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  5. 3 year old is too scared to poo in toilet - HELP!!!

3 year old is too scared to poo in toilet - HELP!!! Rss

Hi Mums

Sorry if you have time and have dealt with 'poo phobia' with your toddler, please read my long post and help me if you can!

My Daughter turns 3 next week. She is wee trained and even sleeps in undies at night now and has done for a few months now. So I am very happy about that! HOWEVER - when it comes to doing a poo she has a phobia about the poo coming out in the toilet. Therefore the only way she wants to get it out is by asking for a nappy. She hides in her room and does it in private. We have been drumming it into her for months that she will get many rewards if she does it in the toilet. On a daily basis she points at chocolates and lollies we may have in the cupboard saying that she will get one when she does a poo in the loo and always says what colour lollie she wants. But despite her optimism, she refuses to try and we started training 10 months ago. On two occasions we have gone 'cold turkey' with the nappies and have refused to give her a nappy for several days - longest we could stand it was 2 weeks. A health nurse told me it wasn't any harm to her health by allowing her to hold it in. During these times she would do the odd poo in the potty or toilet but it was all very forced and involved hours and hours if not days of her whinging before the actual poo would come out. It was exhausting for her and us as she would hold it in for ages until it's at the stage where it comes out uncontrollably. Some days I would sit with her on the loo 20 times in a row and then she would chicken out and we have a break. I wouldn't get a thing done and would be dealing with the issue all day long! We would give her fibre foods and Coloxyl Drops to keep her regular. It was kind of like watching someone go through labour and I was her birthing partner coaching her through the challenge and pain! She would complain of a sore tummy from time to time and whinge the entire day. It seemed so cruel to do this but it seemed like the only way to make progress. She won't even poo in her undies or on the floor. ONLY the nappy she is comfortable with. So now we have given up and just give her what she wants to keep the peace. Everyone keeps saying 'she will do it when she's ready' but I think it's a psychological issue and wondering whether I need to seek professional help.

We have since had a newborn baby and it's simply too draining to try the 'no nappy' approach again as I don't have the time, energy or patience at the moment. I honestly feel like the day will never come and for a 3 year old who talks very well she just seems to old for nappies now. It can only happen if we force her to do it and it is extremely frustrating for us all and hard work and she never appears to be improving in confidence with it! So I figured, what's the point? I guess I am concerned this problem will continue through to next year when she turns 4 and starts kindy. I have read this 'poo phobia' is common in 4 year olds. I know I am not alone.

So should I just hope and pray that she will get bored using a nappy and will just want to poo on the loo one day? Or is the 'no nappy approach' my only option where I don't think we will ever convince her to do it comfortably!

Hi Mums

Sorry if you have time and have dealt with 'poo phobia' with your toddler, please read my long post and help me if you can!

My Daughter turns 3 next week. She is wee trained and even sleeps in undies at night now and has done for a few months now. So I am very happy about that! HOWEVER - when it comes to doing a poo she has a phobia about the poo coming out in the toilet. Therefore the only way she wants to get it out is by asking for a nappy. She hides in her room and does it in private. We have been drumming it into her for months that she will get many rewards if she does it in the toilet. On a daily basis she points at chocolates and lollies we may have in the cupboard saying that she will get one when she does a poo in the loo and always says what colour lollie she wants. But despite her optimism, she refuses to try and we started training 10 months ago. On two occasions we have gone 'cold turkey' with the nappies and have refused to give her a nappy for several days - longest we could stand it was 2 weeks. A health nurse told me it wasn't any harm to her health by allowing her to hold it in. During these times she would do the odd poo in the potty or toilet but it was all very forced and involved hours and hours if not days of her whinging before the actual poo would come out. It was exhausting for her and us as she would hold it in for ages until it's at the stage where it comes out uncontrollably. Some days I would sit with her on the loo 20 times in a row and then she would chicken out and we have a break. I wouldn't get a thing done and would be dealing with the issue all day long! We would give her fibre foods and Coloxyl Drops to keep her regular. It was kind of like watching someone go through labour and I was her birthing partner coaching her through the challenge and pain! She would complain of a sore tummy from time to time and whinge the entire day. It seemed so cruel to do this but it seemed like the only way to make progress. She won't even poo in her undies or on the floor. ONLY the nappy she is comfortable with. So now we have given up and just give her what she wants to keep the peace. Everyone keeps saying 'she will do it when she's ready' but I think it's a psychological issue and wondering whether I need to seek professional help.

