Just when I thought that my toddler’s potty training was over and deserved to be celebrated, the table turned. I spent a lot of time and efforts on potty-training my little wizard, and he did do great for some days, until one day, he started pooping in his undies repeatedly. Right after potty training my toddler, I started dressing him in undies to prevent future potty accidents but guess that was the mistake. My failure and curiosity made me look for answers to what went wrong with my toddler? I found some logical explanation to all my questions, which I’ll share with you today, in case you have something likewise going on with your toddler. This will surely help your toddler get back on track and save you the trouble of cleaning up messy undies!
Toddlers spend almost 2-3 years of their lives wearing diapers, and that familiarity is going to take a while and a few potty accidents to go away. The reason why toddlers start pooping and peeing in their undies is because of the familiar feeling that they used to get with diapers. The snug feeling of the underwear is kind of like the snug feeling of a diaper, so your toddler may be mistaking the underwear with the diaper. These accidents are common among toddlers and cannot be blamed for because they are thinking for it to be safe to poop in that underwear, just like a diaper. In times like these instead of frowning and screaming, getting to the root cause of the problem would help both you and your toddler. Accidents like these also raise numerous questions like was your toddler potty trained in the first place? Did he get caught up in the playing and missed the timing? And lastly, does he feel safe while using the potty? The reason for pooping in the undies could be any one of these, and your task as a parent is to find which one. One more thing that parents need to remember during these potty accidents is to remain calm and deal with the situation the right way. Yelling and punishing your toddler for this, will not help your toddler get out of this “temporary phase”, instead it will add fuel to the fire. So, give your toddler some room for mistakes in this new venture and make them feel loved and secure even during this crisis.
Table of Contents
Ways to prevent your potty-trained toddler from pooping in his pants
One of the biggest mistakes that parents make after potty training their toddler is, dressing them in underwear. The whole point of potty-training your toddler is to make him feel like a big kid who can handle himself. But by dressing them in underwear you are bringing back the sensation of the diaper they are familiar with. This is why they are pooping in their undies even after days of potty-training.
To prevent your toddler from pooping and peeing in his underwear, pediatricians suggest parents, wait on the underwear, so that your child can be aware of the physical consequences of peeing or pooping without underwear. Removing all barriers will make them recognize, that they have nothing to catch their poop on and that the only option now is to resort to the potty to relieve themselves.
For toddlers, pushing pants down is rather easier than pushing both underwear and pants down. So, eliminating the underwear for a while will also ease their struggle with the new potty routine.
Try using simple loose elastic waistbands instead of snaps, zippers, and buttons to make the whole experience simpler. Leggings are the best option for your newly potty-trained toddler whereas, overalls and jumpers can be a lot harder for your toddler to take off.
After your toddler learns to poop and pee in the potty, you can make him wear underwear as much as you want.
How to prevent potty accidents in the car
Some toddlers spend the entire day in daycare without potty accidents, but poop on their way back home. This is pretty normal and can be prevented by making them poop before leaving the daycare.
Give them enough time and privacy that they need to do their business before leaving the daycare, to encourage privacy and avoid accidents in the car. This newly established routine will make your baby used to pooping in the daycare, before leaving.
Also, make sure that your toddler feels comfortable using the toilet of the daycare, as some children find it hard to poop outside the comfort of their home.
Sometimes your toddler may get super involved in the playing, and end up pooping in his pants without even realizing it. If your toddler is not being able to realize that he is pooping during playtime or realizes in the middle, then your best option would be to schedule potty breaks
Your toddler’s bowel movement will vary from other toddlers. While some poop every day, others may poop on alternate days and some only three times a week. So, you must be familiar with your toddler’s pooping routine, in order to schedule potty breaks.
Some toddlers tend to poop at the same time every day, so if your toddler is having accidents at the same time regularly then you can schedule a potty break, 15-30 minutes before.
What are skid marks and how to prevent them?
If your toddler’s underwear or pants have poop-streaks on them, that could mean that your child is not wiping well down there and needs some practice. Some toddlers tend to hate cleaning the poop, while others lack the practice of it. In this case, tell your child to ask for help whenever he needs it and teach them how to wipe well, along with lots of praise for trying.
Many children learn to wipe well around the age of 5-6 years, so skid marks are quite normal at this stage. To avoid skid marks, you can set a routine of nightly showers for your baby to help him get cleaned properly and freely.
What is encopresis?
You might notice skid marks, even though your toddler is wiping correctly, this could be a sign of a medical condition known as encopresis.
In encopresis, your child suffers from chronic constipation, making the stool harder and gathered up. This hardened stool, in turn, causes the liquid stool to leak out of the anus. Encopresis is often misunderstood by the parents and needs attention and proper treatment from the pediatrician.
Encopresis is not a fatal condition and can be cured by treating constipation, through proper diet and medication.
Tips on potty-accident prevention
Your toddler’s potty accident could be the result of anything, and your duty is to find the cause and treat it accordingly. Every toddler is different and may require a different solution to this problem, but make sure that you don’t shame your child for the recurring potty-accidents, or this may worsen.
Keep the following instructions in mind, to deal with the potty-accidents effectively, whenever you encounter an unpleasant potty-accident:
- Firstly, make sure that you act normal during these accidents. Your reaction will affect how your toddler reacts to things in the longer run, so make sure that you approach this naturally while telling them that it’s okay. Your extreme reaction like anger and shouting negatively affect your baby’s mental health and personality. They may also start reacting extremely and negatively to normal things in the future, so set the best example for your little innocent souls.
- If your toddler makes a huge scene every time he has to go to the toilet or clean up afterward, giving a timeout would be a better option in this scenario. Teaching your toddler to cooperate and listen through the time-out warning is the best solution to deal with the drama. Also, make sure that you resume the task of cleaning after the break ends, to make him realize that nothing can help him escape the task.
- Help your toddler in taking care of his needs and tasks as much as possible. Instead of making them stand aside, help them clean up their mess themselves. And after every cleaning, praise them for being a nice big kid. Encouragement goes a long way for toddlers and promotes a positive and healthy attitude towards life and problems.
- Set up a regular toilet routine before bedtime, and after every meal. Let them take their time to poop and pee and appreciate their efforts.
- Make sure that your toddler drinks enough water around the day and eats enough food with fiber to avoid constipation.
- Praise and reward your toddler every time he uses the potty to pee and poop. Teach them a word that they can say to you when they feel the urge, in public.
If you are struggling with potty-training your child then here are some tips and tricks that can help you along: 3-Year-Old Not Potty Trained – Signs, Tips, and Tricks To Potty Train Your 3 Year Old The Right Way
Accidents after Potty training are quite normal among toddlers. Understand that getting used to potty is going to take some time, and if your toddler is having potty accidents quite regularly then try to know the root cause.
Keep the atmosphere light during every potty-accident and encourage them to ask you for help in need. Also, teach them to clean themselves and the potty, so that they can learn to be toilet independent.
Hajira is a certified editor, an experienced and thoughtful writer, and a mother of two. Her deliberate passion for writing convinced her to become a writer along with her mom duties. Driven by her passion for writing, she takes pride in providing the best possible. She aims to incite and provoke enthusiasm in her readers.