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How do I make pooping fun??

My son is 3 years old and holds in his poop. He seems so afraid to poop. He is not constipated now, but as a baby he had problems, so now I think this fear is a carry over from when he was smaller. It is delaying his potty training. He will pee in the potty, but is very afraid to be without a diaper or pull-ups. He will go hide when he has to poop and when we try to carry him to the potty chair he screams. I don't want this to be a traumatic experience for him. My husband thinks we should start taking his toys away, but I don't think that is the right route either. I don't think we should punish for something that scares him.


Asked by Eliandchloemom at 1:35 PM on Apr. 7, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (9)
  • sweetie, I would let him pick out a toliet seat so he can put in on the toliet, get a book about potty time and read it to him for couple of days while read this book show him a piggy bank and give him 1 penny for potty and 2 pennies for the number 2 or known as bm. My 3 yr old thought that was pretty neat and later on he bought what he wanted with the money, my friend seen me do this and she got her 4 yr old hooked on it and now he loves it.. just an idea hun and good luck sweetie

    Answer by semiwife at 3:29 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • Make it a game. Put cherios in the toilet and tell him to burry them with his poop. Get rid of his pull ups or diapers. He doesn't need them and get him big boy underwear. Let him pick some out and tell him the character doesn't like getting pooped on so he can't poop in them. Try a reward with him like a piece of candy or something. But get rid of any and all diapers and pull ups.

    Answer by brailynsmama08 at 1:44 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • I just went through this with my daughter. The reason she was "scared" was because it was hurting her. I called the doctor and they said the more she holds it in the more water gets evaporated from her stool which makes it harder and alot worse to try to get out. My daughter would scream terribly. Dont take his toys away, it's not his fault. I would call your doctor and ask about myralax, it loosened my daughter right up and she hasnt had a issue since. It's also an oderless and tasteless powder so it can go in anything he eats or drinks.

    Answer by asholan_07 at 1:49 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • Punishing him for being afraid is the wrong way to go. Put it in those terms to your husband.

    We've had similar issues and this is what I've found:
    First talk to his doctor and see if a small, daily dose of Miralax would help. This will make it impossible for his poop to get large and hard. It doesn't make him go, it just prevents constipation and the pain of going.
    Then every time he poops ask him something like "Doesn't your tummy feel better after you've gone? Mine does." or "It's getting easier for you to go. Have you noticed it's not as scary as it used to be?" Simple questions to get him thinking that the pain and fear are gone.
    Let him know that he can have a pull up for pooping but that he must poop in the bathroom - not on the potty but just in the bathrooom.
    Then see if he will sit on the potty in his pullup, even if he has to jump up before he actually goes.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 4:08 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • Once he's willing to sit and poop in his pullup, try putting the pullup in the potty instead of on him. If that won't work, cut a hole in the pullup so the poop falls out and into the potty.

    Small steps. Think of your biggest, irrational fear... spiders perhaps? How long would it take you to overcome that fear? Would you plunge your hand into a jar of spiders if someone threathened to take your favorite possessions away? Or would you respond better if you started by simply looking at a photo, then a real one behind glass, then one in a garden, etc. Small steps. He'll get there.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 4:11 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • semiwife thats a cool ideas to try out. I like the bank idea alot if its ok can i email you and tell you how it worked out for me.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:13 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • We went through a similar situation with our son. He once held it for almost a week! He is 4 now and completely potty trained. We gave a special treat after a successful bathroom trip. That treat was only given for pooping on the potty. We sing songs on the potty and that helped him relax enough to go. We also carried his portable potty in front of the tv and let him sit on it while watching tv. Also, when we couldn't get him in the bathroom (earlier on in potty training), we would give the treat if he said he had to go and ran to the bathroom. I know it sounds crazy. But it began to train his mind that that's where he should be going. Even if he ran to the potty and pooped in his pants, we still rewarded him. Anything to get him closer to the toilet. Adter he did that successfully for a while, we would reward sitting on the potty and "trying". I also did a special potty dance that he loved. Stick with it! Good luck!

    Answer by exhaustedinChas at 7:04 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • I used to do a poopy dance. Dance moves were so crazy, if anyone else sees it, I will die. If I remember correct, I sang a poopy song while she sat on the toilet, and danced like a lunatic when it came out. We also danced together after bathroom with the music from Kandoo. (Does anyone have it by the way? It's great!)

    Answer by Meachan at 8:23 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • I agree with all the moms who are saying it may be painful for him. I would definately talk to his doc and see what she suggests. If he had problems as a baby, they still may be there. Sometimes these bowel things, don't go away. Trust me.

    Answer by spiritguide_23 at 11:10 PM on Apr. 7, 2009