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Part III - Poop in a Car (From that Four-Part Poop Series!)

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

I may have mentioned this earlier, but we seriously just took a FOUR DAY trip to Charleston, West Virginia, on which my little love had ZERO accidents (okay, okay, except for two TINY leaks at night). But seriously... what a huge accomplishment, especially at just 17 months and after only two weeks of potty training. I am so unbelievably proud of him but I also have to acknowledge the brilliance of the Oh Crap! Potty training method we have been using.

I have spoken to so many parents as they ask about how David has been doing with potty training and nearly every one of them somehow assumes he doesn't yet poop in his potty. They will often say things like "well, poop is the hardest you know." Or "poop always comes after pee. Most kids don't get the pooping thing until well into potty training." This whole idea (along with only day-training) is somewhat mind-boggling to me. Your kid isn't potty trained if they can't poop in the potty. When I dig in a bit further, I am even more amazed at how so many people are lacking the proper potty training tools in order for their child to be successful. One of my biggest indicators of progress toward our big potty training goal of self-initiated, accident free bathroom habits was that David has been able to both poop and pee in a wide variety of places AFTER holding it for a (rather short) period of time until we can get to his potty. In this post, I want to talk about training for poop from the beginning, pooping pretty much anywhere, and what to do when your child won't poo!

1. Train for Poop from the Very Beginning

So, you have started your potty training journey. It is so exciting and wonderful and man, your kid is going to grow up so fast (HELP!!!!)! But seriously... get them started from the very beginning. Here are a few things we did that helped us seamlessly train my son to both pee and poop on his potty:

  • Pre-Potty Training Poop Chats and Songs...

Before my son was even potty training, I would always marvel when he had a poopy. We would even sing a song as I was wiping the poop out of his diapers (Sang to "Shapoopy" from the Music Man (Yep... I've always been somewhat fascinated with poop...)):

Ahhhhhh - poopy, Ah poopy, Ah Poopy,

David Michael Pooped Today.

Ahhhhhh - poopy, Ah poopy, Ah poopy,

David Michael Pooped Today.

He PUSHED it out, He SQUATTED and he said...


Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh- poopy, Ah poopy, Ah Poopy,

David Michael Pooped Today.

I definitely think that by singing about poop even before we began potty training, he was able to differentiate between pee and poop!

  • Father-Son Bathroom Visits

This one is super self-explanatory... BUT, since I NEVER poop, my husband would take my son into the bathroom with him while he pooped. I think this was incredibly helpful. We even set up David's potty chair right next to the toilet so he could try to poop right alongside of Daddy!

  • Poop Awe

Simply put... let your child MARVEL at their poop. Join in on the awe as they examine every little detail of their own poop.

2. Pooping Basically Anywhere

Once you get some traction on this whole potty training thing, it is time to test it out! And as with anything, the proper tools are absolutely essential to achieving success.

I was recently talking with a friend who was so surprised that we took a travel potty chair in the car with us for our road trip. I asked her how she handled pees when they were in the car and she said they would just stop at gas stations. I was just amazed! And while that is incredible for her little one, mine definitely can't hold it long enough (yet!) to wait for us to find a gas station, get unstrapped from that car seat, go in, stand in line, etc.

So... we would just pull over on the side of the road whenever he had to go. We would set the travel potty on the seat next to his carseat (with a potty bag inside) and he would sit there and try to go. I did help him a bit to get a few poops out by grunting with him and lifting his knees closer to his chest. But this was a great way to ensure that our car trips were accident-free! And honestly, he hasn't had a single accident in that car seat, but part of that is that we are 100% willing to stop whenever he lets us know it's time.

To sum things up here, to poop anywhere, you want to make sure you have a travel potty, a plastic bag, and some wipes. Oh, and puppy pads for the carseat... just in case! Pooping in the car? No biggie! Pooping on a trail? Got it! Pooping in the backyard? Yep... that just happened today!

3. What to Do Without a Poo

If you don't have a poo yet, do not fret! I'm sure it's on it's way! Just keep an eye out for any of the signals below and get ready! As soon as you sense a hot drop is on it's way, get that child to the potty. And don't be afraid to make them wait for a bit. Our son used to do this thing where he would make a pee and then get up right away... AND THEN he would poop on the floor... It was soooo frustrating. So now, we ask him to wait just a few extra seconds on the potty to make good and sure he is for real done.

Here are a few ways to tell a lovely dropling is headed your way:

  • Squatting without playing with a toy

  • Hiding in a corner

  • Red face

  • Look of consternation

  • Look of straining or frustration

  • Tippy toes (for real!)

Or if your child is like mine, he will run full-force at you, arms outstretched, calling "MOMMMMEEEEE!" and let 'em rip... Or fly across the room...

Whatever your child's poop status is at the moment, stay positive, work with them, and remember that a poop is always on it's way (it just might take a bit for it to come out)!

Thanks for reading and Happy Potty Training!

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