my 3 year old will pee in potty but not poop we try to watch but he hides to poop help

Jennifer - posted on 08/16/2009 ( 44 moms have responded )

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He pees in potty good but will not poop help we need all help we can get!!

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User - posted on 10/14/2011

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I'm so glad you asked this question, I'm going through the same thing. he does #1 no problem but insists i put a pull up on for #2, I tried bribing, nothing works so i'm hoping it will come in time, glad to know I'm not alone with this thanx :o)

Dyan - posted on 08/22/2009

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Hi Jennifer,
I had this problem with my oldest son. After a year of potty training, he was 4 years old, and could stay dry all day but always ran off to poop whether he was wearing a diaper, pull-ups or even underwear. He didn't care. I finally realized he had a fear of pooping in the potty. I did some research on the web and found several ideas.
1. start keeping track of when he poops everyday - write the times down, is there a pattern? after a meal, after playing, the same time everyday?
2. move him closer to the potty to poop even if he is still wearing his underwear/pull-up. Try to get him to poop in the bathroom, even if he is standing up and fully clothed. You may need to move him there if he will not go on his own.
3. encourage him to use the potty sitting down, even to pee.
4. find his currency - toys, treats, praise, watching tv - use this to encourage him. I took my son to the store and bought him a pack of little trucks. Then I placed them within view of the potty and told him he could pick one each time he pooped in the potty. This didn't get him to try it the first time but it encouraged him to continue after the first hurdle.
5. fiber - some kids will just hold their poop in. If he becomes constipated then he may associate the pain of that poop with using the potty. My son was a picky eater and did not eat any other fruit and veggies except grapes and apples, but I fed him lots of popcorn which he loved.
6. start emptying his diapers into the toilet. Actually take him to the potty and undress him infront of it, then dump the poop out into the toilet. Explain to him that poop goes in the potty, not in diapers. OK, this part is really corny but I think it actually did help - I read somewhere where a mother told her child that all poops want to go to the "poop party" but they cannot go if they are smashed in diapers. When the child started to poop in the potty they would say "bye poop, have fun at your poop party" as they flushed the toilet. Really crazy I guess, but I was one desperate mom, and now as I look back it has brought a whole lot of laughter into the process.
7. The first time to poop in the potty may be the scariest and the hardest. I just recently trained my 3rd child (who trained mostly in one week). I followed her around and when I saw she was about to go, or even starting, I would rush her or even carry her to the potty so that the poop would fall into the toilet.
8. I know it is frustrating, but always try to remain positive. This too will pass in time.
Let me know how it goes. and good luck.
Dyan

Mary - posted on 08/24/2009

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Hi Jennifer, My daughter will be three in December and she is afraid of pooping on the potty too. I am getting good advice in response to your posting. Thanks.

Nancy - posted on 08/19/2009

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Not wanting to go poop in the potty is typically a control issue. It's the last thing they feel that they can control. He'll do it when he's ready. If you push him, it will take longer. Just let him do it on his own time. Tell him he can hide in the bathroom when he wants to poop. Once he gets that then move him onto sitting on the potty to poop. Just one small step at a time.

Barbara - posted on 08/16/2009

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He is just not ready, no big deal. I promise you in a few years you will say to yourself, "Why did I get so upset over that?" Make yourself and him nuts with treats, bribes, hovering and anxiety, etc, or just let him come to it in his own time frame. He's only 3, he is acting absolutely age appropriate.

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Tasha - posted on 08/27/2009

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Thanks ladies for all of the wonderful advice. My son will be 3 in January and he refuses to poop on the potty. I am definitely going to try some of these tips :)

Stephanie - posted on 08/22/2009

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When my son was 3 yrs. old, I bribed him with VERY special (but small) desirable toys. I put them on the mantle of our big stone fireplace & when he asked about getting them, I said, " that's for big boys that go on the big potty!" He was pooping in the big toilet that day & loved his reward! My daughter (now 3 1/2) - I bribed her with a purple and white "My Little Pony" for when she "went poo poo on the big potty." I had the pony on display out of her reach on the mantel.. That day, she did it, and earned the pony. Today, 8/2009) she is extremely independent on going potty "by her own." - as she puts it. She actually had me take her little potty seat out to the garage 1s thing after that hppened Although, she did hide in places to poop early on., now she asks me to leave the bathroom & close the door so she can go! Also, I read ( and did) pour her poop out of her pull-up into the toilet when she accidentally did that in the begining of potty training..now she is doing GREAT I did rewards for probably the 1st month or so..her favorite, Hershey's Chocolate Kisses!

