JMcG Books

Doing a Poo in the Toilet Troubles?

Hey there, parents! Let’s talk about a topic that’s not often discussed but is super important: kids who find it difficult to poo in the toilet. It’s a common issue, and trust me, you’re not alone if your child is going through this. Constipation or simply the reluctance to use the toilet can be stressful for both kids and parents. But don’t worry – there are lots of ways to help your child get comfortable with this essential part of their daily routine.

Doing a Poo in the Toilet

Understanding the Problem

First, let’s understand why this happens. There are a few reasons why a child might find it difficult to poo in the toilet:

  1. Fear of the Toilet: Some kids are scared of the toilet. It might seem big and noisy to them, and they might worry about falling in or hearing the flush.
  2. Constipation: If your child is constipated, they might associate the toilet with pain and discomfort. This can make them avoid going altogether.
  3. Change in Routine: Changes like starting school or moving to a new house can disrupt a child’s routine and make them reluctant to use the toilet.
  4. Control Issues: Some kids use withholding poo as a way to exert control, especially if they are feeling powerless in other areas of their life.

Signs Your Child Might Be Struggling

If you’re wondering whether your child is having trouble with pooing, here are some signs to look out for:

  • They avoid sitting on the toilet.
  • They show signs of discomfort or pain when trying to poo.
  • They hide when they need to poo.
  • You notice fewer bowel movements than usual.
  • Their stool is hard and difficult to pass.

What You Can Do About It

So, how can you help your child overcome their fear or reluctance to poo in the toilet? Here are some practical steps you can take.

  1. Create a Positive Toilet Environment

Make the toilet a friendly and welcoming place. Decorate it with fun, colorful items that your child likes. You can use stickers, posters, or even let them choose a special toilet seat. Make sure the toilet is comfortable for them – consider a step stool so their feet aren’t dangling, which can help them feel more secure and make it easier to poo.

  1. Establish a Routine

Kids thrive on routine. Try to establish regular toilet times, especially after meals when the digestive system is active. Encourage your child to sit on the toilet for a few minutes, even if they don’t feel the urge to poo. This can help create a habit and reduce the fear associated with using the toilet.

  1. Use Positive Reinforcement

Praise and rewards can work wonders. Celebrate your child’s successes, no matter how small. A sticker chart can be a fun way to track their progress. Every time they try to use the toilet, give them a sticker. After earning a certain number of stickers, they can get a small reward. Positive reinforcement encourages them to keep trying and helps build their confidence.

  1. Ensure a Healthy Diet

A diet rich in fiber can help prevent constipation. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plenty of water are essential. Avoid too many processed foods and sugary drinks, which can contribute to constipation. If your child is constipated, consider natural remedies like prune juice, which can help get things moving.

  1. Teach Relaxation Techniques

Sometimes, kids need to learn how to relax their bodies to poo comfortably. Encourage them to take deep breaths and try to relax their muscles. You can even make it a game – pretend they are blowing up a balloon with their breath, or use a toy to demonstrate taking deep, slow breaths.

  1. Be Patient and Understanding

It’s important to stay patient and understanding. Getting angry or frustrated can make the situation worse and increase your child’s anxiety. Let your child know that it’s okay to be scared and that you’re there to help them. Patience and empathy go a long way in helping your child feel safe and supported.

  1. Consider a Reward System

Similar to positive reinforcement, a more structured reward system can be effective. For example, if your child successfully uses the toilet for a week, they get a special outing or a new toy. Make sure the rewards are something your child truly values, as this will motivate them to keep trying.

  1. Talk to Your Paediatrician

If your child’s difficulty with pooing persists, it’s a good idea to talk to your paediatrician. They can rule out any medical issues and provide additional advice. In some cases, they might recommend a mild laxative or stool softener to help get things moving.

  1. Role-Playing and Stories

Kids love stories and role-playing. Use this to your advantage by telling stories about characters who overcome their fear of the toilet. You can also role-play with dolls or stuffed animals, showing them using the toilet and talking about how it’s not scary. For my daughter, I told her the story of Mr Poo. The whole experience actually inspired me to write “Come Out Mr Poo” – try reading this to your child. It helped my daughter.

  1. Lead by Example

Kids learn a lot by watching their parents. Show them that using the toilet is a normal and natural part of life. You don’t have to make a big deal out of it – just let them see you using the toilet calmly and confidently.

A Few Extra Tips

  • Encourage Hydration: Drinking plenty of water helps keep stools soft and easier to pass.
  • Dress Comfortably: Make sure your child is wearing clothes that are easy to take off quickly when they need to use the toilet.
  • Be Consistent: Consistency is key. Stick to the routine and positive reinforcement, even if progress seems slow.


Helping your child feel comfortable doing a poo in the toilet might take some time, but with patience, understanding, and a few practical steps, you can make a big difference. Remember, every child is different, and what works for one might not work for another. Keep trying different approaches until you find what works best for your child. You’re doing a great job, and with a little persistence, your child will get there. Need further help with Toilet Training – visit Toddler Potty Training. Happy parenting!