Hi everyone i have a dilemma. My four year old girl has no problem going toilet for wees but constantly does poos in her nickers. I am not sure but i think it’s on purpose as when asked why she does a silly face when saying she doesn’t know and when i say it’s yuk and that she needs to use the toilet she thinks it’s funny. Thing is she has in the past done poos on the toilet. I have even said she will get a lolly every time she does poos on the toilet (she loves lollies) but it hasn’t worked. When does it become naughty behaviour that should be punished for? Is my 4 year old pooing her pants on purpose?

Posted by Laura 27.12.2012


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  • Never never ever punish for toilet training ever it will cause more problems long term from what I have seen with my kids and my friends its not unusual for kids to do this at that age silver chain nurses or your child health nurse can give you some insight



  • maybe if she doesn’t stop put a nappy on her. She may hate that and want to be a big girl once more.



  • As a thought you could try and praise for being ‘such a big girl now…’, I know my kids loved being seen as grown up and not a baby any more.



  • We had a similar experience, Lindi. Our son was going to the toilet fine and then one day all of a sudden started dirtying his nappies again (he was poo trained but not yet wee trained). We introduced a sticker chart with prizes but that didn’t work until we discovered he’d stopping using the toilet because someone had joked they’d flush his head down the toilet! A few weeks later and we’re back on track.



  • Positive reinforcement is always the way to go. I agree with what others have said about not getting into a power struggle as these gorgeous little beings have a way of winning every time, haha!! If she does do a poo in her pants I would change quickly and with limited conversation so she is not getting the attention she wants unless it’s for making it to the toilet. Good luck.



  • Don’t punish her!!! One of my older children was frightened of falling in the loo.there may be a reason…if she gives out clues as to why, that’s a bonus to solving the problem if she confides.don’t pressure her,just encourage.sometimes you can guess when they need to go.I say to the youngest I’m training now does he need to poo:toilet quick and it’s worked.other times little people get so caught up in play and the like they put body functioning to the back of the mind I’m sure lol.just encourage smile and hug when it happens.we all have issues like it.good luck.



  • My 3yr old did that last year. I found it to be if he was a big boy, I expected more from him (although we also did move the same time he went backwards) For a couple of months, but at daycare, other ppls places, shops etc he was fine only at home so I stayed at friends, parents places for basically 2-3weeks only one or 2days at home and I still maintained undies even though he would poop himself at home I jst kept persisting and then one day he was fine and we did a prize thing from then.



  • I agree with Claire about not punishing her-it could end up in a power play situation. Instead, maybe make a star chart- she gets a sticker every time she has a toilet success and after a certain amount of stars, she gets a special reward, like a trip to the park, or something else she likes to do. Maybe even have a “bigger reward” for a larger number of stickers. Good luck!



  • I wouldn’t punish her, as Claire stated, sometimes they can regress, but with some positive words/rewards she should be ok. Is she complaining of pain at all? Have there been any changes in the family or events that May make her think this is a way of getting your attention?



  • *reward and/or praise, doesn’t have to be physical reward.



  • I don’t think she should be punished as she is still very young. From what I have heard and experienced, children often regress temporarily with toilet training. Reward good behavior and ignore bad behavior! Talk to her about it, but don’t punish her. Good luck!


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