Sally - posted on 08/22/2009

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My son was the same. He's 25 now and in the Army. He would die of embarrassment if he knew I was talking about this online...lol. It took some time, but here's what I did. I didn't make a big fuss over things, didn't scold or try to make him feel bad, but I didn't give him sympathy either. When he would poop in his pants I would simply take him into the bathroom, stand him in the tub while I stripped him down. We had a hand held shower thingie, so I used that to wash him off. I just made sure that the water was very much on the cool side, a bit uncomfortably cool. I was very matter of fact about what was going on. He had excellent bowel control, so I knew about when he had to go each day. When I was washing him off, I'd just casually mention that if he pooped in the potty, he wouldn't get cold...we could clean him up much easier. Finally he got the ideal. When he finally DID poop in the potty, I made a big deal of it, telling him what a big boy he was and how proud I was of him.

One thing to remember. No matter how hard things seem now, one day he WILL use the potty and be mortified at the thought that he EVER messed his pants. Patience and a good sense of humor go a long way in raising kids.

Penny - posted on 08/22/2009

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Hi, I went through the same thing. I finally realized that he did not know how to squeeze to hold it until he got to the potty but then when he learned to hold it, he didn't go for a few days then it relly hurt and he got scared. It takes time but once they understand to hold and let go, then they will go poop on the toilet.

Amirina - posted on 08/21/2009

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I Know someone else already mentioned this but I had my son who had a hard time pooping on the potty, then it got to be he wouldn't poop except at home. I found the book "Everyone Poops" and it really helped. Not 100% sure why but It worked and that's all that matted to me.

Mindee - posted on 08/21/2009

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We had the same problem with my son. We finally got him to go poop in the potty right before we wen to Disney World. I told him that they only let boys and girls go to Disney if the pee and poop in the potty. As soon as I told him that he immediately started pooping in the potty. So, if you have something of significance coming up, maybe try and use that as a reason. That is the only thing that worked for us. Every time we tried anything else it turned into a huge traumatic experience. Good Luck!

Michelle - posted on 08/21/2009

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When I was potty training my daughter she also had a tough time with the pooping on the potty. My mom's friend bought my daughter a book called "Everybody Poops" Three days after reading that book to her she started pooping on the potty. To this day she hasn't had one poop accident. It is a great book for kids in training

Sue - posted on 08/21/2009

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Preschool teacher 20+ years. very normal, as you can tell by all the postings. Privacy is a big thing. How about a special book you get together just for him to look at while he doing his thing, it takes time. He may look forward to it. Rewards are great too. By the time they are in college they won't need as many stickers :)

[deleted account]

I know this may be a little bad but I bribed my daughter. She is potty trained at 22 months with the help of M & M's. I bought the individual packets of peanut M & M's and if she peed she got a couple if she pooped she got the whole pack (after her meals of course) but it worked!!!

Donna - posted on 08/21/2009

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My niece sings a song with her daughter it goes something like this. Everybody poops x3 or 4.
Mommy poops, Daddy poops and then she names all family members who poop..which would be a lot!!
while clapping and smiling...to much

Hey try it, if it doesn't work at least you'll get a chuckle.

[deleted account]

My daughter had the same problem up until about 2 weeks ago and once she finally pooped in the potty she is all about it now. I recently bought some child acidopholis pills to help her to stay regular as well. The thing that we tried and stuck with is we took her to toys R us and she fell in love with a scooter there and told her once she went poop in the potty she cld get it also we took one of her movies away everytime she pooped in her pull up until she had none left to watch. The day after she went poop we took her straight to get her scooter and every time she poops in the potty she gets a movie back. Patience he will do it.

