How do we get our son to stop pooping in his underwear?

Amy - posted on 07/22/2009 ( 28 moms have responded )

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He pees on the potty just fine, but he refuses to poop on the potty. We've tried everything...stickers, rewards, making him sit on the potty, different types of potty, yelling, time out...nothing is working! Please help!

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Holly - posted on 10/08/2012

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I'm not sure how old your son is but he could have Encropesis. My son soiled his pants until he was eight. The doctor prescribed stool softners etc.... I was at my white end of cleaning the messes until I I found the "Clean kid manual" which requires you to administer an enema a day to clear an impaction that had stretched his colon. After several months, he's cured!

Karen - posted on 07/23/2009

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I made my boys remove the fecal debris (put it into the toilet) and then they had to take their undies into the bathtub and clean it themselves....always with cold water. After a few times, they decided it was easier to go to the potty and take care of business in a clean and warm manner!!

User - posted on 07/24/2009

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Karen,

THANK YOU - another mom who doesn't think that natural consequences are a "punishment"! Having to help clean up a mess (or their underwear) isn't a punishment, it's a natural consequence of having pooped in their underwear! There's nothing wrong with requiring a child to assist in cleaning up a mess that they made, even if the mess was an accident - spilled milk has to be cleaned up, and it's not "punishing" a child to make them help clean up the accident.

Leah - posted on 07/29/2009

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HI. i know there have been alot of replys, but what i did was a little bit different than what i've seen. My son was pee trained by 2 (was easier than i'd thought), but he would NOT poop for some reason in the toilet. He's an only child, so i had my best friend, who has a child about a yr or so older, she brought her son with her and she stayed the day with us. When i noticed my son looking for a place to hide, i looked at my friend and she whispered in her childs ear. Her child then got up, went over to my son and said "eww, you're poopin aren't you! Mommy, i wanted to play with a big kid, this is a baby! can we go now?" LOL...my son was mortified that his friend thought he was a baby, so he stood up and said "I'M NOT A BABY! I POOP IN THE BIG TOILET LIKE YOU!! WATCH!" and so...he went and pooped in the toilet. i told my friends child to go tell him that he thinks he's a big boy now just like him. Every time since then, if i'd see him start to hide, i'd remind him of his friends who might think he's a baby, and he'd go to the toilet. Now he's almost 5 and we've not had anymore trouble from him since he was almost 3. Different tactic, i know, but still effective. He was never punished for anything either...just coerced! LOL!

Cheryl - posted on 08/07/2009

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my 2 1/2 year old has the same issue he pee's all the time in the toliet, but poop has been another story, then we figured it out, he gets bored sitting there waiting for it to come out so now he has book it the bathroom he can read while he's waiting, also we have it in boxers (he won't go around naked all day) but the boxers seem to help cause it rolls down his leg and falls out which grosses him out but he also has to clean his mess (as he does with everything else) so if your not comfortable with him running around bottemless try boxers on him it could help, also try the book thing (which i think is a guy thing) but one or both of those should help, i know it is with us

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28 Comments

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Jane - posted on 08/06/2009

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have you tried involving him in the clean-up of his messes? maybe that will get him to stop and realize there's an easier way, just hop on the potty. also, not letting it get your guys upset will help. they can only control their poop, eating and sleeping in their little lives so if he sees it doesn't get a rise out of you, then maybe he'll channel his efforts to the potty where he'll get praise from you guys.

Jane - posted on 08/05/2009

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keep an eye on the times of day he poops and then put him on the pot and tell him that his doctor said he can't get up until he's pooped. take the responsibility off of the two of you so he can't respond towards the two of you. does his sister do it?

Jennifer - posted on 08/04/2009

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have you tried making him sit in them for about five to ten mins with out changing him to show him how it really fells because I know that really works and I know that that is not against the law I talk to some one who works along side cps and they said that you can make your child sit in his underpants wet & or dirty for about five nins but no longer then 30 mins to show them how it fells in order to potty train them. I have had no envolvement with cps they came and talk at a meeting at my daughters preschool called a parents meeting it is kinda like a pto meeting and I was having a problem with my daughter using the potty after she was potty trained because I kept her in pullups when she was a way from home so i asked them about how long it would be ok for her to be in a wet undies and they told me 5 -30 mins but no longer then 30 and it worked wonders she is 7 now and no accidents and I have a 4 year old that I have tryed it on and no accidents in about 2 weeks now

Mishalla - posted on 08/04/2009

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Hey Amy the way i stopped my son from pooping in his pants was i told him every time he used the big boy pottie he could change the pottie water different colors.i put food coloring in the bathroom WHERE THE CHILD CAN'T GET TO IT and every time he went to the potie i would sneak my hand in behind him and squirt food coloring in the pottie and say oh cool kaden your poopoo makes the water change colors he loved it,for the peeing in the pottie i put cheerios in the pottie and told him to try and pee through a cheerio.....hope this helps

[deleted account]

My daughter went through the same thing. She would sneak away and poop and then "clean" it up herself and get poop everywhere. My sister gave me an idea and it worked like a charm. I took her underwear away. She was naked from the waste down. It took only two days and she never pooped in her underwear again. Don't ask me why this worked, but it did.

