3 Year Old Pooping On The Floor - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 10-04-2008, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
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dd is 3 1/2 and having a hard time with the potty. She goes no prob most of the time but sometimes she needs convincing to get in there. Lately she's been pooping on the floor on purpose and sometimes using a block to smear it ALL over. We've tried everything we can think of and it still happens. IMO she's old enough to know NOT to do this. I know there is a reason behind it but I can't get her to give me a clear answer. What would your honest reaction be when you walked into the room to find poop everywhere and how woudl you deal w/ it. Today I didn't get mad at all (I usually refrain from getting super mad but I am usually firm about it) and I had her sit on the couch in a time out while I cleaned it up. I did make her get me a diaper so I could wipe it up. I normally have her help wipe up but the baby was hysterical from being put shut in my room (cause he knocks over the baby gate and will get in the poo if given the chance) and I wanted it cleaned up ASAP for his sake.

What do you think?
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#2 of 8 Old 10-04-2008, 12:51 PM
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Not a lot of advice here, just sympathy and fear. Yikes! I hope I'm not in for the same! I have a son about to be three who began potty training prior to his sister's birth 4 months ago. He now refuses and to use the toilet. Even when naked, he now pees on the floor, but he doesn't poop...yet. Reading your post seems like a window into my possible future. Anyhow, the only idea I have is in dealing with the mess, not preventing it. Do you think there's a way to temporarily confine your baby that won't be as separating? maybe a highchair, playpen, or even a booster seat with straps?

::: Mama to Feingold target: Sebastian(10/05) and Savannah, my allergy princess (b 6/08). Avoiding dairy, corn, soy, oats, sesame, eggs, nuts, seafood, and banana
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#3 of 8 Old 10-04-2008, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by springmama View Post
What would your honest reaction be when you walked into the room to find poop everywhere and how woudl you deal w/ it.
I think I would probably be shocked, then my heart would sink. I would try to distract DD where I could watch her, such as putting her in a bubble bath while I cleaned. I don't think I would put her in a timeout because I wouldn't think that she was "old" enough to know not to do this - she's just doing what she's doing for reasons I would really want to figure out.

I would find it pointless to ask my DD why she pooped on the floor. My DD wouldn't really know why, and would make up some answer that wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. So I would try to figure it out myself. I might bring the little plastic potty back in - maybe she is afraid of her poop being flushed (sometimes little kids see it as a part of their body and they are scared of it being flushed away). I might put a door chime or hang a bell on the bathroom door so I know when she goes into the bathroom. Usually I have an idea about when my DD needs to poop, so I would try to go with her during that time when I see her heading that way. I might increase sensory play in case she was pooping on the floor then playing (not trying to hide it) with it.

Many kids go through a poop smearing phase. Its awfully frustrating! I think its great you were able to stay calm.
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#4 of 8 Old 10-04-2008, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Confining the baby to my room was a one time thing that happened yesterday. Usually I have more time and access to poop free space but yesterday I had to act fast and he kept pushing down the baby gate. I hope that maybe someone else has been in this place before and can give me some insight. Hopefully your ds will skip the poop all over the place phase
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#5 of 8 Old 10-04-2008, 01:12 PM
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Three and a half IS old enough to know not to do this.

But, there is a reason she's doing it. (it's probably just experimental)

So, before showing that you are mad... (cuz who wouldn't be mad) I would try to find out why some kids do this. I know really little kids do it, because they could reach it in their diaper, or they took their diaper off and then pooped.. Then played in it. But, typically a pre-school age child doesn't do this.

Anyway, my point is. There is a reason for this, and I can't even begin to guess what it is, but she doesn't know either. So, don't even ask her why.

Serioulsly, can you ever remember a time when an adult asked you "Why did you do this?" and you answered with anything other than "I don't know". "I don't know" is the universal answer to "why did you....".

*funny story to make you feel better*

When my niece was four, she pooped into a ziplock baggy, then she and her twin sister kept it stored in their night stand for several days before their mom finally tracked down "the smell". She wanted to send them both to counseling and was sure they were going to turn into sociopaths.

And. They are kinda weird. But, a good weird. All Geeky and into science. One is in college to be a forensic scientist, and the other is in pre-med. Maybe poop investigation is important for those later years.
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#6 of 8 Old 10-04-2008, 01:49 PM
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I woudn't give her the opportunity to be alone long enough to do it, and when you see her looking like she has to go, encourage the potty. But if I couldn't trust my child alone in a room, I wouldn't leave them there. If this were a crawling infant and a flight of stairs, you wouldn't turn your back. And a pooping 3.5 year old would, in my house, garner the same amount of supervision.

Frankenstein never scared me. Marsupials do. Because they're FAST.
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#7 of 8 Old 10-04-2008, 02:00 PM
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I second the recommendation to watch her like a hawk. I'd also get a set of finger paints and a huge roll of paper and let her go to town with that hopefully instead of the poop. She might just have an artistic streak and is in need of a new medium.
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#8 of 8 Old 10-04-2008, 02:15 PM
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Wow. Has she had any major changes lately? How old is the baby?

I second the idea of getting her things to smoosh instead. And at a calm moment I think I would talk to her about poo being unhealthy to have around and on your hands.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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