Potty Training Tips for Bowel Movement Resistance

Your child may feel comfortable peeing in the potty, but may ask for a diaper when it's time for a bowel movement. This is completely normal, according to AskDrSears.com, and it happens in about 20 percent of children 2. Some children struggle with realizing when they need to have a movement, while others become attached to the new thing they produce. Rather than getting angry with your child, relax and realize that this is all part of the journey.

Following Your Child

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's best to wait until your child is ready to have a bowel movement on the toilet, following his lead. If you're getting frustrated by repeatedly washing dirty underpants, consider buying training pants for his bowel movements. Encourage him to ask you for one only when he needs it and don't shame him for not being ready to use the toilet yet. Eventually, he will feel comfortable enough to try.

Sitting Down

Children sometimes have a favorite position for bowel movements. Some will squat under the table, while others might hide behind a door. When she tries to have a movement sitting down -- as she would on a toilet, it's uncomfortable and a strange sensation. Encourage your child to make the transition by having her bowel movements in a sitting position, even if she's still wearing a diaper or not sitting on the potty. If she feels comfortable enough with the idea, you could have her wear a diaper with a hole cut out and have her movement on the toilet. The feces will drop in the toilet, but she'll still have the familiar feeling of her diaper.


Offering your child a "big" reward for this big step can encourage him to use the toilet for his bowel movements. Purchase a coveted toy that he can have once he makes it happen, and put the item in a place where he can see it. Decide whether he gets the reward after going just one time, or if he has to have his bowel movements in the toilet for a certain amount of time, such as a week.

Keeping Her Regular

Constipation is a big problem in children who resist having bowel movements on the toilet, especially if you discourage them from using diapers. Give her plenty of fluids throughout the day and make sure that she's eating a lot of fruit, vegetables and other foods with fiber. It can be normal for a child to go two or three days without having a bowel movement, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, but if this is abnormal for your child, it's more of a concern. Talk to her doctor if you suspect a problem. Your doctor may suggest medication or an enema to get things moving, then you can resume dietary measures.