I have a 3 1/2 year-old son who poops on the floor. He knows when he needs to go because he hides and poops on the floor. He will not poop in the potty. I bought him a child potty to poop in and he won’t use it either. I thought maybe he was scared of the splashing. Today at preschool he pooped on the ground outside in the play yard. I will try anything at this point to get him to go in the potty. How do I get my son to poop in the potty and not on the floor?

  • He's maybe embarrassed of something. Try putting the potty where he hides. If he still doesn't use it then he's doing it on purpose. (be sure that the potty is a good fit) Feb 2 '19 at 8:21
  • At that age, they will do what they want. The good news is he's not going in his pants and the phase will end soon.
    – pojo-guy
    Feb 2 '19 at 10:32
  • my daughter loved getting M&M's when she went on the toilet. Basically potty trained herself by 2.5 lol. Only worked for my first kid - she loves eating.
    – Adam Heeg
    Feb 3 '19 at 1:33
  • Teach him other ways to embarass you.
    – Giu Piete
    Mar 11 '19 at 18:11

It depends.

We had a similar issue with our 4 year old kid. For some time he was not capable of knowing he had to poop before he actually did. So no change.

Then something changed. I mostly behaved like before but not in every point. For example he caused intentionally a mess if we did something he did not want and got angry. It took us some time to notice that he did that mess intentionally.

And what should we do? He noticed that we got angry and that was exactly what he wanted ... But not getting angry also sends the wrong signal. We told him what we will do next time. And then we did it:

So what did we do? He made the mess, he had to clean it up. Yes, this was of cause also a mess. He shouted, then cried. Then cleaned it up 2 times and never did it again.

Of cause this might not work with every kid. And this is only a possible way if he knows that he need to poop before it comes.

Good luck :)


We used bribery, our daughter got a stupidly small gift* wrapped up each time she used her potty.

All of these gifts were on show in the front room in a basket, she got to choose one every time she was a big clever girl.

  • I am talking a hair slide wrapped in bright paper, she got a magnetic doll and each item of clothes was wrapped up individually. etc

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