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Child Refusing to Poop on the Potty? Try the "Gradual Withdrawal Technique"


I used the Potty Boot Camp with my son when he was 22 months old. The potty training part was a complete success by the afternoon of day one. However, he refuses to poopy in the potty and it has been over 6 months now. He will not go in his pants he will specifically ask for his "special undies" (pull-up). I have tried leaving him in his room with his potty chair only to find feces on the floor and very very upset toddler. I have tried taping pictures of toys that he wants by his potty and having a reward bowl in the bathroom as well with no success. I have tried talking to him about it and reading "wheres the poop." He has continually watched his father use the toilet again with no success. I am really at a loss with this? I have not wanted to force him to do it because I fear he will hoard it. He is obviously fearful of pooping in the potty and I desperately need some advice with this. PLEASE HELP!!!!


This problem is sooo frustrating but you are not alone!

I am going to recommend a technique I call the "gradual" withdrawal process for your son. It might work well for him since he is obviously well aware of when he needs to go....especially since he asks for his pull-up. Here is how the technique works:

1.Tell him that he can use his diaper to poop, but he must first tell you when he's going to go. (Do this for about three or four days. After that, do the following steps, each for a few days to a week before moving on to the next.)

2. Next, he has to tell you AND he has to be standing in the bathroom.

3. Then, he has to tell you AND he needs to be sitting on the potty (in his diaper) when he goes.

4. Next, do the above steps, but cut a hole in the diaper before giving it to him. Make the hole bigger and bigger each time.

5. Finally, get rid of the diaper!

The other thing you can try is a "poopy place." Some kids just feel very insecure about going - ask him where he wants to put his "pooping potty" and together make it a special place. A great thing to do is buy a child's play tent (or make a homemade version with sheets, etc.) and make a cozy little area over the potty. Some kids just want privacy and a place they feel safe! You can fill it with stuffed animals, pillows, etc....anything to make him feel comfortable.

Post by Suzanne Riffel, author of "The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers" - a new, fast, easy toilet training method that produces remarkable results.

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