off then he doesn't need to wear them. Maybe if he wore his big boy underwear he might be more interested in going to the toliet and not playing. The idea being not wanting to stain his underwear.
I have a nephew that did this playing with poo, it stopped when he had to help clean it up. Every child is different and some need more attention than others.
Tell your friend, good luck.



answers from Seattle on

Hi S.,

It sounds like if the child has been informed that the poo is not to be played with as a toy, then he may just be acting out to get attention. I have a friend who's son did that. Whenever he spoke and she was talking to someone else, she would ignore him. He is now almost 3 and still has similar issues because she does not address them. She honestly does not realize the long term impact of ignoring the child.

Anyway, I do agree that children will understand better if informed that the poo goes in the toilet, but at first kids experiment and that means smearing the poo, just like dripping water on the floor, or throwing food. It is a stage, and it will pass. I would say just for the mom to be as patient as possible, to not give negative attention if it is determined that the child is acting out in that way to get it. Have her try a book or video that discusses specific ways to potty train. A DVD that we have is Potty Power. It is great and I highly reccommend it! Blessings to you and your friend. :)




answers from Portland on

we just finished that stage!
I was trying to potty train my son and he rufused... so I left his underware off, I then found him skating on our wood floors in his poo! needless to say the diapers went back on until the power struggle was over. He is finally to a point where he's happy and I'm asking him again if he's ready to try going on the potty. we'll see what happens tomorrow actually. (he'll be 3 on valentines day)

HOWEVER... about six months ago is when the playing in his poo all started.. I can't tell you how many times we've cleaned up poo on the walls, carpet, floor and all over him too. (he was 2 1/2)
We told him No, and that he needed to tell us when he went poop in his pants. after constant showers and telling him it was gross it subsided. (Maybe tho becuase our three year old was on poop alert every time, it seemed she was tired of him playing in it too, she became an anouncer of Leo's poop!)

but the playing came back during the forced potty training
*( we only forced him because it seemed as tho everything was a power struggle and when he was with my mom he potty trained himiself without any prompting, spending the night, so I figured he was ready... little did I know he was ready for a fight)

Moral to the story.. keep telling him it's not okay, duct tape his diapers on, and give him a shower each time it happens.. and invest in lysol... (or a green version for us)

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