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  1. #1

    Potty Trained DCB Pooping in Pants

    I’ve had this new DCB for a little over a month. He is 3 in a couple of months, & He is & was fully potty trained when I got him. Over the last 2-3 weeks, mom & dad have been telling me that he doesn’t use the toilet to go poop anymore & has been purposely going in his pants & he has not gone in the toilet for a few weeks now. He never had an accident like that here until today.

    When I noticed it, it looked like he had been sitting in it for a while because he was playing as he usually does & did not seem uncomfortable AT ALL or gave any clues that he had pooped himself. It’s like he was ok with sitting in his own poop. I also didn’t think to check him like I usually do often with my 2 diapered DCK because he’s already potty trained. A few weeks ago mom also told me that one time at home he made a comment how he “like to poop in my diaper”. I’m wondering if seeing his 2 daycare friends still being in diapers is making him realize he can just go in his pants & not have to go to the toilet. For some reason it’s only poops that he has been doing in his pants, not pee. He uses the washroom regularly to pee but won’t poop in the toilet anymore.

    Besides this, he has been his usual self. In fact, he loves coming here so I don’t think it’s stress from new environment causing him to have accidents. When he’s picked up he doesn’t want to leave. Normally for potty training I take kids to the toilet every so often to make sure they go, but I’m not sure how to handle or approach a situation where an already potty trained child that is reverting back to diapering. I know putting a diaper on him will just make it worse, but I told mom that I’ll try take him to the toilet every so often to make sure he goes but if after next week he’s still having accidents I have no choice but to put a diaper on him.

    Any insight as to why he’s been doing this & how it should be handled? I should add that this new family is great to work with & fully respect me as a provider so I know if/when I recommend something they would fully follow through.
    Last edited by wpgmomma0412; 04-11-2019 at 01:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    I think I remember someone suggesting in a previous thread about a similar topic that a situation like this should have the child in the bathroom changing and cleaning themselves completely (although i'd check to make sure they don't come back dirty) and to have a fun activity going on with the rest of the group during the time they're are figuring our their own mess, so they miss out on the cool activity.

  3. #3
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    If you/parents are cleaning him up afterwards, there's no incentive for him not to poop in his pants. He's clued in that the younger children don't have the inconvenience to stopping their play to go to the toilet and just soil themselves and therefore, he's up for that. It's way better than missing out.

    So while using the toilet is less convenient than soiling himself, you have to make it so soiling himself is the biggest inconvenience of all.

    He needs to retrieve his fresh clothing from his bag. He needs to undress himself. He needs to get cleaned up (with you help as is age appropriate). He needs to put his soiled clothes in whatever he's taking them home in. He needs to get his fresh clothes on, wash his hands etc before being able to rejoin the activities. You and parents need to limit the assistance you give with this to just what is necessary to ensure you don't have poop falling from his soiled clothes all over your house. Don't hold open his fresh underwear/pants for him to step into.

    No negative comments but you do need to have the conversation that going to the washroom is quickly than all the malarkey of cleaning up an accident. Make sure that the activity going on while he's getting cleaned up is something he would love to be participating in. He has to understand that the only reason he's not playing at the moment, is because he's soiled himself and so until that's sorted out, he isn't available to play. And it's his consequence - not yours, to freshen up. If he was fully toilet trained and if there hasn't been a major event at home (new sibling, parent working away) then it's fully a choice he is making and we all have consequences to our choices.

    Having Mom and Dad on board and taking the same approach will shorten the time it takes him to grasp the lesson. But if Mom and Dad and going to do all the clean up, which is faster than the child doing it and no effect on his part, the entire process of making an accident inconvenient will fail. It requires a consistent but kind approach.

  4. #4
    I’m coming back to ask for more advice. I’ve been using the suggestion that Suzie gave & it still is not working. After he realized I wasn’t going to clean it up for him like I do with the diapered DCK, he stopped pooping here entirely & saved it for home & let it out for his parents. His mom told me she thinks he’s doing it for attention at home, I told her why I think he’s doing it here. So far it seems like we are both on the same page about this issue.

