We have a very active Facebook community, where people come to ask questions, get support, and share success. One of the most frequent questions I get goes something like this, “My little one has mastered peeing in the potty, but can’t seem to get poop in there. HELP?!?”
Okay, first, deep breath there Mom and Dad! This too will come, in time. You should know that it is absolutely normal for a child to master one before the other. The muscles needed to control the bowels are a bit more complex than the bladder. Sometimes, it just takes a little time for the child to grow and mature.
In the meantime, here are some tips to ensure you are setting up the child for success in the long run.
Get set up: If you choose to use the big potty, there are two things you’ll want to make sure you do before expecting your child to start using it for pooping.
The first is to get one of those insert seats that goes over the big one. That hole over the potty is very big for little bums!
Secondly, make sure your child has a stool to rest little feet on. This is actually a physical necessity for many children. Feet firmly planted on a hard surface allows them to bear down on the muscles they need in order to release the bowels effectively. If little feet are dangling, these muscles are much harder to control!
Prepare for the long haul: Sometimes a child needs to sit for quite some time before they are relaxed or ready enough to go. While sitting and waiting for the big event, sing songs, read stories, or check out our Potty Time App together! Or, check out our huge list of potty training book reviews and choose some to read together. Make it relaxing and even a little fun so your child is more inclined to stay as needed.
Handle accidents with the desired result in mind: Yes, you’ll probably have to pick up a few rounds of total unpleasantness. Remember to try your best to keep it light and not scold (and definitely don’t punish potty accidents). While you will need to do the clean-up for sanitary reasons, your child can still take part. Take the poop to the toilet and dump it in. Have your child then finish the potty steps from our free sequence cards by completing the WIPE, FLUSH, WASH steps just as if they had made it to the potty. Makeyour message clear: “Uh-oh, it’s an accident! But this is where the poop goes and we can try again next time!”
Good luck! I promise this will come in time!