Q + A: Pooping In Nap/Night Diaper

QUESTION: My child is doing great during the day but is pooping in his nap/nighttime diaper. How do I get him to stop? Another version of this question is the child isn’t peeing or pooping at all during the day and waiting until nap/night diapers to do so.

ANSWER: The short answer is to ditch those night diapers.

The long answer is this: It depends on a few things.

  1. Is your child consciously holding during the day and WAITING for the night diaper? Is your child asking to go to bed solely to get a diaper? Is your child peeing/pooping immediately upon putting on the diaper?
  2. Or does is seem like your child just is just naturally going at night time and/or releasing in their sleep?

If your child seems perfectly happy, not holding/withholding during the waking hours and going at nap/night time, it usually resolves on its own. The child is just getting comfortable with this whole potty training thing. Especially when it comes to pooping.

If your child is obviously waiting for the night time diaper, the solution is night training.

This can seem confusing because you’re all…she’s not going during the day and you want me to take away diapers at night too??? It seems counterintuitive. But I can guarantee your child is smart as a whip and once they know there’s no diaper option, they will start releasing during the waking hours.

For the majority of the kids I’ve worked with, this is the miraculous fix. They just start going during the day. It’s like they were just waiting for no other option. For some kids, it’s a little more of a song and dance. I suggest for a short period of time, you make bedtime quite a bit earlier in order to accommodate the stalling tactics and the acclimating to releasing in the potty.

I say this often: as long as you keep offering the option of a diaper, we can’t expect the child not to use it.  In the book, I use the analogy of a security blanket.  Upon BEING BORN, most kids are diapered before they even nurse! So it’s wise to remember that pooping and peeing in a diaper is the only thing they have known, literally from birth. It’s safe, it’s comfortable and if it’s on, they will prefer it. We can’t fault them that.

We also have to remember that at first, using the potty is not second nature. They are learning and having to think about it. At night, they fully relax and out comes the poop.

If you don’t feel ready to night train, THAT’S OKAY! Then don’t worry about this issue for now. Seriously. I’m willing to bet it clears up on it’s own. And there’s just no use worrying about something if you’re not yet in the head space to night train.  If you’re child’s behavior is wonky during the day though, because he appears to be holding it, then you really have to make the leap into night training. If need a boost with that, my night training supplement has lots of information.

I want to state this very clearly because it can come up in this kind of night pooper. DO NOT PUT A DIAPER ON YOUR CHILD IF THEY REQUEST ONE TO POOP IN.  So, if your child is doing great and is asking for a diaper just to poop in, it can seem like there is no harm to this. THIS CREATES A MONSTER LIKE NO OTHER.  I consider myself a “real world” potty trainer.  We can work with and around almost any circumstance, BUT NOT THIS ONE. Putting a diaper on a child just to poop in is the ONE thing, in all my experience that is a true DON’T, DON’T, DON’T.  I can’t beat this horse enough. Don’t. If you are struggling with poop issues, check out my Pooping Solutions Course.

If you feel like you need more than this post offers, I offer private consultations and we have a bevy of fabulous certified consultants to help you on this journey. Click here for more info.