5 yo Will NOT poo in potty - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-21-2011, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My dd just turned 5 and she has never poo'd in the potty.  She had no trouble pee-training at 2--we simply bought a potty seat and she used it from day 1.  She's never had an accident with either pee or poop ever.  She just won't sit and poop.  She knows when she needs to go and asks for me to put on a diaper and then change her.  I think the issues are 1) she doesn't like any sort of change at all and this is what she's used to, 2) she's used to pooping while standing.  Is this something I should worry about or do you think she'll just eventually start pooping on the potty on her own?  Anyone BTDT with a child this age? 

 

(I have never talked to a doctor about this because we don't do "well visits" and this also seems more behavioral to me than medical, and I've learned to not trust doctors when it isn't medical advice I need.  She's not constipated and has never had an issue with constipation.  She usually needs to poo once a day. I've considered some sort of bribery but I've never done bribes before and dislike it--we're very influenced by Alfie Kohn.  Also, there is the issue that my child really isn't bribable--there is nothing she wants, as she is the most easy-going, contented child.  She's not into toys or candy or anything.  I'm not really sure what I COULD bribe her with even if I did go that route.  I thought about using a trip to Disney World but since she doesn't really understand fully how fun that would be (we're totally media free) I don't think it would work.)

 

Help!

 


Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:03 PM
 
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Do you homeschool or is she going to be starting school in the fall?  If she is going to be going to school you could explain that at school you need to be able to poop in the toilet (no one is available to change diapers), and ask if she'd like to start practicing with you to learn how.

 

I don't think this sounds like anything to worry about, and yes, I do think she probably will start using the toilet at some point of her own volition, but she needs some sort of motivation (be that internal "I've decided I'd like to learn how to poop in the toilet now", or by the way of bribes, etc).  Like I said above, if she will be going to school then maybe that would motivate her to try.  If not, and if you are ok with the dipe changes, then I don't see any need for bribes, etc, especially since they aren't really part of your parenting "toolbox", yk?  The older she gets the more she will be doing activities separate from you and at some point she will find not having learned to poop in the toilet to be a hinderance.  You can open the dialogue about that if you like and remain open to help her when she's ready.  If it reaches a point when it's becoming more critical that she learn (say you need to work and you need her to go to school) then you can become more proactive in your approach.


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Old 02-21-2011, 11:51 PM
 
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why are you posting this question?

if it is bothering you that your 5 yo won't poop in the potty, and that you are still changing diapers on her... then what i would do is simply force the issue. stop buying diapers. she can poop on the floor, or simply do it over the toilet. or she can poop in a diaper that is placed over the toilet. 

obviously she has some hang up about toilets or poop or else she would have used it already for pooping.

if this is strictly a behavioral issue, then she should get over it quickly with a little effort on your part.

i potty trained my daughter at age 3.5. i had to "force" her into it. it took about an hour of her having a fit, me not getting mad but also not giving in. she finally went on the diaper placed over the potty. once she saw that she could do that, then she pooped in the potty.

 

i'm all for going at the child's pace, and not forcing her to do things, but where do you draw the line on this issue?

5 years is a milestone birthday. next year when she's 6, it's all about losing the first tooth. they are really growing up fast.

it's not a physical problem (yet). but what happens if she's so attached to diapers when she's 6 or 7 or 8. and involved in some activities outside of your home, and has to go? she will hold it, right? holding it leads to constipation... and that can cause all sorts of physical issues.

 

IMHO, end this now for her own good. you can be extremely kind and compassionate in your approach to doing it.

 

ps; what finally did it for me was having a new baby. once i had newborn baby poop to "compare" with a 3 year old's poop... well, i just couldn't do the big kid's diapers anymore. i was too grossed out. so have a new baby and you'll see what i mean. just kidding. good luck.


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Old 02-22-2011, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, we homeschool so there is no "peer pressure" or outward motivation for pooing in the potty at this time, it seems.  I've mentioned it to her over and over again and she says, "not yet but maybe another year."  I don't really mind changing her diaper still but it's more or less that it seems EVERYONE else's kid is doing this at age 5 and I don't know what else I can do to speed things along.

 

My main reason for posting was just to get a feel for if other moms would worry about this, and if there is a gentle way to help her want to go on the potty.  I'm not willing to risk frustration or a fit over it.  I think by the time she's older I'll be able to reason with her more and she'll be more accomodating.  She has one friend her age and dd knows that that friend goes on the potty and it doesn't seem to motivate her (she's very intrinsically motivated and external motivation never works it seems).  I'm not willing to be abrupt about this, as knowing her personality, it would be traumatic and I think that would cause worse issues.