Renee - posted on 08/03/2009

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We started spanking our son when he knew what he was supposed to do and had accidents anyway. After about 2 weeks he was fully trained.

Diana - posted on 08/02/2009

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Thats funny because I thought I was the only one too!! I just said babies don't get gamecube time and each time he would go stinkies in his undies he wouldn't get game cube the rest of the day. That only happend two times. Then when he went in the toilet we praised him for being a big boy.

Allison - posted on 07/30/2009

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My son (just turned 3) seems to move away from people to have a private spot to poop. So everytime I notice that he's not around I call out to him and ask him what he's doing :) Mostly we catch him in time, but not always. Every GREAT once in a while he'll surprise us and tell us that he has to poop in the potty and runs to the bathroom. I think that kids all potty train in thier own time. Hang in there! I know that poopy underwear is the worst to clean up!

Elyssa - posted on 07/30/2009

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I'm not sure how well this works, but my friend was having trouble with her kid pooping in his underwear and she'd tried just about everything else that she could think of, so finally he pooped in his underwear and she took them off, set the underwear in the garage, sat him down in a chair and made him look at it for five minutes. She hasn't had a problem since, so I suppose it worked for her kid! It seems a little gross and harsh, but he just wasn't getting that it wasn't something a big boy did, after those five minutes I guess he got the picture!

Kari - posted on 07/29/2009

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It's harsh......but! Tell him the next time he poops in his underwear he has to take them off and clean himself up. I tworks, trust me! I have 3 boys, and no one wants to do that!

Simmone - posted on 07/29/2009

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Hey..I dont have a solution for ya, but I can sympathise!! We are going through exactly the same thing. My son is 33months. I have two older daughters, who did not have this 'problem'.. is it a boy thing?? if you find a solution or figure out the problem, I would be most gratefull if you share the secret :)

Regards
Simmone

Tina - posted on 07/28/2009

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My nephew and one of my sons, (I have four boys) had this problem into their pre-teens! Doc's said they just were soooo busy they didn't want to take the time to go. They'd hold it all day, get constipated, until a small amount would finally leek in the underwear. I will say they both were adhd though. I had to give enemas occaisionally because of it.

Amy - posted on 07/28/2009

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Thanks for your ideas and comments. It's a relief to know we aren't the only ones with the problem. I know in my head we aren't, but it's nice to see confirmation. :) We've put up a little chart and every time he successfully goes on the potty, he gets a sticker. After 5 stickers, he gets a toy car. He got his first car last night, and it was as many days for those stickers. He was super excited. Tonight he got out of bed and told us he had to poop. He was wearing a pull-up and normally he'd do this in his pull-up and then come out and tell us he has poop. We were so proud of him and made a huge deal of it. He got 2 stickers - one for not pooping in his pull-up and one for going on the potty. He was even more excited about this. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we are turning the corner. Thanks again for all your ideas and comments. They were a huge help!

Sarah - posted on 07/28/2009

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My daughter's god mom had this exact problem with her son, 3 1/2. This lasted until she spent the night with him where there were three other kids, 6, 5, and 3. Once she got home he didn't want to do either in the potty so she sat him down and explained to him that he is a big boy now just like one of the other kids and he has to use the potty like a big boy. A few hours later he told his dad to go into the bathroom and he told him to look and his dad said yes toliet paper. and Jay said no poop. Ever since then he's been peeing and pooping in the potty. I don't know if it was the other kids or the lecture or both but it worked. Good luck!!

Sharon - posted on 07/28/2009

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I did the brave thing and let him run around in the nude. He had to poop and begged me to put on a diaper. I refused and said, go sit on the potty, he didn't want to and ran around awhile begging for a diaper. He didn't poop for about two days and finally sat on the potty and we made a big deal about it. He went in the potty ever since.

FATHIYA - posted on 07/28/2009

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i told my son that one day he will shit in his pants and the shit will stick on his butt he wont sit he wont move and since he like d eating he would not be able to do so.

He never again did it on his pants lol....lol.....

[deleted account]

My boy trained really easy, but still had a LOT of dirty underwear. We found out that it was due to constipation. If he's having a hard time pooping or it hurts, he may not be interested in the toilet because of that.

Julie - posted on 07/27/2009

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I also say give them the responsibility to clean up their mess... my dd's take their dirty clothes to the washing machine, after removing poop from teh undies of coarse. They are 3 and 4 now and it's been MONTHS since either of them had an poop accident.

NATURAL CONSEQUENCES!

