Wednesday 18 September 2019

Dear David Coleman: My son did a poo in the bath and it seems to have disrupted him

Photo: Thinkstock
Photo: Thinkstock
David Coleman

David Coleman

Q My son is 30 months old and just before the summer he accidentally had a poo in the bath and keeps on talking about it.

Q: I was calm and matter-of-fact so there was no big deal. Since then he is very reluctant to get into the bath and also seems to have changed his pooing habits. We previously tried potty training him twice, but he's refused to sit on the potty or toilet. So, how should I get him over this issue and approach potty training in the future?

David replies: Your son is still quite young to have had a couple of goes at toilet training. Some boys will train early, but many have more success when they are closer (or even past) three years of age. So, perhaps your focus is best placed on continuing to normalise the accident in the bath, and getting him to be more relaxed in the water again.

Simply talking about it and how it was a funny thing, that may even have felt funny or strange to him, may help him to connect to what the experience actually was like. You can also add in lots of reassurances that it wasn't a problem then, and isn't a problem now. Letting him play in the bath, with just an inch or two of water may also help him get used to the environment again.

Then with toilet-training, just maintaining the same calm matter-of-fact demeanour, along with a nice, structured, reward-based programme should do the trick.

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