Potty training problem.

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  • 1 Post By webjockey

My just turned four year old is pretty much potty trained except in one area - managing turdletts. Often he will only make tiny ones and choose not to use the toilet. It is small enough to just hang there between the cheeks (like the size of a grape). He is perfectly comfortable walking around with poo grapes in his but all day.

I wonder if there is anything I can do, diet wise, to discourage poo grapes.

He will do normal size poo in the toilet with no problem.

Any advice?
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hello.world.
My thought is that he doesn't feel or register those as a "real" poo. I would try to make sure he has lots of fiber and water to keep them more soft and complete.

["poo grapes" and "turdlets" has me LOL, sorry!!]
Does he maybe just think it's gas?
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I would talk to him and ask him why the heck he's doing that!

And tell him to stop...and to wipe better.
My son did this too. (He's 18 now.) It used to drive me up the wall, because it made him and his pants smell. I bathed him and washed his clothes often, but because he did this, he would smell like no one took care of him.
What worked for me, was giving him fiber tablets and Miralax (I used generic) and having him clean himself after he wiped with a Cottonell Moist Wipes.
We were doing ok for a while, but the last month things have gone really downhill. The turdletts are more frequent and larger. Today for the first time, I found poo smears on the wall. I cannot absolutely confirm because I can't get a straight answer out of him but I think he did use the toilet and had trouble wiping himself. God I hope this is a one time thing.

As far as his understanding, if I ask him "where does poo go" he says without hesitation that it goes in the potty. But when I ask him if he feels the turdletts (we call them little poo), or why he messes up his underwear, or if I catch him commando, why he walks around with poo in his butt, I don't get a straight answer. I'm not sure if it's because he doesn't understand the question, or can't answer or what.

I am at a loss and I feel like I've tried everything: bribing, contract negotiation, reminders on the wall, reward sheets, punishing, making him sit on the toilet when I catch him peeing in the toilet, watching him use the toilet, giving him privacy while using the toilet.

I haven't tried ignoring the situation. With a mobile nearly 1 year old, I don't feel like I can't risk it.

My oldest boy also took until he was well into his 5th year but at least he would only hide and go poo in a corner or something. At least it was a contained activity.
hello.world.
I wiped my kids for them until they were each 4-6 years old. Maybe you need to go back to wiping for him.
I still wipe Addison. I helped Chas wipe till he was 5 or older...it quit sometime that year before he started Kindergarten.
this is a new poo situation, not a leftover poo with hangers-on.

the turdletts occur because he doesn't want to use the toilet so it comes out as little poos. Lots of little poos.

If it was a situation of him not wiping his backside well enough I wouldn't be as concerned.

hope that clears things up.
hello.world.
How does he feel about the idea of going back into diapers? If he's appalled, maybe you could use that as a minor threat to get him to clean up his act. (This, of course, wouldn't be a good suggestion if he actually likes the idea of diapers.)
Tried that.
He didn't care either way.

Also tried invoking his teacher's/friend's name in the discussion.
Didn't care.
hello.world.
Is it just the occasional small poos that are a problem when he doesnt notice them, not normal-size poos? To me, that sounds like a diet issue. I would concentrate on a high-fiber diet with lots of water and consider giving him fiber supplements.

Or is he consciously trying not to go poo, but small amounts are coming out sometimes? That would sound like avoidance of pooing in the toilet, which I dealt with for a few weeks with my oldest DS. (I'm not completely sure how long it lasted, I've tried to block it out of my memory.) The solution there was for me to be as laid-back as possible and stick with positive reinforcement for successes. Can you use his big brother as a good example that he wants to emulate? I do understand you don't want poo laying around the house with a mobile baby though.
Sara, my hunch is the latter.

When he does finally agree to sit on the toilet (usually because I catch him triying to make a smaller poo which would eventually hang out in his but) he asks me to watch. Then he'll go and it'll be what I would consider to be an adult sized one. I could only imagine that it hurts to keep all of that inside a little body, but he doesn't seem to care either way.

If I say nothing, he'll continue walking around with his turds. And positive reinforcement no longer makes a difference (obnoxious praise, bribing with toys, nutella, chocolate etc.).


I'll try even more fruit. He eats quite a bit of high-fiber fruits every day but maybe he just needs a supplement.
hello.world.
My little one has this issue too. I think the little poos catch her by surprise. DH calls them "sentinel poo" because a bigger poo will follow but usually not right away. She will realize after she's done it and try to clean herself up which is usually results in a much worse mess than the original pooplet.


It sounds like your son has encopresis. My daughter had/has it but is finally getting better after almost two years.

Their colons get blocked like cement w/ stool and small pieces chip off and fall out, and they have no control over it. They usually aren't even aware that a piece has fallen out. Or if you hit them w/ excess fiber, the newer stool turns liquid and will seep around the solid blockage and leak out. When they finally do a real in-the-toilet-poop, it's HUGE and sometimes painful. Then the cycle starts over.

You can't talk, bribe, wipe, or threaten it out of them. They need an x-ray of their intestines and a year + of medication (different types of laxatives) and behavior modificaton after a 3 day extreme colon cleanse.

Don't delay w/ home remedies, etc. The longer they remain this way, the more damaged and stretched their colon and rectum get and the longer it takes to treat.

No one talks about this but it's not a kiddie problem or a potty training failure. It's a medical condition (that affects older kids and adults). It's not due to a poor diet or lack of vegetables.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG


Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 05-22-2013 at 03:16 PM.
I've never heard of that. Thank you so much! I'll look into it.
spiderlashes5000 likes this.
hello.world.
Yeah Spiderlashes. I'm so glad someone had some info for you Webjockey. I had no idea how to help.
Yeah Spiderlashes. I'm so glad someone had some info for you Webjockey. I had no idea how to help.
Originally Posted by inheritedcurls
Glad to help...sad that it has to be w/ such a strange problem lol.

It actually starts out innocently enough like what you described happening w/ your older son, the poop avoidance thing. Some ppl can get past it on their own and others can't...and their poop turns into a big, hard, dry rock, stretching out their insides.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

Yes! I think that describes my son's problem too--but luckily his became resolved before it required medical attention.

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