We have since had a newborn baby and it's simply too draining to try the 'no nappy' approach again as I don't have the time, energy or patience at the moment. I honestly feel like the day will never come and for a 3 year old who talks very well she just seems to old for nappies now. It can only happen if we force her to do it and it is extremely frustrating for us all and hard work and she never appears to be improving in confidence with it! So I figured, what's the point? I guess I am concerned this problem will continue through to next year when she turns 4 and starts kindy. I have read this 'poo phobia' is common in 4 year olds. I know I am not alone.

So should I just hope and pray that she will get bored using a nappy and will just want to poo on the loo one day? Or is the 'no nappy approach' my only option where I don't think we will ever convince her to do it comfortably!


Well your not alone thats for sure!! My DS will be 3 in August and is exactly the same!! He is wee trained and does day sleeps without a nappy but is absolutely terrified to poo on the toilet! He will only go in a nappy or sometimes in his jocks if he's desperate, but he always hides.

I am lost for what to do also! I am hoping someone else replies that has the answer cause i've tried so many things with no hope! I've tried bribery including toys, lollies, special outings, tickets to dora! Nothing has worked sad His daycare said they've never seen it before which makes it so much worse!!

So please anyone have any tips?? I've heard just wait till he's ready so many times and as much as I agree, he's been wee trained for so long now that i'm starting to think its something pyschological aswell sad

T xo


If anyone has any great tips i would sure love to hear them as i am in the same boat as the two of you with Karl! I am still doing the no nappy approach and he doesnt ask for one, just tries to hold it in as much as possible!! He has a very fibrous diet so cant get constipated.

Every now and then he will willingly do a poo in the toilet, but it is very few and far between!!

He is very jealous of his sister although he loves her to death!!

Maybe we can use this thread as support to each other when it starts getting to us.
Thanks ladies. I knew I wasn't alone. I like the sound of a support group for this issue we are all going through. How about 'Poo Phobia Support Group for Mums' but I am sure you can think of a more catchy name!

My Husband is making me laugh right now. He has suggested;

The Poo Patrol
The Poo Police
The Poo Whisperers
No Loo No Poo Group

I have only tried bribes with lollies and chocolates because I have read so many threads about Mothers who have tried sticker charts, prizes, reading books on the loo and other methods and all of them have failed. So I figured, why waste my time on that when it doesn't work for all of the other poor Mums!

Isn't it funny when relatives and people don't quite understand how hard it is and talk to your toddler and tell them 'now came with me and we will see if you can do a poo'. They say it with such confidence like they can cure our child! I wish it was that easy! My Daughter always tells people that she's a big girl and is going to poo on the loo but never does! It's all talk.

My other thought was for her to spend a couple of nights away with someone who she is close to in the family but always behaves around. Maybe they can convince her to do it because she will want to impress them and may not be as stubborn! My Daughter always behaves well around others and only misbehaves at home!

Someone should open a Poo Phobia Boot Camp and we can send them off there and pay thousands to have them cured!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously though there needs to be a job created for someone who can cure these toddlers! It's not a case of them just 'not being ready'. It must be psychological.
Hello! LOL at your name suggestions for a support group sorting through tt issues!

I reckon we could just be the stressed mums club!!

I think you should try all different methods with toilet training including the sticker chart as every child responds differently. In saying that i have tried everything and to no real avail so far.

In the beginning Karl liked getting stickers but the novelty wore off too quickly. I would even give him cheap toys for receiving a certain amount of stickers each week.

Its truly a battle of wills and they will play it out to see who crumbles first.

I have actually found that because Karl cant get constipated that i am slowly winning LOL!! I have made a decision now to be as relaxed as possible whenever he has an accident. His daycare teacher advised not to say anything really to him about the whole issue unless praise is due for going to the toilet successfully, as annoying as it is to continually clean up messes!!

I really understand how you feel as i have experienced all emotions and like you found it difficult when my second child came along. Ive finally realised its not helping anyone by getting so upset, so i save it for when the kids are in bed and i will ring someone to vent it out.

So far it has been about two days since the last time he went to the toilet for a poo and his behaviour is starting to get very naughty. So id say tomorrow will be the day.

I also found prunes, bananas, pears and plenty of water and exercise great for keeping him from getting constipated.

I know its easy for me to say, but please do try to stay calm and come on here and vent out your feelings and be the relaxed mumma to your daughter when she is being difficult.

My mum had the same idea that she could get Karl sorted but she has run into the same issues as me and she has always been calm around Karl lol!! If your dd is up for sleepovers it wouldnt hurt to give it a try.
I think a process of baby steps is in order here. The nappy is his comfort zone, so you may have to wean it off him.

To start, let him have his nappy to do poos, BUT encourage him to do the poo in the bathroom/toilet room.

Next step is to actually sit on the toilet to do poos but still with a nappy on.

Then loosen the nappy gradually for each poo. So now he is sitting on the toilet with a loose nappy to do his poos.

