How can we get my son to poop in the toilet?!

I have a 3 year old (will be 4 in a few months) who is the most stubborn child on the face of the earth. We have tried the sticker chart with rewards at regular intervals. We have tried setting the timer for every 30 minutes (it made for days of screaming and struggle). We have tried throwing a mini party in honor of the “big boy.” We have tried letting him pick out his own big boy underwear (he just poops in them 10 minutes later). We have even tried letting him run around with just a t-shirt. NOTHING WORKS! So, please, before you reply with another cookie cutter remedy for so-called stubborn children, remember that we have tried them all. I am so frustrated and I need help. I am ready to throw in the towel and put him in pull ups until he is thirty, but he is supposed to start pre-kindergarten in the fall. He can’t go until he can “go” in the right place.

Answer #1

try singing a song or noises…it may seem stupid but it really works trust me…o0o and also try bribing or compare him to cousins or family members

good luck with that !!


Answer #2


Answer #3

he will probmbly grow out of it. Tryputting him on the toletand tell him not to get off until he poops.

Answer #4

This is probably one of the hardest parts about being a parent to a young child. The dreaded potty training.

Compared to my “friends” with toddlers, my daughter was late joining the potty club.

She’ll be 3 at the end of June. I bought her a little potty when she was 2 that played music when you did your business. Cute, I thought anyway. She turned it into a pool for her bath toys. I would bring that little potty out to the living room and sit her on it when she was watching a show, shhh… I know. TV is bad. I would let her sit on it fully clothed hoping she would get used to it. Nothing. I tried coaxing her to use it.

Then one day, about 7 weeks ago something clicked and she decided she was going to use it to pee.

YEAH! We made up new potty charts every week with her favorite characters and stickers (not that this helped her want to use the toilet, it gave her something to think about when she was sitting to take her mind off what she was doing - “Which sticker do I want?”).

Pooing was a whole different story. She hated to poo and would fight it and hold it in until she just couldn’t anymore. Then she had her first accidental poo on the potty. She didn’t mean to do it, but when she did, she was delighted. But that didn’t last long.

The next time she had to go poo, she was doing the same thing until it accidentally came out when she went to pee.

About 5 weeks of this went on until finally she has decided that the potty is ok to use to poo. We also have one of those little seats so she can sit on the regular toilet when she wants.

I guess what I’m saying is that from what I’ve learned, kids go at there own pace. I know it’s frustrating. I know that they say that boys can take longer than girls to get this step.

What worked for us was when I finally stepped back and let my daughter take charge of it herself giving her the space and independence.

We have hardwood floor so it’s not a big deal if she has any accidents. When she was ready, she did it herself and she’s no longer in pull-ups at all. If all else fails, maybe your doctor might have a suggestion for you.

Answer #5

My son is almost 3, we have pretty much got the wees standing up, he does not ask much but can hold on for about 1 1/2hrs. I have spent 2 months cleaning dirty pants from a poo twice a day. I have done chocolate tos stickers charts you name it I have offered him. I have made no comment on the poos in hi pants for 2 months and just changed him. Now for the last couple of days I have asked him if he needs a poo, or is it coming and he says no, within minutes of this he does a poo. Now I loose my temper with him. Please someone must have a magic answer. I think he is too young for the bath thing or I think with him he will love it,as he loves bath time. What can I do???

Answer #6

hi, I am a preschool teacher and I found this question accidentally because I was looking for the same answer. I teach un-potty trained twos and threes and I have one child that will only go in a pull up; he will hold it for days sometimes, until he finally cant anymore, releasing it in his pants. I was trying to look up articles to help the parents better understand, from a more medical and professional, stance the situation. All the suggestions I have read here I have personally used over the years and they have all worked at different times for different children, but sometimes you get some that nothing works for. There isn’t some sort of save all answer that will make it all better but I do think that if you have a child that is having a hard time using the toilet for poop its ok. Its hard, its time consuming, its frustrating, it feels personal, but it will stop eventually. Each child knows subconsciously when he or she is ready and everything will fall into place in the right time. I also want to encourage the parent that said her son was the only one at the head start preschool that has accidents and that its embarrassing for her. Please don’t be embarrassed, its normal, natural and not your child’s fault. The staff and teachers all know this and shouldn’t be judging you for it, and if they are it isn’t right. Trust me, all I do is potty train and sometimes kids stay in my class two months and are ready to move on, others I have for a few years…but eventually, they all move on. :-)

Answer #7

keep putting him on the toilet !!!

