What would you do if?

Lara - posted on 01/23/2013 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My 3 and a half year old son has started pooping on himself all the time! We have recently made a big move away from family to another state and he was even doing good after that until about a month ago. I work part time and go to school part time so he is with grandma and his younger brother a lot. Yet how ever discipline doesn't seem too work! I am trying to find ways to stop this.

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Ariana - posted on 01/23/2013

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My first thing would to try to be nonchalant about the whole thing. So if he poops his pants, don't get him in trouble or make a big deal out of it, just say lets get changed and get him all wiped up and chaged into new underwear.

You CANNOT control whether he poops his pants or not, the more you try to discipline him into doing it the more you're going to lose. There are two things you can't control from children, what they eat and when they poo. You don't want this turning into a power struggle.

So just don't care, tell the grandmother to do the same, don't act irrated afterwards just deal with it.

Also having him around another 'older' boy who doesn't poo his pants might be a good motivator, like oh so and so is potty trained, he's a big boy (say it in a nice way not a look HE can do it why can't you?? it really comes down to the tone of voice you use when you say it...).

I hope some of this helps! Try to do it for a month and get your grandmother to do the same and see if there is any change.

Lara - posted on 01/23/2013

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Thats really true! :) I will try that next time he does! I understand the night and if they have diarrhea but just doing it because you dont want to stop watching tv or playing with a toy is not acceptable!

Dove - posted on 01/23/2013

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That's why he stays in the bathroom. ;) Take out any rugs or towels that he can make a mess on and stick him and the pants in the tub (not using the plug, of course... don't want an overflow/drowning concern). At his age.... I'd show him how and help him the first time or two and leave it up to him after that. He couldn't cause too much mess confined in the tub. ;)

Accidents at night are 100% normal, but you KNOW he can use the toilet during the day. If he's choosing not to.... that's his choice, but he needs to take care of the natural consequences FROM that choice.

Dove - posted on 01/23/2013

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Was he successfully pooping in the toilet consistently before this recent change? If so... I'd rule out any medical issue first. Then I'd make it his problem to solve. Show him how to clean up his own pants (in the bathtub or a bucket of water) and he can stay in the bathroom until he has cleaned up the pants and himself sufficiently. Cleaning up poop is no fun (but also completely necessary), so he 'should' get that point rather quickly and go back to pooping in the appropriate place.

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Dove - posted on 01/23/2013

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Yeah, none of my kids every smeared poop either, but I hear it happens.

I'm just offering a suggestion I read in a book, actually, as I never had any personal experience with pooping in the pants issues (except like I mentioned in diarrhea cases) with my little ones. ;)

Ariana - posted on 01/23/2013

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They might but they really shouldn't, I would presume most people would do what they could to keep their child from smeering poo. I've been lucky enough for that not to happen. Soo that's just me lol. I can't imagine trying to get my three year old to clean up poo.

Dove - posted on 01/23/2013

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Toddlers take their diapers off and smear poop all over the place sometimes though (so are touching poop)... If you make sure they are clean before they leave the bathroom I don't see why/how it would be an issue. Right?

Ariana - posted on 01/23/2013

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If it was an older child I'd have them clean it up but with a 3 1/2 year old I don't know how much I'd want them cleaning feces... That's just my opinion on it.

Dove - posted on 01/23/2013

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Yep. Diarrhea is a different story entirely... even adults can't always make it to the bathroom in time when THAT is the issue.

Good luck!

Lara - posted on 01/23/2013

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Yes he was! Had accidents at night while sleeping! I took him to the doc cause he said it hurt when he poops and so they put him on miralax to see if he may have build up. And i havent had him clean his own pants scared he would make a bigger mess!

Lara - posted on 01/23/2013

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Alright Thanks much i will try this and see where it goes trying to get him in to daycare too see if that will help out any!

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