Toddler poops in underwear - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 10-18-2005, 02:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wondering if anyone else has this issue:

My 34 month old dd has been peeing on the potty for nearly 4 months now but doesn't seem to know that a poop has occurred and will often resist if we mention that a "poop happened" or "let's go clean the poopy out". She used to tell me when she pooped (always after the fact) but now she doesn't even mention it. She has had some bowell irregularity (very picky eater--refuses all veggies and any food that I try to sneak veggies into, i.e. lasagna or any other combination food) that I attributed to genetics, as I have a slow system even though I eat tons of fruits and veggies and exercise too. We have increased her water intake and reduced milk intake in addition to closely looking at her diet and even adding a little more fiber to it which seems to have helped her but she still doesn't "go" at regular times (like, after a meal for instance--she might go 2 to 3 hours after a meal instead.)We just had another baby 8 weeks ago so it's been diffiult for me to remember to ask her if she needs to go and often I will get resistence about sitting on the potty to "try". It is very challenging for me and dh because she is wearing underwear and the cleanup is prettty messy and sometimes occurs 2 or 3 x a day. I find that I am getting a little frustrated at times when it occurs and I have to abandon crying baby to help her deal with the cleanup. At least she is to the point she is pooping every day. She has had issues with pellet poops and hard poops prior to our making the aforementioned changes and I'm wondering if she is fearful or has lost some sensation. Will she get it back if so? She wears pullups at night and I would rather not let her wear them during the day because she will use them like a diaper and then we'll be back to square one with pee. She doesn't seem to get the concept that you can pull them up and down like underwear although I told her that repeatedly before we finally moved her to underwear thinking if she could feel the pee she would be more inclined to use the toilet and it did work. I'm not sure what to do about the pooping in the underwear thing. Maybe she will eventually get it and begin to recognize it when it happens.

I know she has been through a lot lately with new brother's arrival and starting a pre-school co-op (in additon to potty learning) but am just wondering if anyone out there had any suggestions or incentives to get her to recognize bowell movements.


LYB, Mama to Abby : and Adam , dp to JB
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#2 of 8 Old 10-18-2005, 03:28 AM
 
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Was she going poop in the potty before or has she never gone...just pee? Often toddlers will go pee but not like to poop in the potty. Sometimes I think because it takes too long sometimes just cause. I bet she does know when she poops in her panties she just doesn't want to tell you. If she was going before but not now I expect it has something to do with the new baby, changes etc. You mentioned she is attending preschool does she go poop there? I think you are very right about wearing panties instead of pullups during the day! Pullups are very confusing...do you use regular panties or the thick ones for potty training. They are a bit better as it doesn't get on their pants etc. I expect it is just something you have to wait out.
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#3 of 8 Old 10-18-2005, 02:51 PM
 
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We had a similar issue, with resisting pooping on the potty. He didn't really resist the potty, just pooping on the potty. My gut told me it was more physical difficulty than consciouse resistance. One thing kinda worked for us - We told DS that it was messy for him to poop in his pants, and so that when it was time for him to poop, he should tell us if he needs to go potty or have a diaper put on. (his choice)

It seemed to open up the communication a bit and give him a bit more control and power over the situation. Most importantly, it seemed to give him confidence. Once he started correctly identifying and communicating the sensation, we tried to guide him toward using the potty. When he would say it was time for a diaper, I would say that's great, why don't you sit on the potty while I get things ready so that you don't have an accident in your pants. If he had a special book he wanted to read, I would suggest reading the book, on the potty, prior to putting on the diaper. Once he relaxed, and pooped on the potty a couple of times, he pretty quickly moved to using the potty regularly.

It seemed physically easier for him to poop in a diaper than poop in the potty (his favorite pooping position was lying face down on the floor) so even after he was trained pretty well, if I could sense that he was having difficulty or noticed a change in his pattern, I would say something like "I know your a big boy and like to use the potty, but I think your body is having trouble pushing out the poop, and it's important that your body gets the poop out. Would it be OK if I put a diaper on you for a little while?" He would answer yes or no, again, his choice.

What surprised me, was that he didn't get confused at all. When wearing a diaper, he still told me when he had to go, or sometimes, he would look at me with a certain look in his eyes and say am I wearing a diaper? is it OK if I go in my diaper? While I would sometimes try to steer him to decide to use the potty, I tried to leave the choice to him.