Sabrina - posted on 07/26/2009

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My son @ 2 was fine peeing in the potty. Same as you, he refused to poop. We had tried everything. I avoided yelling & punishing. Cause for him, he would regress. So over a weekend he went naked (no pull-ups & t shirt only). We didn't go anywhere. He loved to hide to poop. He even had his favorite corner. So I kept my eye on him. Found his routine and guided him to the potty every 2 hours til he pooped. He never refused, but would just stop short of pooping at first. Then he got the hang of the routine. He's 4 now and does just fine. Occasionally, he's wet himself a little when he is out playing and forgets. But that is very infrequent. I think for a child this is the hardest thing bout growing up. I have never seen a kid go to college with a diaper, carrying a bottle with a binkie in their mouth..lol. They just need a chance to figure it out and eventually they'll get the hang of it. Some take longer than others. Another suggestion have a little "party" for when he gets the hang of it. Give it a month, then surprise him with the "party" or special outing :). After I did that with my son, that was the end of pull-ups. He now says they are yucky. I hope this helps...Good luck...Keep us posted :)

[deleted account]

both of my boys had a bit of trouble. My oldest a week before his 3rd birthday would go in the bathroom, squat down next to the toilet and poop either in his underwear or on the floor. So I started watching him....when he pooped while watching TV he was grounded from the TV, when he pooped while playing with toys he was grounded from the toys....after about 3 days I couldn't really take anything more away from him (I'm not completely mean lol) so I told him if he didn't start pooping in the toilet he would be grounded from his friends and since his birthday party was in 4 days he would loose his party and I'd tell all his friends to take the presents back. Now I was a little desperate and not sure what I'd have done if it hadn't worked, but an hour later he was pooping in the toilet. Now for my youngest son, he just turned 3, he's been perfectly capable of both peeing and pooping in the toilet on his own for over 4 months now, and he would do great for a week or so then just stop. He has a harder time connecting what he has done wrong with loosing privileges, So about a month ago (I walked by the play room and he was standing in the middle of the room "aiming" for the train tracks saying "look mommy, I peepeed on the train tracks!") I started spanking for accidents. I totally do not recommend doing this for younger children who are just learning, only for older kids who are not really having accidents, their what I call "on purposes" My youngest is very stubborn and I could tell when it was on purpose. He still had accidents and he didn't get a spanking for those. But when he did an "on purpose" he had to take off the yuky underwear get cleaned up and then (without anger) I had him bend over my knee and get one spankin. Then he would get a hug and he'd say he was sorry. It only took about 3 days of doing this before he was going on his own. The other thing that has helped was letting him run around the house with only a shirt on. For about a month if I put anything on him, underwear or pull ups he wouldn't even try to go potty in the toilet. Now that he's been going all on his own for a month or so I've been telling him that he can't do things like sit on my lap or ride his bike unless he has underwear on and he's started asking for them and keeping them dry now. Every child is different and the trick is to just keep trying until they get it.

Danielle - posted on 07/25/2009

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I think this is a boy thing....every mom I talk to that has this problem, its always with a boy! My son was no exception! He was pully pee trined, but the poop thing felt like it took forever. You could always tell when he was going to poop his pants because he would disapppear. We were doing the bribes and all that and nothing seemed to inspire him to poop on the potty. I too had him change himself and help clean up the mess. I don't really have a magic formula to help you out, but one day my 4 year old daughter and him were playing quitely and he mentioned he had to poop. She took him to the potty and low and behold he actually went! That was our breakthrough "poop" and after that he pretty much went on the potty all the time. (with an occasional accident) Once your son has that breakthrough you'll be home free! I was in the process of assembling a Potty Basket of toys and books that could only be used while sitting on the potty. My son was very into Batman so I took that theme and ran with it! I think a lot of his problem was he didn't want to invest the time to actually sit and let it happen. So, just a few ideas for you, I know its very frustrating when you are dealing with it, but he will go on the potty sooner or later! Hang in there!

Alicia - posted on 07/23/2009

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I have a friend whose son was "pee trained" at 3-3 1/2 but just could not get the poop thing down. A few months before his 4th birthday, my friend had had enough and they went full force into "poop training." (I think also her son was starting to show more signs of readiness to participate). They stayed home for days working on it. He did better when he did not have underwear on, so he walked around in just a shirt and they fed him TONS of fiber to help move things along and ensure he was not discouraged by constipation and were on full alert any time he got quiet or left the room. After a few days of good progress, he was into it (getting a Twizzler at every poop helped). Then he would wear pants w/o undies for a few days, then finally pants with undies.
It was a tough week or so because they just played at home waiting for the poop! He only pooped once/day so once he pooped they get dressed and go out, but not until that poop happened.
After a few months of it all going great on the little potty, they then moved to him using the "big" potty and he is totally trained. It was as if some switch just had to go off for him to be ready (AND WILLING) to do it. Good luck.

Torey - posted on 07/23/2009

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Hi Amy,



I am not sure how old your son is. When my son was 3 1/2 years old he would still poop in his underwear at times. They way that I stopped him was by throwing his underwear away. I will have to say that is did not take long because he loved his special big boy underwear. I hope you will find something that works great for ya'll.



Torey

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