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My 3 and a 1/2 year old son refuses to go poop on the potty!!

My son has been potty trained and in underwear since about January. He wears underwear to bed and does not pee his pants at all. However, he has been pooping in a pull up and refuses or seems scared to go poop on the potty. We are encouraging and accepting, no pressure really...though last week we decided we'd try to push him along a bit.
Aside from discussions about going in the potty, we kept him posted that we were running out of pull ups and were not going to get anymore so he'd have to poop on the potty once they were gone. Once we ran out, he held his poop for over a day, he did sit on the potty but seemed to be either constipated or holding it in and showed discomfort. Sure enough the next day he went in his pants. The following day he held it again and instead of his normal playing was laying on the couch and almost seemed depressed!! Well I gave in...Is this a power struggle or is he truly not 'ready'

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Asked by domenicsmom2805 at 2:29 PM on Mar. 26, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (3)
  • Power struggle but he also may just be nervous about going poop on the potty. Our son did the same thing. We put him straight into underwear though and he would just continously poop in them for a few days. My husband took him into the bathroom with him and went to the bathroom the same time he did. He showed him how to poop in the potty basically. I know it sounds weird but it worked! He was fine from then on. He just needed to be shown what was expected of him. Stop giving in! Good luck!

    Answer by vnw1405 at 3:01 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Yep, power struggle mixed with fear. Be aware, the more times he holds it in to the point of discomfort or even constipation, the more fear he will have and the more he will fight to hold it in next time - setting him up in a horrible cycle of fear and pain.
    Try giving him prune juice at least once a day so he simply can't hold it in and so he won't get constipated.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 3:23 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

  • Thank you for your answers!! I can understand the power struggle as we have those here and there for sure...but am nervous about him being in pain or being more afraid.
    I appreciate your help!!

    Answer by domenicsmom2805 at 4:24 PM on Mar. 26, 2009

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