Cheryl - posted on 08/20/2009

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My daughter had the same problem....but she would only have a bowl movement every other day from day one. Turned out she had impacted bowls. They looked normal, however the impacted part was further up her bowl track. Turns out, some kids have it and some kids don't. I hope this does not turn out to be the case with your child. Cheryl

Michelle - posted on 08/19/2009

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I'm having the same problem but my son won't sit on a little potty or a potty seat. He stands to pee so when it comes to pooping, he stands on the stool facing the potty and poops and I catch it with the potty tray. Not ideal.

Erica - posted on 08/19/2009

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the seat that sits on the toilet worked good too, but my son had the same problem..peeing but the poop was still happening in his pants and that's no fun. We rewarded his potty experiences with stickers. He loved it, if he peed he got one sticker if he pooped he got two. Eventually by the end of the day he was covered in stickers but i would rather that than getting him all sugared up lol

Tracy - posted on 08/19/2009

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My sister went through this with my nephew recently. The toilet was just too big and he couldn't get "leverage"... if you know what I mean. She got him a small potty to use and he sits with a book and does his business. If you don't have a small potty I suggest a step stool and one of those special seats that fit on the toilet. It will make them feel a bit more secure... pooping takes a lot of work. :D



Good luck!

Kathy - posted on 08/19/2009

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with one granchild it was a trial. I found he loved gum balls-so i found a plastic container-let him help me buy the treat and it was then set on the shelf in the bathroom-To receive his treat he used the potty. It is bribrary but it worked-good luck.

Donna - posted on 08/18/2009

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Hi: What I did when my kids were little I also had a problem so, what I did when they went and did their duty in the corner I would take the soiled diaper or trainers and empty in potty and show him/her where it goes. Sometimes it works and sometimes just by watching other children going and seeing where it goes helps also. Good luck

Sparkle - posted on 08/16/2009

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Totally normal. Just let it take it's course it will all be over sooner than you think!

User - posted on 08/16/2009

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My son does the same thing. We know when we can't find him, he's pooping somewhere.

Tracy - posted on 08/16/2009

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Thanks Kathleen... I love that advice too!! It really made me relax about stuff like that!!!

Dorothy - posted on 08/16/2009

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I have a 4 year old son who is finally using the potty. He does pee but not poop. Have you tried sitting him on the toilet? My kids never liked the small potty. Now they like the big potty. So what I did for my oldest was get a thing for him to sit on so he doesn't worry about falling in. Maybe give that a try and your son might feel a bit more comfortable.

Kathleen - posted on 08/16/2009

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Tracy, your mom's advice made me laugh! My mom gave me similar advice - said that there are three things about a kid you can't control - sleeping, eating and bathrooming. Amen! I have one potty trained and one still in diapers, so have limited experience. My oldest always wanted company! I have friends who's kids hide to poop but have gotten through the stage. Potty training... such fun....

Betty - posted on 08/16/2009

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My husband helped my daughter out with this. He put her potty in the living room to watch tv. Know this part sounds ucky but it worked. He then had her pass gas and made a game of it. Next thing she knew she had pooped in the pot and she was so pleased with herself that from then on she did it in the pot. It took him all of 15 mins to get her to do this. She was afraid of the big pot for pooping. So this was wonderful for me. (my daughter was really young also only about 14 months she pee trained herself because she hated anything wet against her, but we used same method with my son when he got ready and it worked. he was 3 at the time)

Susan - posted on 08/16/2009

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I wish I knew what to tell you, but we've gone through this with our daughter this summer. She wasn't even really consistent with tinkling in the potty either. But what's funny is that all of a sudden the "light came on" and she was doing both consistently. She has no desire to wear a pull-up because "I'm a big girl". I think they'll just do it when they are ready and not a second before. Stick with it and he'll get it. Good luck!

