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Poo woes and potty training.

(28 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Wed 22-Mar-17 07:47:16

My son has just turned three and after numerous attempts over the last year to potty train him we finally cracked it about 8 weeks ago and he's now in pants and uses the potty/toilet as he wishes. He's still in nappies overnight.

The problem we have though is that he won't poo on the potty or toilet. He's only ever pooed once in the potty and that was because I caught him mid-poo on the living room floor and sat him on the potty. Any poo that he does do is either in a nappy (which we put on purposefully for him to have a poo in) or he will poo in his pants.

It's obvious when he needs to go for a poo and so we encourage him to use the potty, we sit him on it and let him stay there for a good while but he just won't poo. If he does poo his pants he gets really upsets and tries to run away and hide from us. We obviously reassure him that he's not in trouble but he gets so distressed. If he has a poo in his nappy he will let us change him without any drama.

When he was in nappies he used to poo every day (sometimes twice) but now he's holding it in and only goes about once every 3 days so when they do come they are huge. He's also suffering with tummy ache a little, I assume from holding his poo in, and we are having episodes of over flow too for the same reason.

I just don't know where to take it from here?

I know that it's normal for toddlers to take longer to accept they have poo on the potty/toilet than it does for them to happily wee on the potty but I don't know how to move forward?

My DH is getting a little bit frustrated by it although I've done my best to explain that it's not 'abnormal' behaviour as such but just something we have to work through, but I don't know how to.

Has anyone else been in this situation?

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Wed 22-Mar-17 07:50:27

My ds 2.6had his first poo in the potty this week!!
As he is obsessed with looking through my pics in my iPhone I took a photo of the poo!!
He is so proud he did it-and has shown all family members - i feel confident it was the first of many poos!!
Obviously you need to wait for that fab first poo in the potty first!!

thethoughtfox Wed 22-Mar-17 07:56:54

Mine pooped in the corner for a loooooonnnnnng time. We just kept reminding her and trying not to be assholes about it in case it upset her more. She held it in too. we got lactoluse from the docs but you can buy it over the counter that isn't a laxative but makes things easier to come out. We don't believe in rewards but resorted to 'pooping for piggies': if she pooped in the big toilet, she got to watch two episodes of piggies. When I told her this, she pooped in the toilet immediately! They can poop on command.

thethoughtfox Wed 22-Mar-17 07:57:20

*Peppa Pig. We call it 'piggies' in our house.

WhyTheHeckMe Thu 23-Mar-17 06:12:43

My friend cut with hole in the nappy bum, then asked her ds to sit on the toilet wearing the nappy. Within 2 poos it was sorted!

CatsCantFlyFast Thu 23-Mar-17 06:22:35

Similar to above. Nappy on for poobut ask them to sit on the potty/toilet with the nappy on while they poo. Once they're happy with that either cut the bottom of the nappy or remove the nappy

KP86 Thu 23-Mar-17 06:29:01

Flat out bribery here with DS 2.8/9 at the time.

Poo on the potty (then moving to toilet after a couple of weeks) = one sweetie.

Then we'd find he was squeezing out the tiniest poo for a sweetie, so we changed it to 'proper poo' (more phrases you never thought you'd say...) and once he got the hang of it no sweets at all.

I also put the potty away after a couple of weeks because he wanted to use that and I was already sick of cleaning it out!

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Thu 23-Mar-17 06:32:42

Ds was dry and with wees within a matter of days...poos have taken 9 months to crack shock

For the first 6 months we stayed totally relaxed about him pooing in his nappy. Fairly easy given he always pooed after breakfast, so we could put him in a nappy for that.

After about 6 months we insisted on pooing on the potty. He was allowed to go on the iPad while he did it, to a) keep him relaxed and b) keep him on there for long enough for a poo to actually happen.

Within the last few weeks he's fairly naturally changed towards pooing in the toilet.

I'd say keep him in nappies for poos if you possibly can, it's much better for him to be pooing regularly rather than start a chain of events with withholding...for whatever reason he's not ready for poos elsewhere. Keep revisiting as he becomes more used to being in pants etc.

