4 year old wont poo on the toilet!: He is fully trained... - ERIC


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4 year old wont poo on the toilet!

Neelum profile image

He is fully trained on using the toilet for a pee but refuses to sit on the toilet for a poo!

He has suffered from constipation ever since he was 2 due to a poor diet. I am now working with the GP to get the right medication as it seems like it is getting worse or he is holding it in as it will not go for 3 days in a row.

I have been extremely stressed out about this matter and have had very little support as everyone keeps telling me to stop buying pull ups and he will go and I personally believe and know its not that easy.

He was toilet trained which wasn't a problem apart from getting him to poo on the toilet. Recently I have been working with him and now we are at the stage where he will tell me he needs a poo, go to the bathroom request a pull up, do what he needs to do and then sit on the toilet to remove the pull up and flush the poo down the toilet.

I am trying to get him to sit on the toilet with the pull up as I have read methods on cutting a hole etc but he poos standing up and refuses to even try and sit for a poo.

I keep reading stories and my fear is that he will still be at this stage when starting school next September.

I Currently work full time and he is at nursery but will never go at nursery as he holds it in for when he comes home.

I am desperate for advice and hoping someone can help me.

Many thanks


5 Replies

It sounds like you are doing lots of the right things and making progress (going in the bathroom is a start!) Be kind to yourself. This transition can take a while for some kids.

If you haven’t seen it already the ERIC website had some good resources and a helpline. I found a video called ‘poo goes to Pooland’ I didn’t think it was great but my son loved it and started to sit on the toilet to watch it. We found giving him a lot to drink and Laxido helped as he didn’t like the feeling of pooing and was worried it would hurt. We also bought a toilet seat with a child size drop down lid and footstool so he felt more secure and there were sweets for sitting on the toilet to try for a poo!

Good luck. It will happen. Don’t panic if it takes a while!

Neelum profile image
Neelum in reply to Kate_monster


Many thanks for your reply.

He think the poo land app is funny and will watch it and will only relate to it when flushing his poo down the toilet once he has done it in the pull up.

His very smart as he says the story is for Olli not me


I am hoping I succeed and there is light at the end of the tunnel but seems a long way at the moment which is very frustrating.

Kate_monster profile image
Kate_monster in reply to Neelum

Sounds like you’ve tried so many things. Apologies if you’ve tried this already...!

Can you go back a step and see if he will sit on the toilet seat in his pull up at all (but not try to poo...just get used to sitting there so it starts to feel less strange?) A nurse told me to only give my son his favourite thing (sweets) in return for trying to sit (first for a few seconds then longer...) When he sat for long enough he could watch the poo video or play a computer game while he sat!

It’s going to feel wrong and unpleasant to begin with but if he can start to get used to it you might be able to very slowly build up.

Good luck. These things help us practice our patience!!!

Neelum profile image
Neelum in reply to Kate_monster


He happily sits on the toilet with a pull up the minute he feels like he needs a poo he jumps up and requests to do it standing up but then will sit back down on the toilet to take it off and flush it down the toilet.

I am hoping over time he will understand that its not as scary as he thinks it is.

I'm in exactly the same boat lg is 4.5 x2 stoll softeners and now laxatives and still using a pull up, hiding upstairs somewhere... problem is she has started school and can't hold it in due to laxative so im picking her up sometimes 3 times a day she won't even pass wind in school... just commented to follow your post and say I know exactly how it feels and its awful xx

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