3 year old will only poo in nappy

(13 Posts)
PoppyPrincess Sun 09-Dec-12 23:29:29

My DS is 3years and 5 months, he's been potty trained for about 12 months but he still won't do his poos in the potty or toilet.
When i first started toilet training he used to have a lot of anxiety over doing them and would hold them in for about a week! you could see him getting all worked up when he needed one so I decided that he clearly wasn't ready so offered him a nappy to do a poo in.
Well 12 months later and he's still doing them in a nappy and he's also a bit particular about where he does it...in the airing cupboard, in the wardrobe, under the bed, behind the tv. I have to be in the same room but so that I can't see him. It's very strange. In the summer he insisted on going outside to do it!
But I do think we're making progress as I've found out that he has done them on the potty at school, at his Dad's and there's been a couple of times he's asked me if he can do it on the potty or toilet and he's had a try.
I try not to worry about it because the way I try to look at it is that he's not going to be doing them in a nappy when he's 15 so it doesn't really matter.
But it does concern me that he's so weird about where he does them etc, its just not normal! Or is it?
I was wondering if anybody else has had the same problem and whether there's anything I can do to reduce his anxiety over it?

usualsocksprezzie Sun 09-Dec-12 23:31:56

It's quite common really, he will grow out of it though.

Just try not to make a big deal out of it.

SantasRooftopFanjangHoHo Sun 09-Dec-12 23:34:19

As usual says. Quite normal. 2 of mine had issues with relaxing without a nappy. They all get there in the end!

mathanxiety Sun 09-Dec-12 23:37:20

He seems to be coming along. Doing it in school means he can do it and it may well be that it will just be a matter of time. Once he starts having little friends over that may speed things along too.

Have you tried bribery? I used chocolate with DS and he was happy to give it a try -- I didn't ask for results when he sat on the loo to try, just that he give it a try once or twice a day (I usually thought it was time to try if he was farting a bit). I also fed him lots of fibre and lots of water and prune juice for a few months so the likelihood of needing to poo would increase.

PoppyPrincess Sun 09-Dec-12 23:49:56

Yes I've tried bribery, he'll try but it is hard to explain what relaxing is to a 3 yo. I try talking to him to take his mind off it or sometimes read a book etc.
I think it prob doesn't help that he sometimes gets a little constipated so he probably doesn't look forward to doing them.
But he does have a brilliant diet, he loves cereal and will usually have at least 2 helpings of wheatabix/fruit&fibre/shredded wheat every day and he also eats plenty of fruit and veg. I can only assume that he gets constipated because he doesn't drink a huge amount, I try to encourage him but I can't force it down his neck.

mathanxiety Mon 10-Dec-12 00:10:55

I would just let him sit there, maybe turning up the radio or playing some music. I wouldn't bother with the reading or telling him to relax or keeping him company at all unless he seems terrified of being alone in the bathroom.

Try and be really relaxed and blase about it yourself. Does he need you there in the room or could you make sure he is settled on the loo and then go off and put on a kettle or file your nails or sort through a bit of laundry, then come back on a few minutes and help him with his pants and be cheerful through gritted teeth whether he has managed to poo or not?

If he has access to water or juice all day every day he might drink more. Have you tried containers that are fun? Squirty water bottles? Curly straws? Juice boxes that he can help himself to? A small plastic jug he could pour his own drink from? Do you bring a drink every time you go out? I remember trying to restrict drinking when we were out when DCs were toilet training as it meant we were more likely to have an accident but the end result was constipation (you can't win can you?) so once the main effort of toilet training was over I brought a drink everywhere and made a great play of being 'thirsty' myself and offering the DCs a drink too.

BertieBotts Mon 10-Dec-12 00:19:14

DS was like this too. I can't remember what happened in the end, I think one day DP just suggested he use the toilet "as a surprise for mummy" (Thanks love grin) and he just did it.

He did used to get constipated, especially at night, it was awful sad I found calpol helped with the tummy pains and fruit juice (the only way he'd take calpol anyway) was a useful placebo to get him to calm down long enough to fall back to sleep and he wouldn't usually wake up again then.

