I’ve mentioned before the fantastic ‘Toddlers: An Instruction Manual’ by Joanne Mallon – read on – here’s a section which fits in perfectly with January’s theme…
What if they won’t poo in the potty?
Some children don’t like to poop in the potty, and will hang on until they have their night time nappy on to make a deposit. Believe it or not, this is actually very common. It’s one of those subjects like nits or piles that many parents have to deal with, but very few discuss. So rest assured that this is a normal phase which many children experience, and not related to anything you have or haven’t done. And like all phases it will pass, so be patient.
Your child may seem to be physically ready and recognise the physical sensation when number two is coming, but emotionally they may still want to hold on to the nappies and not let them go just yet.
Here are a few options for ways to approach it if your child seems reluctant to ditch the nappies:
- Do nothing
Let your toddler have the nappies or pull-up pants and trust that he or she will move out of them when they’re ready. If they’re still using them in six month’s time, reassess.
- Use a sticker chart to encourage more use of the loo or potty
Stickers are a very effective motivational tool for boys and girls under five. My daughter used to put a sticker on her potty every time she used it. My son needed a bit more of an incentive, so he got to choose a new toy when he’d managed to keep the Number 2’s in the loo for a week. Use whichever motivational tool you think your child will respond to.
- Stop buying pull-up pants or nappies
Going cold turkey is a more drastic approach which may result in a few tears and some mess, but if you don’t have them in the house then they can’t be used. Obviously this won’t work if your child still needs them at night.
- Use your older children as role models
Joanne has kindly donated a signed copy of ‘Toddlers: An Instruction Manual’ for one lucky Mum Friendly reader as part of January’s competition – having now read most of the book, I hope what’s above is a good taster – it’s full of practical advice from a lot of people who’ve been through this crazy world of having a toddler and come out the other side. It’s reassuring that the madness involved isn’t something that only you will go through! There’s also some hilarious contributions from parents, with my own personal favourite being the ‘Wheels On The Bus’ part.
For your chance to win a copy signed by Joanne, comment below and let us know any crazy things your toddler has done. The closing date for this one is February 14th, though I can’t guarantee the draw will be done that day (though we’re not ones to celebrate V-Day)!
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