Potty Training - Poop

Potty Training - Poop

Let's Talk About Poop!

When it comes to potty training, parents don't necessarily need to train separately for bowel movements.

Typically, bowel movements do not occur without the sensation of needing to urinate.

Once the child has demonstrated the ability to control when they potty with urine, bowel movements often just come "naturally".

However, that is not to say that parents might not encounter the occasional problem with bowel movements.

Some children even refuse to poop on the potty, preferring rather to use their pants or pull-up.

What is a parent to do?

Mommy, It Hurts!

First, evaluate the situation. Is the child constipated?

If so, bowel movements can be quite painful. For further reading, check our article on constipation. Taking the child to a physician for an evaluation may be very profitable.

Often, doctors can prescribe a stool softener to help with bowel movements and greatly reduce pain.

Another source of painful bowel movements can stem from positioning while seated on the potty or toilet.

Make certain that your child is relaxed and that the potty chair you purchased is not applying pressure to their perineum.

Another more subtle cause of pain (or, more accurately, irritation) is tingling legs from dangling off a high toilet.

Providing your toddler with a stool to rest his feet on can make a huge difference in his or her comfort level.

Just Can't Sit Still

Sometimes children have difficulties staying seated on the potty while having a bowel movement.

The child may not like the "free-fall" feeling they experience without a diaper or might be very curious about what is going on and attempt to get a closer look.

This can lead to messes on the potty! Parents may choose to use consequences to reinforce desirable behavior and discipline the negative behavior.

Having the child clean up their own mess can be a natural consequence and often, with such an unpleasant experience, one time is all it will take!

Parents may place the messy potty into the bathtub after emptying it into the toilet and have the child wash the potty seat.

Just Too Busy to Go

Occasionally, children get so involved in what they are doing at the moment that they simply don't feel the need to take the time to go to the bathroom.

Withholding a bowel movement is easier than it may seem. Children have been known to squat, squirm, and clench rather than get up and use the toilet.

Parents can find themselves dealing with constipation if a child is allowed to continue the habit of delaying a bowel movement.

If a child is chronically putting off bowel movements only to have an accident or experience constipation, you may feel the need to begin regulating your child's diet.

Check our article about constipation diet ideas for possible food-based remedies and instruct your child to sit on the potty during times they typically have a bowel movement. Make sure you take advantage of the gastrocolic reflex; the human body's tendency to facilitate bowel movements in the first twenty to thirty minutes following a meal.

Parents of older children may also use consequences like removing toys that are distracting the child from using the potty.

Need more potty training tips and advice on potty training problems or just general advice, check out all of our Potty Training Articles!

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