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Desperate for help: DS won't poo on the toilet.(28 Posts)
I'm looking for any advice and suggestions that anyone had to offer as I feel completely stumped with how to deal with this problem and it's causing frustration to me and DH.
Our son is 3 years and 8 months old and absolutely refuses to poo on either a potty or in a toilet. He cries at the mere suggestion and gets very distressed if we sit him on the toilet and ask him to just try.
We have tried bribes, cajoling, reassuring, Apps, positive encouragement, books etc but nothing is working.
He is still in a nappy at night too which is always soaked in the morning hence why we haven't attempted not using them overnight. I was previously told on here that nappies should only be stopped overnight when they are pretty much dry the next morning as it shows hormonally the body is developed enough to not urinate during sleep. I'm not sure how true that is though?
Anyway, whenever DS needs a poo he comes to us with a nappy, says he wants a Poo and so we put it on him.
We went through a phase of not having nappies in the day and telling him if he needed a poo then he would have to use the toilet like a big boy but all he would do then is hold on to it until his bedtime nappy was put on and just do the poo then.
Me and DH just don't know what to do. He's been toilet trained for just under a year now yet still refuses to poo in the toilet.
It's just so disheartening and I find it embarrassing too as all my friend's children have been out of nappies a long time at this age - not needing them for poos or overnight.
Has anyone else been in this situation? It's really getting me down.
I want to stop using nappies overnight as it seems wrong at this age but I don't know how to go about that either as he's still urinating a lot overnight.
I feel a bit like failure really
You're not a failure. Children do things at their own pace including toilet training. He'll get there when he's ready. Don't compare him to other children. It doesn't matter that he wears a nappy at night, clearly he needs it & it's not wrong for him to be wearing it. Lots of boys need nappies or pull-ups at night for a lot longer.
Take the pressure off him & yourself for a while, let him wear a nappy to poo. He clearly knows when he needs to go but hasn't got the confidence to do it in the toilet yet. Try again in a couple of months.
Talk to your health visitor too, i'm sure she'll give you lots of reassurance.
We waited it out. DD wanted to wear knickers at 2y 9m, was reliably dry by 3y 9m, and only now, at 4y 1m is she willing to poo on the toilet. She would wait until her night time nappy went on, or poo first thing in the morning before calling for me. We reminded her every now and then that it would be really good to go in the toilet, and eventually she decided she wanted to. I'm assuming the same thing will happen with being dry at night eventually.
Can't really help on the poo front (sure others will help there) but don't even think about worrying about the nights, it just comes when it's ready. Both mine (one at 3, the other at nearly 5) just woke up one morning totally dry and never once weed overnight again. I never pushed it or lifted or anything like that, just let it happen when it happened.
Not urinating overnight is a hormonal thing. You can't force it. All you'll do is end up with a lot of wet bedding. It's incredibly common for children not to be dry overnight at your son's age. DS1 was nearly 4. He's in reception and there are two boys in his class still in nappies overnight. Honest. Don't worry about it. It'll come in time.
Refusing to poo on the toilet is also very common I think. Again, DS1 took ages to agree to do it and we had months of weeing on the potty and asking for a nappy for a poo. It's a strange sensation for them to get used to I think. In the short term, I'd back off about it for a few weeks and try and stop it being an issue. You definitely don't want him holding because that can cause constipation. But longer term, there are various things you can try. It's best if they don't have their feet dangling- make sure he has a stool etc to rest his feet on. Also, have you tried getting him to do a poo sitting on the loo wearing a nappy? Sometimes getting them used to doing it sitting down is the key barrier to break.
One of mine used to hate pooing on the toilet as she sometimes got splashback and (understandably) didn't like how it felt! She was much better after we started putting a few squares of toilet paper in the loo before she went (initially still sceptical but did eventually give it a go once we
had practically filled the toilet bowl with loo paper explained that it wasn't going to splash her. Might be worth giving it a go?
