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Why Won't My Toddler Poop in the Potty?

Updated on March 17, 2012

Potty Training

When we started potty training my 2 1/2 year old we decided to use the potty training in one week method. This involves removing all nappies and putting your little one straight into knickers- no training pants or pull-ups except at bedtime.

Your supposed to keep an eye on their fluid intake and remind them to try go to the toilet at regular intervals. Your not supposed to use any rewards or let them sit with a book on the potty so they see going to the toilet as a practical everyday bodily function.

Everything went well with only a few accidents but as time went on, as my little girl got better at recognizing when she needed a wee, she seemed to be pooing herself more and more- not good!

A Touchy Subject

I spoke to my health visitor for advice and she recommended bribing her with a reward chart. So I went against the advice of the potty training plan and got her a reward chart. From that point on she pooed herself every single day. That's when I noticed she was actually going and hiding when she needed a poo.

From this is guessed she knew when she needed to go so it wasn't a matter of control- then it clicked she was embarrassed about poo! When I realized this everything fell into place- everyone around her would make a big song and dance when I changed her baby brother's nappy- about how smelly it was and how disgusting it was.

I told everyone my theory and from that point on instead of complaining about smelly nappies we would make a fuss of her brother and say well done. It's also important that they see you going - not nice I know but they need to know that pooing is natural and everyone does it.

The problem sorted itself out almost immediately and we have never had an accident since!

A Recap

So if you find your potty training is going well except for the dreaded poo try the following:

  • be open about poo
  • avoid making negative comments about poo when changing nappies
  • congratulate younger siblings when they do a poo
  • when your toddler does do a poo in her potty clap her or make her feel special


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