How to Stop Your Toddler from Pooping at Nap Time
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Potty training methods make it sound so easy.
“Just do this, this, and this, and your kid will be potty trained.”
I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are definitely methods that work and I’m a huge rule-follower so they appeal to me.
Plus, I like guides when I’m trying something completely new.
The whole “rely on your parenting intuition” gives me anxiety. I know I have it, but sometimes I’m tired and my brain is foggy so my intuition isn’t always accurate.
Anyway, I wrote about how to get into the right frame of mind to potty train in this post –> How to Mentally Prepare for Potty Training.
We got past the hard part. Jack was very competent at getting himself to the toilet when he needed to go and he was fine with pooping and peeing.
Except he was never still long enough during the day to stop and actually go poop.
It meant that he saved it for nap time which resulted in him not falling asleep and me always having to change a dirty diaper.
Potty training during naps was something that seemed overwhelming to me.
I was so frustrated but wasn’t sure how to stop the pooping from happening.
Until it did as a result of the steps below.
Keep reading if you want to stop your kid from pooping at nap time.
5 Ways to Stop Your Toddler Pooping During Naptime:
#1 Ditch the Diaper
I was so nervous to do this.
Jack didn’t really have accidents often but I had no idea how he would do during
Pooping in his diaper wasn’t ideal, but it generally meant that it was contained.
In saying that, he’s my kid that has finger painted on more than one occasion (sorry not sorry if this info catches up to you as an adult, my son ;)).
But then I remembered what the author of Oh Crap! Potty Training said.
She makes it clear that most kids will fall back into using their diaper if the option is available.
So, as much as it scared me, I decided that there was nothing for it but to get rid of the diaper entirely.
#2 Go Commando!
Getting rid of the diaper was the first step. The second was leaving him commando.
I wanted to get rid of any sense of him wearing something that could be pooped in. Undies were just too familiar and snug.
He didn’t care for the idea at first, but I made sure that he had a nice snuggly blanket that he could cuddle under. That got rid of his protests as he then felt like he still had some amount of protection, I guess.
The second reason I decided to leave him commando was because I wanted to take away anything that might make it difficult for him to use the toilet.
Pants that are difficult to get up and down would have been a nightmare. So, we stayed away from them entirely.
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#3 Put a Potty in the Room
Initially, I put a potty in his room.
This whole ‘no diaper at nap time’ thing was very new and I didn’t want him to feel completely overwhelmed.
Ideally, I wanted him to use the toilet and not the potty because quite frankly, I was over having to clean things up. However, this was where I decided to start.
I also did this because he successfully used his potty during Independent Playtime every day, so I knew it wasn’t an issue for him.
Once he got better and more confident about using the potty during nap time, I took it away and explained to him that the toilet was what big boys used.
We never had an issue.
The only thing that took him a little time to adjust to was being able to leave his room without me telling him.
Generally speaking, our kids know not to leave their rooms until their Gro Clocks say it’s time.
Jack is a rule follower, so it wasn’t easy for him to grasp the concept of being allowed to leave his room. Over time he did though, and he does well with it now.
#4 Accident Proof the Bed
Initially, you’re going to want to make sure that the bed is as accident-proof as possible.
For me, the issue wasn’t just stopping the nap time diaper pooping, but having him stay dry as well.
I’d never tried it before so I had no idea if he was capable of staying dry through nap time.
I made sure to have a mattress protector and then a couple of thick towels under him, just in case.
I didn’t have to worry though. He went to the bathroom on his own and then when he did fall asleep he stayed dry. I was super impressed.
#5 Have a Clear Conversation
Lastly, you need to have a clear conversation with your child. In that conversation, the expectations you have of them need to be laid out.
For instance, ours went something like this:
“Jack, you have grown up so much. I am so proud of you! Did you know that big boys don’t poop in their diapers? I know that you can poop in the toilet because you’ve shown me that you’re capable of doing that.
So, from now on, you’re not going to have a diaper at nap time. Instead, if you feel like you need to use the toilet then you are allowed to get up and use the potty/toilet.
You won’t get in trouble for leaving your room so long as you’re going to use the toilet.”
The one issue that we did run into was him stalling nap time because he needed to go toilet about a million times.
So, we made a ground rule that he was allowed 3 bathroom visits during nap time and then after that point, he had to wait.
He pressed the issue at first but after the first couple of days (and us remaining consistent) he forgot about it and it hasn’t been an issue since.
Related: Best Potty Training Method
We implemented these strategies several months ago now and have yet to have one poop accident.
There were a couple of times where he did wet the bed when he was sleeping, but he wasn’t well at the time and was sleeping very deeply.
Besides, I’d take changing wet sheets over cleaning a poopy diaper any day!
We also went back to him wearing pants once he was successful at making it through nap time dry a couple of time.
I hope these tips are helpful and give you something to start with if you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.