My 4-year-old flat out refuses to poop on the potty: Advice?

Any moms have tips for potty training a difficult boy that aren’t the normal suggestions? My son will be 4 in March. He absolutely refuses to poop in the toilet. We’ve eliminated pullups; he is only in underwear. But he will hold it so long that it gets incredibly large and HARD to the point of bleeding and he’ll hide somewhere to go. I’ve tried stool softeners and things, but it doesn’t help when he holds it in for so long. I’m completely at a loss. We’ve tried rewards, praise, punishment ect over the last year and nothing is working. His doctor doesn’t have any advice that we haven’t already tried. Surely I can’t be the only one who’s had this struggle!


I bribed my son with what he wanted most, wee tee baseball. You’ve got to figure out what he wants most.

Let him pick out a surprise when he goes. Show him that you go #2 on the potty. Or get him a little potty and use that

I made my son clean up the mess. It only took once. They completely understand at that age. Good luck mama.


He’s probably just not ready to poop in the potty yet. It’s scary for a lot of kids.

I would make him clean up the mess rinse his own underwear out. My son was same way until i began making him clean up himself and his underwear of course i did it properly after him.


Smooth move tea,swiss kris?

Get him a small potty! The same thing happened with my 3 yo. He was potty trained almost fully, then we moved and discovered he was afraid of the new toilet. We got him a little one and he hasn’t had any accidents at all. We were at my moms and he had an accident, she pulled out a mini potty and he hasn’t again!

He’s probably constipated and it hurts when he’s sitting on the potty. We went through this with our grandson and took him to a specialist and he was really backed up. So check with his doctor for advice. Don’t punish him because it could be underlying situation you don’t know about.


We just went through this with my 4 year old.
He has been potty trained for almost a year however, he never wanted to poop in the potty.
So he would hold it until bedtime and poop at night.
He was terrified of the potty but would just say I don’t want to go on big potty.
It took alot of encouragement ( even when putting him on the potty) holding him and saying it was ok etc.
Give it some time, encourage like crazy even if it means you sitting right next to him(plug nose lol) he will get there. Try not to get frustrated cause kids can regress

Mineral oil will help it slide… our dr just recommended this for our 2 year old

Ughhh. My kids are 27 & 20 and I’m helping with potty training my 2 year old granddaughter. I don’t have advise just hugs and support. It’s been a long time since I had to do this.

My daughter was crazy scared of the “plop and splash” that happened. She didn’t like the water coming back to hit her bum. So she would use a little potty… Then we would put that little potty on the toilet and got her used to the toilet without the splash… Over time we added water to the little potty catcher, so she slowly got used to it, then eventually removed the little potty. Mommy had to be there so she could hold my leg the first few times, but quickly got over it. And she cleaned up any and all her messes (with adult support) and she hated that.

Bribery worked for us. He wanted a 40 dollar fire truck, we did a sticker chart 3 weeks long and he started pooping on day 1


My 4 year old just broke through this week…he has been trained for over a year but refused to poop on the potty. I told him he had to sit on the potty even with a diaper on to poop. After a few days of that I cut holes in his diapers. I was very sneaky about putting it on him and quickly setting him on the toilet. He freaked out once he realized his poop was in the toilet but within 2 days he was going on his own and telling everyone about it.

My niece had troubles with pooping and honestly they ended up just leaving her be and letting her come to it on her own time and ultimately she did. She was over 5, so obviously it’s not ideal for the parents, but I know in her case the pushing was just making the issue worse🤷‍♀️ He WILL do it eventually!

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Put the potty somewhere he can have a little privacy and when he goes get all excited, give high fives, and/or a treat. When my son first went to the potty he put a chair, a tall laundry basket, and hide in the corner of a coffee table to hide himself and he did it by himself.

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Put a potty in the bathroom and have pooping parties with a parent. My kid loves examining (from a distance haha) her poop and it’s super exciting when she can compare it to someone else’s.

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My almost 4 year old (January) broke through just this week!!! We have been talking about pre-school-he wants to go but has to wait til the fall. I also told him he could choose an outing like roller skating or bowling… He has been pee trained for close to a year. It just clicked one night with his dad. Be patient. And hugs.

I’m with you my boy will also be 4 in March and no desire at all and I’ve tried everything! It’s just a fight and I dont have it in me to fight so I’ll wait it out. You are not alone!

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