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Help with 3.5 year old who will only poo in nappy

(13 Posts)
twosofar Tue 18-Aug-09 20:19:37

Can someone help me with my DS1 please? I really don't know where to go with this. He is 3.5 and has done wees standing up at the loo since he was 2.7 - all fine there, but he point blank refuses to go near the potty or loo for a poo and asks for a nappy. If I don't give him one, he hold it in for as long as he can - 1 day or more and then does it in his pants. Last time my mum was here she tried to make him sit on the loo and basically held him down (i wasn't there of course) and as a result he just went straight to pooing his pants every day for a week to avoid the discussion. I have tried reward charts, bribery, treats, blackmail, removal of treats etc etc but he will not discuss it. He has always been very funny with his poos and still now, once he has his nappy on will not do his poo in the same room. Has anyone else been through this - any idea of how to break the cycle

chegirl Tue 18-Aug-09 20:28:14

I have had this with DS1 and DS2 and fully expecting it with DS3. Loads of boys I have known have been the same.

He will stop doing it fairly soon. I have to say your mum's intervention probably set the whole process back a bit though.

I have a feeling that the whole letting go of a poo down the toilet is scarey for little boys. I am sure Freud would explain the whole thing in great detail smile

I would relax about it. Let him have his nappy and he will go on the toilet when he is ready. I think if you push it, the process will go on for a lot longer.

Personally I wouldnt bother with treats and charts. It just draws attention to something he is finding difficult.

Good luck.

rookiemater Tue 18-Aug-09 20:33:36

DS is similar, he is 3.5 as well. I did have success with a star chart for a week with a Brum DVD as the reward in the end, but then he got fed up and has reverted to the nappy, but will do in in the toilet when we go out.

TBH sometimes it bothers me, sometimes not, as long as he does it somewhere other than in his trousers or on the floor I'm sure it will work out fine.

fishflange Tue 18-Aug-09 20:42:31

We took delivery of this today
it's a bit 'clinical' and long and probably aimed more at those who are consulting with a doctor but DS enjoyed the story. I will keep reading it. He is almost 4 and we have the same problem.
If you search for Poo books on Amazon there are quite a few.
It's a distressing business I know.It makes me cry.
The book tells you to give them a pull up when they want to poop (it's a bit american btw). We've apparently got to chill out and give them lots of fruit. Yup it's that easy...yeah right hmm

DesperateHousewifeToo Tue 18-Aug-09 20:47:36

Could you start by getting him to go into the bathroom to do the poo in his nappy? Don't insist on sitting on the loo or even mention the loo.

Get him to ask for the nappy when he needs it and ask him to tell you when he has finished. Change him in the bathroom - as 'going to the loo always happens in the bathroom'.

Be matter of fact.

Lots of praise when he stays in the loo for a poo. Poor the poo down the loo with him watching. Don't call it stinky/smelly or anything negative.

Then, when he has done that for a while, get him to sit on potty/loo in his nappy and leave him on his own.

Then line the potty/loo with the nappy for him to sit on....

Both of mine were rather freaked out by the plop as their first loo-poos hit the water. We made a joke of it and 'waited for the big plop'.

Good luck. How many adults do you know who have to put on a nappy to have a poo?smile

twosofar Tue 18-Aug-09 20:55:42

Thanks for the messages. Will definitely try making him go in the bathroom. I'm sure he'll grow out of it. His baby brother will be 2 next month and is very interested in the potty so I think if he gets loads of praise for it then DS1 may give it a go too.
Cheers everyone

nowwearefour Tue 18-Aug-09 20:59:13

my 4 yr old dd1 still has this prob- athough she will never do it in her pants- she seems scared to let it out anywhere except into a nappy. she wants to she just cant. my fault for telling her off for doing it in her pants when she was first potty trained. i know i shouldnt have - one of the biggest regrets of my life. i have cause her a big issue and i feel so bad. but i am here to say you arent on your own with the problem. if he is able to do it in pants i reckon you arent that far away from getting the result you need. just make sure you listen to any hints he might make re choosing to do it differently.

Beauregard Tue 18-Aug-09 21:03:59

My dd2 age 3.7 used to be exactly the same.
I recommend getting a story about poo.
I managed to download a NHS document that a mnetter linked to,called Poo of Pooland .I read it to dd only once or twice and she was 'cure' ,has pooed on the potty or loo ever since.Unfortunatley the document is no longer there,but there are plenty of books on the subject i believe.I think that it takes some of the fear away about where the poo actually goes to if that makes sense?

Beauregard Tue 18-Aug-09 21:05:10


Platesmasher Tue 18-Aug-09 21:18:54

DS1 was the same. he waited for his night time nappy. if i waited until he was asleep to put on his nighttime nappy, he pooed in the morning.


eventually he just did it while sitting on the toilet for a wee.

no fancy tactics. he just did it, realised it didn't hurt and he's been doing it ever since.

i'd say just be patient. allow lots of sitting on the loo time and it'll happen eventually.

DesperateHousewifeToo Tue 18-Aug-09 21:33:41

Hope I'm not incurring any copyright laws with cutting and pasting this excerpt from a rival site. Perhaps I'll just do a link to it in another message in case this is deleted.

Hope it helps:-

''Response from ERIC#7 (permalink) Eileen (338)
Netmums Special Guest
Specialist Continence Nurse
12-02-09, 11:13 Hi
We hear this story at ERIC so many times. It is understandable as young children have used their nappies for a poo ever since they can remember and are very comfortable with this and change can come hard to some of them.
The most important thing is that she is having a poo and at this stage it is not 'where' she is having a poo that is important.
You can break the poo journey down into very small steps . You should always be pleased with poo no matter where it is, as it is very difficult for a young child to know whether you are displeased with the poo, or where she has done it.
When an accident occurs - remain calm and relaxed, take you child to the toilet and put the poo into the toilet sending it home to pooland. Then say to your child 'next time you need a poo, you need to try and get poo to the toielt as quickly as possible so that poo can join his friends in poo land'. The second step is an acceptance for now, that your child has chosen the nappy as a receptacle for the poo but you could ask her when she needs to poo, to go into the toilet . When your child is ready you may suggest sitting on the toilet with a nappy on -you will find many children make the transition in their own time when pressure is not applied.''

DesperateHousewifeToo Tue 18-Aug-09 21:37:02

Link to a suggestion by ERIC in case my post above is deleted.

Scroll down the page.

MrsGravy Tue 18-Aug-09 23:14:39

What DesperateHousewifeToo says. We had this exact problem and we left DD to it but encouraged her to do it in the bathroom, then on the loo (with nappy on). We always asked if she wanted nappy or loo but put no pressure on. One day she just did it on the loo - almost 2 years after she was potty trained!!!

The best thing you can possibly do (especially if he has issues with pooing anyway) is to just play it really, really cool and let him poo where he wants for now.

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