My toddler has been pottying in his pants and trying to hide it: Advice?

My three 1/2yrs old son has been potty trained for a while now. But lately, he has been peeing and pooping in his underwear and hides it. Every time I ask if he needs to go potty, he says no or that he already went (which usually ends up being a couple of hrs ago). Then I told him to go potty, and he started crying, saying he didn’t want to go potty anymore. I’m at a loss. What could be making him not want to use the bathroom anymore? He’s never had a bad experience as far as I know. I even asked him if it hurt to go potty (thinking maybe UTI or bladder infection), but he said it doesn’t hurt. Any suggestions? TIA


All my kids have had at least 2 relapses a piece. Usually it’s because they can’t be bothered going to the bathroom while being focused on something.

1 Like

My mom babysat 2 kids and the younger one was a boys about 2 or 3 and he refused to go potty even though he had been potty trained before. Come to find out his sister who was around 8 told him there was a monster in the toilet that wanted to eat him. She then had my brother scared so my mom had to tell her parents she could watch her anymore.

Sounds like hes either a) afraid of the potty or b) he figured out that he can go in his pants and keep playing. They can develop a fear. My daughter doesn’t like to flush. She had a toilet almost overflow on her and its scared her ever since. I keep working with her to flush and she’s starting to again but still is hesitant to push down on the handle. He will come around. I would put him back on a schedule. Pretty much potty training all over again.

My kid was scared of the toilet flushing

My Son did the same thing, he was constipated. Once that issue was fixed, all went back to normal.

My son does the same off and off sp we just went back to potty training him. He mostly has accidents when he is playing. So every so often we stop him to go to the bathroom. We do give him a treat for going and try to make it fun for him.

There are so many possibilities;

  1. (hopefully not) there was abuse or trauma
  2. infection that he cannot express as pain. Kids sometimes dont know how to explain their sensory in/out put
  3. could be constipated
  4. regression
  5. stress related regression
  6. fear/anticipation

The hiding it is for shame. He could also just be active. Like he wants to keep playing so he puts off using the potty until he bursts.
Sit him on the toilet, and dont ask him. Just say “let’s go potty!”. Maybe try talking to him or his doctor and just make sure nothing is wrong.
Deep breaths, it will pass.


One of my grandsons was still pooping his pants when he was four, they had tried all kinds of things, they left him with me one weekend, when he pooped his pants I made him wash them out in the toilet, that was the end of pooped pants.

1 Like

Set a timer more frequent than how often he usually goes and don’t make going optional. When he has an accident, be nonchalant and hand him wipes and new clothes, then make him take care of it. Worked like a charm with my daughter.

I would talk to your pediatrician and ask for suggestions. Do you have a new baby ? Maybe the child is regressing ? I hope it all works out

I have the same issue going on with my 3 year old girl had her doing amazing then all of a sudden she stopped doing it again got told it was the baby but he is 1 now and she took to it all just fine I’m pulling my hair out…

When I was little I pooped my pants from time I was baby till grade school and the school would send me home and I would get spanking until they finally took me to colonoscopy and found out I had stage 2 cancer colon polyps then I quit getting spanked and now I Thank God healed me from. Stage 2 Colon polyps polyp

My boys did the same thing. Come to find out they thought a part of them was going away. So we would say goodbye to the poop and after a week they were good


Maybe he had a hard poop from constipation and now he associates poop with pain, out grandson was holding his poop for days and as a result peeing his pants. Doctor said put 1/4 dose of myrlax in his food every day, stopped it

My sons both started this because they didnt want to miss their favorite tv show. Just sit them on the toilet and have them try to go. If they go great, and if not then thats okay too. Regression can be a normal part of potty training.

Bring him to his pediatrician and make sure there is nothing medically wrong and discuss this with his doctor.


Take away his favorite thing and don’t give it back till he TELLS you it’s time to go potty. … I used the tv. Worked like a charm

Some times they are too busy playing to go potty !! Don’t want to lose their spot


Is he in daycare or has he been in the care of someone when you’re away?

1 Like