Child Won't Poop in the Toilet

My 4 year old son will not poop on the toilet. We tried potty training him a few times, and he was not ready until now. He is doing pretty good with peeing, with only a few accidents here and there. The real problem is pooping on the toilet.

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He has been steadily potty training for four days now. When he was wearing diapers he would go sometimes multiple times a day and the instant we started on the potty he just will not poop. He has been holding it in, doesn't even do it in his underwear.

I sit him on the toilet for long periods of time so he will just let it go, but it doesn't work. Rewards don't work, encouragement doesn't work, he isn't scared of it, just tells me he doesn't have to go when clearly he does. Has anyone else had this problem? What can I do?

By Ashleigh from Colorado Springs, CO

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January 13, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hello, Ashleigh, I'm sure you are frustrated but here's a funny story from a friend with exactly the same problem: Think of it as "separation anxiety" and it just might help. :-)

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My friend's child was also doing fine with peeing in the potty, and claimed not to be scared or afraid of pooping in the potty, just didn't want to do so. After trying as many if not more things with her child as you have with yours, she finally discovered the problem by accident. No pun intended. While cleaning up yet another dirty "pantfull" she casually asked the toddler, "How can you stand this yucky mess in your pants?"

Breaking out the crocodile tears, the child sobbed, "But mommy, it's part of me! Why don't you love it?" Right away, she began a long, tender discussion about how normal it was for everybody to lose things like pee, hair left in the brush, baby teeth, clipped fingernails and toenails, and poop because their body was always making extra of those things to replace the old stuff. After a few honest accidents, full toilet training was accomplished within a few weeks.

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Don't know if this will help or not, but thought it was worth sharing. Good luck! :-)

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January 14, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

My son had the same issue when my oldest son was 3, except he did not go in the toilet or his pants...we took him to the Dr because he eventually had tummy aches from holding it so long and was painful when he actually tried. The Dr told us to put 1/2 cap full of Miralax in his juice, milk, or water. When we added it we called it sugar. I know it sounds mean, but it helped with the constipation from holding it and he could not hold it anymore because it is a mild laxitive. Eventually we did not have to use it anymore and he got over not using the toilet rather quickly.

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Hope this idea helps.

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January 14, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had the same problem with my son. I put him in Pull-Ups, but when he had to poop he let me know and I put a diaper on him. I then waited until summer time when he could wear less clothing and he was a little embarrassed for people to see he wore a diaper especially for the kids of his own age to see. He stated using the potty for pooping on his own.

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January 14, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

My daughter was the exact same way. We would have to put a diaper on her to poop. She didn't want to get the potty or toilet dirty. I gave her Disney Dollars. I set up a chart with circles depicting quarters. I gave her a quarter for every pee-pee and 2 quarters for every poop in the potty. I did this because I knew she would begin school soon and need to be well trained.

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We colored a "quarter" in every time she earned it. She eventually saved up enough money to go to the Disney Store to buy anything she wanted. She bought a Little Mermaid dress that she wore until she absolutely couldn't wear it any longer. After we went shopping, we no longer needed a chart!

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January 16, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

My grandson was the same way. His mother got a footstool to go in front of the toilet to put his feet on. This way his legs were a little higher than his body and made it easier. I've heard of this suggestion for adults as well.

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January 17, 20110 found this helpful

Make sure their feet don't dangle above the floor. Different muscles used. Best when placed on a step if can't reach.

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Google potty/toilet training here on Thriftyfun. Lots of information posted many times over on tricks of the trade.
I did not have issues with sons/grandchildren and the toilet. Also did licensed daycare for 15 years, never an issue there. Age 2 is about the right time to start this when they still can have faith that parents do know what they are talking about!

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