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2 year old Prefers to Poop in Diaper

I am potty training my 2 year old girl, just turned 2 in December.  I also have a 4 year old girl.  The potty training is going great.  Only a few accidents in just 3 days.  However, she has not pooped on the potty yet. The first day it was in her panties.  The 2nd day she asked to go in her room and got a diaper to put on.  And the 3rd day, same thing.  She started to fight with me about going on the potty to do this, and instead of making a big deal about it, I didn't put much attention on it and put the diaper on with her panties over it.  She went and then asked me to change her immediately.  Just  few days ago, she would run around with poop in her pants.  Any suggestions to make this as painless a process as it can be?  I don't want it to be a big thing, as it was with her big sister and it took months for her to poop.  She was so afraid!  Help!

While potty training, many children learn first to control their urine and then later their stools. We are in the thick of potty training at our house. Yesterday, my son made it most of the day without an accident. He remained dry as long as we periodically asked him to sit on the potty (every 1 to 2 hours). Unfortunately, his father neglected to encourage him after dinner and he stooled in his diaper. After potty training 5 and half children we are finally gaining some perspective. We will continue to try and eventually he will be potty trained. The stress we felt potty training our first is now a household joke.

Potty training is inherently stressful for parents and children. Several of our children became physically tired during potty training. You can best minimize her stress by being calm and not overbearing. Continue to encourage her to periodically sit on the potty. If she refuses, put her back in diapers and wait until she initiates potty training.

If she is willing to sit on the potty and try, continue to offer her a diaper (if she requests) when she wants to stool. Eventually, she will get her stool in the potty.

As a parent, potty training can be frustrating. Just when they seem close, they often regress. It is important that when they regress, that we parents remain calm and encouraging. Hang in there!

Follow up 3 month later

She is doing great!!! Actually swimming in the pool has helped a ton. And also big sister recently started to chew gum, so I told little sister she could chew gum if she pooped on the potty and it worked instantly. She now gets a piece of gum after she poops in the potty. And I guess the water stimulates it. She usually will tell me she has to go right after the first few minutes of swimming and will successfully go on the potty. There are still a few times when it 'sneaks' out a little into the swim pants. Now if I could just get her to stay dry at night.

 

Written April 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician

 
   

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