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potty problems

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

DS is going to be 3 next week.  About a month and a half ago, he woke up from a really great night's sleep dry, so I basically made him stay in the bathroom near his potty until he peed in it, because I just had this strong feeling the time was right.  That got the ball rolling, and we have been steadily making progress.  I tried to just be really laid back about it, because we had tried a more forced boot-camp approach before and it failed miserably.  Now, he is in underpants always except for naps and bedtime, and hasn't had a pee accident in at least a week.  But, he has only pooped in the potty once.  He doesn't like pooping in his underpants and gets pretty upset.  He will tell me that he needs to go and I will rush him to the potty and he will sit there a minute or two, nothing will happen, and then he will run off.  It's like he's bottling it up until he can't hold it anymore, and I can't figure out why.  Has anyone else had this problem?  His stool is actually a bit on the soft side, so I don't think there is a constipation issue.  Do I just need to keep being patient and wait it out?  Is it normal for this process to be taking so long?  What can I say to him to make him feel comfortable?

post #2 of 8

DD was the same way, although she didn't mind pooping in her pants as long as she was at home.  It took a while (can't remember exactly but definitely a few months) for her to poop in the potty.  We tried just having her sit a certain times for a long time but she would just hang out and poop in her pants later.  What finally did it was having her pants and/or underpants free and keeping a close eye and getting her to the potty at the right time.  Once she came around to the idea that is was more comfortable to use the potty, she would start to tell us, but still only when she was underwear-free.  


We talked about it and something about it was scary to her.  She explained that much but couldn't really make it clearer.  Talking about it and reading "Everyone Poops" seemed to help, but it was a much longer process than the first round/stage.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks- I think there might be a fear, but I can't get any details from him. We have to keep him clothed because when he is naked he thinks it's fun to squat and pee everywhere and can't keep his hands off himself... I am thinking we made too big a deal out of it, and I think I might just not mention it at all and hope that one day he will decide for himself to use the potty instead. It is just so hard to hide my frustration!!! It helps to know someone else has gone thru this and I hope it will pass just like every other stage that has driven me nuts over the past 3 years...
post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by erinbethp View Post

Thanks- I think there might be a fear, but I can't get any details from him. We have to keep him clothed because when he is naked he thinks it's fun to squat and pee everywhere and can't keep his hands off himself... 


Ah, that's a big difference between boys and girls. I think the whole potty thing is the first of many times that we have to just let go and let them work the rest out for themselves.  I think it took DD around 2-3 months, after being otherwise diaper-free, to poop in the potty full-time.

post #5 of 8

Hi, have just (are still) gone (going) through this.  DS (almost three) is basically home potty trained, but not at day care.  He is a pooper - he poops 3-4 times a day with diapers.  He refused to poop on the potty, but was really keen to be done with diapers.  He started asking for a diaper to poop in, but then he would freak out about me taking off the diaper and cleaning him up after, although he was keen to get back into underwear.  It's like he just doesn't want the poop to exist - it annoys him, slows him down, and it's messy.  


Here are a few things that have helped, but we are still working on it.  

  • Books (but honestly most kind of sugarcoat the mess part) We also liked everybody poops.  
  • No pants or undies I know you said this isn't working for you, but you might consider trying outside.  Also just ignore the playing with himself part (maybe you've already tried this).  I found that the no pants outside was great for poop.  He had to go eventually and when we were outside (with a potty outside) he finally just sat down and did it.  Took two seconds.  This was a major hurdle and we gave him a ton of praise, we did a dance and everything!  When we do no pants inside we remind him that pee and poop go in the potty not on the floor, couch, bed, etc.  
  • Poop presents (we have a small box of toys he can choose from)  this is very motivating, but sometimes also causes stress from the choice.  So I think I will transition to a sticker chart soon, and when he fills it up I will give him a budget for a toy store trip.  The presents have been particularly helpful when he has a diaper on in the morning and he doesn't want to take it off.  We say, "lets just get that off, in case you have to poop you can do it in the potty and choose one of your poop presents".  I know the books have mixed feelings about rewards, but this motivates my kid.  (FYI - i am super cautious about food rewards, as my mom did that a lot and I totally abuse food whenever I feel the need to reward myself - not a healthy habit)
  • Take charge of poop chant.  "Who's in charge of oliver's poop? oliver is in charge of oliver's poop" and "who's in charge of mommy's poop, mommy is in charge of mommy's poop"  We chant/rap this.  I think potty training is so wrapped up in control this is a good reminder to both parents and todlers - no one else is in charge of when and where the poop comes out.  My DS needed to know it was his choice where to put the poop and when to do it.  In the potty, or he could ask for a diaper - his choice.  If he asked for a diaper I told him he could poop in it, but we would change him right away back into underwear.  He hates me interrupting his play for a change, and finally has found it more convenient to poop in the potty. Sitting him on the potty every hour is useless with my guy - his personality is to hold it in response (in spite?).   
  • Taking our own potty (not just a seat, the actual potty chair) everywhere we go.  He is afraid of big potties.  He had one with a really loud auto flush go off while he was still sitting on it a few months ago and he always talks about it.  Since we have been taking our own he's great about peeing anywhere.  He still doesn't poop if we are away from home. 
  • This video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vtq1XV6ZVOc  We also model this behavior by announcing when we "feel it" and what we are going to do.  
  • Making poop fun.  I use funny voices to praise him.  If I think he needs to go, I try to refrain from asking him to go.  Instead  I say stuff like, I'm so proud of you, you've been working so hard to put your poop in the potty every day, then I sing a ridiculous song about poop in a ridiculous voice.  He's having fun, the focus is on poop, but not on taking away his control.  



we are only two weeks into training in earnest, but this is what has helped.  Good luck and give it time.  

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much.  I love the "who's in charge" rap... great idea!  We also carry our potty everywhere.  We are also doing a lot of praise and the stickers.  There is a special sticker in our sticker pack - a crane- that I have told him is for a poop.  I know I have read things about how praise/rewards can be bad, but I really felt we had to go that route, before I couldn't even get him to go near the potty.  What's worse is I keep failing at what I know is important and not scolding him when there are accidents.  We've been at this for over a month with lots of other things going on (there always is) and DS2 is 10mo... I am just so low on patience.  Coping mechanisms?

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

I just wanted to update that we are over the hump and haven't had a poop accident in almost a week!  While he needed to have undies on to learn the pee part, turns out naked time was what worked for figuring out the poop.  I'm convinced it was all a fear issue.  Basically how he got over it was he needed to poop, and had his pants off after a try, but was pacing around the house obviously distressed and needing to go.  I kept saying "let me know if I can help you with something"... "do you need to poop?"... "you know where your potty is, you can put the poop in the potty when you are ready" etc.  Then, when he couldn't hold it anymore and started to go I quickly slipped the potty under him and caught it in there.  He never even sat down... but then I made a big deal, celebrating, and gave him the promised extra special sticker.  And ever since then it has been fine.

This was a hard, very long, process for me but I think I learned so much.  It was really hard for me to let go and be ok with accidents and letting him really be in control of this thing himself.  Obviously I knew I couldn't make him go, but I still somehow deep down wanted to be in control of that I think.  I certainly don't win any parenting awards for how this all went down but he seems no worse for wear... I tried!  He tried!  I think we grew together.

post #8 of 8

Congratulations to both of you!  Hope your days continue to be accident-free in the poop department!

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