My two year old has started potty training and is pretty good about going pee on the toilet but really struggles when it comes to going poop. She will hold it in and lay on the ground holding her stomach but when you ask her if she has to go she will always yell No. We've tried candy, presents, everything but nothing motivates her. She's never had a painful experience that we are aware of.

How do we get her over the fear of going poop on the toilet?

  • If it's any consolation, we endured the same thing for 6 months and suddenly it was over. We still don't know what did the trick... I did try to keep her on the potty for a very long time right around due time by giving her macadamia nuts as long as she remained seated. That may have helped a little.
    – w00t
    Aug 6, 2012 at 20:55

3 Answers 3


She might not be ready to potty train at just 2 years of age. According to WebMD:

A child is considered toilet-trained when he or she knows that it is time to go to the bathroom and is able to climb onto and use the toilet with little help. In a study of children who started training between 22 and 30 months of age, boys were fully trained at an average age of 38 months, while girls were trained slightly earlier, around 36 months.

Having said that, my parents claim that my brother and myself were potty trained by the age of 2, and blame the comfort of current diapers as the cause. If we drank orange juice, it caused us huge rashes, and so we wanted to get out of diapers as soon as possible to avoid this rash. Current diapers, however, are so absorbent that the orange juice trick won't work.

Our son had to be ready to potty train. Until he was ready, any and all of our attempts just met with frustration; now, he just runs to the toilet yelling how much he needs to go, and does it himself. He's also very angry if we try to put a diaper on him at night, since "diapers are for babies." He's 3.5 years old now, and that last bit has only happened in the last three months or so. He started going to the toilet on his own at around 2.75 years, but not for pooping-- that came later (really, right around the time he didn't want to have a diaper at night).

Good luck.

  • My old child health record book states that I was toilet trained with about 18 months. Being completely trained between the age of 1 and 2 seems to have been the norm back then. Therefore I have doubts on the wait until the child is ready approach - you don't know if a child is ready, if you don't try it. Just remember not to put pressure on her; if she isn't ready yet, she isn't ready yet.
    – Treb
    Aug 7, 2012 at 11:41
  • @Treb-- it seems that you and I are anecdotally faster than the average. I've talked to a number of physicians about this, and they say that so long as the kid is using the toilet by the age of 5, they are considered 'normal.' So maybe we're just one side of the average of 22-30 months. Also, note that there's a distinction between 'used a potty for the first time' (which our son did around 18 months) and 'uses it on their own with no prompting and doesn't wet the bed' (takes a bit longer).
    – mmr
    Aug 7, 2012 at 13:28
  • That consideration is for today, I think that back in the 60th or 70th (yes, I am that old ;-) 5 would have been considered quite late. Most people were still using cloth diapers, so there was a strong incentive to get children toilet trained very early.
    – Treb
    Aug 7, 2012 at 14:57

I've heard of a trick that worked with a certain kid years ago, but this kid avoided pooping because of a painful experience. Nevertheless, I'll describe it. The kid went to pee on the potty, but the parents also inserted fake rubber poop. Then there was a whole ritual of "wow, you pooped! look! that's great!" After that, the kid didn't refuse to try any more. Maybe some variation on this theme would work for your kid.


You don't want to create a situation where a child is afraid to go on the potty, and the more pressure you put on the worse it will get. I'd back off potty training for now for 6 weeks or so and let your child calm down. If you are determined to continue then my advice would be to stop putting pressure on your child when it comes to pooing, in fact don't mention it at all, just reward if it does happen.

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