 

I was also just wondering if there were any other moms out there facing the same issue with a 5 yo.


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Old 02-22-2011, 08:03 AM
 
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Mine wouldn't do it for what seemed like forever!  I think she was around 4 or 5 when she finally did. What did it?  She wanted to wear big girl panties...we went and bought nice ones that she picked out...after I think it was about the 3rd poop accident, she decided she needed to do it and finally went in the potty.  So perhaps take her shopping for them?  Then say you really need to start practicing now for the fall because it takes a few times to get used to not waiting too long to go.  For that was the issue really...she would wait too long to ask and then it happened before we could get her to the potty when we were out and about.

 

Good luck!

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Old 02-22-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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She sounds just like my ds.  He started using the toilet at 2 1/2 for urinating and never had more than 2 accidents.  But he liked to stand and wear a diaper for poo.  I was always a bit concerned about constipation.  He never had an actual problem but seemed borderline, not on a daily schedule.  Activities and such were never an issue because he would wait til we were home.  I literally ran out of diapers one day, a month after he turned 5.  I tried putting a cloth diaper on him but that didn't feel right to him and he took it off.  I told him he could use his underpants but that idea did not make him feel secure.  I told him we could put something down on the floor and he could go standing up.  But I think he was worried about feces getting on him.  He had mild sensory aversions to messy things.  He finally sat on the toilet after a fair amount of distress.  He was initially pretty proud of himself but wanted to go back to diapers after a few times.  I empathized but didn't buy more diapers.  It wasn't ideal but it wasn't coercive or manipulative or anything, either.    

 


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Old 02-22-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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I think there are some issues we just have to give a push... not too hard or you can make things worse. I would fear that accepting the situation would just support her notion that she isn't ready and you don't think she can do it. You know for a fact that she can. A 5 year old is absolutely old enough to reason with-- but not at the height of emotion. You have to talk about it when she doesn't have to go. The only way to face a fear is to just do it. My dd had the same fear at age 3, and it was tough-- I gave her tons of prunes, shredded wheat and other high fiber foods. I let her drink juice (more than our typical splash in a cup of water).

Here's what I would do. I'd sit her down and discuss this with her maybe an hour or so after she's already gone. Why do you feel that you need a diaper? What do you think would help you go on the toilet? Then think on what she says a bit. Tell her you've thought about it, or have a fake call to the doctor and get some advice. Hey honey, did you know that the doctor says 5 year-olds are definitely ready to give up diapers? So we're going to come up with a plan to help you do that. Then for a few days load her up with prunes, high fiber, extra fluids (not milk) and maybe even some probiotics. Tell her this is what is going to make it easy for her to go. Many times if they think there is a tried and true plan, they feel circumstances have changed enough to allow them to do it. It's what got my dd past the fear.

You could even let her go on the diaper on the potty first. Maybe even wearing the diaper at first, just sitting on the toilet. Then move from there. And tell her that you can't buy her diapers any more because you know she is old enough.


My dd did something similar with not wanting to sleep in her room. She stayed on a mattress on my floor for a year until i finally talked to her over and over and over. She did finally have to decide enough is enough. I just kept in her ear about it. Oh, and you never know about the doctor. Mikght have some good ideas-- and just because he/she gives advice doesn't mean you have to take it.

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Old 02-22-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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My dd loved to stand and poop! It took another person to actually train her. A fresh approach, I guess. It finally happened at my Irish friend's house. My friend offered dd a potty and an ice lolly (popsicle) if she pooped. THen we both went out to the porch and talked. Meanwhile, my dd sat and pooped in the little potty without anyone hovering over her (which is what I had been doin). She was 2.5 at the time.

 

Five year olds will learn to deal. Stop buying the diapers. Give her the options and don't lose your temper. Don't hover. Offer a bribe. She's too old to be using a diaper.


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Old 02-22-2011, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts.

 

One thing I've become certain of is that bribery is out of the question (not that dd can be bribed anyway, cf. OP).  I think we're going to start in baby steps--try and get her to sit while pooing in a diaper (I've already told her that soon she's going to outgrow them anyway) and then gradually introduce the idea of going on a potty.  I think the real issue here is having to sit while pooing, as she's never done that.  She's not afraid of the potty (she uses it for pee without issue), she knows when she needs to go and never has accidents with either pee or poo, she's been in undies since age 3 (although PL'd at age 2 she refused to wear undies until one day she just woke up and wanted them at age 3), she's not constipated.  I think the 2 issues that I have to work around are sitting while going and then just "change".  She hates change of any kind, so I'm thinking a gradual process will seem less stressful. 