SleepFreeZone Thu 23-Mar-17 08:18:51

My four year old son is exactly the same. He is now withholding his poo as I've tried to get more strict about him using the toilet. All this has done is made him more defiant so that approach doesn't work for us. He will only poo in a pull up or his pants, standing up wrapped in a curtain. He will not sit down and do it, even in his nappy.

I have him on 10ml Lactulose a day and still he only goes every third day. My next step is to try and see about adding senna to his diet to get him regular. Then I might stand more chance of him using the toilet. Reward charts haven't worked, bribery doesn't work (there is a brand new much coveted toy in eyes view for him once he does a poo on the toilet - he doesn't care), removing his favourite stuff doesn't work, stopping him from attending a party didn't work etc etc etc. He is SO stubborn and starts big school in September 😬😬😬😬

Writerwannabe83 Thu 23-Mar-17 16:43:02

Thank you everyone for all your replies - it's reassuring to know I'm not alone in this.

Earlier this morning my DS kept having little trumps which smelt quite strong so I kept asking if he needed the potty to have a poo but he he kept saying no. However, at about lunch time he asked me if he could have a nappy on, so I knew he felt ready to poo, and so I put one on him. Once I had done it he said, "I can do my poo now can't I mommy?" and went ahead and did one.

I don't know if I did the right thing letting him have a nappy on for his poo or whether I should just have been more firmer/persistent about the potty but it was just the decision I made at the time.

It's so hard to know what to do for the best.

KP86 Thu 23-Mar-17 16:56:56

Can he tell you why he doesn't want to use the toilet for poos?

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Thu 23-Mar-17 17:04:58

My ds did say he was scared when he had his poo on the potty!! I just told him he was supposed to do it there now he was a big boy!! And then I let him flush the toilet when he was done!! He was proud!! Sent pics to older dc and they were disgusted but he wanted to show them!!

Writerwannabe83 Thu 23-Mar-17 17:50:31

He just gets really upset at the sight of poo, tells me it's horrible and dirty etc so I just think he has some phobia of it? When he does poo in his pants he gets so, so distressed that it's quite upsetting to see actually.

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Thu 23-Mar-17 17:52:22

Writer personally I think you totally did the right thing. The important thing is that he poos regularly and that it doesn't become something he dreads. It was 6 months before my ds would even countenance a poo on the potty, but every time I tried to be 'firm' on the potty within that time, he started withholding. After 6 months he was the obviously just ready for some reason. I really don't think it's worth going down that route and realistically there will come a point when he doesn't want to do it in the nappy any more. Just hang in there flowers. I read so many threads on here when I was worried and it feels like you'll never get there - but you will.

SleepFreeZone Thu 23-Mar-17 20:01:14

I think you did the right thing too as making a huge issue of it just doesn't work. I'm testament to that having done softly softly and then fine hardline, softly softly worked better!

Tonight I asked if DS wanted a nappy on (this is code for do you need a poo) he said yes. Would you sit on the toilet for mummy for 14 mins, yes. So he did but didn't poo. I put his nappy on and asked him to poo in the bathroom so at least he was in the vicinity. He did which was something, then asked me to change him. I said we would take his nappy off and flush the poo down the toilet, cue total histrionics. Eventually I took his nappy off and some little nuggets of poo landed on the floor. He was going mad, crying and wrenching and gagging at the sight and smell I assume of the poo. I acted normal and said he was being ridiculous, picked it up and put it down the toilet, he then flushed the poo away.

I just don't know what to do. I feel like I'm making no headway whatsoever!! He is just totally hysterical about the whole thing and I'm just tired of trying and failing, trying and failing. I feel totally inadequate.

BaxterStockboy Sun 26-Mar-17 13:57:34

Ds2 was exactly the same. He said he didn't like the dirty poo. In the end we got a cushioned toilet seat to put on the proper toilet. We sat him on it a few times just to get him used to it and sure enough on about the 4th or 5th time he did a poo on the toilet. I think not being too close to the poo helped and he really loved being able to flush the toilet.

