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My 3 year old daughter refuses to poo - help desperatly needed!!

So shes 3 & been toilet trained for approx 5 months. She has no problems weeing into the toilet, but pooing is another thing all together. I can't think of anyhing that may have triggered this reaction.

I spend most of my time in the bathroom with her, as she screams that she needs to poo. But just holds it in when we get there. When she finally does go, it'll be in her knickers generally when we are out of the house.

Its becoming a complete nightmare & i'm starting to lose my cool & patience. I've tried stickers & rewards - nothing works. I've even got a new bike waiting for in our shed for when she's done the deed!!

All help appreciated, as theres got to be more to life than sitting on you bathroom floor all day!!!!


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Asked by happy2bhere2 at 6:46 AM on Jun. 26, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • Continue to let her have bowel movements in her pull-up, but then empty her poop into the potty to show her where it goes. You can then remind her that 'poop goes in the potty.'
    Encourage her to have her bowel movements in the bathroom, even if that means having her sit in the corner of the bathroom and going in her pull-up. Once she gets used to that, then have her sit on the potty in her pull-up when she has to go. The next step might be to undo the pull-up and then eventually take it off. Some people also cut a hole in the pull-up, so that she is still going while wearing it, but her poop falls in the potty.
    Read children's story books about potty training to her, such as Everyone Poops or The Princess and the Potty, to help get her used to the idea of pooping in the potty.
    Offer lots of praise when she does make some progress, whether it is emptying her pull-up in the potty or going in the bathroom.

    Answer by HannahLee87 at 6:51 AM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • If she is resistant to all of these methods, then you should likely continue to give her a pull-up and let her go where she wants. Let her know each time that she should tell you when she is ready to start going in the bathroom or on the potty.

    And remember that 3 isn't a magic age where everyone is potty trained. Many children aren't fully potty trained until they are 3 1/2 or 4 years old.

    Answer by HannahLee87 at 6:53 AM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • My little one had this problem when she first potty trained. It ended up that she was afraid to poo because she had gotten a little backed up so it kind of hurt when she went. Every time she needed to go after that for about a month, she was afraid of it hurting, so she'd hold it in. We ended up giving her a toddler version of milk of magnesia every other day for 2 weeks so that she had no choice about going. After that, she realized it didn't always hurt to go and she's been okay since then. Although, the first few times, even with the medicine, dh or I had to hold her on the potty when she was going, she would literally sit there until things started happening and then try to run away while it was still going on. It made my heart hurt to listen to her cry, but I didnt want her to hurt anymore, you know?

    Answer by kttycat84 at 10:05 AM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • my daughter had the same problem. The doctor said she was constipated and it hurt to go so she'd hold it until it come out on its own. He gave her a laxitive and said to make sure to feed her lots of fruits and veggies -- also gave her these little kid fiber gummies. It fixed the problem within a week or so.

    Answer by oporb at 3:36 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • My 4 year old daughter has been the same way for 2 years now. Pooping in the potty has always been an ordeal because she doesn't make it a habit to go often. The doctor gave her MiraLax and that helped a lot. It helped in the sense that she HAD to go no matter what. But I think the key to my daughter pooping regularly is me or my husband just making her go set on the potty until she goes. With no distractions. And eventually she just gets tired of sitting there and does the deed. My 2 1/2 yo is totally different. She goes all the time and tells me when shes gotta 'poots' as she says. All children are different. Some need books and stuff and some just can't have any distractions or they won't do the deed. So maybe you should set her on the toilet and leave her alone.

    Answer by agallardo at 3:48 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • Try backing off for a while. Frustration in you is a sure sign you are pushing too hard. If you keep pushing, she may end up with bad constipation, which will make it hurt when she poops, and then you will be combating her well-founded fear along with her stubborness.

    Let her know that YOU know she will use the potty when she is ready. Let her know that it is OK to ask for a pull up or diaper when she has to poop. Keep reading storybooks about potty training during your storytime a few times a week. Once she realizes that you are calm, she will calm down too. Once she realizes that you aren't pushing, she will relax and stop digging in her heels to fight you. Remember - in a battle of wills with a young child, there are NO winners. Truly, the only way to "win" is to refuse to "play".

    Answer by kaycee14 at 11:29 PM on Jun. 26, 2009

  • My sister had the same problem with her son. He became afraid the first time using the toilet. She ended up feeding him prunes. He soon overcame his fear and had no choice but to use the toilet because he didn't like feeling it in his pull up.

    I never had a problem with either of my kids because I allowed them to see me using the toilet. It encouraged them to want to use it.

    Answer by kaseykolak at 1:12 AM on Jun. 27, 2009

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