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What is a good way to break my 4 1/2 year old from pooping his pants?

I have tried everything. I have done the rewards thing which worked for a while but I feel we are past that stage and he should be actually WANTING to use the potty. He gets embarrased about it. I have been to a doctor and he said to have him clean himself up and also to make sure he tries to use the bathroom after every meal. I have been doing this but he still poops his pants once or twice every couple of weeks. He had no problem using the potty to tinkle. Help me! Any advice?


Asked by Schangel at 10:38 PM on Jul. 7, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • underwear, clean himself up and after he does, hes responsible for cleaning the bathroom. Then everyday at a certain time, I interrupt his games or whatever hes doing and make him sit on the toilet. Hes not allowed to get up unless I see poop. Usually I wait until I know he has to go before making him. The other day he had to go so badly that when I finally made him sit, it looked like 3 days worth of poop. I also explained to him that holding it could hurt his tummy too. So know that other moms can relate to you and understand. I used to be embarrased about mentioning this to anyone but when I realized that other moms WERE dealing with it too, I began to talk about it. We need support, not judgment. This is a common problem for moms of boys this age. PM me if you want to talk about it further. Every mom has SOME parenting issue that they dont want to mention because of fear of judgment. Its better to just be compassionate.

    Answer by momofsaee at 9:56 AM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • I recently read that you should have him clean themself (as the doctor suggested). Also buy new underwear that he likes (let him pick out), and have him throw them in the trash if he goes in his pants. Tell him you will not be able to buy those kind again if you have to throw them away.

    Also, some kids get very focused on an activity and don't want to take the time to go to the bathroom. Pay attention if it occurs when he is focused/involved in something. He might need to be reminded about taking the time to go.

    Answer by momjs at 11:53 PM on Jul. 7, 2009

  • So, let the bashing begin. Take him outside and spray him clean with the hose. He won't do it again. Worked with 2 kids I know.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:41 AM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • Listen..I totally get your situation and I have one that is the very same way. Hes been doing this since he was about 4. Hes 7 1/2 now. It seems to come and go. He will go months without incident and then all of a sudden have issues for weeks with it. I took him to his pediatrician to make sure there wasnt any medical condition here. Doc checked him out and did a rectal exam. He was so gentle with him and explained to me that he is a chronic holder. He had very strong rectal muscles. He explained to me that this was a emotional issue. He explained to me that this was a symptom of a personality that is inward. He doesnt know how to express how he isfeeling so it comes out in other forms. Something that wouldnt bother me in the least, upsets him greatly. He told me that berating, scolding, punishing, ect would not work. Hes right, I have tried everything. He told me to make him take responsibility. So he has to clean his own..

    Answer by momofsaee at 9:51 AM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • I made mine clean it up himself with very little assistance. I sat against the bathroom door and we didn't leave the bathroom until he put it in the potty. He did it 3 times and we haven't had any problems since. He was potty trained at 2 1/2.

    Answer by CaidensMommy05 at 11:05 AM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • My son, who is now 6, just started having issues with going to the potty to poop. He was no problem to potty train at two, so I was very upset when he started coming home from kindergarten , smelly and dirty. He tells me he's not allowed to go to the potty when he needs to. I know that this is not true, that he's just waiting to long, mainly due to recess, or playing and not gettin in in time to make it. I have tried everything and am still frustrated. I tried making him go in the am before going to school but it didn't help. it is better now that he's on summer break and I hope when he goes back that being in 1st grade will make him want to be a big boy. I still have to wipe him so I am hoping that will change also.

    Answer by chksmom2003 at 2:33 PM on Jul. 8, 2009

  • I was having the same problem with my son...i tried everything you ladies have mentioned (yes, even spraying him with the hose LOL..he had to clean himself up and I told him that I could not buy him anymore spiderman pants because he didn't like being pooped on...and this may sound mean but after he would poop his pants I would tell him that he had to "live on the potty until he could figure out how to go there when he had to because he was too big for diapers now" I would have him sit there for a little while and then he would tell me that he only took him about 3 times of that. But also, I learned towards the end that I was being too hard on him pushing him so hard that he was actually holding it in and not going for days at a time sooooo I dont know if I would take my advice =( My poor baby..

    Answer by Momma2two650 at 1:16 AM on Jul. 9, 2009