how to get DD to poo on the toilet??(42 Posts)
I’m hoping someone can give me advice – I’m out of ideas. DD is 3y 8m old and will not poo on the toilet. She has been potty trained for a YEAR now and doesn’t have any wee accidents, except rarely at night. But she never took to pooing on the toilet. She managed it a few times, I think twice at the nursery and twice at home, but always reverted to pooing in her knickers.
She tries to withhold poo in the nursery and lets it out only when she is at home. This results in stomach pains and sometimes infections. We are worried that, if the situation does not change, she could develop serious health problems. We are also worried that she won’t learn to poo on the toilet properly before she starts school in September. We asked for advice in the nursery, children’s centres, the GP and did not heard anything other than being patient, using star charts and bribes – which produced no result for a year.
I attribute this situation to the combination of the constipation that she used to suffer from and the arrival of her baby sister 8 months ago. But she has not had the constipation for about 9-10 months now and she appears to be overcoming her wish to be babied like her sister, yet the poo situation has not improved a bit: she insists that she is not able to or does not want to (she gives both reasons) poo on the toilet. Should we force her to sit on the toilet when we notice that she is trying to do a poo? What else can we do??
How good are the bribes? Mine wouldn't shit for stars, but sylvannian sets broken down into constitutent parts, laloosy/whatever dolls. Anyway, good bribes changed our toilet game. Once they get the habit established, you can withdraw the largesse.
The bribes are fine, I think - Peppa knickers for one poo and Peppa pyjamas for four. She desperately wants them when I show them to her, periodically asks for them, but refuses to sit on the toilet even for them when she actually needs to poo. There has been nothing she wanted more than Peppa Pig stuff for a while, so it had the best chance of working out... then no result.
So she'll sit on the loo for a wee, but not for a poo at all? Can you tell when she needs one? And she refuses to sit on the loo when when you know she needs to go? What about the potty - does she feel more confident on that?
Yes, she sits on the toilet for wee, but refuses to do it for poo. She is too tall for her potty now and from the very beginning of TT she had this idea that pooing should be done on the toilet (for weeing both potty and toilet are fine). She tells us that she needs a poo or more often that she is doing one, so we don't have to guess, but when she does actually agree to sit on the toilet (or we put her on it), she just withholds the poo for later.
We had similar issues.
Bribing never worked for us - and I actually came to the conclusion that it was a bit mean. Our DD desperately wanted the bribes, but still couldn't bring herself to poo on the loo.
Our DD was waiting until her bedtime nappy each night to poo. In the end (aged 3.5) we just took away the nappy and luckily she suddenly stopped. But I guess you can't do that if she is already out of nappies at night.
Have you tried the ignoring approach? Ie. Not talking about going to the loo at all. If all pressure to poo on the loo is removed, she might just do it. Afraid that's the best advice I can offer. Good luck!
I can see what you mean about bribing being mean if they just can't manage it.
Would she poo on the loo if she could keep her pants on?
But basically agree that she needs to relax, so I would just back off for a bit. Poo does take a while longer and all kids are different. I'm sure she'll get there soon.
Thank you. Sadly, I can't take away the nappies... We did it earlier in the hope that it might solve the problem. In fact, we thought to return to the nappies now and tell her she needs to wear them until she learns to poo on the toilet. But it could backfire - I'm sure part of the problem is wanting to be still a baby like her sister. We did our best to ignore - to be patient, not to show frustration etc. because this seems to be the standard advice and it seems to work for a lot of people. With us it didn't for a YEAR, so I have lost faith in it.
Oh dear, I totally feel your pain - I remember being so frustrated.
If you think it's all linked to wanting to be a baby like your 8 month old, I wonder if you could sit your baby on the potty a bit (some people really do start 'training' their babies as soon as they can sit up). Maybe if she sees the baby trying to be grown up, it might encourage her to show baby how it should be done?!
This is so common. It's a very hard concept for children to understand poo, and they can be scared of it (thinking they're losing part of themselves) or that it will cause a splash. Lots of gentle ways to get around it online. Frustration really doesn't help.
Have you tried getting her to ask for a nappy/pull up to poo in? We had several months of DS1 doing that before he accepted the loo.