Answer #8

I know this may sound weird but let him watch you do it. also try giving him candy because every kid loves candy. another thing you could try that could be nasty but could work… when he poos on hisself make him clean his own self up…

Answer #9

Same thing. But here is the problem/solution I think. My son is almost four and wants to poop in the toilet but just can’t. He sits and tries for sometimes as long as 20 minutes. He can only do it standing up. Therefore, wants to do it in a diaper. My nephew is almost three and will do it in the toilet but only if his feet are on the seat…basically practically standing/squatting. So my Dr. told me of a contraption that is a potty seat that is half standing up and half sitting to try and transition from standing to sitting. Has anyone heard of this? This was something they used in his schooling. Does anyone know where to find such a thing?

Answer #10

i dont know but i think the question is funny

Answer #11

maybe he just isnt ready. maybe try pull ups for a little longer?

Answer #12

When he poos in his diaper, from the diaper drop the poo in the toilet so he sees thats where it goes and let him flush. It worked for me. My Mother-in Law told me that and she had three boys.

Answer #13

I got my son to finally stop sucking his thumb in 1st grade by simple bribery. I said I’d buy him whatever he wanted at Toys R Us for $20.00 if he stopped sucking for 24 hours.

Bribe him. It will work.

Answer #14

this might sound strange but the only way we could get my son to poop in the potty was to let him poop outside first. he would get so excited that he got to do it outside that he finally recognized the feeling of havin to go, then we transitioned to the potty. it worked great for us

Answer #15

I’m having hte same problem. I’ve tried everything I mean everything. THere’s a nerf gun haing in my bathroom for the past 7 months. His twin brother got his but he just doesn’t get it. He’ll just poop in his pants. I will not put him back in a pull up. I’ve even considered making him learn to clean his own undies that’s how frusterated I am. HELPPP

Answer #16

HI my name is Josefina my son is 3yrs old and is attending headstart. He is having the same problem. I sit him on the toilet for 30mis, I take him after he eats, I reward him with cars, candy, praise, stickers. Nothing is working. He crys when I tell him its time to set on the potty. I think he thinks its punishment. Sometimes he goes sometimes he doesn’t. But he is having to many acciedents at school. I’m so embarrased my son is the only one in his class. I need help too. Please tell me anything. I make him clean it up when he goes on himself that doesn’t phase him. I know all kis are different, but he has been in underwear for over a year. He goes pee standing up and poo in his underwear.

Answer #17

I have a daughter who will be three in May. Shes doing pretty good for her age I guess… She will peee in the toilet every time but, when it comes to poop she refuses to go. And goes in her pants everytime. It is so fustrating and only puts a negative enviroment in the household. Its a really hard thing to get through so, I understand where you all are coming from. To her I think pooping is a “private” thing. And all shes ever known is pooping in her pants. I have no answers on how to potty train. But, HOPEFULLY they will come around

Answer #18

My 3 year old son pees standing up but does not go poops on the toilet. He poops in his pull up between 3 and 5 times a day and I’m at wits end. His daycare provider is not helping and my husband and I are trying to get on the same page with it, but it’s hard. I sat with him in the bathroom for hours on the weekends (all day) reading books, singing, making up songs, taking photos of funny faces to lighten the mood, sticker charts, bag full of prizes, new Spiderman underwear, candy, and have tried putting him in the corner, taknig a toy away, putting him to bed - you name it! He pooped for the first time Saturday (just a little and I was thrilled) - did a dance, praised him, etc. etc. Then one hour later, pooped in his pants. I read the post above and it struck a note with me - I was punishing him and yelling in the beginning instead of being patient and I think it gave him the message that if he poops (even in the toilet) he will be in trouble. My poor little guy - I feel terrible. I am going to just have to be really, really patient with him and that’s all I can do.

Answer #19

thank all of you for your stories and suggestions! they have helped a lot. my son just turned 3 and has been peeing in the toilet for months now,standing up just like a big boy. however he will not poop in that thing for the life of him.he will sit on it ,read,play w/ his tractors, whatever but alas no poo. instead he will say “mom im gunna poop in my diaper”, as he is handing me one he went and got all by himself! I decided to take the diapers away and tell him no more, you have to use the toilet. so ya he didnt poo for 3 days. I was very concerned and gave him a diaper and within minutes it seemed, he went without to much of a strain. if felt bad for doing that to him, I cant imagine if someone did that to me…what a stomachache I would have! he is an awesome kid and hardly any trouble, he gets very upset and sad when I tell him no diaper.I dont know what to do without feeling like hes manipulateing me. but after reading everyones coments im inclined to let him use a diaper for a few more weeks while still of course giving him the option and encouragment to use the toilet instead.based on everything I have read and just his past behaviors,he will do it when he wants to and not before. his doctor even said to leave him alone he will do it when he is ready. lol so ya I guess thats my decision.

Answer #20

I have the same problem with my 3 years old son. He calls for his diaper whenever he wants to poop! few months ago he was encouraged by me racing him to toilet for peeing and that worked! he wanted to beat me to pee but this is not working any more! Starting from this week I managed to make him pee standing and he likes the idea! I still can’t get him poop in the toilet but as you guys said in your posts, it seems that I will leave him poo in his diapers till he quit himself!

