4 yr old Potty Issues — The Bump

4 yr old Potty Issues

Hi Everyone!

I need some help! My 4 yr old son is still not poop potty trained. He pees fine on the potty and rarely has accidents but he refuses to poop on the potty.

Rewards do nothing, peers cheering him on do nothing, special potties and big boy wipes do no good.

We just don't know what to do:

Doc told us not to use punishments but we don't know what else to do?
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Re: 4 yr old Potty Issues

  • We did the same with DS-although we did it much younger.  I think his refusal came from not wanting to wipe-it wasn't a fear issue.  We made DS put the poop in the toilet and clean himself.  We explained it was easier to clean up after going poop in the toilet.  He had problems not wiping enough or at all for a while and we had him clean his underwear.
  • We are dealing with the same issue (my son will be 4 in February). My son's problem was he would refuse to go on the potty but also refuse to go if he was at daycare so if he felt the urge when he wasn't home, he'd hold it - and he got very good at it. Then, he'd end up constipated and it'd hurt when he finally did go (in his pull-up) so he was terrified to even try going on the potty. I finally took him to the doctor because their would be blood in his poop (ended up with fissure tears because of his constipation).  She had us put him on Miralax. It's worked wonders.  Initially, he still went in his pull up but, as he realized that it wasn't hurting him to go, I started tell him that we were going to run out of pull ups soon and what was he going to do when they were gone.  I continued to encourage him to try going on the potty because it doesn't hurt and eventually he FINALLY did.  It took a good 2+ weeks once we started the Miralax to when he finally sat on the potty.  We are still dealing with it because, although he does go on the potty, I've found that he still isn't a fan and would rather hold it so, one step at a time!  It's a long frustrating process and I felt like I was the only one dealing with this issue until I read your post!

     Rewards, etc. like you stated never worked for us either ...I was at the point I was going to buy him a new car if he'd actually go! Point being, I was so frustrated I would have bought him anything no matter the cost if he would go! He never even cared ...he'd even say - oh, I'm going to get that when I poop on the potty ...but still wouldn't do it.

    Good luck!

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  • I'm in the same boat with my 4.5 year old. She has maybe pooped on the potty 3 times in her whole life. I've tried every trick in the book, and then some. I took her to a specialist, he basically told me that all my efforts were a waste of time, as you can not reason with a 4 year old that has already made up their mind on a situation.

    He put her on a stool softener, and said that she needs to drink at least 50 oz of water a day. He says that once she figures out that it doesn't hurt to go,and is easier, she should transtion to the toilet on her own. Kids don't do it to be spiteful. The worst thing to do is make it a power struggle.

    I just keep telling myself that I've never met anyone that needed a diaper on their wedding day.


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