Pooping Pants on Purpose
Baby Toddler Discipline

Pooping Pants on Purpose

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Are you concerned that your kid is pooping pants on purpose? 

It’s normal for kids to make a mess while potty training. But after they learn how to use the toilet, you expect them to use it on their own. 

However, some children never “get it” and will continue to poop in their pants long past the age of toilet training.

These kids might use the toilet, but sometimes, they decide to poop in their underwear on purpose.

As a parent, you may worry that your child is pooping pants on purpose. However, try to relax—it probably won’t become a habit.

Let’s find out why this happens and how you can prevent it.

Why Your Child is Pooping Pants on Purpose

If your child, who has been trained to use the bathroom for all waste products, constantly soils his or her underpants, you may presume that these accidents are nothing more than a child’s natural inclination to do so. 

However, if this behavior continues and reaches an unacceptable level, you should be concerned and try to determine the cause of the problem.

It’s worth noting that children pooping pants on purpose are due to a variety of reasons. Sometimes, kids soil their pants because they feel like it.

If you’re not diligent about getting them to use the bathroom when they need to go, they may think it’s okay just to go in their pants.

Many kids urinate or defecate in their underwear without realizing it because they are so engrossed in play that they often don’t realize they have to use the bathroom until it’s too late.

Some children suffer from encopresis, a disorder that causes them to poop in their pants.

This strong urge to avoid painful bowel movements can lead them to stop going to the bathroom altogether.

This results in bulk or hardening of the stool and fluid passing through the rectum instead of exiting it, which causes soiling of the child’s pants. 

Encouraging Bowel Control

Talking to your child about the concerns you have regarding potty training and doing so in a non-judgmental manner can sometimes help your child feel more comfortable with using the potty.

Here are some things you can do:

1. Let children know that urinating and defecating are normal functions

Children need to know that they are expected to use the bathroom when nature calls and that no one takes offense if they are caught going to the bathroom.

2. Be sure that your children drink enough water.

Dehydration can cause children to have trouble urinating.

3. Make sure you feed your child healthy meals

Give your child a diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fiber. Eating properly is essential for good health.

4. Keep track of your children’s bathroom habits

The best way to address your child’s constipation is to discuss with his doctor appropriate remedies.

However, supplements should be used only if they are helpful, not harmful.

Preventing Accidents

Mistakes are a natural part of learning. By helping your child avoid situations in which he or she might make a mistake, you are helping your child to be an independent, functional adult. 

Although no one strategy will work with all children, knowing the types of mistakes your child makes can help you avoid situations where those mistakes might happen more frequently.

You can do the following:

1. Encourage your child to be helpful 

Have your children clean soiled areas themselves. Instruct them to flush poop down the toilet or to wipe undergarments from the groin to the waist with cold water, inside out. Then have them air-dry.

2. Don’t let your anger run wild

If you’re finding yourself getting frustrated over your child’s frequent accidents, try taking deep breaths or counting to ten before starting to clean.

After all, incontinence is a part of growing up, and getting angry or upset can only make it harder for your child to succeed at toilet training. 

Remember: your leadership, example, and positive reinforcement can go a long way in helping your child avoid future accidents.

3. Discipline begets success

A time-out can help you regain control of a situation if your child throws a fit when she has to clean up after her meal.

If your child threatens to throw a tantrum, warn her that she will get a time-out if she doesn’t calm down. 

If she continues to act out, give her the time-out as you promised.

Once the time-out is over, tell your child that if she finishes cleaning up, she can come back and finish her meal.

4. Encourage self-reliance

Providing your child with the tools to eliminate as many bathroom tasks as possible can make her more willing to do her business on the toilet.

After your child uses the toilet, have her clean it up herself. Then help her if she misses any spots on the pot or bowl.

Praise and reward her for using the bathroom on her own.

Also see: Potty Trained Child Having Accidents At School


Children are easily distracted, and their focus is often fleeting.

Therefore, kids pooping pants on purpose is an understandable happening in the course of their lives. 

Potty training and learning to use the bathroom can be a long process. Your child may not “get it” right away. 

However, if you understand the reasons for this and make the effort to help your child work through it, your child may be able to overcome the problems.

Apply what you know now and see how your situation changes.

With your consistent guidance, he or she will soon learn to use the potty!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do kids intentionally poop their pants?

Constipation is a frequent cause of encopresis. When this happens, the poop hardens and becomes difficult to pass, which can cause colon obstruction. This leads to a buildup of stool, which makes it uncomfortable to defecate. 

Eventually, kids may become so desperate that they hold their bowel movements in, and this can lead to encopresis.

What does pooping in your pants mean?

When someone says they are going to “poop their pants,” they mean that they need to go to the bathroom immediately because they feel that they are going to defecate while still wearing their pants. (e.g., If you don’t pull over the car immediately, I’m going to poop my pants!)

Can encopresis be intentional?

Encopresis is a condition often seen in children; though parents may be frustrated by the soiling of their child’s underwear, it is important to realize that many cases are rooted in an inability to control one’s bowels. It is never intentional. 

Medical experts believe that painful defecation and certain drugs may contribute to the development of encopresis.

Inadequate toilet training and stress may also contribute to the development of encopresis.


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Mo Mulla

Mo Mulla is a work from home dad who enjoys reading and listening to music, He loves being a dad and husband to a growing family. He also loves writing about his passions and hopes to change the world, 1 blog post at a time!

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