Dealing with Poop in a Pull Up: Ultimate Tips for Stress-Free Potty Training

Written by Daisy
Last updated:
Reviewed by Margaret
Poop in a Pull Up

Have you ever found poop in a pull up? As a parent, I know the feeling of discovering a surprise mess in a child’s diaper. And I also know that potty training can be a messy and challenging time. But you’re not alone.

In this article, I’ll discuss tips for handling poop in a pull-up and making potty training less daunting. 

Let’s dive in!

Ask why your child only poops in a pull up, not the potty

If your child only poops in their pull up and not the potty, it’s essential to find out why. Maybe they’re scared of the toilet or need help understanding how it works. They might not be ready for potty training yet, or they could be experiencing physical discomfort.

Fear of the toilet

Does your child have a fear of the toilet? In that case, it’s important to help them feel more comfortable. You can use a smaller potty chair or let them watch you or an older sibling use the toilet. Besides, positive reinforcement can encourage them to sit on the toilet or try to use it.

Difficulty in understanding the purpose of the toilet

If your child doesn’t understand how the toilet works, you can explain it in simple terms and show them how to use it. Books, videos, and other resources can also help. 

Ordering a personalized book for my daughter proved to be beneficial. She was inspired by the character who resembled her and mimicked her actions, including using the potty.

You might try this as well!

Lack of readiness for toilet training

If your child isn’t ready for potty training, don’t push them. Wait until they’re ready. Signs of readiness include staying dry for longer, showing interest in the potty, and following instructions. Potty training before they’re ready can cause frustration and setbacks.

Physical issues or discomfort

Physical issues or discomfort can also make using the potty difficult. If your child complains of pain or discomfort, talk to their doctor. Diet changes or stool softeners may help make bowel movements easier.

Remember that accidents are normal, too, so don’t get discouraged. With time, practice, and support, your child will get the hang of it and be fully potty trained.

What to do when your toddler only poops in a pull up, not the potty – Strategies for success of potty training

If your toddler doesn’t want to poop on the potty, don’t worry. Some strategies can help. Encouragement and positive reinforcement can motivate your toddler to use the potty. Making your toddler responsible for their choices can also help, as well as praising them for any progress they make. 

If your kid is afraid of using the potty, helping them face their fears can make a big difference.

Let me take you through all these steps.

Encouragement and positive reinforcement

Encouragement and positive reinforcement can help motivate your toddler to use the potty. You can use rewards, like stickers or small treats, to praise your child for using the potty or making progress. Celebrating their successes, even small ones, can help them feel proud and more confident.

Don’t make a big deal out of it

Don’t make a big deal out of potty training. Pressure and stress can make it harder for your toddler to learn. Instead, take it one step at a time and be patient. Tell your toddler that accidents are normal and that you’re proud of them for trying.

Make your toddler responsible for their choices

Making your toddler responsible for their choices can help them feel more in control of the potty training process. Let them choose their own potty seat or underwear, and allow them to sit on the potty when they want. This can help them feel more independent.

Praise your toddler for any progress they make

Praising your toddler for any progress they make, no matter how small, can help keep them motivated. This can help them feel more confident and excited about using the potty.

Help your toddler face their fears

If your toddler is afraid of using the potty, it’s important to help them face their fears. As I mentioned earlier, you can use books, videos, or role-play to show them what to expect. Older siblings or cousins can be a great motivation, too!

Consistency in toilet training

Consistency is key when it comes to toilet training. It’s important to set a routine and stick to it. This means taking your toddler to the bathroom at regular intervals, such as every hour or two. You can also encourage them to sit on the potty for a few minutes each time. Consistency can help your child recognize when to go and build good habits.

Patience and persistence

Toilet training takes time and patience. Every child is different, and some may take longer to learn. It’s important to stay calm and positive, even when accidents happen. Be persistent and encourage your toddler to use the potty, even if they initially resist. With time and practice, they’ll get the hang of it.

Setting up a routine for toilet breaks

Setting up a routine for toilet breaks can help your child learn to recognize when they need to go. You can set specific times throughout the day, like after meals or before nap time. 

Reward Systems

Reward systems can be a helpful tool in toilet training. You can use candies or other rewards to praise your toddler for using the potty or making progress. Make sure the rewards are small and age-appropriate.

Potty training regression

Toddlers may sometimes face setbacks in potty training, even after making progress. This is a common occurrence and can be frustrating for parents and caregivers. However, it’s essential to understand that it’s a natural part of the process. 

Regression can happen due to various reasons, such as illness, stress, or changes in routine. If your toddler starts having accidents or resists using the potty, don’t worry. Stay calm, consistent, and positive, and try to identify any factors or changes that could be causing the regression. With time and support, your toddler will get back on track.

poop in a pull up


How do you change a poopy diaper with pull-ups?

To change a poopy pull-up:

  1. Lay your child down on a changing mat or surface.
  2. Pull down the sides of the pull-up and use wipes to clean your child’s bottom.
  3. Lift their legs and slide the dirty pull-up out from underneath them.
  4. Replace it with a clean one and fasten it securely.
  5. Dispose of the dirty pull-up and wipes in a bin.

When should a child stop wearing pull-ups?

There is no set age when a child should stop wearing pull-ups, as every child develops at their own pace. However, most children are ready to transition out of pull-ups between the ages of two and three

Signs that your child may be ready include:

  • Showing an interest in using the potty.
  • Being able to stay dry for a couple of hours at a time.
  • Communicating when they need to go to the toilet. 

How do pull-ups differ from regular diapers in terms of use and functionality?

Pull-ups are designed to be more like regular underwear than traditional diapers, with a more flexible fit and the ability to be easily removed and replaced. However, they still offer some absorbency and protection in case of accidents.


In summary, dealing with poop in a pull-up during potty training can be stressful. However, with consistent routines, positive reinforcement, and patience, it is possible to make the process easier for both parents and toddlers. Remember to stay calm and seek professional help if needed.

Stay positive – I know you can do it! 

Photo of author
Daisy Martinez, a Certified Financial Planner and mother of two, blends finance expertise from Ohio State and Anderson School of Management with hands-on parenting insights. Founder of "" and "", she's passionate about guiding parents in financial and parenting realms.

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