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Won't poop in a toilet
Me flower
ncp wrote in parenting101
My son is four years old, and he still hasn't figured out how to poop in a toilet. He's been peeing on his own for over a year. For poop, he'll go and grab a pull-up, put it on, and stay in the bathroom until I come to wipe him. He doesn't need reminding for either of these*. He also wants to try being night-trained. This is on his own initiative -- we tried one night of sleeping in his underwear, and he managed to stay dry until the morning (when he ended up wetting the bed). He wants to try again tonight.

But for some reason he can't poop in the toilet. If we try to convince him to sit on the toilet, he freaks out and starts crying. We've even told him he can wear his pull-up and then sit down and poop, but he doesn't want to do that either. He needs to stand. On a few occasions, he's tried to poop on the potty, and he hasn't been able to do it. I've even asked him "when you poop in your pull-up, how does the poop come out?" He says "I squeeze my bottom." But he says when he squeezes his bottom on the potty, the poop doesn't come out. We've tried giving him incentives (candy, a cool toy that he can't open until he poops in the potty). He's even tried to give himself some deadlines (I'll poop in the potty when we go to grandma's house), only to back out at the last minute. We've even had to leave places so we could go home and poop because he can't do it in a toilet**. He tends to go either early in the morning, or late afternoon, when we are likely to be at home. He's never had an accident at school. He also probably holds it in a lot, because if we're out all day he won't go.

Ideas? Suggestions?


* I do tend to remind him to pee just because he prefers to do the pee-pee dance rather than just suck it up and stop playing. But he CAN go on his own when he needs to, and he's fine at school.
** I used to keep a pull-up in the diaper bag along with the baby's stuff, but we ran out and I never replaced it.

My daughter had a similar problem and I ended up just catching her about to poop and setting her on the toilet and telling her she couldn't get off it until she pooped in it.
First she threw a really long tantrum. Then she calmed down. Then she got upset because she was pooping. I had to hold both her hands (for emotional support) while she went, but she did go.
I made a point to only talk in calm tones and just explain (over and over again) why she needed to go in the toilet and not in her underwear.

She was a little bit apprehensive about going the second time, but I went with her and let her know that she could hold my hands if she needed to again. She took me up on that offer - but after that she no longer needed me in there with her because she realised it wasn't as bad as she thought. (The first time wasn't great, but that's because she held it in for around 15-20 minutes...)

I'm not going to lie, putting her on that toilet and "making" her go on it sucked. But it worked for her.

Another option you might try... if he won't fall in (or if you're using a potty seat) is let him put his feet up. The squatting position is much more natural to go in then just sitting down and that might help him. It doesn't help much in public places, but it would work for home.

Edited at 2012-05-07 02:38 am (UTC)

We did this too. It was rough at first, sitting there for an hour+ but eventually he just figured it out. I felt bad about it too but I knew he had to go, he knew he had to go, he just wouldn't. It took just a few days before he'd just automatically sit down and poop. Some days there's still a bit of a battle but we're a million times better.

My kid squats. It's kind of funny, because he has to completely disrobe the lower half of his body (including shoes) and then he squats on the toilet. His aim is usually true, and he gets in, gets it done, and re-dresses in a short time. He also needs it perfectly quiet, but that's a topic for another time ;)

Is it possible he's a bit constipated, so standing really is the way he can get the poop out, vs sitting? Maybe work on his diet so he poops more easily?

Hi, I use homeopathy a lot with my family, since I'm trained in it. It can really be a lifesaver if you find a good match. I checked my books and sure enough, having to stand to poop is a keynote symptom for three remedies: Alumina, Causticum, and Sul-ac. If I were in your shoes, I'd try the Alumina first (it's a very famous constipation remedy), in say a 30C potency, two pellets under the tongue once daily for three days to start. If that didn't work, the next week I'd try the other two remedies, in turn, also in a 30C potency.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get it at a local store, or may need to order it online. Generally, remedies are cheap, around $7 for a tube of the pellets.

Good luck. Hopefully, this or one of the other recommendations will help your son soon!

Can he poop sitting in a squat (without a kidduies' potty underneath to sit on), just how you would go if you had to go in the bushes outside? Maybe that way the coordination is easier for him...
He seems like a determined little boy, and it must be frustrating that it doesn't work when he tries... I think he simply needs to figure it out somehow, but yeah, except for the detour over squatting I have no idea.

Edited at 2012-05-07 08:09 am (UTC)

Yeah, this, or I was even thinking standing over a kiddie potty. That would get him used to the falling feeling and give him encouragement with the small success, while still allowing him to ease into it by remaining standing.

I'd try this, or getting a stool for his feet to be on if he's using the big potty.

Yes, I second the stool. My son is 4 and he will only poop on the potty if there's a stool to rest his feet on. He is forever afraid of falling in. It's not so fun if we're in public though, as I have to squat down in front of the toilet to "be the stool!". :P

Another vote for trying the toilet squat. He strips his pants and undies off, climbs up and frog squats and does his thing. He used to pee that way too, but has discovered sitting makes better aiming. I figure I'm going to wash his hands with soap anyway, so it doesn't matter too much if he's gripping the seat for balance while he squats.

No advice, just empathy, as this is very similar to our situation. I'm thinking of either potty hair or cutting the butt off a pull-up as the next step. Mine definitely likes to squat and contort as he poops.

Okay, I am dying to know what potty hair was supposed to be. =P

Shit. Chair! Potty chair :P

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