 

Any ideas on how to encourage her to sit while pooing? (I like the ice lolly suggestion above)  Maybe have a sucker or something? (Anyone know of any non-HFCS suckers to buy online?) 


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Old 02-22-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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You can definitely find natural lollipops online.  Try Googling "organic lollipops."  My ds was completely unbribable, too.  I have a suspicion that some people don't understand that those sorts of kids exist, but bribe attempts just didn't work on ds.  Either he didn't want the offering as much as he wanted to do things his way, or he'd simply get increasingly indignant and less cooperative.  But something to do while sitting there is a good idea, including eating a lollipop or popsicle.  I tried blowing bubbles for ds while he sat, once or twice.  Would it help to have two step stools, one on each side of the toilet so she could hover or switch back and forth between standing and sitting?  I suppose there would be a splash factor if she actually was standing but it might make her feel better to have the option.  I always figured it would have been easier with a girl because they at least get used to sitting for urinating.  Ds stood for both.


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Old 02-26-2011, 06:15 AM
 
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We went thru this when my daughter was four.  I feel for ya!!  She was OK w/peeing on the potty, but had to have diaper.  I will say that at preschool she was resistant to using their toilet to pee -- so she had to work thru that too.  Fortunately the school stood by her as she had tantrums and accidents in doing so.

 

We tried all the gradual approaches -- diapers in the potty, etc.   It was a total no-go.  Then we took away the diapers.  So she just pooped in her underpants once a day.  That went on for a good six months.  There was really nothing we could do.  

 

We had a potty fairy who left a pile of huge wrapped gifts (from the thrift store) waiting for her when she used the potty to poop.  This was not effective, even for my very "thing" oriented daughter.

 

There were so many tears.  And what my daughter tended to do was get constipation.  So, as this was going on we gave her lots of fruit and some fiber vitamins.  A few times we had to use miralax -- because we were on the verge of five days and worries about permanently changing the structure of her colon.  The moms here recommended it and the few times (I'm going to say five) we had to use it, it was a lifesaver.  But that does not seem to be something your daughter needs to worry about.

 

It's tough because it's hard to know what the truly effective, compassionate route is -- how much "force", how much gentle understanding.  We had moments when we lost our patience with her and told her she had to do this.  

 

What finally pushed her thru?  Honestly, I think it was just one day she was ready.  She had her own timetable (just as she has with everything).  She had to take this one slow.  The only reason we got so focused on this one was a) we had to clean up her poop b) kindergarten was around the corner and they weren't going to be dealing w/ this for us ...

 

So my advice is simply -- keep trying.  Keep shaking it up and trying different methods.  Keep applying pressure while allowing space.  But IMHO you are dealing with a psychological readiness issue that just has to work itself out.   You can influence it, but it's her internal timetable.

 

I would immediately get rid of the diapers.  By some sweet underpants with her.  Whether you say "oh, there are no more diapers at the store" or "we are not buying them any more " is up to you and what you think might be more helpful for her and you.

 

very best of luck, i know it is very hard -- another mama in my girls' school dealt w/this with her sons -- i remember her utter frustration!

 

 

 

 

 


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Old 02-26-2011, 06:17 AM
 
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oh - we tried to encourage sitting while pooping by:

 

reading stories while in that position

 

even a portable dvd video ...

 

Dora (yes, yuck, yuck) toilet seat she chose

 

but it didn't help since humans generally need to have the "urge" before they can poop ... you can't just sit and wait ... (unless your daughter has a specific time she goes...)


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Old 02-26-2011, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, she's been in undies full-time since age 3 (she PL'd at age 2 but refused to wear undies so I just let her go with a naked bum under her pants for that year).  I'm wondering if this will be like her undie situation--one day she just woke up and asked for them.  Right now I'm giving her a lifesaver to suck on while she sits and poops.  She refuses to sit on her potty to do this but will sit on her sit-and-spin.  She assures me that she sits in such a way on the top of it that she can poop without it squishing (she does this privately).  I'm thinking this is probably going to be a waste and not helpful.  I should probably just wait it out.  I can't stop buying diapers because honestly that would really upset her if she had no option.  We've talked about it extensively and she just keeps saying "not yet," so maybe I should just trust her.  I'm always shocked, though, how judgmental other parents are about this--I am so tired of hearing, "well, she's just too old for diapers."  It reminds me of extended bf-ing and the weirdness that goes with that--"Isn't she too old for THAT???".  But again, we did nurse until dd was 4.5 so maybe I'm okay following a slower time frame than most people.  As I said, she knows when she has to go so she never has accidents with poop, she just hands me a diaper to change out with her undies for that time.  I think it really is all about her resistance to change.


