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How do I help my 2 year old realise poo isn't nasty and horrible?

(25 Posts)
LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 13:43:20

DS is 2.5 and we have been making some attempts at potty training recently. He didn't seem to be very ready and started getting upset so we stopped for a bit.

Recently though he's started getting very distressed about his own functions - yesterday at nursery he cried and cried because he weed all over his clothes when his key worker was changing him, even though she didn't make any kind of fuss about it at all.

Today he was in bed for his nap and did a poo, so he removed his own nappy and came downstairs with a very poo-ey bum shock

I didn't react at all crossly or shocked, just said very matter of factly 'shall we get your bottom all cleaned up and put a new nappy on' and he said yes, but then he wouldn't let me wipe his bottom, I had to chase him round the bathroom to do it. He was getting really upset and I said 'poo is nothing to worry about, everyone poos, Mummy poos, Daddy poos' etc etc and he said 'noooo, poo is nasty and horrible'

He's said this kind of thing before, and I honestly don't know where he has got it from, we've never said that or implied it in front of him or anything.

How do I help him get over this? I feel sure this is part of why he doesn't want to potty train, but I don't know how to help. Anyone been through similar?


LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 13:49:53

bump potty bump

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 14:00:15

someone must have had this problem before?

notnowbernard Fri 12-Sep-08 14:01:53

Did he have a sore bum?

avenanap Fri 12-Sep-08 14:02:41

smile You could try telling him that if he poos on the potty then it won't go all over his bum and make him mucky.

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 14:05:48

he does get a sore bottom every so often, but this seems to be a consistent idea that he's got that poo is disgusting. When we were trying last time, he was going naked bum and he did a poo on the kitchen floor. He started crying and said 'A big disgusting poo on the floor!'

Now we've never used that word, and nor have the nursery, so where has he got this from? It's weird.

I've tried explaining that if he uses the potty, then he won't have to have his poo-ey nappy changed (he hates nappy changes) but he doesn't seem to get it. But it's really hard to do that without reinforcing the idea that poo is nasty, iyswim.

I just don't know how we've got to this point, or where to go from here. sad

avenanap Fri 12-Sep-08 14:08:13

Have you tried telling him that it's only bits of food that his body didn't need? It would give him tummy ache if he kept it in his belly so his tummy pushes it out so it can go into the toilet.

notnowbernard Fri 12-Sep-08 14:08:43

I haven't got any experience of this, I'm afraid... but it does sound like he's a bit freaked out about it. I think I'd take the pressure right off, drop the whole toilet-training thing, don't talk about it, play it down etc etc.

Let him see you in the toilet (nice wink)

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 14:13:59

I tried telling him that today, avenanap, but he kept repeating 'no, poo is nasty and horrible'.

thing is, we've completely stopped any attempt at training, he's in nappies, noone is even bringing up the subject, but he's distressed about it when he does it in his nappy, and takes his nappy off as soon as he's done anything. Which can be rather inconvenient/messy.....

So part of me thinks he's ready to train, as he clearly knows when he's done something, but then he simply won't go near the potty or the loo (we've got a trainer seat) and has this hangup about poo being nasty.


avenanap Fri 12-Sep-08 14:20:36

Hmm. Have you asked him why it's nasty and horrible? Maybe it's because it's sticky and smelly? (TMI blush) Potty training is about teaching them to recognise the signs of needing the toilet before they do something, this is the trick. What about a reward system for every time he uses the toilet or the potty? Try telling him that it's better to let it flush away. There are probably some books you can get to help him understand. I've got to go to collect ds from school in a while so I'll have a think. someone else may be able to help in the mean time.

cockles Fri 12-Sep-08 14:34:52

God toddlers are weird. Mine said yesterday 'I do not need to poo until I am bigger'. Definitely books about poo and potty are the way to go - there's one about animals pooing isn't there? Is he confusing it with dog poo ? (and indeed it is hard to explain why dog poo is dirty/bad and human poo isn't) Making flushing exciting is good too. And roleplay with toys. But I am no guide, mine will only poo in his pants.

MorningTownRide Fri 12-Sep-08 14:35:04

I always refer to the dcs poos as 'little presents'. grin

DD refused to poo in the potty but would do it outside in the communal garden at our flats. Sometimes we wouldn't find them....

So if ever they do a poo in nappy/ potty. DD (ds not taling yet) will say 'Mummeeee I made you a little present.' And I always (try!) to thank them enthusiastically for it.

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 14:53:34

Books are a good idea - he loves books and will happily read them for hours, so I'll do a search on Amazon for 'poo' and see what comes up! (probably some items that I really don't want to see, actually....wink)

PMSL at 'I do not need to poo until I am bigger'

Children are odd.

luckylady74 Fri 12-Sep-08 14:55:10

Who's on the loo? is a good book.