    Today he pooped 4 times, none of those 4 times were fully in the toilet as it should be. He did once in the morning & this one I don’t even really count as a success because I noticed he was trying to poop where he was siting & I reminded him where he’s supposed to go if he has to poop. He just barely made it to the toilet & as the poop was coming out while he was pulling his pants down he got some on his underwear. This afternoon he pooped 3 times. The first time this afternoon he went in his pants, did the method Suzie recommended. Then afterwards he came back to play & went AGAIN in his pants. Again, I did the same thing Suzie recommended. The third time this afternoon was the same occurrence as this morning, just barely made it & I had to catch him trying to go in his pants again. The very last time he was telling me that he already knew what he was supposed to do “I know, I get the underwear in the bag & put it over there”. He was explaining to me the exact steps as he was doing them & didn’t seem to mind AT ALL, like it wasn’t an inconvenience for him at all. The very last accident the only thing that seemed to maybe get through to him was when he asked where the underwear was in his bag & I told him he has no more, he used up all his extras & they were now dirty.

    Today I would say I spent about 30 minutes in total on poop duty & that’s not even me doing the usual gathering of poopy clothes, cleaning, getting new ones, etc. (I did none of this, as Suzie suggested it would get through to him that it’s more of an inconvenience for him). I don’t know what to do anymore & this is so unsanitary. Today for his last accident another parent was picking up & I couldn’t even be engaged in our usual pick up interaction because I was secretly standing in the distance watching him making sure he was doing what he was supposed to. This DCP left without much of a conversation. Like I mentioned before, I don’t think putting a diaper on him would help in the long run. Yes, it would make my life easier but from what I’ve seen with this DCB so far, he would love being in a diaper & potty-training would have to begin all over again once he gets into one. At this point, I feel like a diaper is the best option & I really don’t want to do that.
    Last edited by wpgmomma0412; 04-29-2019 at 08:59 PM.

  5. #5
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    It's a process. And while having 4 accidents in one day takes time, he's had a whole three years of being cleaned up. Three years of habit to break is going to take time and consistency for him to believe that you aren't ever going to be stepping in and cleaning him up. This is his responsibility now going forward, for ever.

    The fact he opted to not poop in day care and wait until he's home, should show you that he has full and total control over his bowel movements. Sure, this day he went 4 times but to be honest, he can only hold it so long!

    So what if another parent showed up during the last incident of the day? You were busy dealing with a child in the toilet which is higher priority than an adult hoping for a usual interaction with another adult. I'm sure that parent would prefer your focus to be on the child during business hours which means sometimes, the adults have to be adults and understand your priorities.

    At the moment, this is a power struggle. He knows you can't stop him pooping in his underwear. You know he has full control and he's just choosing not to use the bathroom and soil himself because he's not entirely convinced you won't clean him up as you would a diapered child.

    Be consistent and keep going. I've not lost a battle of will with a three year old yet. If you don't keep going, it's just geography in the sense you'll be going through it all from the beginning again, in 6 months time or in the future. It's going to be just as unsanitary then.

    Don't put a diaper on him. That's the adults making the decision that it's too inconvenient for them to follow through with teaching him something. Keep going.

    And since he clearly knows what he needs to do and was talking you though the steps, stop interacting with him so much during the process because you are rewarding the accident with your full attention. Once he's cleaned himself up to the point you don't need to supervise for hygiene reasons, walk away and leave him to redress himself.

    Focus on everyone but him as much as possible during the clean up. He's meant to be missing out. It's meant to be inconvenient. He isn't meant to have your full attention for the duration.
    Last edited by Suzie_Homemaker; 05-04-2019 at 01:53 PM.

  6. #6
    4 months later it’s still happening. I’m really just so exhausted from cleaning up poop in places it shouldn’t be, & it’s been continuing with no end in sight. I think yesterday was the final straw for me. He had gone in his pants twice yesterday; the first time I was cleaning up a blowout from a diapered 1 year old at our changing place & when I returned to him he proudly told me he had gone in his pants & had a look of pride in his face when he told me. When he was in the washroom dealing with the aftermath himself, I had gone to inspect the spots of the room I knew he was playing at & there was poop also on my carpet. I had to devote about 15 minutes to clean that up immediately & the kids couldn’t use that spot until it was cleaned & dry (it’s a favourite spot among the kids). Also, at the end of the day after everyone was gone I had set out to clean my washroom as I usually do at the end of everyday & noticed a big ball of poop stuck to the top of my toilet lid, & right above this ball of poop there was a large poop smear with finger marks that looked like somebody had wiped their poppy fingers across the entire toilet lid.

    I’ve been using this suggestion that was given by Suzie & it seemed to work & then he was back at it & even asked me if I could put a diaper on him because he “like to poop in my pants”. Then again yesterday afternoon he had gone in his pants again during a parent picking up another child because my attention wasn’t fully devoted to him (I was still of course watching all of my children, was just letting the parent know how their child’s day went). Still been going on at home too, & mom has told me that the other day at his moms doctor appointment he had gone in his pants because her attention wasn’t on him. Also, at a family gathering he had gone in his pants for his mom too because her attention also wasn’t fully on him at that moment.