I was reading something about this. For instance I think there are stages you can try, in a baby steps approach:
pooing in a nappy whilst sitting on a potty
Pooing onto a nappy laid onto the potty
Dd2 does this - except she poos on the toilet at nursery.
The other night she got herself undressed (Hilarious when you are just 3) and was dancing naked when she farted so she ran off put a nappy and pooed.
No solutions OP sorry dd1 only had wee issues never poo, just sympathy.
I wouldn't worry about overnight though. Dd1 was nearly 5 but once she was ready she's only had about 3 accidents since.
Very common. Toddlers don’t always understand that poo isn’t actually part of them.
IIRC Elizabeth Pantley has lots of articles about this.
Oh OP, I understand what you are going through. DS has had an aversion to doing a poo since he came out of nappies and would hold it in for day and days and days. He was always uncomfortable / in pain but would still hold it in. It was incredibly frustrating and upsetting for us all.
We tried lots of different tactics but this book seemed to do the trick.
It's been 4 months now since buying the book and he just goes on the loo / potty as and when he needs a poo.
Have a look at the Eric website. There is a whole section on supporting children to move from pooing in a nappy to pooing on the loo. It involves many small stages.
Op- my dd is 6yrs 9 months and has never done a poo on the toilet
Ahead of all milestones, having conversations at 18 months, toilet trained and dry day and night whilst still 2 but refuses to use the toilet for a poo.
She is actually petrified of it, said it's the noise she is scared of, we have spoken to school nurse, GP etc who say it's quite common.
We have tried everything we can think of
including bribery and yet she wears a pull up and takes herself up to her room to do it.
Strangely, even as a toddler, she seemed embarrassed to do a poo in her nappy if anyone was in the room and her stock phrase was " I need my privacy! "
Please try not to worry just yet. I remember dd being 3 and the doctor completely
dismissed my fears. Actually I've just realised we haven't been for a while and as dd is approaching 7 I'm getting concerned 😳
The doctor did say that a lot of the children he has dealt with over this simply hate the noise.
THank you everyone for your replies and reassurance.
Strangely enough, completely out of the blue my DS asked to watch the "Poo goes to Poo Land" video that was an App I'd previously downloaded. I had done this months and months ago and DS had never been interested in watching it so I'd just deleted it therefore I have no idea why he suddenly bought it up.
Anyway, after watching it we agreed that each night he would try and send his poo to Poo Land and he could have a little treat for doing so.
This evening he actually sat on the toilet (he stands to have a wee) with the intention of doing his poo. He had never done this before and I felt so proud of him. He wasn't actually able to do his poo but I didn't push it as I know it's all new to him and I just heaped on the praise for him sitting on the toilet and trying.
I think my DH was a bit disappointed but I told him that it's going to be a slow process but that DS's actions tonight is a huge step forward.
I still can't quite believe he did it because normally he'd cry and scream at the mere suggestion of him sitting on the toilet and trying to have a poo.
Well done, it sounds like you are making real progress!
Well done on the progress. we had the same issued with Dd1. in end we had to take the pressure off until she was ready. the books that helped us were poo goes go pooland, liam goes poo in the toilet and everybody poos.
once she was ready to start sitting on the toilet long enough to go we got her to sit and blow bubbles. this seems to help her relax and also the act if blowing seem to encourage pushing. she was about the age your son is now when she got it.
good luck and please don't feel that you've failed this is so common.
Also a stool for him to put his feet on when he is sat in the loo night help.
Tell him if he wants to poo in the nappy that's fine but he has to sit on the toilet when he does it in the nappy
OP I started reading your post and was sure I had written it myself and just couldn’t remember doing it! Almost word for word you have my story too!
My DS is 3 years and 5 months and we are only a little way ahead of you in the same special story.
Our problems actually started when DS had a spell of constipation as a toddler. It led to a chronic problem with him withholding his poos for days on end. And of course the more he held it, the drier and harder it became. And the more scared he was to go. Was quite a sad little scene with tears and sweating.
