Nichola asks:

How can I get my 5 year old son to poop in the toilet?

We adopted our son at 23 months.  He is now 5 years old and only pees in the toilet.  He is not bothered with wearing soiled pull ups.  We have tried many things such as: putting big boy underwear on him, Dr. Phil's potty doll,
letting him know that he could collect points from pooping in toilet  and then when enough points accumulated we could let him to to the store and get a toy (inexpensive)  Nothing works..Any suggestions would really be welcome..
In Topics: Kindergarten readiness, Medical problems
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Jun 29, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

First, check with your pediatrician to be sure that he is physically well and that the rectum or anus are healthy.  Second, be reassuring so that there is no fear.  Desensitize him to the bathroom.  Quick looks around, longer trips to the toilet with constant reassurance that he is pooping like mom, dad, grandma etc...Tell him he must defecate in the bathroom first in his diaper and then in the toilet.  But he must sit afterwards for a minute.Carry into the room if you see him start elsewhere.  Have rewards and penalties.  Do not back down.  Do not ask school to make accommodations. This may take weeks but be clear that it is unacceptable to poop other than the toilet. Establish a routine and you need to be home with him when you start the toilet routine.

Good luck and stick with it and he will get the message.

Wayne A. Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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