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DS seems to be scared of pooing...(13 Posts)
We've been taking a relaxed, gradual approach to potty training our 2.8 year old DS for the last few months and he's totally nailed weeing - he happily stays dry in pants all day (he loves wearing pants) - tells us when he needs to wee, takes himself off to the potty and goes by himself etc. He's even dry for his nap.
But he seems to hate pooing. Prior to potty training, he used to only poo every couple of days and he'd hide to do it (then totally deny he'd done it. Not an easy lie to pull off - he's a stinker). We had a couple of successes early on - he did 3 or 4 poos in the potty and was super chuffed with how proud of him we were. But now he point blank refuses to poo on the potty. He avoids pooing entirely. When he can't ignore the urge anymore, he is clearly uncomfortable... he jumps from foot to foot, holding his bum, looking all sad and miserable, all the while saying 'my not need poo poo'. I put a nappy on him to go after encouraging him to try on the potty (this is always met with total refusal) and he'll eventually let himself go. And then he's quite bothered by the fact he's done a poo, and the changing etc.
His poos have recently got more solid after being pretty sloppy since birth but I don't think he's constipated - he doesn't have to strain much when he does eventually go.
I feel so sorry for him. I know he can do it but can't seem to convince him of this (he says 'my can't do it'). We've tried all manner of bribes - sweets, treats, toys, screens etc - to no avail.
Anyone got any ideas or suggestions? Thanks.
This is really common. My DS did it, the theme when I read about it was people saying do rewards for each step.. e.g. when you know he needs to go, reward sitting on the toilet or potty.
Rewards can vary, lots of people have success with choc buttons or stickers. That didn't work for us.. we gave a little prize each time he pooed and he got a penny for trying. He really wanted the prizes (pound shop type trinkets) so eventually danced around and went. Then after DS have cracked it we phased this out.
Also.. his hard poo is him stool holding which can lead to constipation. You want to avoid his poo getting hard as it'll be more painful to pass and again he'll want to avoid it. Encourage lots of fluids, we used prunes- one or two day or the ellas prune pouches just to keep him loose.
I was also suggested to place his nappy in the toilet and let him poo that way. Children get worried about the fall away and also where it's going.
If he does poo in his nappy, put it down the toilet and have him watch.. and wave bye!
There's An app called poo goes home which is good to help them understand.
Let him watch when you poo 🙈
Hope that helps, he'll get there 😊
This is really common. DS took forever to get the hang of poos, but I let him go at his own pace and Itm really glad I did after reading all syprts of stiff on here about the long term physical consequences of withholding poo.
I kept nappies in the bathroom, and let him have a nappy whenever he wanted a poo. Afyerwards, we would flush the poo down the loo. Then I said that he had to stay in the bathroom while he did the poo. Then, when he was comfortable with that, he had to sit on the potty or toilet while pooing. After that, I would cut a hole in the nappy which gradually increased in size - eventually, he just had the waistband on for the feeling of security. We talked a bit about when he would be ready to poo without nappies at all, and what we would do to celebrate, and then when the time came, we had his celebration.
The ERIC website has some useful advice.
It’s a really common problem and one that we had to deal with. Unfortunately it took until our daughter was 4 before it was finally sorted - she would only poo in a nappy in the dark ( eg after bedtime). It took quite a degree of work and reward to get her to even go in the nappy in the bathroom. ( in our case lucky dip with rewards was the most successful) I have to say that we suffered a fair degree of angst and worry about it which I think is extremely counterproductive. You DS is still very little so I wouldn’t even be concerned about it at this point. The main issue will be withholding if he doesn’t have access to a nappy so please don’t go cold turkey and just remove them. There is a Continence charity called ERIC which have fact sheets which can give you techniques to try. ( there’s one involving holes in nappies which we used) The app which may help is I think called Poo goes Home to Pooland - Yes I know... this is what it’s come to. Good luck... as some health visitor said to me “ she won’t be doing this at University”
Oh crosspost with BroomstickOfLove who has explained it all perfectly.
Thanks so much everyone... I'll have a look at those things and give some of the ideas a try.
I have a feeling that we're making too much of a fuss about it, which is causing stress for everyone. As one of you said, he's still really young.
My ds was doing this and we gave him half a sippy cup of pure apple juice. We watched him like a hawk, clearly uncomfortable, saying his tummy was sore.
We said that a big poo will make tummy better. As soon as we saw him starting to pass a stool we were there with a potty wherever we were. A few accidents but we emphasised and asked if his tummy was better.. We praised him for the tiny amount of poo we got in potty (as we just about caught it) and gave him a choc button. It worked in a week. The apple juice really accelerated the bowels as he'd already held it in for long enough.
.... And to ads, my 2.4m ds was getting pissed off at us hovering about so we had to keep some distance and not talk about potty or toilet too much... Which was very difficult.
Thanks, @CheshireAxe... Sounds just like my DS. I've come to the conclusion that we were making such a fuss about the potty that it was making him super stressed. He's never liked pooing and all of our bribing, cajoling, talking about it, even the huge celebrations we did when we had a success were giving him a kind of performance anxiety!
So we've decided to just focus on reducing the poo anxiety (and possible constipation from all the holding it in!) first and not worry about pooing on the potty (he's totally fine with wees still). He can poo in a nappy for a bit.
Might give the apple juice thing a try soon but he's just incredibly good at holding it in...
Thanks again for your help
We managed to take a pic on my phone of his poo in his potty! He became proud of that poo!! Made me send it to close family members! They all praised him!! Helped hugely!
Thanks @Windyatthebeach. We actually did the same a few months ago when he was doing the odd poo on the potty... He was really proud too.. But he's regressed since then so I think we're going to have to ignore the potty for poos for the time being. Which is a shame as he is doing so well with wees and was looking like he was shot to nail the poos too
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