Movicol prescribed by his paediatrician solved the problem of dry hard poos, but while toilet training for wees went well (he has been out of daytime nappies since around age 2.5) we realised quickly that he was nowhere close to pooing on the toilet. Just wasnt even up for discussion. Even with the Movicol he could hold it all day long, and do it in his nappy as soon as went to bed. He would spend early evening so obviously uncomfortable but would not consider going on the loo.
Anyway, paediatrician said we needed to increase the Movicol so DS couldn’t hold it. Which we did and it worked very quickly. While he clearly still delays doing a poo on the toilet (and will only do it at home, never at school etc), I would say he now does about 70% of his poos on the toilet. He cannot hold it for long (he is on 1.5 sachets of paediatric Movicol per day and we are now slowly reducing it). He realised quickly that going on the toilet is nothing to be scared of.
You didn’t mention any constipation with your DS....so while that may not be an explicit problem, if he can hold it for hours on end until he gets into his nighttime nappy then it sounds like he is an expert witholder. Withholding can also be treated with Movicol, as it removes the ability to withhold.
No idea if this helps! If you try my route then a daytime nappy needs to be a non starter...as that is an option which your DS cannot have available. He needs to have no choice but to go on the toilet.
Btw my DS still has soaked nappy in the morning so we are nowhere near being dry. I just hope that will come naturally soon enough.
You have all my sympathy. Going into DS room to be met by an almighty smell and a giant turd caked around his bum is a real turn off...3 year old poos are not cute in any way.
Hope this is helpful and also that you realise you are not alone!
This is more common than you think, my dd was the same, started going on the toilet at 4.
Sounds like you are getting somewhere.
Pooing on an open nappy on a potty can help.
Sitting on the loo blowing bubbles (real or imaginary ) actually gets the right muscles working to get a poo out.
If you can do that with him to make it even more fun it might help.
You will get there.
Please please please ignore your friends ‘ progress.
Movicol really helped us. The problem is when they start withholding it can start to become painful and then a behavioural pattern can start.
Our DS would scream at the mere suggestion of the toilet. We didn't think he was constipated because when he did poo it wasn't dry or anything like that.
OP I really feel for you. We have just come out the other side of this with our 4y 6m DS. He started school in September and we were tearing our hair out trying to figure out why he wouldn't poo in a toilet. It was 100% behavioural and in the end we told him that he could have a pull up on, but he had to sit on the toilet with it on to let the poo out. After he did it we then cut a hole in the pull up, he didn't realise and the poo fell straight into the toilet. It took a few weeks of pull ups with and without holes; and eventually he did it in the toilet with nothing on. It took forever - he was toilet trained with wee just before his 3rd birthday, no nappies at night since Xmas last year - but we got there in the end.
He will do it, when he is ready. We told our DS that his Poo needed to come out so it could swim to poo poo park and play; it helped! I hope your son is continuing to do well. Don't get too down hearted.
It's so reassuring to hear all these stories. I'm relating them to my DH as he doesn't seem to want to accept that it's just a normal part of toilet training and child development.
DS definitely isn't constipated and you're right, there's nothing pleasant about a 3 year olds poo
We tried to get DS to sit on the toilet but he got really upset and wouldn't do it so a backwards step from yesterday. I did however tell him that if he wants to use a nappy then he still has to sit on the toilet and do his poo, which he did. DH wasn't too impressed....I think he thinks I'm babying or pandering to DS but I'm trying to explain that it's just a process that we have to work through.
Please be assured you are not the only one. My dd is now 10 and, when she was your son’s age, I wouldn’t have believed we could get through it.
My dd went to nursery for half days aged 4. She would go with knicks and not use the loo. She’d get home and straight into the nappy for a poo. My MIL was the one with her (I was at work). It came together fairly quickly after that once I started gently insisting on using the loo but, God, I felt like I was living from bowel motion to bowel motion.
Making poo time “fun” does help. The blowing bubbles advice I got from a specialist helping me - I have MS and needed some fresh approaches for all sorts of stuff including the loo .
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