4 Reasons Toddlers Refuse to Poop in the Potty

Is your child having trouble with bowel movements while learning to use the potty? To understand the reasons toddlers refuse to poop in the potty, we talked to professionals and found out why some children struggle with this task. Additionally, we gathered advice on overcoming this common challenge.

While your child may have mastered urinating in the potty, having a bowel movement can be an entirely different story. In point of fact, a good number of toddlers are adamant about defecating only in their diapers or Pull-Ups. We asked a number of professionals about the factors that contribute to this widespread issue, and they provided us with advice on how to get your child to defecate in the potty.

There’s a Chance That Your Toddler Isn’t Quite Ready to Start Potty Training

According to Ari Brown, M.D., co-author of Toddler 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Toddler, if your child refuses to poop on the potty, it’s possible that they are not ready to lose the diapers just yet. Always look for signs of readiness in your child before beginning the process of potty training. These signs include showing interest in the potty, remaining dry for at least two hours during the day, hiding during bowel movements, or letting you know when their diaper is soiled.

If any of these signs are missing, it’s safe to say that your child is not ready to switch to underwear. According to Kristin Hannibal, M.D., clinical director of the division of general academic pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, “There is no benefit to training if your child isn’t ready or willing,” which is a common refrain among parents. You should switch your child back to diapers and give potty training another shot in a month or two.

There’s a Chance That Your Toddler Has Constipation

If a child has even just one unpleasant experience with constipation, it is likely that they will want to steer clear of the situation in the future. They may try to suppress the urge to urinate each time they feel it, even though they know they can’t. Because holding in poop only makes it firmer, it is even more difficult and painful to pass later on, so this becomes a vicious cycle that perpetuates the problem.

Talk to your child’s pediatrician if you believe that constipation is the root of their toilet training issues. To clear out the backed-up stool, physicians will typically advise taking a mild laxative over the course of several days or weeks. A diet high in fiber is also essential for success over the long term. You may be encouraged to increase the number of fruits, vegetables, and water included in your child’s meal plan. Before beginning the process of potty training, a poop withholder needs to have a regular pattern of bowel movements that are easy to control and comfortable.

Your Toddler may Be Afraid of Defecating on the Potty

According to Adiaha Spinks-Franklin, M.D., a pediatrician at the Meyer Center for Developmental Pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, “Pooping into the toilet is scary for a lot of kids.” “When they defecate, it may give them the impression that they are losing a part of their body. Either they do not like it when the water splashes onto their bottom, or they are afraid of being sucked into the toilet. Another possibility is that they do not like the sound of the water splashing.”

Dr. Brown suggests the following gradual and step-by-step process as a way to assist your child in overcoming their fears:

  • Your child can defecate while wearing a diaper, but they must do so in the restroom.
  • After about a week, you should continue to let them poop in their diaper, but from that point on, you should have them do it while seated on the potty.
  • Next, take a pair of scissors and make a hole in the middle of the diaper right before you put it on your child. Then, let your child use the restroom while still wearing the diaper. (We know this might sound a little crazy, but they will still feel the familiarity and security that the diaper provides even as their feces drop into the potty.)
  • After about a week of using the hole in the diaper, it will be time for them to transition to wearing underpants.

Is your child more anxious when it comes to flushing the toilet? To become accustomed to both sight and sound, you should encourage them to practice with pieces of toilet paper. You can also wait for them to leave the room before flushing the toilet.

Your Toddler May Want to Take Charge Of The Situation

Some kids would rather stay put in their soiled diapers and assert their dominance over the situation than follow their parents’ instructions and go where they are supposed to go. Allison Chase, Ph.D., a psychologist specializing in children and families, offers the following explanation: “It is essential to maintain some distance from the situation and refrain from engaging in a power struggle. The ability to step away from a situation when necessary is an important parenting skill.”

Take away your child’s diapers and teach them to be responsible for themselves when it comes to urinating and defecating. They can also take turns being responsible for cleaning up after any accidents that occur. Some parents also recommend setting up a system of rewards for their children when they successfully use the potty.

Meaningful articles you might like: Preparation for Potty Training, Useful Strategies For A Smooth Potty-Training Process, Potty Training at Night – Tips For Success