Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Advice on potty training!

Hello fellow MiM,

My little C turned 3 about a month ago. After she adjusted to pre-school at about 2 and a half, her teacher told me she was ready for potty training. In fact, I think the whole process took less than a week! In 1 week, she went from diapers to pull ups to underwear. And a week after, she stopped wearing night time pull ups.

Of course, she wouldn't let me get away with it that easy!

It's been about 6 months since this happened and she still refuses to poop in the toilet. When she needs to go poop, she'll bring me a pull-up and tell me "I need to go poop." I believe a big part of her fear of pooping in the toilet is because she's always pooped standing up as soon as she could pull herself up to stand. Overall, it's not too big a nuisance except when there are times we go out and I don't bring a pull-up and we have to rush home so she can go poop.

Then there have been times that we couldn't go home and she would just hold her poop. I figure in these desperate times that she would just go in the toilet but nope! Doesn't matter how long, she will hold it and eventually go poop at home in her trusty pull-up!

I used to be frustrated but I could sense that I was stressing her out so I stopped (after she pooped in her pull-up, she would ask "are you mad mommy? don't be mad mommy!"), hoping one day that she'll just figure it out. I mean, we all eventually figured out how to poop in the toilet right?

I have tried a lot of different techniques including different types of toilet seats, lots of bribery whether it be with candy or TV time, and even hiding all the pull ups. But she is stubborn, none of these have worked and I always cave because I don't want her to get constipated.

Any advice?

Just let it be? (This has been the approach from the past 3 months but I don't see her changing her mind at all about wanting to go in the toilet!)

Thanks in advance!

X-Ray vision


  1. When you get an answer(s), I need them too. My just 3yo, aka Blur2, could be potty trained if it weren't for the poop!

  2. Our little guy took FOREVER to poop in the potty, even though he was pee trained right around 3. We just kept encouraging him and finally at about 3 1/2 he started going in the potty, and it took about 2 months for him to be consistent about it (he still wears nighttime pull ups even at 4, he just isn't neurologically mature enough I guess). He just finally decided he didn't want to wear diapers any more and that was it. I think peer pressure was really big in this too.

  3. Have you tried having her squat on the toilet to poop? That was a game changer for us in the poop department.

  4. I have boy/girl twins who just turned 4. Same issue with both of them - my daughter one day this past summer just decided on her own to use potty for poop, but my son still wants the diaper. We have bribed w m-m's, trucks from dollar store, etc. I've let it go and figure he will use the toilet when he is ready. The pediatrician told me to give him miralax everyday for a month and put him on toilet every am and pm, but I did not feel aligned w that advice so I have not. When he says he has to poop, I do ask him everytime, "Do you want the diaper or try the potty?" And he always says diaper, and I always just say "ok!" Maybe I should take the Drs advice or be doing something differently, but I just feel like there is enough to worry about and do, and it will come when it comes. Good luck!!!

  5. We had a goodbye diapers party and that was it. No more diapers or pull ups. When she refused to poo in the potty she really had no other option. She went in her panties a few times but when she realized all her favorite new panties were being thrown out after nasty poops she started going in the potty no problem.

  6. I agree with @Boxes for Dr. Mommy above - don't buy anymore Pull-ups and give lots to drink and fiber. There will be destroyed underwear but eventually you will have success. Shoot - I wouldn't poop on the potty either if all I had to do was hand you a Pull-up and say I have to go poop :-)

    Don't buy any more Pull-ups and have the raisins and Miralax handy because I'm sure she'll get a little backed-up.

  7. If she is trying to poop in a regular toilet & her legs dangle down it is physically more difficult, so get a step that she can plant her feet on. Also, be aware of any constipation - often kids who experience painful stooling then withhold, which creates a bad cycle. It takes a long period of painless BMs before they forget the discomfort. (Peds)

  8. If she is trying to poop in a regular toilet & her legs dangle down it is physically more difficult, so get a step that she can plant her feet on. Also, be aware of any constipation - often kids who experience painful stooling then withhold, which creates a bad cycle. It takes a long period of painless BMs before they forget the discomfort. (Peds)

  9. I rarely reply here, but I will jump in. :) This, I learned, was pretty common. Same thing. Our boy was pee-trained in 1 week once he decided he was ready at just under 3 years of age (this, after us talking about it and having him sit on the toilet for 4 months with no progress at all). I had always been perplexed at the kid who would only have a BM in a pull-up, and then, suddenly, I found I had one. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited. We knew from before that he was not motivated by stickers, etc., so we just kept talking about it. I tried getting him a fantastic toy (knights and pirates- his favourites at the time) and told him it was for boys who "pooped in the potty" and, without missing a beat, he said: "Dad can play with it!". (I smile now. I wanted to cry then...) We tried a different potty. We tried different seats. We tried it all. No progress. I took sad, cold comfort in the the fact he could still go to school like this, as he was very organized and only ever needed to go at home. :)

    Finally... 8 months later, he got gastro ... and when he was getting over it, his pattern was off. We were out (vs. at home) when he needed to go, and it was a big hilarious gong show (I had to run back to the car to find a pull-up, realized I had left my keys with my friend, had to go back to my friend, get the keys, run back to the car, then we had to wait for the bathroom - yep - parenting is all glam, all the time). Anyhow, I did point out that had he been able to use the toilet it would have been easier on all of us. He obviously thought about this for a week, and then bingo, he was ready. And we were done. That was it- ONE DAY. He never had a problem after that. He even, much to my dismay as we didn't have laundry at the time due to renos, fired his night-time pull-ups at the same time ("I'm a big boy mom!") and after 1 wet morning, was totally dry. I anticipated relapses, but we never had them.

    So- I tell people that it either took 1 year to train the boy, or 1 week and 1 day with a whole lot of nothin' in between. :) However, I know of children of very lovely, motivated, (and ironically dual-physician families) who took even longer - up to age 6 in one case.

    I am pleased to report that it's been clear sailing since then. Really, he's only had a handful of accidents total, vs. the many I know his friends used to have, and some still have (at age 7). He was always quite independent and I think he just needed to be ready on his own terms. He has a nice, healthy relationship with the bathroom ("I need to listen to my body, mom!") and I'm grateful. 4 years out, I *can* laugh, but I thought I was going to lose it back then...

    Good luck!


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