He's 4.2 now and still won't do one in anyone else's house, though, if he can help it. He recently stayed with my mum for four days and didn't do one at all shock

rattling Mon 10-Dec-12 21:04:05

As I was just about to start the same thread as the OP, with virtually identical circumstances (age, length of time potty trained, tendency to hide in strange spots, good diet but limited fluid intake) I thought I should mark my place here in case anyone comes up with a genius solution.

My only difference is I haven't tried getting him to ask for a nappy to poo in, so got cross at him today as (so often happens) he got through 3 sets of pants and trousers by trying to hold it in. This is him much improved!! He'll manage to be persuaded to use the toilet once or twice a week now. Though in many ways that makes it worse as I was so sure that once he "got it" all would be fine.

Beamur Mon 10-Dec-12 21:13:28

It's not unusual. My DD was potty trained for wees for months and months before she would entertain having a poo anywhere other than her nappy. She would hold it until bedtime, wait for the nappy to go on, me to go downstairs and then poo. She is still very good at controlling when she goes and doesn't poo at school because she doesn't like the paper they have there...ok.
I was gentle and didn't rush her - there were obviously issues going on in the toddler brain that I didn't get! The potty/toilet was offered on a regular basis - but like many of the children on here, she wanted privacy (just like most adults) but was a bit scared of what was happening. I tried putting a potty in her bedroom at night - not such a good idea as it turned out - she pooed in nappy, took off the nappy and emptied it into the potty - then called me proudly to come and see! shock
In the end we had a breakthrough while we were on holiday and once she did it in the potty for the first time, she was terribly pleased with herself and has never looked back, or had an accident since.
I coupled this with a big bribe - when she did her first poo in the potty or toilet I promised her a scooter.
If constipation is a problem - DD got bunged up a bit with all the holding too - I used to give lactulose as it is very gentle. Takes a few days to work though.

PoppyPrincess Mon 10-Dec-12 22:10:54

Yeh DS is very good at controlling when he poos, he'll poo at night or in the morning when he's already got a nappy on so it's not very often that he actually needs to ask for a nappy.
He's not constipated all the time but I think because sometimes he is so it can sometimes being difficult and maybe a little painful (although he never says its painful) I think it's just caused him to dread doing it sometimes.
He can do it on the potty because he's done it but most of the time he won't even try.
I'm sure he'll get there one day although he'll probably always be a little anal retentive. I can't say much though, I can't do it in public toilets or at a friend's house etc...a couple of years ago we went glamping with friends and nearly came home a night early because I couldn't go in the toilet there.
My mum is the same too so maybe it's inherited?

bugglesmummy Thu 13-Dec-12 17:03:01

So glad its not just me my sons nearly 3 and will wee in the potty no problem telling us when he needs to go but has only had 2 poos in it which scared him. He will also hold it in and you can tell when he needs to go because he will start jigging about and then sit on the potty saying he just wants a wee but then wont wee cos hes trying so hard to hold his poo in.

Yesterday he didnt wee until the afternoon because he needed a poo so bad then waited until nappy on at bedtime and did it then. Today after trying to get him to poo in his potty on and off for a couple of hours i gave in and put his nappy on because he was getting so worked up and upset. Really didnt want to have to do this because now im worried that everytime he needs to go he will expect his nappy needless to say he pooed within minutes of nappy going on. Is it basically just a waiting game now until he is ready? I will keep trying to get him to go and see how we get on i think.

mathanxiety Thu 13-Dec-12 17:21:01

I read somewhere that DCs are often worried that a poo is a part of them that they are losing forever and of course the flushing makes that an all too real concept. I made a great deal out of a scenario where the poos were all off to a big poo party where their friends would all be gathered and they were all looking forward to it -- we would wave each one off with many cheery good wishes.

mathanxiety Thu 13-Dec-12 17:21:54

Had some funny looks from people waiting their turn in public loos..

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