4yr old won't poop in the potty

by lindsey
(altoona pa)

So my 4yr old son has been peeing in the potty for over a year now and hes always stood since learning...


Now my problem ia getting him to now poop in the potty, he will tell me that he has to poop and he wans me to put a pull up on him which im guilty of doing because im scared of him hurting himself by holding it in for to long! I dont know what to do he will go to pre kindergaten all day long without pooping.. HELP PLEASE!!

Dr Maud answers

First thing is to rest assured that your son won't come to any harm for holding on during the day. As long as he is having a bowel motion daily or every second day and it's soft and formed, we would consider that normal.

Your son has got into the habit of having the pull-up and you just need to change that habit.

The first thing may just be to get your son comfortable with sitting on the potty or the toilet. It's important that when he sits that his feet at on a firm surface (he may need a stool if sitting on the toilet) and his knees should be above the level of his hips.

Get your son to sit on the potty or toilet about 15 minutes after a meal or snack (afternoon is a good time as it doesn't interfere with getting to school or to bed). Get him to sit there for at least 5 minutes and if you can even a bit longer. Use a timer and give him a book to read or something to do so he is relaxed.

In the first instance it doesn't matter that he doesn't poop on the toilet or potty. This is just getting him used to it and setting him up for success.

You could also give him a balloon to blow up while he's sitting - this will increase the pressure in the abdominal area and help him poop. You can read more here.

I hope this works for you.

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