Don’t be surprised if your child quickly learns to resist using the toilet for pooping. Using the toilet for bowel movements can be difficult for a toddler to understand, as well as scary and undesirable. Try to make potty training as easy for your child as possible, even if he or she has a difficult time overcoming resistance to using a toilet for pooping.
First, find out why your child is resisting using the potty for bowel movements. He or she may actually be causing harm to the body by holding it in, but perhaps if the process is painful he or she may find a diaper more comfortable.
Toddlers who are constipated or suffer from diarrhea may find it difficult or embarrassing to use an adult toilet or to use the toilet with an adult present. Talk to your family doctor for advice. Simply changing your child’s diet may make it more comfortable for him or her to go. Mineral oils can be especially useful here and you will find that it is easy to disguise in your child’s drinks or sandwiches. You may also find it useful to have your child take medicine to help the problem. When bowel movements are easier, your child is less likely to resist.
Teaching your child to use the toilet for bowel movements may be difficult in itself. First, try emptying dirty diapers into the toilet. Have your child flush the toilet by his- or herself. Also use dolls and books to learn the process and have your child accompany you and their older relatives to the restroom. Take baby steps that build up to learning to use the toilet for bowel movements.
First, encourage your child to poop in the bathroom, even with a diaper still on. Next, have him or her learn to sit down in the bathroom, on the edge of a bathtub, on a potty chair, on the toilet with the lid down, or even on the floor, still wearing the diaper. The final step is to remove the diaper and have him or her use the toilet for bowl movements, just as adults do. Reward your child as he or she is successful with each step.
It is not uncommon for children to hold their stool, but this can have consequences. Often, a child will hold in the stool because he or she is afraid of using the toilet or simply does not want to stop what he or she is doing to waste time using the bathroom. This can cause discomfort in the abdomen, pain when using the toilet, decreased appetite, and other problems. If your child experiences this, talk to you paediatrician to be sure he or she is not significantly compromising his or her health.
Remember that your child simply may not be ready to use the potty. Resistance to bowel movements on the toilet is very common, but if it continues for a long period of time or results in other problems, you and your child may just need a break. Potty training is a difficult step in a child’s life, but it will happen eventually with a little hard work and understanding, so be sure to give your child support throughout this stage of life.