The day we huddled around the potty

Before I became a mom, no one ever told me horror stories of breastfeeding woes, the night wakings, how much shi* a baby so small can produce amongst the things that I have since discovered after I became a mom. All I ever heard was how much joy babies bring and the difference they make in your lives.

No doubt, we’ve had our fair share of the ups and downs for the past two years. And now that Sophie is a toddler, I would have thought that things would get a lot easier. Well it has, all except one area in her life…when it’s time to poo.

It’s one topic that I talked about, blogged about , tweeted and asked for help, advise, suggestions on facebook and the various parenting forums about. And yes asked the PD about for a long long time. To be precise, since May this year when Sopie began to develop a fear of pooing after her episode with constipation.

Just yesterday, Alexis and I were huddled around the potty with Sophie trying to get her to poo at 3am, 5am and 7:30am. That’s in addition to the night before when she also needed to go at 9plus. It’s definitely not constipation we’re dealing with, but a flat out refusal to poo.

We thought that converting her sit down potty into a step up adult potty would make her feel like a big girl and hence do the deed without fussing. We were wrong, so very wrong.

Isn’t this the coolest potty or what?

We had to use every trick in the book just to get her butt down on the potty. From praises to threats of going to the doctor where he’s going to give her an mean jab on her butt. Stickers to promises of new toys but they all fell on deaf ears as she fought to keep her poo in with her mermaid stance.

It’s the stance where her feet are placed side to side with her butt cheeks all clamped up and a mosquito cant even fly through. Alexis tried it himself and he can tell you, it’s super effective if you ever find yourself about to lose it. No shittin man.

Anyway she finally did it after we succeed in peeling her legs apart. Even my mom who was around was shocked at how much strength this little girl had in her when she was fighting to keep her poo in.

I hope I know a better way to deal with this whole pooping problem. Frankly it terrorizes me as much as it terrorizes Sophie. Well at least after yesterday’s episode, I know that she’s the 吃软不吃硬sort. 

So here’s another call out to moms who’s had success with their toddlers who have overcame their fear of pooing. And if you do need some help with a constipated baby/ toddler, you can read more about what we’ve tried.


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  1. Corsage @ A Dollop Of Me October 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm Reply

    Hey we have that same potty! It is left at my parents’ place though, we use another one at home. The Bub went through a stage where she refused to let anyone know she’s pooed/is pooing. She wouldn’t let anyone near her. I decided then to completely not mention the potty or make a fuss about anything poo/pee related. Even when I changed her diaper, I often talked about other things. After about 1-2 weeks, I think she relaxed about it (didn’t feel like she needed to achieve something). Now we’re still pretty easy and let her take the lead because she gets really mad with herself when she’s unable to pee/poo in the potty because she got there too late (did it in a diaper). I need to find a week to take off work to perhaps put her in training pants to do a proper training perhaps!

    • Susan October 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm Reply

      Actually the potty training may have caused some fear in her as well. So we have not done a proper toilet training although we did attempt it some months back.
      But one thing I’m getting from all moms, is to be more relaxed about it and hopefully she’ll be less anxious.

  2. San October 17, 2011 at 9:42 am Reply

    When I was “trying” to potty train (and by trying I meant the occasional reminder to use the potty which he usually ignores), I was pretty resigned to the fact that I would leave his potty training in the good hands… of his school teachers. 😛 Peer pressure does work I guess, seeing the older students in the school go diaperless, it gave him extra motivation to lose the diaper fast! (Plus the fact his di-di is diapered was the additional push I guess. LOL!)

    • Susan October 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm Reply

      Sophie has a “poo poo specialist” in her school too. It’s the only teacher that has a way with her when it comes to poo poo time that even I cant beat her at that.
      The teacher mentioned that she likes her tummy to be rubbed. But I tried it and yielded no results. So every week, I hope that she does all her big business in school so that it will not be a tearful affair at home.

  3. June October 17, 2011 at 4:38 pm Reply

    Oh dear, these are stressful times. 🙁 With regard to potty training, I think we were quite relaxed. Vera was good at first, pooing in the potty almost every morning after her milk. Then when she started school, things regressed in that department, so we just left it for a while. Finally, when she reached about 2 and a half, she decided altogether one fine day to say bye to her diapers, and hello to underwear. And she’s been pretty good since. Maybe try letting her be for a while, and see what happens?

    • Susan October 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm Reply

      Yeah I intend to do so and see how it goes.

  4. Jus October 17, 2011 at 4:42 pm Reply

    Oh dear, I can totally relate since we’ve previously had instances where we’ll spend the entire night making repeated trips to the potty and the boy absolutely couldn’t go. And for him, it was the same problem, psychological rather than diet etc (I remember you shared about the fruits etc so I assume that its not the stuff she’s eating or not eating!). He would resist the urge when it came, then the poop got hard, it got painful to poop and it became a vicious cycle! So aside from loads of fruits/veggies and water, we found that these were helpful:

    1. Letting him go in his potty on the floor at his own time, so that he won’t be stressed about people hovering and asking if there’s poop. Sitting on the potty on the floor also allows his legs to have enough “traction” to push, unlike a toilet seat where their legs tend to dangle, but I think your convertible also works…

    2. Telling him “stories” about how his favourite storybook characters poop everyday, and how that helps because the poop doesn’t get stuck! (Err, we were desperate, but that really helped overcome his inclination to hold it in, since his story friends apparently didn’t!) We found threats didn’t help as it made him more scared to try, but we’d try to praise and tell him that once the poop comes out he could eat more, and sometimes give a treat or two. :p

    3. Sticker reward chart to show him his progress.

    4. Initially, lactulose to help to soften stools to aid the process.

    5. A friend introduced us to this probiotics powder, available at this health shop in Harbourfront… seems to work for both her kid and ours, as since starting the powder, the kids seem to be able to poop everyday or at least every other day! If you’re interested I can get the details of the shop for you…

    Hang in there! The journey is tough, but I’m sure you’ll guide her through it… Hugs!

  5. Susan October 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm Reply

    Thanks for the encouragement and advise Jus. You’re right, this journey has been so tough. But then it must be hard on poor Sophie too.
    I’ll try some of the things you mentioned like telling her how her friends need to go too. It does seems she reacts better when we empathize and show her that we understand how painful it can be for her. *hugs hugs*

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