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Old 02-27-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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Maybe you are right.  If you feel OK waiting and she "takes care of business" in her own fashion ... perhaps you should trust her.  I mean, if you look it at abstractly, what's the difference where she poops ... diapers and toilets are both poop collectors.  And I guess being on the sit and spin is just one step closer.

 

However, one sentence that popped out of me in your last post is the following:

 

QUOTE

  I can't stop buying diapers because honestly that would really upset her if she had no option.

 

END QUOTE.

 

What would be so bad about her being upset?  Fearing upsetting someone as you guide them to a freer state of being (as not having to use diapers anymore would be) can lock them into that state.   There are times when we as parents have to upset our kids because we know it is best for them.


I guess only you can decide whether or not getting her out of diapers is important enough for her and you at this point.  If your decision is to let her pace herself in this regard, then I would not mention it to other people.  You are going to get a lot of social opprobrium. 

 

Again, good luck.

 


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Old 03-01-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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Would you be willing to let her poop on the floor, in the bathroom? It is the same position, but breaks the diaper connection and reinforces the bathroom connection. It is something she could do in public, if she needed to. I would personally see this as a big improvment/ leap over pooping into a diaper. Over time, you might be able to have her poop into a shallow dish to make cleanup easier and then transition to the toilet.

 

At five she could probably handle cleaning up the poop and placing it in the potty and either wiping herself or needing assistance with it. Pooping on the floor isn't very messy generally and it is much easier to clean off her bottom. I don't mention this in a punishment or shaming way. I think it might help her gain control over the situation in the same way that DS needs to take responsibility for his spills etc.

 

Personally, I would seek help at this point. You might not be interested in "well child" visits but what about not-totally-well child help? There might be strategies and methods that really help her break free from her current limitations. If this has been her pattern for upwards of three years then I think she needs help to change it.

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Old 03-01-2011, 09:11 PM
 
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Pooping on the floor is unsanitary and disrespectful to other members of the family.  I definitely would not go with that suggestion. 

 

Personally I think she will continue to do what she is doing until you tell her otherwise.  You are enabling her behaviour by continuing to allow it.  She is 5 years old, she is more than old enough to go in a toilet and IMO is much too old for diapers.  My youngest is 5 and in kindergarten and she has a whole class full of classmates who are all 5 years old and all go to the bathroom as they should at that age. 

 

I don't think extended nursing has anything to do with the discussion.  My middle daughter nursed until 5 and was fully potty trained at 2 yrs 10 mths and my youngest daughter nursed until 4 and she was fully potty trained at 2 yrs 6 mths.  There is no way I would have been changing the poopy diaper of a child old enough to go to the bathroom in the proper place.


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Old 03-01-2011, 09:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxPerpetua View Post
I should probably just wait it out.  I can't stop buying diapers because honestly that would really upset her if she had no option.  We've talked about it extensively and she just keeps saying "not yet," so maybe I should just trust her.  I'm always shocked, though, how judgmental other parents are about this--I am so tired of hearing, "well, she's just too old for diapers."  It reminds me of extended bf-ing and the weirdness that goes with that--"Isn't she too old for THAT???".  But again, we did nurse until dd was 4.5 so maybe I'm okay following a slower time frame than most people.  As I said, she knows when she has to go so she never has accidents with poop, she just hands me a diaper to change out with her undies for that time.  I think it really is all about her resistance to change.


I'm going to have to disagree here. It sounds like you have waited it out way beyond what most people are comfortable with and that doesn't seem to be working out. I don't think this is anything like extended bf. When we choose to bf for years, it is because we (parents and children) are specifically benefitting from it. We know that bm has health benefits for our children and consciously choose to do it. But what is the benefit to letting this continue? Not rocking the boat? That alone is not a good enough reason. She is 5. She is independent and resilient and can communicate clearly. She can handle her mother lovingly teaching her how to manage her body functions in an age-appropriate way. She can handle change. I know this is what you are both used to, but you can do this. So you say no more diapers? Then what? She poops in the pants? She realizes poop really DOES belong in the toilet and tries it out?

