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What to do when a toddler is holding her poop in and refuses to let it come out?

My 2.5 year old is in the middle of potty training, she has a mental block about going poop. She will NOT let it come out. I have made sure she is not constipated and her stool is soft, to the point it is falling out. But, poor girl will not let it come out. She holds it in and squeezes her cheeks to make sure that it stays in. What do I do? She is in pain and crying and tonight it is so bad she will not sit on her bottom.

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Asked by lotahugs at 10:51 PM on Mar. 22, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • give her prune juice. It makes you go.
    Prob TMI but my fantastic uncle told me that there was a troll in everyones toilet that would grab you by the butt and pull you in the toilet away from your family if you sat on it to long and I refused to go for a LONG time (this wasn't recent it was when I was 5 lol) but my mom started mixing prune juice with oj and I couldn't help but to go.

    Answer by theheartbaby at 10:54 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Make her sit on the potty until she does, if she has to sit there and eat, read and whatever else, that is her choice as to how long she will hold out but you need to remedy this now before it leads to serious health problems. Once she knows that you aren't playing or feeling sorry for her then she'll give in and go like she ought to. But you have to stay on top of this even if it is exhausting until she is going consistently on her own.

    Answer by lilhoney at 10:55 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Eventually whether she likes it or not she WILL have to poop. Explain to her how much better she will feel if she does. I know it would be uncomfortable for you to have some one in the bath room with you while you poop but maybe that will help her know that everyone does it. Also try putting toilet paper in the toilet before she goes so it doesn't splash her. And maybe she is one of those people that needs to be alone for this. My daughter is.

    Answer by MizAnn at 10:57 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • It's not uncommon for little ones to be uncomfortable with pooping on the potty. I wouldn't force her but rather make it easy for her to go. If it means going in a diaper or pull up that's better than letting her hold it in. I had the same problem with my DD and she would go in her pull up first thing in the morning. I moved her little potty to the living room so she could poop while she watched an episode of Dora. It worked and eventually she got the hang of not holding it in and within a week we were good to poop on the potty. Distract her when she REALLY has to go.

    Answer by AudreyJ at 11:00 PM on Mar. 22, 2009

  • Try giving her a toy to play with on the potty or read a book. My youngest did this but she would poop her pants when she was playing because that is when she was the most relaxed. We would let her take the leap pad in the bathroom to help her relax.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 7:38 AM on Mar. 23, 2009

  • A lot of times when a child does this, it means they are not ready to move on to the next step of potty training. It can also be a show of stress in their lives.

    Let her wear her diapers for a while, and back off on the pooping in the potty. If she wants to pee there, that's fine, but let her poop where she wants for now. After a week or maybe even two try and talk to her or read her a book about pooping. Better yet, have her come in the bathroom with you while you are pooping and eventually invite her to join you on her potty.

    Answer by OzzysMom at 4:06 AM on Mar. 24, 2009

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