Answer #21

I’m having the same problem with my 2 1/2 yr old so I got on this site in hopes I would find some pointers. The post before me is the best one I have found so far. It also made me realize that patience, love, and understanding is all your little one needs. I’m really disturbed about the post that say they actually make their child clean their own undies and stand in the corner. Are you serious! What kind of logic is that. I would think the only thing that will do is not only make them afraid but very anxious about the whole thing. I don’t want to judge but this site definantly has made me see that my little guy just needs some time and things will work out. Literally;)

Answer #22

i’d say it is just a phase

Answer #23

Grandfather responding. Take it easy. These kids try to take us all for a ride. Don’t get caught in their gimmicks! Ignore. The moment they know you are upset they try to agitate you. Cool. Finally you will WIN !!!


Answer #24

Same problem with my son. Getting better though, you just gotta stay on top of him and reassure him that it’s ok to go. Pooping embarrasses a small child by this point so ya gotta remember not to show your frustration and to show lots of praise for his “good deeds” and give lots of patience to him. My ex ex wife prefers the spanking and corner method which is very counter productive because it will make the child afraid to poop at all because all he understands is that he went number 2 and got wooped for it. Patience and more patience is the key. Every child develops at a different pace.

Answer #25

I have the same problem with my 3 1/2 year old. I have tried candy, poop party, toys, take away toys, time out, stay in it, baths, laxatives, reading, every 30 min., and much more. I am so confused as to why he poops his pants. He knows when he is going to go so I don’t understand why he poops his pants in the closet instead of on the toilet. I just asked him why he just pooped his pants and he says because he wants to. I stay home with him and he has a wonderful life so why is he doing this. PLEASE PLEASE HELP…

Answer #26

I also have a son he will be 5 in a month i also had a tuff time getting him to poop in the toliet. I tried the “get a toy” every time you go and I found that he would only do it when there was something he really wanted and then the nect time he had to go he would poop in his pants. I also found that doing that sent a trend that if he didnt get a toy he wasnt going to use the toilet. The thing that worked for me was making it such a BIG deal and inconvience to HIM that it just was easier to go in the toilet. When he would poop his pants I would take him to the bathroom and strip him down and give him a bath then I would make him wait until I got to clean out his underwear and then he had to get dry and dressed al over agin all in all it would take about 30 min. and as a 3 year old missing 30 min of play time is torture. that seemed to work. I hope this helps you I know that this was frustrating time for me and my son but there is light at the end of the tunel I swear.

Answer #27

Do you have some family or friends around with kids? We had a heck of a time getting our twins to use the toilet, untill they realised that their cousins were going by themselves. Then I guess they wanted to be like them.

Answer #28

I may not have a son, but i do hav a younger brother who is DEFINATELY the most stubborn in my house. We used to have the exact same problem when he was younger, and, like you, we tried everything.Then we finally found a solution.What we did was when everytime he did his “business” (lol) we rewarded him with a brand new hot wheel (my brother was OBSESSED with hot wheels at that age). my advice:find the one thing that your son enjoys the most, like my brother and his hot wheel’s collection, so that everytime he does poop, he gets a “prize”.well, i hope that helps!if it doesn’t, youi can always try to “google” it (you’d be surprised about what you can get from google!lol)good luck!

Answer #29

i know this might sound awkward but it just might work. get two books one for you and a childrens book for your child. have potty in the bathroom and go in there with your child sit him on the toilet and you sit ond the big toilet and pretend to read while going to the bathroom.eventually your son will learn its fun to go potty while looking at a picture book.

Answer #30

I have a son who is almost 7yrs old and up until the beginning of this year he went to the loo just fine but now refuses to use the loo for pooh’s. I am at my wits end and have tried everything suggested above.. I have a cousin who is a nurse who suggested coloxyl drops to help loosen the stools, but that still doesn’twork he hangs on and does it in his pants.. I have now resorted to taking him to the doctor who has suggested an x-ray of his abdomen in the hope we will find something helpful… I also had the same problem when I was little and so have a few members of my family I have heard it said that it may be a inherited condition, so sometimes there may be NO answer at all. Just lots of patience,understanding and love…

Answer #31

josefinam, I read your message and I.m going through the exact same thing that you do!! my boy is a 3 years old, he pees standing with no problems but kaka he always does in his undi. He just started school a few weeks ago, and everyday im being called to come and clean him. I just don’t know what to do… Today he did not go to school and I will try my best to get him sit down and do his bussiness. School is kind of upset about it as he is the only kid in his class that does it. He is there from 9am -4 pm, it a long day and there is nothing that I can do about it, with him being there for most of the day, he is more likely to do it there then at home. Im very frustrated and really do not know what to do.

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