Try not to worry about school. It's 8 months away- that's aeons in the life of a pre-schooler. She'll get it. Right now I'd just focus on stopping her withholding.
I think you need to be firm with her and tell her straight - she is not a baby anymore. Please persevere without nappies, you have to stop the nappies - you are not helping her. You are the adult and you need to tell her what to do and stop enabling her to stay a baby. Make it clear that no one will be there to change her knickers if she poos her pants at school. Explain that she can't wear nappies at school because nappies are for babies and she is not a baby like her sister. And then explain that she will have to poo/go to the toilet on her own when she goes to school so she should start doing it now so that she knows what to do.
This was us for close to a year after fully potty trained. Refused to poo in the loo and just demanded a nappy he could poop in... bribes, pleading, encouragement... nothing worked. He stayed over with his gran (my dm) for two nights without us one time and she refused point blank to let him do it anywhere but the loo. He adores her and would be v fearful of losing her approval for a moment and so just went for it. Huge celebration and phone calls home to me to say yaaaaaayyy etc. Never looked back.
I think he would have guilted me into giving into him. But I think because he was with someone else away from me (but v secure relationship with) he just had to go for it...
She will get it in time... I wrote v similar to your OP when my ds was 3. You're right not to let them see you frustrated etc... even though you most certainly are... it will sort itself one day when you've given up!!!
Please persevere without nappies, you have to stop the nappies - you are not helping her.
No. the OP should use the nappies in a different way to encourage her daughter.
You wouldn't demand that a toddler run 100m a week after learning to walk. Learning to use the toilet takes different children differing lengths of time. They aren't robots.
Thank you - I will try sitting the baby on the potty!! If DD1 does this because of wanting to be a baby (and not because of the memory of painful poos when she had constipation), this could work.
Nothing I have tried worked so far. Although she did poos on the toilet a few times, she always reverted next time. If I am firm with her and demand that she sits on the toilet, she just withholds the poo. I don't agree that it will necessarily sort itself out in 8 months - I have seen quite a few comments on these threads from mums for whose children it did not sort itself out until school. And come on, we have been gentle with her for a YEAR, how long before we stop being gentle?
Can you make sitting on the loo part of her day? If you know roughly what time she needs to go, you could get her to sit on the loo around then. Blowing bubbles is good to encourage her to poop.
And come on, we have been gentle with her for a YEAR, how long before we stop being gentle?
I feel sorry for her.
During that year you've introduced a sibling. Don't underestimate the impact of that on your daughter.
No, we are not using nappies. It is one of the things we are considering as the current approach clearly doesn't work.
Children are not robots, but surely if a child can do absolutely everything children of her age are expected to do and in fact much more than that, with the ONLY exception of pooing in the toilet, the reason is not that she is unable to learn it. She knows how to do it and she has actually done it a few times. As she says, she just doesn't want to.
My point is that ignoring the problem doesn't work in her case. As I mentioned above, this has become a health problem.
And she is a happy little girl, certainly doesn't need your pity.
That's what you need to work on though! It's one of the few things she controls. She's going to do everything she can to keep it that way. Work with her rather than trying to take the control away (by telling her she must do something - it's good training for the teenage years).
As I say, ditch your frustration and work with her. A quick Google will find you hundreds of sites all saying the same thing.
My gifted and talented niece wet herself at school at 5 and 6 rather than use the filthy toilets there. Took a change in attitude by staff and parents to get her to open up to using them. Banging your head against the wall won't do anything.
I didn't advise you ignore it. I said there are other ways to deal with it than what you're doing now.
She goes only every second day and unfortunately not at the same time. One of the GPs suggested we give her laxative to make her go more often to make it easier to get her into the habit. I didn't want to interfere with her at the time, but maybe we should reconsider it.
By ignoring I meant pretending that it's not a problem. The existence of hundreds of sites recommending the same approach means nothing - they basically copy from each other.
You say "there are other ways to deal with it" - can you tell me what ways? point me to those sites? I have yet to come across an approach that does not boil down to giving space to the child, being gently supportive with her, offering lots of praise, making with star charts, giving rewards. Is there something I have missed?
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