Lynette - posted on 08/16/2009

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My son hid when he had to go as well. now being fully potty trained he still wants to be in the bathroom alone when he needs to poop. I had told him if he needed to poop to at least do it in the bathroom, after awhile he started to use the toilet for it

Rachel - posted on 08/16/2009

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My 3 year old son just stopped doing this, he now poops in the potty but for about 4months he would hide, I simply did not make a big deal about it. I actually put his potty in his favourite hiding spot but did not insist that he actually use it, I simply told him that he will soon poop in his potty one day soon. eventually he would sit to poop on it but with his clothes still on I gave praise and a small treat, after a couple of times of this I told him that he would soon go without his pants on, and would gently encourage but not force every time he went until one day he wanted to try and he did it, again I praised him and gave a small treat. Eventually we encouraged him to move into the bathroom and he now uses the regular toilet aulthough sometimes he want to go back to his hiding spot which i'm fine with as long as he uses his potty. just take your time and support him,he will eventually use the potty and respect thet he wants privacy to this day my son still wants to be alone when he poops

Holly - posted on 08/16/2009

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oh girl I feel your pain. I had two that potty trained fine then number three was my hold out. He will be five in December and has been completely potty trained for three months. He was pee trained since he was three but he would hold poop in until he went to bed and come to me at 1o oclock saying he pooped. No amount of begging and bribing helped. He was one of those that did it when he was ready. He will eventually do it in his own time. Don't let peoples comments discourage you. I used to tell everyone if they could do it I would let him come stay him till they trained him. No one every took me up on the offer. There is a light at the end of the tunnel I promise. He will do it when he is ready. Dont make yourself crazy over it! let him go till he's ready.

Erin - posted on 08/16/2009

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my daughter was like that, she was in panties all day, if she had to poop, she snuck off, put on a diaper or pull-up we used for bedtime and did her business. i finally got her pooping in the potty with stickers. we went to the store and she picked them out herself, everytime she pooped on the potty, she got one.

Denise - posted on 08/16/2009

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my son did that too, if he feels more comfortable doing that alone, then there is nothing wrong with it.

Tracy - posted on 08/16/2009

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the only reason I hate using 'treats' for something they have to do.. they will always expect it.. and when they don't get it, they will get mad!!! at least that is what happened with me.. :)

Jennifer - posted on 08/16/2009

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My son was like that. I hate to say it but I bribed him to use the potty. I got his favorite candy and told him every time he used the potty for poop he could have one. It worked!! But it doesn't have to be candy It could be his favorite food or money, anything he likes that he doesn't get on a regular basis. I hope this helps.

Tracy - posted on 08/16/2009

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let them be in there alone... My son needed to be (and still needs) to be alone to poop.. can't really blame them.. I sure like to be alone! But my child and two dogs HAVE to be in there with me! LOL...

My Mother gave me the best advice about all our children have to learn before she passed away... she said, "don't worry about it Tracy, he will know how to do all of this by the time he is 20."

I love it!! It really made me relax on him reaching all the "milestones" when he is supposed to ... which are general milestones anyway..

Don't worry Jennifer, he will get there!!!!! :)

Sheri - posted on 08/16/2009

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It's a stage! This too shall pass. The suggestion about putting him on the potty about the time you've noticed he poops is a good one.

Lisa - posted on 08/16/2009

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Oh, one more thing I did was had a training potty chair, and I had my son sit on it while we were watching TV and stuff, and that's when he finally went poop for the first time. Just another idea. :)

Ashley - posted on 08/16/2009

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We are going through this same thing with my 3 year old daughter at this time as well and she just went poop in the potty for the first time Friday. We let her sit there sround the time I usually find poop in her panties, and sure a enough she went poop in the potty. Watch to see what time he poops in his pants and then try and time it the next day. I hope that helps.

Lisa - posted on 08/16/2009

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I feel for you. My son wouldn't just go hide to poop, but he would smear it on the walls of his bedroom. Don't give up, just try to keep talking to him, and encouraging him to go poop in the potty also. Some people will offer their child a reward, like a toy or a treat. Do which ever you think will encourage him the most. When he finally does go poop in the potty really reward him somehow, as this will help him feel OK about repeating the process. :) I hope this helps in someway, and it gives you hope that this too shall pass.

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