 

Maybe this song would help: winky.gif

 

 

So if she starts using the toilet, great! And if the poops in her pants, I bet she'll learn soon that the toilet is preferable. (Dammit, now I have that song stuck in my head!)

 

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Old 03-01-2011, 09:50 PM
 
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My DD was younger, but to break the diaper association for pooping we did let her poop in the tub a few times. 

 

I think this really is one of those things that you need to want - it seems like you do want to, but not really.  If you really want to make it happen, it will.  Your DD is old enough, understands, and you can work with her to get her more comfortable with pooping on the toilet. 

 

Things I have heard of that might work if you do want to pursue it - starting with wearing diaper on toilet while pooping, then wear diaper with hole cut out of bottom, then wear diaper with only the waistband part, then done with diapers.  Reading books on toilet (my kids loved reading books on the toilet - still do).  Make a routine of trying on the toilet - she doesn't have to poop there but she does have to try every day around her BM time for a fair amount of time.  Read potty books.  Elmo's potty time is actually a very positive video (checked a few out of the library and this one was by far the best).  Explain to her that diapers are made for younger kids and it is time for her to work towards being done with them.  Figure out a plan with her on how you will do it and then stick to it.  Let her squat on the toilet instead of sitting... 

 

There are all sorts of potty training/learning books at the library.  I checked a bunch of them and EC books out when DD was learning and when DS was a baby.  They could be a good resource for you as far as ideas go.  Oh, and maybe the book "Everybody Poops" - and point out where and how everyone does...

 

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Old 03-02-2011, 08:01 AM
 
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Oh, I forgot one thing that helped us when my DD was 4 and (after we took away all diapers) would just poop in her underpants ... we actually introduced the camping novelty of pooping in the woods.  We would go to a remote piece of land to hang out and swim ... and I taught my kids to dig catholes and poop in the woods.  I remember this was so hysterical and such a novelty to them that it sort of freed my reluctant pooper a bit.  

 

You just have to keep trying, you never know what little thing can free them.

 

I will say that when my daughter got to the other side of this, she was a much happier person.   What was at the heart of her reluctance was fear, according to her.  I never could understand that fear or really help her with it, but when she overcame it, she felt wonderful.

 

 


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Old 03-02-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subhuti View Post

I will say that when my daughter got to the other side of this, she was a much happier person.   What was at the heart of her reluctance was fear, according to her.  I never could understand that fear or really help her with it, but when she overcame it, she felt wonderful.

 

 



Op, I think this is a good point to consider.


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Old 03-02-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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Pooping on the floor is unsanitary and disrespectful to other members of the family.  I definitely would not go with that suggestion. 


I think you could argue with equal force that pooping in a diaper is also unsanitary and disrepectful to other members of the family. It is also harder to clean up and dispose of properly.

 

I am not suggesting that she do so into her mid-30s or while doing cartwheels. I am suggesting they she break feel from the need for a diaper, get comfortable with the sensation of poop falling away from her body instead of being caught, do so in a specific easy-to-clean location. A bathtub or shower might also work or the outdoors as pp suggested. Poop is not that hard to clean up. This is actually pretty standard potty learning advice. Other people have suggested variations such as poop in a diaper, but on the toilet, and then cutting a whole cut out. In previous threads on MDC some people have luck with a modified squatting position instead.

 

Do you have any idea if the primary limitation is the diaper or the posture?  

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Old 03-02-2011, 11:06 PM
 
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You just have to keep trying, you never know what little thing can free them.

 

I will say that when my daughter got to the other side of this, she was a much happier person.   What was at the heart of her reluctance was fear, according to her.  I never could understand that fear or really help her with it, but when she overcame it, she felt wonderful.

 

 

 

i held my daughter's hand the first few times she pooped on the toilet. i can't remember if she asked me to, or if i offered to, but it seems to have been the thing that "freed" her. a good way of putting it, Subhuti. of course, FEAR is at the heart of reluctance to poop on the toilet. can't say exactly what she's afraid of, but others are right, OP, that you are essentially enabling her fear by letting it continue vs. risking upsetting her by forcing her to confront the fear and overcome it. 

 


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Old 03-04-2011, 03:10 PM
 
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That is so sweet about your daughter, that she remembers that!!

