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Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

My daughter is 4, we have been having troubles with potty training. She is fine when it comes to peeing in the potty, but won't poop in the potty. She would rather go in her panties. She will go hide when she needs to go. I end up fighting with her to try to go sit on the potty. I am not sure what I should do.


By Ashleysc from Canada


Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

My daughter resisted pooping in the toilet, too. She would happily poop in her training panties. We tried many different things. Eventually we did a couple things:

We would take her bottoms off when she seemed like she wanted to go. I've heard some people say this didn't work for them (kid would just pee/poop on the floor). Of course, we were very happy when she would go poop in the toilet, but she wasn't consistent. So when we knew she was capable, we turned to bribery. I don't like bribing kids, but we needed some way of motivating her. We stopped buying toys for her, and told her that we would go get her a new toy once she pooped in the toilet five times in a row (no pooping in her underwear).


It took a few weeks to get the magical five-times-in-a-row, but we made good on our side of the deal. It was an Easter night, and although we were tired from the day's festivities, we took her to Wal-Mart right away (way past her normal bedtime!), and got her a new toy. Like I said, I don't like bribes. But they're few and far between. In this case, it worked and was very worthwhile.

Good luck! I bet your girl will come around soon. (05/12/2009)

By mrs.story

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

I was potty training two girls at the same time and did the same thing with both of them. I sat them on the potty seat and handed them their favorite books. I told them no getting up till they pooped. Unfortunately, some days it backfired because they would poop and still stay in there sitting and chatting and looking at their books. (05/20/2009)

By Leathersammie

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

I don't know if this may be a problem with your daughter, but, my son did really well at that age on pee pee potty. But, would not poo in potty with out a struggle, fight, books, no matter what. Then come to find out, his bowel movements were so large they were painful. So a wise mother explained this to me, they won't go because of this problem, and to feed him more fiber, juice, fruit, veges, etc. And this really helped. He over came the fear after his bowels got easier to pass. Thought I'd pass the mommy wisdom on to others, hope it helps. (05/20/2009)


By Glinda Diane

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

As long as you know there is no problem just keep working with her. Number 2 children are not alike and they develop at different rates. Some children are potty trained at 2 some at 3 or 4. (05/20/2009)

By Teresa Kay

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

I would get her a special toy or book that she really likes and give it to her only while she is sitting on the potty. This may help her to sit and not fight you. (05/21/2009)

By SarahAnn

Trouble Potty Training a 4 Year Old

I have 3 boys and pooping was always a little scarier than peeing. I will skip all the psycho-analysis as to why and tell you what worked for all of them: extra fiber sprinkled on food, extra Frosted Mini Wheat cereal and the ultimate, a big prize every time they pooped! (Each child had a different prize they valued). I choose to think of it as rewarding good behavior, rather than bribing. Top it off with a "hurray for going potty song" and eventually, they no longer need the reward. In the end, remember, she won't go to college in diapers! Good luck.

By rlw1

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