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5 Year old daughter will only poo in pull up. :( Am I alone :(

Starting to feel like I have failed my daughter with potty training as whenever she needs a poo she will beg for a pull up.

I have tried the following:

+ Reward charts

+Telling her there are no more pull ups and not buying anymore in

+Reading her the poo goes to pooland book

+Getting angry when she won't use the toilet

+Being patient and ignoring what she is doing

+Making her clean her change herself.

+Getting her to poo in a pull upn on the toilet or in the bathroom= won't poo.

The current Doctors advice is to let her use the pull up as it would be a lot worse if she refused to use the toilet- resulting in constipation which she would do!

The annoying part of it all is that she will also wee in it when she does a poo (probably because it is kind of connected when a little girl goes to the loo. She normally wees fine in the toilet. - Has anyone experienced this?

The most top ever annoying thing is that because she goes off on her own with a pull up on she will play after or during going for a poo so then I end up having to change a pull up that has been sat in! :O It makes me feel sick at times!

Has anyone else ever had a problem with this?

Thank you for listening to me moan on :( x

11 Replies

Morning. I know how frustrated you must feel but have to say that I agree with the doctor. Our daughter became constipated at three and now because of the soiling in her knickers suffers continuous UTIS. She is now nine and I look back on the days when she went in a pull-up with fond memories!! The UTIS are far worse in my mind.Try and grit your teeth and ignore it xx



I share your pain my daughter is 4 and a half and we have exactly the same issue as you have described and I’ve tried all the same Strategies and nothing has worked she will withhold her poo if we make her sit on the toilet even after having extra cosmocol. So each time she needs a poo she goes into the bathroom and puts on a pull-up on her own now and then when she is finished she calls me to change her. We have told her she has to stay in the bathroom until she’s finished and ready to be changed. So she doesn’t sit down but she does often play even if just a game in her head!

I’m waiting for an appointment with the nhs paediatric service that gp has referred us to but I’m not sure what they can do it’s totally psychological she wants to stand to do her poo and I can see she tries to hold it in. I’m worried about what will hAppen at school is your daughter at school now?

The main thing I’ve learnt over the years is not to get angry or tell off or put pressure on as it makes things even worse... x


Sorry I cant really offer any help to your direct problem but I can sympathise at changing a messy pull up. I've just had to put my 4yo back in nappies, he too will happily sit or play in a dirty nappy :-(


You are not alone, I'm in the same situation! I've tried bribes, pleading, no nappies (=tears, poo refusal and "poo gone back in!"= doesn't work)!

My daughter (nearly 5) still uses a nappy to poo and doesn't go at school or when we are out and about. She will hold it in till we get home and then go get a nappy. I have no idea when this will end. She will sit on the loo or potty for a wee, no problems but goes stiff as a plank and refuses for a poo. She gets so worked up I worry about constipation so a nappy "works" for now! I can't see the end in site but I feel like I've tried everything, so am trying to back off but it is so hard when she ends up in tears with a red raw bottom afterwards!!!

Sorry, no advice, just wanted to say you aren't alone


I know how you feel, we’ve been through exactly the same thing and at times I felt so guilty that I couldn’t help my daughter. My daughter is nearly 5 and after 2 years of stress, over Easter she finally started doing poos in the loo without a pull up so don’t worry, you’re daughter will get there too, just in her own time!

We had the added complication that every time she worried out it she started withholding her poo so we focused on getting her to go regularly with the aid of lactulose, senna and when she would poo on the loo in a nappy, regular sitting on the loo after dinner.

We used a number of strategies to get there, the main thing was taking very slow small steps towards using the loo. With our daughter the more she understood and the longer she knew what the next step was before having to do it the more chance we had that she would do it.

First we had a sticker chart for going in her room with a nappy on the potty for a week, then going with nappy on the potty in the bathroom for a week, then on the loo in a nappy, each time she got to a new stage she got to choose a small new toy. We stayed at this stage for months until is was normal for her. We then forwarned her that we would start putting a tiny hole in her he nappy, once she got used to the idea that that was going to be the next stage we had a new chart with different size holes on it, we started with a tiny one that you could hardly even see and worked up very very slowly from there. We had to go back down to smaller holes every now and again if she got scared but eventually she got to the point where she only had the waistband of the nappy left! Bribery with a new toy got her to get rid of even the waistband!

Sorry about me waffling on, I hope this does help you, it’s really hard at times to stay patient with them and keep things as stress free as possible. Good luck, you will get there X

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Your story is really reassuring - we’ll done on such amazing progress - this is my dream! My 6 yr old will only poo in pull up standing up, he has never pooed on a potty/ toilet. The only progress we have made is he now poos (standing up wearing a pull up) in the bathroom. He takes movicol once a day. He tried sitting on the toilet once but said he couldnt get the poo out because there was less room in the nappy- how did you get your daughter to sit and poo with a nappy on???


Sorry for the late reply, I’m afraid we didn’t have a problem about sitting whilst having a poo. I found that in everything we did I always had the best results when we got my daughter involved in everything, so she loved helping to make the reward charts and deciding what the rewards would be.

Have you tried getting larger nappies, or starting with a potty if he always goes in the same place?

One of the main things that helped for us was regular toilet time at the same tome every day, we’re still doing it now and it still works.

Good luck with it all, I hope you get results soon X


Oh my goodness. It's so nice to read of others in the same situation. I have an almost 5 year old girl who is doing exactly this and has been since Sept last year following a bout of constipation. This is the very reason why I joined this forum this morning too as we are at our wits end and have tried literally EVERYTHING. From sitting on the toilet floor with her for 2 hours to ignoring to reward charts to bribery and yes even losing my rag if I have to clear up one more pooey bottom!!!!

The sad thing is that she was fully toilet trained and dry at night leading up to this and it feels like such a massive step backwards that we have been unable to conquer.

Any other advice from anyone?

She will literally only poo at home and in a pull up or knickers and will withhold at any other time even through the school day. It's clearly psychological as the bowels are able to function but we just cannot convince her to take that next step to doing the poo on the toilet as I believe she's scared following the constipation and relates it to hurting.

We've even tried going back to a potty but she'll still refuse.

Literally at our wits end!!

I will give mcleanan's advice a try in respect of using a nappy on the potty/toilet and the steps from there if we can progress but it feels like a never ending journey so to all going through it you have my sympathy xx


Hi, I was wondering if you ever found anything that helped? My little boy is 5 in 2 months and still will only poo stood up in a pull up. I think he's starting to get abpoo phobia now too as he ran and hid behind the table when something about poo came on a cartoon the other day 😖


I'm afraid you wont like my reply but 18 months in and we are still in the same situation, despite visits and advice from the bowel clinic and numerous different tactics.

I truly feel like I have the most stubborn child ever known to man!

We are currently taking the stance of if she poos in her pull up then she has to now clean herself up and actually she seems to be thinking more about trying to sit on the toilet as we've told her it creates less mess but the fear is most definitely still there and we still haven't had any success.

I'll update if anything changes!


Thanks for the update! Sounds like a nightmare 😖

Think I'll start by telling him if he needs a poo he has to put the pull up on himself and stand in the bathroom...maybe just get him used to doing it in there. X


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