 

And ... come to think of it, simply pooping on the bathroom floor as a transition, why not?  You can put newspaper down so it delineates this as a very formal thing (you don't necessarily want to convey that pooping on the floor is OK in general) ... and so it's easier to clean up.


I know it sounds crazy, but using the floor might be an option.  Look, if you haven't parented a truly reluctant pooper-in-the-toilet ... you don't know how stressful it can become for the entire family.  Extreme creativity is called for!  And if it gets your daughter out of the diapers and towards the toilet, it's a great first step.  I think it's akin to our poop in the woods phase!

 

Again, good luck.

 


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Old 03-05-2011, 09:38 AM
 
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I think that the fact that you posted her means that you are concerned with her behavior.  I just don't agree that as parents, we need to prevent our kids from becoming upset.  Learning to deal with those feelings is part of growing up.  Our job is to teach them to deal with them in a healthy way - not to avoid them at all costs. 
 

She's your child, so you may disagree with me, which is fine.  I believe that by letting this go so long, you have made it a bigger deal than it needed to be.  We, as parents, need to help our kids get through things, not just let them be stagnant.  Growth and change are a part of life whether we like it or not.  We cannot shield them forever.  Teaching them to handle it is a completely acceptable thing to do.  I don't believe that you would be doing her any great harm, but that is just my view of things.

 

Good luck. 

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Old 03-05-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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It seems that she is not panicky about the toilet or against it, but has toilet as a goal, at a later point. It might help her if you reprsent it visually.

 

My 5 yo wouldn't know what a 'year' really meant, so I wonder if she's repeating the phrase she heard some place. What if you took a piece of paper, and drew a circle to represent a day, and asked her how many more circles she thinks she needs to transition to the toilet? Even if she is into this, but at the end still feel she isn't ready, you haven't really lost anything. But her "year" could easily be 20 circles that fill the page...

 

Has she seen little toilets, like the ones you might see in children's museums or libraries? My kids were CRAZY about them! My DD2 life goal seems to be to go on the little toilet!

 

A less honest idea could be to buy a pack of too-small diapers, tell her that she outgrew them, and see how she reacts.

 

Have you talked to her about what poop is, that it is really unsanitary, and that you'd prefer not need to deal with poopy diapers? Have you talked to her about the landfilled and how diapers remain there forever?

 

My kids are comletely unbribable as well, btw.


My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:43 PM
 
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DS has some sensory issues and delays and has been VERY reluctant to poop in the toilet. I was determined to respect his needs and take a gentle approach at his own pace, but I honestly had no idea that he would start potty learning at 3, regress and continue to refuse anything but a diaper/pull-up for nearly 2 years. We were going back and forth between pull-ups and underpants for a long time because he was pooping in his pants while holding poop in 5-6 times a day. Swishing underpants in the toilet sucks and smelling poop all day long is also awful.

 

He recently turned 5 and was still telling me "Boys don't poop" and "Kids don't poop". No amount of bribing or explaining was getting through to him. He will not clean himself, so that was also not an option. He has pooped in the toilet 2 times in the last 3 days with only one small accident because we have been staying home and he's been in nothing but a long t-shirt to cover his bum. By keeping him out of pants and therefore changing his usual routine, he completely quit pooping anywhere but the toilet. I'm sure it will take another week or so, but it's working. Yes, he freaked out (for extended times) and screamed and yelled and has vented several times. I listen and am patient and loving and just tell him he needs to poop in the toilet. It might be upsetting to him, but I know for a fact that using the toilet will not harm him. Letting him poop in his pants longer was wearing at all of us and it had to stop.

 

Good luck OP. It's not an easy situation. I hope you figure it all out.

 


DS 6 DD 8
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:20 PM
 
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We've had some success with telling DD what the next small step in a big change, and letting her choose a date for it on the wall calendar that hangs in her bedroom. If need be, I limit the months when she can choose (March or April, for instance). I learned this approach from friends, who found it worked well for their daughter, too.

 

We've marked the calendar (she chose the date) for No More Nursing in the Middle of the Night, Pee in the Potty or the Toilet Day (after two failed potty training attempts and a child who was 3 years old and had total control but just prefers diapers), and this week, Two Pees in the Potty Day. (From that day forward, she has to do her first two pees of the day in a potty, and after that she can pee in a diaper if she wants to.)

