Poo Phobia - Toddler Scared to Poop

When your little one is potty training for the first time, it’s not uncommon for them to experience poo anxiety.

What is poo anxiety?

Being nervous about going for a poo is a common issue amongst children, especially when it’s their first time going in the potty. Some of the reasons your little one might be apprehensive of going for a poo may include:

  • They’re scared of the feeling that it will hurt them
  • They’re scared of the splashback
  • They’re scared of the noise

These can all be daunting thoughts when your little one is potty training for the first time whilst still dealing with the change from nappy to the toilet.

With such a large milestone like using the toilet for the first time, children are bound to have an apprehensive attitude towards using the potty. It’s important that they understand the importance of leaving nappies behind and embarking on the road to becoming a Big Kid.

Poo Withholding

In some cases of poo anxiety, children will hold in their poo for as long as possible to prevent going to the toilet. We know you want the best for your child, and seeing them frightened of an overwhelming change in their day to day routine can be hard, yet holding in their poo may cause constipation or other health issues.

Thankfully though, there are some easy ways you can help:

1. Talk to them

The best way you can understand and get to the root of your child’s poo anxiety is sitting down and understanding them. Explaining that their poo will not hurt them or be as scary as they may think.

2. Make potty training more comfortable

If your child is at the age where they can’t fully explain their emotions, try and make potty time within a safe and relaxing environment. Perhaps read a book with them or watch their favourite show whilst sitting on the potty to get them familiar with their new potty.

3. Explain what it means to be a Big Kid

Have a conversation with your little one about the fun and excitement of becoming a Big Kid. Not only do Big Kids use the potty, but they’re also brave by going to the toilet when they need to. Empathise with them and tell them that you know it can be a scary change, but it’s one of the steps to becoming a Big Kid. If you’re feeling anxious yourself, they will do too, so try to be as calm and consistent as possible.