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Old 01-14-2007, 08:28 PM   #1
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Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

Our daughter, age 2 years, 8 months has 3 times now taken her diaper off and smeared poop over some of her toys after she's been put to bed. The first and second time we took away the soiled toys, cleaned her and put her back to bed (not without some scolding though). SHe hasn't gotten those toys back yet, although I've cleaned them.

Tonight she did it to her little people plane and farm, including the little people and the animals (some of which have hair). She was covered from head to toe and she came out to announce that she had pooped. I cleaned her off with wipes and then bathed her and then we redressed her and put her in the corner while we took out all the toys in her room, including her books and her bookshelves. Maybe it's a bit harsh, but this has to stop. I'm not even sure how and when to give them back. I know at her age, a short time is a very long time, so maybe overnight might be good enough. The little people items were so bad, if they hadn't been given to her by my two sisters, I probably would have thrown them out. But, instead, I painstakingly cleaned them. Although I do need to go back and do more disinfecting to make me comfortable with giving them back sometime.

As for why she's doing this, I'm not sure if it's because she she's fascinated with the poop or if she's acting up because she has a new little brother in the house (he's 9 weeks old now). I've been trying very hard to make sure she has plenty of attention from me. Sometimes though I am busy making dinner or tending to her brother. And, her Daddy has been given her more attention too.

Anyone experience this and have any advice for how to stop it?

 
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:30 PM   #2
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

Oh, one other thing. I had recently allowed her to go to bed with her lights on in her room for a bit. That's going to stop now too. Perhaps she would have gone to sleep and wouldn't have done this but did it because she was alone in there with the lights on?

 
Old 01-14-2007, 11:15 PM   #3
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

This behavior may be occuring because of the newborn or the light on. But why now? You can turn the lights off and see what happens. Did she get up out of bed to soil the toys? Were the toys in bed with her? Does she sleep with a doll? If not, that should be tried. You can give this another week or so and see if it doesn't stop by itself.

Or....

I'm going to suggest something that is very odd, paradoxical and may not work at all. Please take this suggestion with several grains of salt. But, it's relatively harmless. The idea behind paradoxical intervention is to prescribe the problem. For example, if your child was old enough to understand, and was overeating, I would suggest that you would encourage overeating by presenting more and more food. The hope is that this will reverse the behavior. So, what I suggest is this: Make a bowl of mud. At night as your daughter is going to bed, have the bowl of mud by the bed. First, place your hand in the mud and see if your daughter does the same. If not, gently take her hand and put it in the mud. If she goes along with it, fine; if not, don't push. The exercise might work if just you put your hands in the mud. Either way, then, take your hands, and her hands, and act as if you are washing your hands in the mud. Then, take your (and her) hands out of the mud and with a towel wash them off but leave a little mud on the hands. Then tuck her into bed and kiss her goodnight. See what happens. She might demand that that little bit left on her hand be washed off, if so do it.

You can try this same approach with a doll first if you want. That is, wash the dolls hands in the mud, wash part of it off and then put the doll to bed with your daughter.

 
Old 01-15-2007, 07:35 AM   #4
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

Ahhh you brought back memories of my son who is now 3 1/2 he did the samething and it would drive me crazy .. He grew out of it about after 2 months.... I think that was my first clue that he was ready to be going to the toliet... But the I think the number 1 reason why they do it is curoisty and attention we also just had a baby who is now 1 .. we laid down brand new carpets in his room and when we awoke the next day pooh was all over I freaked I know I should not have but I was so sick of it.... and it grossed me I would wash his hands and pooh would still be under his finger nails and I could still smell it... Thanks god it only lasted a few months or I would be insane now.

Good luck it will pass.... also my doctor said it was very normal they are wondering what the heck is this stuff in my diaper age... they know it is pooh but do not relize that it is gross and unhealthy to be touching it

Hugs to you it will pass.

 
Old 01-15-2007, 07:42 AM   #5
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

No offence to this poster... But I do not think you need to go that extreme with playing with mud. before bed your child might think you are out of your mind. and want to always do that... I think you would be just introducing her to a new mess that is unnecessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by firenice View Post
This behavior may be occuring because of the newborn or the light on. But why now? You can turn the lights off and see what happens. Did she get up out of bed to soil the toys? Were the toys in bed with her? Does she sleep with a doll? If not, that should be tried. You can give this another week or so and see if it doesn't stop by itself.

Or....

