Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Son Won't Use Potty

Pediatrics Expert Advice from Henry Bernstein, M.D.

Q: My 2-1/2-year-old son is potty training quite well, but has a problem having a bowel movement in the toilet. He will gladly go outside standing up, but will not sit on the toilet and go. I have tried reading books to him while he sits on the potty chair so that he will relax and go. Do you have any suggestions?

A: It sounds as if your son is right on target -- well within the normal range for toileting. He seems to be making excellent progress, so I wouldn't push him. When he is good and ready he will have his bowel movements on the toilet. I suspect he may be asking to be changed frequently after going outside, but I wouldn't necessarily drop everything. Tell him you'll change him as soon as you can. The sensation of a dirty load may help to reinforce independent toileting.

Making it a pleasant experience will help, but try to be patient. He may have some fears about the potty and the sensation of passing the BM out. Books on toileting are available in the library for you and specifically for him. Talking about it in a positive light and proper role-modeling from adults may make all the difference. Be sure to encourage and praise him repeatedly. Give him rewards for success and never punish or reprimand. Let him feel like he's in control and this part of toileting will be mastered sooner rather than later.

More on: Expert Advice

Henry Bernstein, M.D., is currently the associate chief of the Division of General Pediatrics and director of Primary Care at Children's Hospital, Boston. He also has an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!