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how can i get my 3 and a half yr old son to stop pooping in his underwear?

i feel like i have tried doing different things to deter him for long enough to make an effect, but this child is so stubborn. i have taken toys away from him for the day as punishment, i have made him sit in time out for a while, i have made him walk around with no underwear, i have made him wear "baby diapers", i have even made him sit on the toilet for long periods at a time after seeing his mess in his underwear. nothing bothers him. in fact he even screams that he wants to wear his dirty undies after i have put him on a clean pair. i am out of my mind and out of patience. i dont know what to do anymore. i am so sick and tired of the smell and the mess. its been 2 months and we have the peeing part almost down, but he poops in his underwear almost every hour or so. its not a complete movement every time, sometimes he just streaks them heavily. please help. thanks!

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Asked by exhausted2two at 8:13 AM on Apr. 28, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • spank his butt

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:27 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • My DD went through this...i told her the next time she pooped in her panties i wasn't cleaning it up..and gues what she pooped..i didn't clean it..i made her go in the bathroom and clean it up herself...she never did it again =)

    Answer by kaylajean86 at 9:22 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • Been here!! Except my son is 7. Hes had this issue for roughly since he was 4. This is a control issue. He knows that this is one of the only things that is FIRMLY within his control. It also sounds like hes holding it. Thats why hes having to go so frequently. The first time he has poop in his undewear, make him sit until hes done. Hes likely just not wanting to get up and go. Its easier to just poop in his pants. Give him something for constipation if he is. It will make him have to go and more likely to sit on the toilet. Then if he still poops on himself, you make him clean his underwear and let him clean his own butt. Assist him if necessary, then go on about your business. ONce youve done all these things, then you cant control any more of this. This is about him. Hes got to decide. I ve punished, spanked, taken away toys, rewarded...everything. Nothing works. Just let him work it out on his own. A trip to the ped is goo

    Answer by momofsaee at 9:35 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • I agree with Kaylajean86 - have your son clean himself up. He should be old enough to do it. Any other type of discipline doesn't make sense if he doesn't really have bowel control yet. It all comes down to how well he can control his own bowel movements and it's pretty unfair to take things away or punish him for not being in control of his own body yet. But cleaning up his own mess is a direct consequence to poop - when you poop, you need to clean it up. If you don't want to clean it up, learn to listen to your body and run to the potty. Be patient with him, above all else. And if he's pooping every hour or so, talk to your pediatrician - that's pretty frequent. I would think by now he would have a regulated schedule of poop a couple times a day at most. There may be something going on inside that makes it hard for him regulate.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:37 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • Every hour? I know you said it wasn't the whole deal each time, but that's a lot of time to be pooping--even if it's only a little bit!! I know that "everyone' says that a kid should be ready at his age, but some kids just aren't. It may be a control issue, but it's just as likely that he's not physically able to control it. My daughter is the same age, and we're having TONS of issues, so I know how frustrating it can be.
    (or pretty much what JPsMommy605 said above me!)

    Answer by shesajar at 11:27 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • My son is four, almost five and he just recently became completely toilet trained. He just was not ready before that. I know it can be frustrating, believe me, but potty training takes a lot of time. It's always one step forward, two steps back. You really need to be patient and not punish or humiliate him if he's pooping in his underpants. When he does use the potty, you should praise him for being a big boy and tell him how proud you are. Instead of taking things away or putting him in time out when he has an accident, reward him for using the potty. With my child, we had a chart and every time he had dry underwear five times in a row, he got 20 minutes on the computer of game time. It was the ONLY thing that worked with him. If he had an accident while on the computer, I immediately turned it off and he had to start all over....five dry pants in a row. It could also be that he's not physically ready just yet.

    Answer by feministmama at 12:10 PM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • cont.....
    I'd also like to add that I was concerned that he wasn't getting it when he was your son's age. His doctor assured me that he is completely normal and sometimes (especially with boys) it just takes a long time. She said that some boys don't get it until they are five (my son almost was in that category). You really have to be patient and consistent. That's the only thing that works and if he doesn't get it just yet, he will eventually when he's ready.

    Answer by feministmama at 12:13 PM on Apr. 28, 2009

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