My son won't poop on the potty
My son is 2 and 1/4 and is sort of refusing to go #2 on the potty. He has done it 3 or 4 times, but I think we just got lucky in catching him when he needed to go. He is getting really good about peeing on the potty and is now, just in the past few days, telling me when he needs to pee. He spends most of his days with me in underwear and is able to hold his pee and poop and stay dry. The problem is with going poop on the potty. He used to be very regular about going mid-morning and sometimes in the late afternoon, but now he is holding it until he has a diaper on, either at night or when he is at daycare. I've read that this is normal and that maybe increasing his fiber can help, so I'll try that but I'm just wondering if anyone out there has some tips that worked. I usually put him in a cloth diaper for naps and bedtime and he wears a disposable diaper 2 and 1/2 days a week while he is at daycare. Is it confusing for him to still wear diapers now? Should we be using pull-ups instead for these instances. He is peeing on the potty at daycare, but not pooping just like at home. Also, he seems to prefer peeing standing up in the regular toilet using a stool. I think he is too big for the little potty on the floor, so we have one of those special seats that fit on the big toilet but his feet don't quite reach the stool. I've also read that it is important for them to be able to push off of a stool or the floor. So, maybe I'll look into getting him a taller stool?
My first advice is to NOT use Pull Ups. This will only prolongue the learning process for your little one. In my opinion and experience, Pull Ups are nothing more than a marketing trick... but this would be a whole other topic.
It is indeed a common thing for potty trainees to learn the potty goals only one at a time, with urinating usually happening first. If your child was used to going #2 in his diaper while standing up, it might take a little while to learn to let go while sitting down with nothing under his bottom. Think of yourself trying to go #1 while fully dressed and sitting on the couch, for instance. Chances are, you would have a lot of trouble, because your brain is not trained to let go in this situation. While your little boy is doing very well with #1 (good job!), his brain his not yet ready to let go of #2 in the new position and situation. Perhaps holding a diaper while sitting on the potty would help him through the change? Going #2 is also bigger of a deal, because let's face it, a #2 in the toilet or potty is far more impressive than a #1!
It is also very common that children's potty habbits and schedule change during potty training. Your child is testing his control and limits and his body is adapting to the new situations. There is nothing to worry about. :)
When your son is sitting on the toilet, give him some space. Perhaps he can "read" a book? The atmosphere needs to be calm and without pressure from grown ups. Unless your child requires your presence for reassurance, do not stay in the bathroom. Keep a discrete eye on him from outside the bathroom.
If your son is doing very well with staying dry at home, it would be a good idea for his daycare place to get more actively involved in the process at this point. Your child's should be diaper-free... even during sleeping hours. Sometimes, caregivers (parents and others) have to decide and accept that it is ok to pick up a mess now and then for a little while. The fact is, your child needs to experience the full trial and error process, (hence my reticence with pull ups) and that means that it is ok for him to have accidents or #1 and #2 and should NOT receive negative feedback for it. Remember to praise his successes, and keep your comments to a minimal when there are accidents. A simple "It's ok honey. Next time maybe!" with a smile and a hug, is all that is needed after a little mishap. This will avoid performance pressure and stress for your child, and will boost his self-confidence for an eventual success. On the same note, it is not necessary to bring up the topic too often.
- No pull ups!
- Big kids undies, at home AND other places
- A book, a clean diaper or even a stuffy for reassurance might help your child relax while on the potty
- Unless your presence is required, give him some space while he's doing his business
- Yes, a bigger stool so his feet can are touching something is a good idea.
- Talk with his other caregivers, and fill his daycare bag with spare clothes. Expect messy clothes.
- Let him do his own trial and error. Gentle potty reminders every hour or so are ok. No insistance.
and most importantly
- Praise his successes, no big deals with mishaps, and continue being patient and understanding with your little boy. He will get there. :)
Good luck to you and your little champion
What potty training routine did you go through the first time to get him to use the potty for peeing? I'd suggest using the same thing for poop.
I do think it's probably a bit weird for him to deal with the idea of diapers at night but not during the day. For my own son at that age, when he announced he was ready, we just stopped with the diapers altogether. Yes, there were a couple of accidents, but ever since then, no issues (he's now 5).
My daughter (3) doesn't like to use the regular potty yet, she has a small potty that she prefers to use. Until she's taller and can use the regular toilet and have her legs on the ground, that's fine with me, so she's not under any pressure to switch away from her mini-potty.
What if you had your son go with you to the store and pick out his own potty that's his size, and then use that for a while?
For regular potty training, we had good luck with a rewards system. We went to the dollar store, and he picked out a whole punch of little toys he liked (mostly of the 5 toy cars for $1 variety). Then we had a few larger, nicer prizes (but still not expensive -- cheap books, etc.). The first time he tried to use the potty each day, he got to pick one of his little prizes (just sitting on the potty was enough to get the prize). Then if he actually went poop, he got a larger prize.
Bribes worked for us! Shortly after my daughter was potty-trained, she still refused to poop in the potty, I gave her a gift each time she did poop in the potty - just something small like a stick of sidewalk chalk or a small, plastic ball. After about 3 weeks she didn't need the gifts anymore. She still wears pull-ups at night, but we stopped pull-ups during the day after she was potty-trained. And, she still calls her plastic balls "poop balls" :)