 

I think it helps her to know she has the power to choose the date and mentally/emotionally prepare herself in advance. We look at her calendar regularly anyway and talk about things that are coming up (grandma is coming tomorrow, music class on Wednesday, playdate with a friend Friday morning, and oh, Sunday is the day you chose for Two Pees in the Potty Day, etc). Once the big day comes, that's the new rule for all future days (so it's really more than just one day, but the calendar day marks the beginning of the new era).

 

Often she's still sad and resistant when the day comes, but she gets through it. We're compassionate, let her know we know it's a big step and it's hard, but this is the date she chose and we know she can do it. When the calendar declares it, it as if an outside rule was made, and we can be the supportive ones rather than the bad guys. (But we do have to be firm and stick to our guns, even when she gets upset.) In some cases her having sad times about the change lasted a few days, and then she was completely fine and seemed to have totally integrated the new situation into her regular, happy existence. In other cases she just did the new thing with zero complaint, as if it were the easiest thing in the world.

 

My idea for how to integrate this approach would be to sit down with your daughter, share with her a list of "things that have helped other kids learn how to poop in the potty," ask her for her additional ideas and responses to the ones on the list. (Do you think it would help if I sat with you and held your hand? Or would you rather have some alone time and I could be in the other room?) Have her choose one small step, like pooping in a diaper while sitting on the toilet (but her choice for the small step might be something different). Have her choose a date for this, sometime in the next two months. Follow through. After a week or two, when you feel like this first small step has become easy for her, have her choose a date for the next step (which she can also choose after consulting the list of options you provide) -- maybe within two weeks. It'll be a very slow, gentle process. She'll be in control. You'll support her but also be firm that it's time to learn, that you believe in her and you know she can do it

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Old 03-11-2011, 12:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post



i held my daughter's hand the first few times she pooped on the toilet. i can't remember if she asked me to, or if i offered to, but it seems to have been the thing that "freed" her. a good way of putting it, Subhuti. of course, FEAR is at the heart of reluctance to poop on the toilet. can't say exactly what she's afraid of, but others are right, OP, that you are essentially enabling her fear by letting it continue vs. risking upsetting her by forcing her to confront the fear and overcome it. 


I held my son's hand the first few times too.  Then for a few months after, he needed me to walk him to the bathroom and wait until he was on the toilet and then leave so he could have privacy.

 

He was wearing underwear from age three with no accidents but always asked for the diaper for poop.  I was pretty easy going about it too and waited him out until almost 4 but I don't think that waiting any longer would have helped him be any more ready.  In fact, I think it would have just allowed the fear to get bigger.  OP, I totally understand not wanting to just stop buying diapers and have your child become hysterical.  Personally, that sounds mean and artbirary.  But I do think there are times when our children need a gentle push in a direction to help them overcome a fear. 

 

This is what worked for us too:
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by indigosky View Post

We've had some success with telling DD what the next small step in a big change, and letting her choose a date for it on the wall calendar that hangs in her bedroom. If need be, I limit the months when she can choose (March or April, for instance). I learned this approach from friends, who found it worked well for their daughter, too.

 

We've marked the calendar (she chose the date) for No More Nursing in the Middle of the Night, Pee in the Potty or the Toilet Day (after two failed potty training attempts and a child who was 3 years old and had total control but just prefers diapers), and this week, Two Pees in the Potty Day. (From that day forward, she has to do her first two pees of the day in a potty, and after that she can pee in a diaper if she wants to.)

 

I think it helps her to know she has the power to choose the date and mentally/emotionally prepare herself in advance. We look at her calendar regularly anyway and talk about things that are coming up (grandma is coming tomorrow, music class on Wednesday, playdate with a friend Friday morning, and oh, Sunday is the day you chose for Two Pees in the Potty Day, etc). Once the big day comes, that's the new rule for all future days (so it's really more than just one day, but the calendar day marks the beginning of the new era).

 

Often she's still sad and resistant when the day comes, but she gets through it. We're compassionate, let her know we know it's a big step and it's hard, but this is the date she chose and we know she can do it. When the calendar declares it, it as if an outside rule was made, and we can be the supportive ones rather than the bad guys. (But we do have to be firm and stick to our guns, even when she gets upset.) In some cases her having sad times about the change lasted a few days, and then she was completely fine and seemed to have totally integrated the new situation into her regular, happy existence. In other cases she just did the new thing with zero complaint, as if it were the easiest thing in the world.

