Why is my 4 and a half year old is still pooping in her pants?

Dawn - posted on 08/11/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My 4 and a half year old will NOT stop pooping in her pants. She starts preschool in 3 weeks! She pees on the toilet with ease; and she doesn't wet the bed at night. However, pooping is a different story. She sometimes starts going in her pants and it's halfway out before I am able to catch it (or she tells me) and then take her to the potty. But most often, she just goes for it and does the whole bowel movement in her pants! She has sat on the potty and had bowel movements before.....but she relapses each time and reverts back to pooping in her pants. I have tried punishments, rewards, yelling, remaining calm, encouraging and finally PRAYING. I have even prayed with her asking God to help her to stop pooping in her pants. The next day......she pooped in her pants and continues to do so. I am so lost. She developed encopresis (painful bowel movements) but her stools are soft now. I don't know why she just won't poop on the potty! She knows how to do it. She just refuses. I didn't have this problem with my two oldest children (14 and 13) Both were fully potty trained by 3 years old. What am I doing wrong? Help! Somebody help!

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User - posted on 04/25/2012

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yeah i have the same problem as you but my daughter has never been able to poop in the potty.... but she can pee i just dont know what to do with her... we have tried several things.... putting her on the potty every two hours and make her sit there for 10 minutes.... nothing..... make her sit on teh potty after every meal for about 15 minutes and nothing.... then we have even sat her on the potty after she dirties her panties and make her sit there for 20 minutes and she still hasnt learned

I am about to give up..... i am wondering if it is a attention thing cause i am tired alot and i work nights so i dont play with her as much as i should and her brother is in school.... so i am going to try to play with her more and see if that helps....

Jennifer - posted on 04/26/2012

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We just dealt with the same problem. My daughter is just over 4 1/2. I thought I tried everything. She believed it was easier. So, I made her start washing out her underwear. That didn't work. I tried charts. Still, not enough. It took talking to a social worker. She put together a social story - a personalized short story addressing a particular social situation - and a simple reward "chart". We read the story. It told her everyone poops, that the potty is where it belongs, and that her Mommy, Daddy, and Teacher want her to put poop in the potty. If she was successful, she got to put a dinosaur on the dinosaur train. It is a simple laminated cut-out of the train with four velcro strips - one for each dinosaur character cut-out. It was as simple as that. I was thrilled and aggravated at the same time. LOL. This woman fixed my on-going issue with two simple steps in about a week. I hope that helped. Good luck!

Emma - posted on 08/12/2011

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Had the same problem with my daughter she was using the loo 100% and then all of a sudden started to poo in her pants, She too got the look and when i would ask she if she needed a poo she would say no and proceed to poo in her pants. Drove me nuts.
I fingered out she was doing it for attention,
We where just setting up our business so my hubby and i where working like mad to get an income coming in, and she did not understand why with both of us at home we where not playing with her.
A reward chart (she has to have a full 7 days of no accidents to get an ice cream on Sunday when the van comes round) Explaining to her what was going on and making sure that when we played that it was all about her not just being there in body but mind as well.
So far we are on 6 weeks with no mistakes .
Hope my experience is of some use.

Dawn - posted on 08/11/2011

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She hides a lot when she is getting ready to poop in her pants. I've caught her doing that. Or she gets this weird look on her face and I know she's preparing to let it go. Also, a lot of times she crosses her legs to try to stop the poop from coming out. I don't want her to be in Kindergarten pooping on herself. I've already warned her that she's going to be teased in school if she poops in her pants. She thinks it's funny. And I am frustrated.....completely.

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Sam - posted on 08/12/2011

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Aside from asking her why she keeps pooping her pants have you told her that she won't be able to start preschool if she doesn't start pooping on the potty.

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