42 Answers

Hi everyone i have a dilemma. My four year old girl has no problem going toilet for wees but constantly does poos in her nickers. I am not sure but i think it’s on purpose as when asked why she does a silly face when saying she doesn’t know and when i say it’s yuk and that she needs to use the toilet she thinks it’s funny. Thing is she has in the past done poos on the toilet. I have even said she will get a lolly every time she does poos on the toilet (she loves lollies) but it hasn’t worked. When does it become naughty behaviour that should be punished for? Is my 4 year old pooing her pants on purpose?

Posted by Laura 27.12.2012

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  • Get her checked out may be constipated (other poo can come out round blockage) or have urgency issues

  • It sounds like she is probably doing it for a lttle attention. I wouldn’t punish her for it, but would let her know it is wrong and maybe not give her treats until she will use the toilet

  • if you are really stress you could get her checked out at the doctors or maternal health nurse

  • it could be a phase or he might not know

  • I would worm her if she has access to pets as this could cause her problems, she may be itchy and cant tell the difference at the moment.

  • I agree I would check with a gp if there are some physical reasons and then a rewards chart

  • try reward charts if there is something she really wants then this could be incentive.

  • Firstly, I would check whether she has any medical issues – she may have a fissure or constipation which is making it hard for her to control her motions.
    Also, have there been any big changes? Moving house, new baby, marriage trouble etc?
    If so, she may need more attention and reassurance than normal.
    If none of the above applies, try a reward chart. Good luck!

  • Try to work out at what time she has her accidents and put her on the toilet at this time. with lots of encourgment and big girl praise hopefully she will stop her accidents.

  • stick with the training, watch for indications that she is uncomfortable then if this is still going on in a couple of weeks a trip to the doctors would be in order, a distended bowel isn’t something a child can control it takes a lot of work to rectify but it is achievable. Good luck

  • maybe make her clean it herself that has worked in the past…

  • My mum mentioned to me that they see poo as part of themselves, that they don’t want to let go of it. This article has some good info http://babyshrink.com/2009/07/tips-for-when-a-toddler-withholds-his-poop.html

  • Sometimes kids hold on because they are too busy playing that they won’t go to the toilet of fear of missing out on playing. What then happens is they loose that sensation of needing to poo. My son had that problem and the doctor recommended Parachoc which we gave him everyday until he got the sensation back of needing to go to the toilet. A lot of the times they don’t even know they are doing it so try not to be hard on him. It is frustrating but once you know what your dealing with, it makes things easier. A visit to your Gp might also reassure things are ok.

  • At that age they often don’t have the poo sensation till its too late. Just put her on toilet more often or put nappy on till she is ready. Use pull ups. I don’t believe any child should be punished for having an accident. Yes, it’s hard work but that what us parents do. If she is laughing after she may just think its funny. Everyone thinks poo is funny. I started my children on potty with books in hand to let them relax or even sit potty in front of a DVD. Just praise your child when she does it :-) if she has an accident and gets attention even negatively then she will keep doing it to get that attention. Goodluck. Hope that helps :-)

  • My 3.5yr old has just got back on track after regressing following her initial triumph over the dreaded #2’s in the toilet. Just hang in there. What worked for us initially was making a punch card for her. Every #2 she got in the toilet she got a punch on her card, then after getting 3 punches she got a present. Was very excited on getting her “poo” present.

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