My son has just started to use the potty, to be fair he is quite good, but I am facing a common problem that most parents face.
Only pooping in a nappy!
I find he will not go all day until the evening when I put his night time pants on. He complains of tummy pain during the day, so I know he wants to go, but only feels secure when his nappy is on.
Once again I have searched the Web for help.
Jill Irving, health visitor, has some great advice –
This is a common problem for toddlers. It’s possible that he just doesn’t like the idea of letting go in the potty or the loo. Some children demand to have a nappy on when they feel the need to poo. This is because potty training is such a big physiological and psychological change for them.
So take it in small stages, and be patient and encouraging. It can take several weeks or even longer for your child to feel comfortable enough to do a poo in the potty or the toilet.
If your toddler has a regular time of day when he poos, this is when you could encourage him to sit on his potty or the toilet. If not, encourage him to try to do a poo about 20 minutes to 30 minutes after his meal. Eating stimulates the gut, especially after breakfast.
Make sure that your child isn’t rushed and feels comfortable with his surroundings. Avoid constipation by giving him lots of fluids to drink and encouraging him to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, which contain fibre.
If he is very reluctant, you could encourage him in stages. Give lots of praise when he completes each stage. Try a star chart to track his progress and act as a reward each time he manages to achieve what you ask.
Once he is happy with one approach, you can then move on to the next stage:
- Explain that he can do a poo in his nappy, but only if he stands or sits next to the toilet or potty.
- Next, while he is still wearing a nappy, help him to sit on the potty or the toilet with a footstep for him to rest his feet on. If he’s scared to sit on the toilet, you could suggest he stands on the footstep with his back to the toilet to begin with.
- When he is happy to do this, start to encourage him to sit on the potty or loo with the nappy loosely fastened.
- Next try to balance the nappy in the loo or at the bottom of the potty, so it catches the poo. But make sure you take the nappy out again and throw it away. Never flush nappies down the toilet.
- Once he’s happy to poo this way, see if he’ll let you take his nappy off. If he’s frightened by the noise made when he poos in the toilet, place some toilet paper or a nappy in the loo to prevent splashes and noises.
Once he does manage to poo in the potty or toilet, give him plenty of praise. He can wave goodbye to the poo as it’s flushed away!
If, after trying these suggestions, your toddler is still reluctant to poo in anything but a nappy, talk to your doctor or health visitor.
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For more helpful parenting tips please check out Everything You Need For Your Baby, According to Science – This detailed, carefully-researched guide takes you through everything you need to care for your baby, according to science.