Subject: Poop Training Problem
Question: My son is two and well on his way to being potty trained in most ways. We started at his demand and went slowly and now he can stay dry in underwear all day and tell me when he needs to pee and even pee on his own during the day at home.
The problem is pooping. After a full week of pooping on the potty with all the normal accolades and sticker rewards he stopped pooping. The first time he pooped he told me it scared him but he seemed to quickly get over it since, as I said, he continued to do so over the next few days.
But this last week has been horrible. He refuses to poop. Not in the potty, not in his underwear, not in a diaper. He is holding it in.
I am unsure as to how to proceed. I feel like a task master putting him on the potty when I see skid marks and trying everything from candy and toys to demand to get him to poo. Twice now I have had to resort to infant suppositories to keep him from getting horrible constipated, and I am sure that couldn't have helped matters at all.
Please help! What am I to do now? He is still peeing like a champ so I know it's not a fear of the potty itself but either a fear of pooping or a control issue and I am at a total loss. My heart breaks to see him miserable over this.
Answer: Dear Beth:
Honestly this one is new to me. You are not the first person to write about toddlers abstaining from elimination. I cannot give you medical advice. I know with my own children giving them diluted apple juice and other fiber may have kept this from happening. Really I suggest you call your pediatrician as this one is just a new one on me. You don't want to traumatize him or get into a power struggle. Sometimes fully breastfed babies do not eliminate for a few days or weeks at a time but for very different reasons.
Also, try going to the bookstore in the children's section and finding a book on going to the potty. There are so many great new books out there you never know what you will find. It may help him to normalize elimination.
Best I can do!
M Kay Keller
P.S. make sure he is getting to make plenty of choices during his day. Offer him two different types of food to choose from, different outfits to wear....as often as possible help him feel like he has some control during his day.