    I think I now have to ask for diapers when he returns next week on Monday. I am fully aware that this is going to cause him to regress, but at this point I am beyond exhausted & tired of dealing with this the last 4 months. It’s either diapers or I have to give notice. It is now starting to affect the cleanliness & hygiene of the other children’s spaces as well.
    Last edited by wpgmomma0412; 06-14-2019 at 07:36 AM.

  7. #7
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    Four months and no progress means either he's in a diaper at home or parents aren't being consistent and are just cleaning him up.

    For me, that's the time I terminate. I've never terminated a child but I have terminated parents who intentionally are sabotaging their child and my efforts. They began this toilet training and we not invested in it. The moment it became inconvenient to the adults they quit on it.

    I bet you that child is in diapers at home.

  8. #8
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    I would suspect home is not doing their part to curb this attention grtting behavior.

    If you truly feel it is done on purpose and not due to some medical condition I would either terminate or as a last ditch attempt make it not fun for him. While I wouldnt do this for the average child struggling with toileting it might work to treat him like a baby. Tell him until he can use the bathroom like a big boy he does not get to play with big kid toys, eat big kid food and he needs to live his day like the babies do.

    Put him back in diapers and tell him until he is using the toilet to pee and poop he just doesnt get the luxuries of being a big kid anymore. Use this time to do a lot of cool activities with toys with little parts and lots of fun art projects that he has to sit and watch while playing with baby toys.

  9. #9
    Thank you both for your advice. I think I am going to try the baby method to see how this goes. It could work (not wishful thinking I hope) because this particular boy only wants to enjoy the beneficial parts of acting like a baby but doesn’t want to fully know what it’s like to be a baby. He can sit in the baby seats during meal & snack times, he can sit in the baby spot in the wagon on our walks, instead of the big boy swings at the park he will sit in the baby swings, I also have some puréed food in my pantry for my infant nephew when he visits & he’ll get that for snack time.

    I don’t suspect he is in diapers at home, although I am pretty sure that they just clean him up & get upset with him instead of letting him clean himself. They’re a pretty busy on-the-go family & to be honest I often feel bad for him because he just wants to sit back & relax & enjoy his mom & dad but his mom is always filling her free time with personal plans (literally everyday when she picks up she tells me about her own evening plans away from her family), & his dad works A LOT. So I can see why he’s doing it. I really don’t want to let this family go, they’re really a great family to work with & mom & dad are fully supportive & respectful of how I run my daycare.

    This babying method is going to be my last effort before I just ask for diapers from now on.

    Edited to add: I tried the babying method during lunch time today & he sat in one of the baby seats & he asked me why I was putting him in there, I then very briefly told him why. Then for our lunch discussion we talked about the differences between babies & big kids, they all loved this discussion today it was a real hit topic for them, lol. Then after he finished his lunch I sent him on his way to use the potty as he usually does before nap time. Then he calls me down to tell me he pooped. As I was wiping him (ironically there were no traces of poop on his underwear today), he asked me flat out if he has to sleep in the baby bed too, or if he can start being a big boy again because he doesn’t like being a baby anymore. This is how articulate & intelligent this little boy is, he is very intelligent for his young self & that’s part of why this is all so frustrating because it’s like seeing’s MUCH older child poop their pants & not care about it.

    Hopefully this keeps working, although I’m remaining optimistic because I got my hopes up last time.
    Last edited by wpgmomma0412; 06-14-2019 at 12:15 PM.

  10. #10
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    I think it's a bit complex. Obviously he was trained when he wasn't in your care. It seems the last caregiver had a different method.

    I usually do observations to figure out things.

    1. Is he independent in the washroom or needs assistance.
    2. Is he successfull in a potty or able to use the toiled and can he reach it or needs help.
    3. Type of clothing
    4. Diet
    5. Can he go on his own or needs to tell? Maybe he is just lazy to tell. I have independent kids so they go on their own even toddlers. Each has their own potty (so no fights or misunderstandings there)
    6. Do you carry a potty when you go outdoors.

    The more friendly you do it, will reinforce a behaviour of doing it where it should be.

    During my 9bsrvations I figure out that actually they do behave differently at daycare and home. Ask them in details. How he used to go to the bathroom clothing, with assistance or not etc. Reminders etc.

    That could help you figure out what is going with this kid.

    Good luck

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