As for incentives - once I knew he was able to physically accomplish the task (actually I started the incentive before I was confident he was physically able, but I regret that) we did have him complete a "star chart" for pooping. Every time he would poop on the potty, he would get a star. When he got X number of stars, he could "buy" a toy (A Thomas the Train car at our house!) I'm not sure it was necessary because I think once they start they tend to want to continue, but it was fun, it gave him a sense of accomplishment, and I'll definately do it again with DS#2.


In case you want to keep reading, I posted this to another thread yesterday, cut and paste to here with some edits...

My son started to potty train at about 36 months. I would say he is just now completing the process at 44 months. The main hold-up was pooping. At first, he didn't seem to get it. Didn't seem to recognize the sensation. Then he did recognize the sensation (reveled from body language, not verbal admission), but his innards would seem to tense up when he was on the potty (though he looked relaxed). There were a couple of times that we basically caught him in the act and carried him to the potty with a 'small tail', only to find that his body would 'suck it up' once on the potty. We would sing and read, he would ask me to read more....nothing worked. I did some on-line research and it seemed that this was not a rare thing. The suggestion is to ensure they are not constipated and if they are to fix that problem first (which it sounds like you've already done), and then basically be patient. As soon as my son did poop on the potty, it became pretty regular pretty fast, though he did have a phase where he still preferred to go in his pants. He preferred to poop while lying face down on the floor. We never really tried to control his timeline, though I think there were some 'power' issues involved. A couple of times I mentioned how he was now using the potty every time (a compliment, I thought!) and that seemed to trigger him to go back to going in his pants for a couple of days. I also noted that if he was at all under the weather, even a mild cold, that it seemed to interfer with potty training.
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#4 of 8 Old 10-19-2005, 02:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hopeland: she may have pooped on the potty once or twice prior to moving to underwear. She has not yet pooped at the preschool and, poor things, they have cleaned a couple of these messes also. Now they will ask her if she would like a pullup before they go out on the playground. The accidents do seem to be happening in the late afternoon. Maybe that is just her time to poop. At least I'm getting a better sense of things since she is actually going every day now.

Thanks for all your comments. I thought about something else that was going on with potty learning which we began shortly after she turned 2 last spring. She had a great aversion to any kind of verbal praise, particularly the words "wow" or "yay" so we sort of stopped making a big deal about pooping or peeing on the potty. Then she sort of regressed on the potty learning and in late summer resumed it again and here we are at this point now. She's actually ok with praise now, as long as it's not too loud overstated.

Today a friend was visiting and her little girl used our bathroom to go poop. DD was watching from the hallway and about 10 minutes later she said "I got poop mom" which means she had already pooped but at least she told me so I made a big deal about her telling me and matter of factly said, "maybe next time you can go on the toilet." The big key here is that she volunteered to tell me that she had pooped and that was part of our overall issue. So I'm feeling more relieved about this after doing more research and talking to her pre-school teacher. I think she will eventually get it and I need to not react negatively when an accident happens no matter how messy

LYB, Mama to Abby : and Adam , dp to JB
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#5 of 8 Old 10-19-2005, 11:07 AM
 
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One thought about minimizing the mess...

My son wears Hanes - Boxer Briefs. They are cotton and fit like snug shorts, going a few inches down the legs. I realize they are designed for boys, but they did a pretty nice job of keeping the accidents contained when they did happen. I would guess that they would be a lot more effective than panties.
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#6 of 8 Old 10-25-2005, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wahoo! she just pooped on the potty
Don't know what finally clicked but she's been telling me all day that she needed to go and we've diligently been sitting on the potty but nothing until a couple of hours ago and this happened after a grocery shopping trip! Now, if she can keep doing it....
Thanks for all the advice.

LYB, Mama to Abby : and Adam , dp to JB
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#7 of 8 Old 10-25-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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With my ds1 poop came months after pee.
And he rarely was predictable either. As soon as he became predictable and I would put him on the potty at the time he had gone the previous 2 days, he would either not have to go or hold it till later.
But when he got it, he got it.
Good luck
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#8 of 8 Old 10-26-2005, 10:46 AM
 
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It sounds like y'all have made some real progress!

We EC our DS so I have no direct experience/advice, but my MIL said that when my DH was 3 years old (and still pooping in his pants), they went to the Dr. for something. When they got home she said "You heard what Dr. M said, right? He said you can't poop in your pants anymore." Apparently that was that and there was no more pooping in the pants. Somehow having the suggestion coming from another person who DH saw as an authoritative figure did the trick!

I hope your DD continues to poop on the potty!


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