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 15:02:28

We've got that one, DS loves it! maybe I need to explain a bit more explicitly that it's about poo, so he makes the connection?

luckylady74 Fri 12-Sep-08 16:52:42

There's a book called something like' the mole who knew it was none of his business' about a mole who examines lots of animal's poo to find out who pooed on his head.
My dc think poo is ultra funny so in the book 'Hello Dudley' they note with great glee that there is a turd floating in Dudley's loo!

MrsMattie Fri 12-Sep-08 16:57:23

Could you turn it around? When DS used to freak out about 'yucky poo' we used to say 'Yes, it is a bit yukky. That's why we flush it down the toilet' and he'd say 'bye bye yucky poo' etc (Oh, the things you'll try when you're potty training!)

My DS also loves that mole book@luckylady74 (I find it gross! grin)

SmugColditz Fri 12-Sep-08 16:58:11

Well, poo is disgusting! He's probably come to that conclusion himself.

My sister used to call her poo "Slugs"

snowleopard Fri 12-Sep-08 17:04:19

Yes poo is revolting, we're meant to recoil from it because it's full of bugs and toxins. Nothing wrong with agreeing that it's yuk - that might even reassure him.

I told DS the poos had to swim away down the toilet - "bye poos, off you go!" etc. I kind of regretted that because he then ran with it and developed it into a full-blown narrative - "The poo in my bum is crying mummy, it wants to come out and swim to the sea to see its family" hmm

LittleMyDancing Fri 12-Sep-08 17:07:43

Actually I hadn't thought of that, agreeing with him! There's so much stuff in the potty training manuals about never expressing disgust that I've been trying to make him love the poo, but maybe we need to emphasise the flushing abilities of the toilet?

That's a good thought. Next time I'm going to the loo, I'll explain about flushing. See what happens.

MrsMattie Fri 12-Sep-08 17:22:59

I think it's all about the tone you use. I think the reason all the potty training books harp on about not expressing disgust is so that your child doesn't think you are repulsed by them. But I used to make it a bit humourous (toddlers generally love abit of toilet humour) and say 'Yucky Yucky, stinky pooooo, say bye bye!' and flush it away. He loved it grin

Shilo Tue 23-Sep-08 21:15:28

I haven't even started toilet training my DS 22 mths and he's getting so upset about pooing. He's been telling me for about 6 weeks when he's about to poo (he says 'poo, toilet') so I got a potty and always ask if he wants to use it when he tells me but he doesn't so I've not pushed it. Sometimes he just poos and is fine. Other times he yells 'poo, hurt, yuk'. If it happens when his nappy's off he screams in horror and cries. I've tried making light of it, agreeing that it's yuk but gotta be done, doing a big flushing ceremony after every poo but he;s still horrified. You're not alone but I don't know what to suggest! If anything works, let me know. My mum keeps saying 'just stop toilet training' but I haven't even started!
Good luck.

gagarin Tue 23-Sep-08 21:19:43

tell him some poo stories?

Make them up - things along the lines of "once there was a little poo looking for all his big poo friends - but they'd all gone down the toilet without him blah blah". Make them funny and vaguely adventurous - like snowleaopard suggests!

CapricaSix Tue 23-Sep-08 21:31:48

the story of the little mole who knew it was none of his business

If it wasn't for him wanting to take his nappy off straight away etc i'd say forget the potty training for a good while! It does sound as if it could just reinforce his current anxieties. However, he's being his own worst enemy isn't he, making it messier than it needs to be, bless him! grin

I think it is good to not express disgust at the poo, as MrsMattie says, so they don't have a hang up about being disgusting. It's a natural, healthy bodily function after all and in fact we use the poos of other animals to fertilise the land that grows our veg! dd couldn't believe it when i told her that once!
However, snowleopard is also right in the sense that we mustn't touch it etc! But, if a child (like my dd, even now she's 5 and at school) doesn't think it's disgusting it doesn't mean they won't understand that you're not to touch it, etc, or that it needs flushing away.

This might sound weird but have you or your dp ever shown him your poos? dd has always witnessed me going to the loo and when she began getting interested in what was in the toilet i let her see, and we'd wave bye bye. Are his poos solid enough to transfer from his nappy into the toilet? If you do want to try the potty in a gentle way, would he sit on it while you sit on the loo? Me and dd used to "go" together (not always successfully!) grin.

Jackstini Thu 25-Sep-08 18:03:41

Good idea re books - there are a couple on here I will be ordering goes+to+poo+land

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