GreenGoblin0 Sun 26-Mar-17 23:34:36

oh this brings back memories. we had a poo withholder and it really was the hardest parenting experience so far.

things that worked eventually were

-taking off the pressure and letting her have a nappy on for a poo if requested
- lots of fluids and food that encourages bm.
- reading books about poo eg "everybody poos" "liam goes poo in the toilet" and "poo goes to poo land" (this is available online)
- when she was ready we tried to get her to relax on the loo- what worked for her was letting her sit on loo and blow bubbles - something about the distraction and also the sensation of blowing helping with pushing really worked for DD.

ThatsNotMyToddler Mon 27-Mar-17 18:57:32

There's an story app I think called Poo goes to Pootown (or similar) that is supposed to give great results getting children to poo on the toilet. Might be worth a go?

Otherwise I think the key thing is to just stay relaxed and trust that they'll get it in time. Lactulose not a bad idea but more important is don't let them be frightened of pooing. My ds1 is the very definition of stubborn where potty training was concerned and even he will poo in the toilet and wipe his own bottom now (not saying it was easy mind you!!).

Good luck. Potty training is my least favourite parenting job to date.

TooStressyForMyOwnGood Mon 27-Mar-17 19:48:30

Hi OP, my DD2 is 4 and we are in a similar boat. She is on Movicol and has been for a while now which did improve things. This last week she did poo in the toilet but is not keen (understatement!).

We have bitten the bullet and put the pull ups away - so hard to know what to do for the best and so much conflicting advice. Will see what happens! The ERIC website is good if you have not yet used it.

Chocolateteabag Mon 27-Mar-17 20:32:35

We had this with ds1 (now 6) and just starting it with DS2 who is 3 and 3 months
Poo goes to poo land helped with ds1 but really it was just time and rewarding the successes. Very hard not to get cross at the failures which is why I've not put ds2 into pants yet

SleepFreeZone Mon 27-Mar-17 20:59:08

Well we had an accidental poo in the toilet today, I whipped his nappy off at just the right time. I rewarded him thoroughly and was very very enthusiastic but he refused to go anymore afterwards and then kept skidmarking his pants through the evening until he begged for a nappy and pooed behind the curtain in it 🙄

I'm not sure if that was progress. We have the apps, three different poo books, a reward chart and still he is adamant he won't poo in the toilet. Some days I feel so ground down by it.

DalaHorse Mon 27-Mar-17 21:07:16

Pirate Pete's potty is a great book for encouraging poos on the potty. Also I'd tell ds that I had just done a poo on the toilet and make a big enthusiastic thing about how that's what they are for and now I would flush and wash my hands etc and everything was clean and fresh afterwards. I think it's the fear of sitting on a hole and dropping something in it from their body, they think a piece of them has fallen into the toilet and it's scary, so demonstrating there's nothing scary and it's all so exciting to do poos on a potty/big toilet etc... 🙂 The pirate Pete book has an illustration of poo in the potty. Put a really positive spin on it all and he will soon be proud to Shia you his poos on the toilet/potty!

DalaHorse Mon 27-Mar-17 21:07:45


Chocolateteabag Mon 27-Mar-17 22:13:59

Sleep does your son have any older boys that he looks up to? (Maybe a cousin or friends son?) As maybe they could have a stay and play and "go to the loo" while there?
Just a thought and depends if you have an older boy who could/would do that for you. DS1 very much looks up to the older sons of my friends and so we talked about this and got one to "confirm" he did it (he was at 8 a very sensible little boy - still is at 10)

Another thing we did was have an app game on the iPad Ds1 could only play while sat on the loo. Didn't matter if he didn't poo but he could only play it there (this is a bit rank I know, anti-bac wipes!!)

HiDBandSIL Mon 27-Mar-17 22:24:41

Poo goes to Pooland worked for us. Also mini rolls for successful potty poops! Loads of encouragement.

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