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3 year old anxiety about pooping on the potty

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My 3 year old has no problem peeing on the toilet, but when it comes to pooping, she's freaked out. She had what seemed to be a panic attack (according to the teacher) at school yesterday because she had to poop but didn't want to go on the toilet. The teacher discreetly put her in a pull-up and then discreetly cleaned her up afterward (said she seemed embarrassed). She usually holds it until she gets home, which obviously isn't healthy. Whenever she needs to poop at home, she tells me she needs a diaper, she does her business, then tells me when she needs to be changed. When I ask her if she wants to try the potty, she immediately falls apart. My husband and I have tried asking her why she's afraid, but she just says it scares her. 


I know she'll eventually do it, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips for helping her overcome her fear of pooping on the toilet.

post #2 of 4
You might want to re post in " potty learning"
post #3 of 4

We're at the poop phobia stage with our 25mo.  She stopped peeing in diapers on her 2nd birthday and has been fantastic out and about and even at night - few accidents if deep sleep but otherwise wakes up to go.  This was a major accomplishment for us bc she was on her way to being potty trained at 15mos when my FIL forced her to sit there, scared her and thus started a very long phobia of the potty altogether.  Now it's just poop, she'll ask for a diaper, but then yells for us to 'get back' and 'don't touch it' once it's in the diaper.  I sometimes ask her when she will be ready but she changes the subject so no, not ready yet!  I'm hoping it will be spontaneous like the peeing was and she'll just decide one day it's ok to do.....or I figure we may be out somewhere and she has no choice but to use a toilet to poop.  It will happen!

post #4 of 4

After insisting for a long time that I wouldn't use rewards in potty training (it just seemed weird to me), I followed the advice of my sister and got a package of small toy cars.  I told my son he could have a new car every time he pooped in the potty.  Within a week he was doing so every day with no fear or issues.  After that one box of cars I just stopped giving him rewards.  I was going to switch to stickers because they're cheaper, but oddly it hasn't been an issue.  We were struggling with this last potty training hurdle for months so I was happy I found something that worked, even if it wasn't what I originally wanted to do.  Maybe it was a coincidence and he just finally felt ready, but it didn't seem that way.  I think focusing on the new car distracted him from the fear.

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