Parenting has its unique set of challenges, one of which can be a toddler resisting pooping on the potty. This is a common hurdle that many parents face, despite their children having no issues passing urine in the toilet. Indeed, some toddlers will only poop when they are in the comfort of a diaper or Pull-Up. There are typical reasons why toddlers resist pooping on the potty and as we consulted specialists, it’s clear this problem can be addressed with a well-understood approach, allowing your child to use the toilet successfully.
There’s a Chance Your Toddler Isn’t Quite Ready for Potty Training
According to Ari Brown, M.D., if your child refuses to defecate in the potty, they may not be ready to quit the diapers. Always look for signals of preparedness before beginning toilet training, such as an interest in the potty, dryness for at least two hours a day, hiding during bowel movements, or letting you know when the diaper is soiled.
If your child does not show any of these characteristics, underwear independence is probably not the right moment. According to Kristin Hannibal, M.D., clinical head at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, “Training won’t help if your child isn’t ready or willing to learn. Diapers are great, but sometimes it’s best to wait a month or two before trying again.”
Possible Constipation in Your Toddler
If a youngster gets constipation even once, they will likely try to avoid it in the future. That’s why they might try to suppress their bathroom needs every time they arise. To make matters worse, holding in waste simply makes it harder and more unpleasant to pass when the time comes.
If you believe constipation contributes to your child’s difficulties with potty Training, you should consult your child’s pediatrician. To clear the backed-up feces, doctors typically advise using a mild laxative over the course of many days or weeks. You may be advised to increase your child’s intake of fruits, vegetables, and water as part of a high-fiber diet that is crucial for long-term success. Before starting toilet training, a poop withholder needs to establish a regular pattern of light, easy bowel movements.
The Fear of Pooping on the Potty Could Be Holding Back Your Toddler
“Pooping into the toilet is scary for a lot of kids,” says Adiaha Spinks-Franklin, M.D., a pediatrician with the Meyer Center for Developmental Pediatrics at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. When they defecate, they may feel as though a vital organ is leaving their body. Or they might be concerned by the prospect of being sucked into the toilet, or they might not enjoy it if water spills against their bottom.
Dr. Brown recommends using this method of slow, steady steps to assist your child to conquer their fears:
- To begin, a diapered child can defecate, but only in the bathroom.
- After a week or so, have them sit on the potty while they defecate in their diaper.
- The next time your child needs to use the restroom, have them wear a diaper to the bathroom by cutting a hole using scissors. While their waste is being collected in the toilet, they can still feel the comfort and security of the diaper.
- They’ll be ready for underwear once the diaper’s hole has been worn for around a week.
Does your kid have more trouble flushing than other toilets? Get them used to the look and sound by having them practice with bits of toilet paper. You can either flush immediately or wait for them to exit the room.
Your Toddler May Be Seeking Power and Control
Some kids would rather sit in their dirty diapers and make a statement than obey their parent’s requests. Child and family psychologist Dr. Allison Chase advises, “Take a step back and try not to get into a power battle. As a parent, learning to detach is a crucial ability.”
The solution is to stop using diapers and teach your child to take care of their bodily wastes. They can divide and conquer the task of cleaning up after mishaps. Some parents recommend giving a treat after a successful potty-use session.
Meaningful articles you might like: How to Handle Sleep Regressions in Toddlers, 4 Reasons Toddlers Refuse to Poop in the Potty, Creating A Family Schedule For Toddlers and Younger Children