 

My idea for how to integrate this approach would be to sit down with your daughter, share with her a list of "things that have helped other kids learn how to poop in the potty," ask her for her additional ideas and responses to the ones on the list. (Do you think it would help if I sat with you and held your hand? Or would you rather have some alone time and I could be in the other room?) Have her choose one small step, like pooping in a diaper while sitting on the toilet (but her choice for the small step might be something different). Have her choose a date for this, sometime in the next two months. Follow through. After a week or two, when you feel like this first small step has become easy for her, have her choose a date for the next step (which she can also choose after consulting the list of options you provide) -- maybe within two weeks. It'll be a very slow, gentle process. She'll be in control. You'll support her but also be firm that it's time to learn, that you believe in her and you know she can do it


I helped DS pick the date, his fourth birthday.  No one in my family thought it would work.  Even I was a bit panicky as the day approached because I didn't want a very upset child because of some arbitrary day on the calendar.  In the end though, it was pretty easy.  As the day got very near to told him that I didn't want him to be worried or upset when he didn't have his diapers anymore so I wanted him to practice so he'd be ready.  The day, two days before his birthday, when he sat on the toilet, with his diaper and pooped, I knew we'd be okay.  He was really nervous when he did it for the first time, BUT not hysterical.  Even now, four months later, he still insists he'd rather use diapers but he doesn't need me go with him anymore.  I was so excited about him using the potty I didn't even broach the subject of wiping.  I do it for him now, and I'm starting to suspect that is another area where he's going to need a gentle push.

 


~m. Mama to two! DS (11/2006) and DD (07/2010).

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Old 07-10-2011, 10:50 PM
 
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I am going through the same issue right now and I do NOT know what to do.  My daughter turned 5 in march and is super smart, so to me its not like she doesn't understand. She was going poo and pee on the toilet when she was 2 years old which would have made my son 4 at the time. Well my son was terrified of the toilet so his fear, caused my daughter to have the same fear, well my son shortly got over his fear but for some reason my daughter didnt. I did the whole pooping in the diaper thing but after a while she started to not fully go in a diaper either so I decided that the diaper was not a good choice. So, now she poops in her pants probably 4 or 5 times a day and it has been this way for more than 6 months. I have tried all the reward systems and such and none of them work for her, I even took away her special blanky and told her she could have it back when she pooped, it has been a month and she still doesnt have her blanky back. Now I am trying tough love, everytime she poos in her underwear (which she never fully poops, just squirts or whatever) I make her sit on the toilet, make her wipe herself, and make her clean her own underwear.....this STILL doesn't work....I am out of ideas and I do not want to regress and go back to diapers because I jus think that that is confusing...PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE HELP....she is not constipated, but she is so afraid it will hurt she wont push, but I make sure she is eating all the proper foods to keep her stool soft, even used stool softners at one point and have also used suppositories. She absolutely REFUSES to push and I have no idea how else to make her feel comfortable. Please help if you have any ideas....thank you so much!!!

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Old 07-11-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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Your daughter sounds very similar to my son. He is eight now and pooping very well now.  However, I was starting to panic around  4 1/2 when he was still using his doppey (diaper) for poo.  He would use the potty for pee and wear his underpants; but when he wanted to poo he would come up to me,  get them put on and go off in another room in a closet, and come out a few minutes later all done. (He would also stand.)  We didn't do television; but I went to the library and found Bear's Big Blue House potty video.  Which he was thrilled to watch as it was a real novelty.  My only condition was that he watched it while on the potty.  I was hoping to get him use to sitting on it.    We talked  about him going poo and we also did not do rewards.  He suggested that I give him a gummy every time he sat on the potty; so I agreed since it was his idea.  So he would sit and get his gummy and watch the programme.  One time he did actually do a tiny poo in the potty. Then he started gagging. He hated the smell. He didn't care about the gummy's anymore. We talked to him about  how the toilet has water and so there would not be a smell.  He also was really attached with his dopey. ( We had cloth ones and he loved the feel of them)  Anyway, I think one day he wanted his dopey and I just really encouraged him to try the toilet.  He did, and that was basically it for us.  I think this was just prior to him turning 5. In summary, I think for him it was 1) his comfort and not wanting to give up the dopey   2) perhaps a feeling that he couldn't do it   3) the smell in the potty.   The Big Bear Potty video - was good in that he enjoyed it, it definitely had him thinking about it. The other day we laughed together as we remembered the video and this song they sing "The potty train."     So, it was stressful at the time, and I remember being worried that he was starting to feel like he couldn't do it.  But, it all came out in the end. (pun intended)

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