The next step is to have him sit on the toilet with the nappy sitting in the toilet, so he is still pooing in the nappy but it is not on him. This may seem like a waste of a nappy, but if it helps him overcome his fear of pooing in the toilet, then it is saving every other poo time nappy in the future.

Final step is to remove the nappy.

Give him praise and/or rewards for each step. Also only progress to the next step when he is comfortable with the current step.

I hope that helps even one of you ladies having trouble with 'poo time'.

Good Luck smile

Ben 25/10/06 + Erin 10/9/08

OMG this is like reading a copy of what my three and a half yearold son is doing!

What do we do? He started out doing poos in the potty and did one on the training seat on the loo and has perfected all of his wees and wears jocks through the day but holds on until he has a pullup or nappy on at night and goes off to his room and does it in the nappy.

He whinges and screams and carries on if we put him on the potty and says that he cant do it...

any ideas??
This was my DD about 2 yrs ago...She would hold on all day and wait til night time then go in her undies or nappy while in bed. I told to not give in and give a nappy and that she'll eventually go. Well I was stupid in listening to that person, my daughter ended up quite constipated and it made it even worse, she refused to even poo in the nappy as she thought it was going to hurt.

In the end I let her use the nappy, it was once a day and in the evening while at home, then one day she decided she was a big girl and started using the toilet hasn't gone back to nappies since.

Just be careful of making them hold it in, my poor girls bottom was so sore for weeks from holding it in.
Hi, I've got a 3 year old son much the same. He's quite happy to poo in his undies and has tried to sit on the toilet but says it won't come out and he won't stay sitting long. He doesn't hide to do it though and won't ask for a nappy. I like the advice to have them in a nappy on the toilet and slowly wean them away from it, I have heard that before and will likely give it a go. Or even line a potty with the nappy and have them sit on that. Everything I've found to read about it just says be patient, don't get angry and it will happen - but like you say, that's all anyone can tell you!! As hard as we find it to wait, I think forcing them or making them hold it makes it worse - they are stubborn!! Maybe if you have a potty in her room with a nappy lining it so she can go there and slowly move the potty out to the toilet or bathroom over time? Then remove the nappy and see what happens? Would love to hear how you go and get some tips if you have success!! Good luck, hang in there.
I tried again tonight. Bribed him with toys, lollies and sat him on the potty in front of Thomas! He still did it in his nappy!! Agrhhhh talk about stressful!
Hi ladies

Keep the responses coming! I haven't had a chance to log on for a while as I had a second child 7 weeks ago. Thanks to Bec86 for your 'baby steps' suggestion. So we have convinced her to now do it in the bathroom (that is still poo in the nappy but in the bathroom and not stink out her bedroom!). I think it's going to be very hard to get her to sit on the loo with the nappy on and do it but will maybe keep suggesting it and see how it goes. I am finding she's asking for a nappy more than once in a day and it is driving me nuts. I always make sure she does a wee on the loo first before giving her the nappy otherwise sometimes she wees in the nappy out of laziness. It's doing my head in! I just want her to poo once a day preferably at night. But she often wants one in the morning and sometimes again later in the day. She's too regular! So definitely no constipation issues at least.

I am over the bribes of chocolate and lollies because she seems to be getting treats a lot these days with all the morning teas and parties we regularly attend! So it doesn't work!

She has just turned 3. It is very weird changing her poo nappy and then doing a newborn straight after! Massive bum size difference and she just looks too big and grown up for it all!

She says on a daily basis that she is going to do it but never does. I guess I should be thankful that at least she knows that this is what we expect from her and hopefully one day all of this that we have drummed into her will pay off!
Hey Darl,

I have been where you are now, and it seems like there is just no end in sight!!

Karl still isnt going to the toilet when he should, but is getting a bit better with it. He is a bit sporadic with it.

Yesterday was success though, which was great!

I did try getting Karl to do it in a nappy in the toilet some time ago, just being in the room, and for a time he would do that, but then started trying to sneak out of the room....

Each time i would encourage him to sit on the toilet with the nappy on and he would refuse, so in the end i gave up on the nappy cold turkey and he only has one at night for sleep.

He will get there eventually, he will be 4 in November and is starting to show signs of maturity.

I think until you get your own head around being relaxed with the idea, it is a struggle to deal with.

It also doesnt help seeing so many others with kids the same age all happily going to the toilet without issue.

Take a few deep breaths each time, try to be calm and the less attention they receive for doing it in the nappy, the quicker they may progress on. Karl actually likes receiving $0.50 pocket money per poo LOL!!!

He doesnt always strive for it, but does light up when he has success and receives his money hehehe.

Ah Kids gotta love em!!

Night
xo
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