What better way to get advice with a parenting challenge than through our parent blog, so here is the scenario:
As a parent, I am strict, stubborn, and extremely consistent. For some reason, I care deeply about so many parenting issues, but potty training has never been one of them. Let’s face it, my son’s not going to be pooping in his diaper when he goes off to college, right? So why pressure him to be fully potty trained?
Our 4-year-old wears underwear and has been diaper free, 24/7, for over six months … except when he has to make a poop, he asks (and I oblige) for a diaper to do his business. When he needs to poop, I put the diaper on, walk him into the bathroom, give him his privacy, and we drop the deuce into the potty and flush it together when he is finished.
About six months ago, I tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the diaper completely for pooping. We kept spending time each day and sitting on the potty to try to do it – no luck. After normally pooping every day, four days had gone by without going, and I was worried about his health. At 3 a.m. in the morning, my son woke up out of his sleep in the middle of the night, and told me he really had to poop- I “caved” and gave him a diaper.
Fast forward to the present: We did the diaper countdown leading up to our son’s fourth birthday. Each day, we’d watch the small stack of diapers in the pile dwindle and say how many days were left til pooping on the potty and his reward – a lollipop! (He’s always wanted one, never had one, and so it was promised as the reward).
Currently, our diaper stash is depleted, our son just turned four, and he’s now gone two days without pooping. I’m getting concerned as I don’t want a repeat performance from last time. Looking for advice and suggestions.
Regarding Baby says
Since you asked, my advice would be to forget about rewards and trying to get him to poop on the potty for right now. He’s got to be ready and want to do this, and for some reason, he isn’t yet. This is one area where children have complete control- you can’t make them use the potty, and if they don’t want to, even if you take away the diapers, they will either hold, or go in their pants. You don’t want to risk your son’s physical or emotional health over something that will happen in its own good time. Just buy a supply of diapers and talk to your son and tell him you trust that he will poop in the potty when he’s ready, and in the meantime, you are happy to give him a diaper just as you have been doing, and then don’t say another word about it, until HE initiates potty use for BMs. My guess is he’ll be using the potty before he’s five years old.
Just stop giving in. If he complains, show him the toilet. He will poop eventually.
I should add that after the second time he tries to wait you out unsuccessfully, it’ll probably be the last time
have him hold the diaper in his hand when he poo