Getting Your Kid to Poop on the Potty
Whoever said "poop happens" has never potty trained a kid before! Sure, pee happens. But poop takes work! And that means that many children have a hard time pooping in the potty. In other words, it's not something your child is going to learn in one day—or even one week! Many kids flat-out refuse to poop in the potty for months, long after they're pee-pee champs. And that's totally normal! Understand that going #2 is Phase #2 of potty training, and that it takes time. Lots of children dread that feeling of poop leaving their little bodies, and only feel comfortable pooping in their diaper or pull-up. Just keep being a patient potty coach and continue reinforcing the potty routine so that one day, poop really will happen.
Here's the scoop on getting your kid to poop on the potty:
- Know the schedule. If you've been maintaining your potty log, you should have a relatively good idea of when your child goes poop. So try timing a potty session in that window.
- Keep your kid regular. In order to have a regular pooping pattern, make sure your kid's diet is rich in fiber and whole-grains. (If your child isn't having regular bowel movements, or you suspect constipation, talk to your child's pediatrician).
- Settle in for the long haul. Pooping takes time. So be prepared with lots of activities to keep your child entertained and otherwise occupied, such as potty books or coloring books. Or you can sing songs or play simple games like pattycake or I Spy.
- Relax. This goes for both you AND your kid. Don't put any pressure. Take slow, deep breaths together, or give your child a little massage on the lower back.
- Take a break. If your toddler starts to get fidgety or fussy, simply take him off the potty and try again later. If he's not relaxed and calm, he won't go!
- Don't stress! If your child goes in his diaper (again), don't stress about it. That's normal! Just be sure to empty the contents into the toilet and as you flush it say calmly, "See? Poo-poo goes in the potty." Take deep breaths (but not too deep!) but don't get upset or ever shame your child. Remember, this too shall pass (like gas!)
- Go gradually. If you have a reluctant pooper, try poop-potty-training in stages. Hand out rewards for your child at least being IN the bathroom when pooping (as opposed to under a coffee table!). Even if your child announces that he pooped after-the-fact is a step in the right direction! That means he's becoming aware of WHEN he has to poop; the next step is fixing there WHERE. Progress is progress!
- Be ready with a BIG reward. If your child DOES go poop in the potty, reward her big time! Either have a special toy set aside for your child's Very First Poop or double up on her typical potty reward. You may even want to play up the fact that something special awaits! Talk about motivation!
Sharing time: Has your kid pooped in the potty? Share your answer in the comments below!
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