Potty training. Your child has almost mastered it and you're feeling good. There is one hitch - Your child is still asking for a diaper to go poopy. Why? Well, its not really simple... but it is VERY common. Going poopy in the potty is just a bigger deal to kids. Let's look at some reasons:
- Sometimes it hurts to go poopy. Plain and simple. Lots of kids experience this and then it turns into a cycle of holding it in, constipation, Miralax explosions, etc. Not fun for anyone but especially not for your child. The solution isn't always cut and dry. Typically, your pediatrician needs to be involved and you need to have lots and lots of patience.
- It takes time to go poopy. Time that your busy child doesn't think he has. He's too busy with fun stuff and doesn't feel the need to stop and sit for awhile. It can be helpful to put some fun into the bathroom. Books, handheld games or puzzles and a comfy seat can all help your child "buy in" to the idea of stopping and going poopy.
- Sometimes there are questions. Where exactly does the poopy go after you flush? Is the poopy part of my body? Is part of my body falling off? It is typical for a child to wonder these exact things and explaining them in detail can be helpful. Draw pictures, look it up online and discuss. You will be surprised at how interesting your child finds it.
- Diapers are comfortable and known. Your child is used to them. Going under a table with his diaper on is how he's been going poopy for awhile now. Why change a good thing? Especially if diapers are still available? This is a tricky one because withholding diapers can also mean starting a cycle of constipation. That being said, when diapers are no longer available, there are only a few other choices, the most desirable being that your child goes in the potty.
- Not everyone wants to be a "big boy". Seriously, parents throw it out there like its a great deal. Your child may disagree if it means stepping out of his comfort zone. Can you blame him? It's sort of like when your boss gives you a "promotion" with no extra pay.
Remember, using the potty is one of the only things your child has control of and some kids take that very seriously. Some serious standoffs have occurred over going poopy in the potty! Keep encouraging and try not to cave if your child backtracks (in other words, stick to your guns but in a gentle, empathetic way). For those of us who have been potty trained for 30+ years, it seems like a no-brainer but to a 2 or 3 year old, it is a BIG deal. Try to see it from his point of view, while also leading him to the ultimate goal.