Poop, There It Is!

Child on potty play with father. Photo in old image style.

Training your child to poop in the potty can be a little more challenging than just peeing, or “going with the flow”. When they poop, “Poop, There It Is” can be very exciting to see for you and your child.

When your toddler has trouble pooping there are some things you might want to consider.

Why Going Poop Can Sometimes Be a Problem

Going poop in the potty chair takes more time. Toddlers are very busy people. Taking time to poop can get in their way of all the fun things they want to do.  Plus it takes some effort!  Do what you can to make the time sitting on the potty chair more fun by providing some activities to do while your toddler sits there.  Many parents are using devices like I-pads and Kindles to provide activities while on the potty and offer their children picture books, short films, and activity APs for their toddler.  A good preschool readiness or kindergarten readiness activities AP could be meeting two goals at one time.  Books or small activities that your child can do while sitting on the potty chair also work. 

Sometimes it’s a matter of your child wanting control — the more you push him to poop, the more your tot enjoys his power to hold it in. Stay clear of power struggles! No one wins.  Fear might also be a factor — some kids have trouble pooping because they’re afraid they will fall in the toilet.  When first learning to poop, separate potty chairs from the “main” potty chair might want to be considered.  A squatting position or knees to tummy level also aids the bodies natural pooping functions as well. Dangling feet on a large potty chair do not enhance the bodies natural process of pooping.

Some attitude filters you may want to think about

This potty training problem can test a parent’s patience like none of the other developmental milestones — but remember that your child will learn to poop on the potty chair and it may take a little time and it is not a race or competition. Let your toddler set the pace.

Take a break when your child is resisting. Tell your child that when he’s ready to try and take a poop again, you’ll be there to help. Never try and force a toddler who has trouble pooping on the potty to sit there when he doesn’t want to.

Help him feel secure. If your tot is having trouble pooping because he’s afraid of falling in make sure you have a seat that is sturdy and safe. A step stool for your child’s feet to rest on if on a big toilet also provides a feeling of security. Or offer your child the option of using a potty chair near the floor.

Hold off on flushing.  Possibly come back later to flush the toilet. The noise of the toilet flushing can scare some children.

Reward your child for staying dry and not messing their pants.  Reward them for what you want them to accomplish.   Sometimes parent like to do reward charts.  I would reserve this for the last step to help motivate a child.  Some parents like to do charts with stickers for each time they poop will allow them to pick a prize.  It is best if a child can perform without expecting a prize as some children can develop an attitude of not wanting to perform unless they get a prize.  Unexpected random prizes for staying dry and clean is preferred.  Rewards charts can work for some.

Words of encouragement for learning to pee and poop on the potty chair can be helpful.  Have grandma, a friend or daycare provider provide a few words of encouragement.

Having your child “overhear” you sharing their success with another person is another way to provide encouraging words.  Share the good news with another adult when you know your child can hear you.  They will feel proud.


When your child has accomplished staying dry and clean and wearing underwear, plan a little celebration.  Let them decorate a Potty Fairy prince or princess crown.  Let them make the crown theirs and encourage their creativity. 

Bake some cookies or cupcakes together and share with some friends.  Let them know why you are celebrating.

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Moving from diapers that babies wear to Big Kid Underwear is a big developmental step that should be celebrated!  Help them feel good about what they have learned and that you are proud of them.

Just remember to reward yourself for all your good work helping your child!

Wishing you “Poop, There It Is” for you and your child.


Let The Potty Fairy help you with potty training your child.

IMG_7157- front cover of book

Copyright 2017

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