My almost three year old is giving so much trouble to go to the bathroom!
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Neva - posted on 07/17/2011
It sounds as if your 3 year old is perfectly normal. If she has ever been constipated and going #2 on the potty has ever hurt at all, she will associate the potty with the pain, not the fact that she is constipated. I suggest that you provide a high fiber diet ( fruits, veggies, whole grains) and lots of water. A lot of dairy is constipating. Then I would put her on the potty at times when it is natural for the intestines to move, like right after meal and snack times. Don't force her to sit on the potty for more than 10 minutes or so. If she does not go, just say, "we'll try later." If you see signs that she is going to hide or trying to hold her stool, then just put her on the potty. You may even want to try a stool softener like MiraLax-1/2 capful in a full glass of juice daily until she is having soft stools. When she does go, give her a reward (M&M's) work good for this. With my little grandson, who was also resistent. I would give an M&M for successful peeing and a bigger square of chocolate like Hershey's or Dove for poop. Then I bought him a Thomas the Train toy. He loves Thomas. I put it up on a shelf where he could see it, but couldn't get it and told him that when he went poop in the potty every day for a week he could have it. It took a few weeks, actually, but each time he was successful he got his chocolate, when he had an accident, we just said "we'll try again next time, and when you go for a whole week Thomas is waiting." He finally got the idea, and once he caught on it was just a couple of weeks and he rarely had an accident. He has not had an accident at all with poop since he got Thomas. He occasionally has peeing accidents when he is too busy playing, but that is normal. Just be patient, your daughter will get it. Just don't scold for accidents and reward, reward, reward for success. Another point is that it works much better, even though it's messier for you in the short term, to use regular underwear, and not pull-ups. Pull-ups feel too similar to diapers, so children feel its okay to go in them. Let her go with you and pick out the underwear, make a big deal of not needing diapers anymore, and just remind her that she doesn't want to get her favorite character on the underwear wet or dirty. Again, if she does, don't scold, just try again.
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