I'm going to suggest something that is very odd, paradoxical and may not work at all. Please take this suggestion with several grains of salt. But, it's relatively harmless. The idea behind paradoxical intervention is to prescribe the problem. For example, if your child was old enough to understand, and was overeating, I would suggest that you would encourage overeating by presenting more and more food. The hope is that this will reverse the behavior. So, what I suggest is this: Make a bowl of mud. At night as your daughter is going to bed, have the bowl of mud by the bed. First, place your hand in the mud and see if your daughter does the same. If not, gently take her hand and put it in the mud. If she goes along with it, fine; if not, don't push. The exercise might work if just you put your hands in the mud. Either way, then, take your hands, and her hands, and act as if you are washing your hands in the mud. Then, take your (and her) hands out of the mud and with a towel wash them off but leave a little mud on the hands. Then tuck her into bed and kiss her goodnight. See what happens. She might demand that that little bit left on her hand be washed off, if so do it.

You can try this same approach with a doll first if you want. That is, wash the dolls hands in the mud, wash part of it off and then put the doll to bed with your daughter.

 
Old 01-15-2007, 10:05 AM   #6
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

no offense taken - and you may be right. I did suggest initially that the child would likely grow out of it as you stated. But, I did want to mention this approach as a something which could be tried if there was no change in behavior - more of a last resort than first step.

 
Old 01-15-2007, 10:57 AM   #7
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

Update - she woke up this morning and wondered where her toys were. I reminded her that we had taken them away because of what she did with her poop. At first she seemed to accept that like she was going to try to ride me out in a battle of wills. She's a good girl, but she does have a wilful streak and she's very smart. Anyway, she didn't ride it out so well, because after a bit she remembered another toy she wanted to play with that was gone. I reminded her that we had taken them away because of what she had done with her poop. After the next time she tried to tell me she could have her toys back because sh e was clean and that there was no poop. We did let her have them back after she said she wouldn't play with her poop like that, or at least that's how we interpretted it. I hope she's not now confused and she thinks she can't poop a diaper. She hasn't pooped one yet - so we'll see. I have been talking to her about the proper procedure for a pooped diaper - which involves telling me right away and keeping her hands out of it. I really long for the potty training.......

 
Old 01-15-2007, 12:29 PM   #8
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

Quote:
Originally Posted by beabonnet View Post
As for why she's doing this, I'm not sure if it's because she she's fascinated with the poop or if she's acting up because she has a new little brother in the house (he's 9 weeks old now).
It may be either or both, there's no way to know for sure. What we do know is that it's very common behavior for children around this age. Therefore, I don't think you should be excessively concerned.

Personally, I would try to not make a huge thing out of it. As you say, you don't want her to be afraid to poop around you. If she is, she's much more likely to poop when she's alone and bored in her room and then what do you think is going to happen? Exactly.

I think it's reasonable to take away the toys that have poop on them. I would maybe soak them for a certain period - whatever you decide, maybe 24 hours? When she cries that she wants a certain toy like "my little people plane", take her to see where it is soaking. Explain to her that "my little people plane has to soak right now because it got very dirty from poop". "My little people plane has to soak until...., then you can have it back".

Quote:
Originally Posted by beabonnet View Post
I had recently allowed her to go to bed with her lights on in her room for a bit. That's going to stop now too.
I'm a little confused. Why were you leaving the light on? If she was afraid, I wouldn't punish her in a way that makes her more afraid. If it was to allow her to play quietly by herself, then yes, you might want to gradually stop it.

Hang in there. This, too, shall pass.

 
Old 01-15-2007, 04:13 PM   #9
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

I was leaving the light on so she could play quietly before going to bed. And, she has a night light in her room for when the light is off.

Last edited by beabonnet; 01-15-2007 at 04:14 PM.

 
Old 01-17-2007, 08:08 PM   #10
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

I've been turning the light off when she goes to bed. She hasn't had any problems with that. We've also not had any poop incidents although tonight she was trying to put her hand in her poopy diaper right after she made it and before I got her changed. But that's all. I hope it continues to be ok. The weekend will be the real test because then we'll have afternoon naptime to contend with too.

 
Old 01-20-2007, 06:26 AM   #11
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

Well, we just had another poop incident. But, it only involved it being smeared on her body and not on any toys. I don't like that, but I can deal with that better.

 
Old 01-27-2007, 12:57 AM   #12
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

Why don't you start toilet training her ? At almost 3 years of age, she should be toilet trained or at least be in the process of it! I am assuming her developement is normal and she doesn't have delays of any kind? If that is not an option for whatever reason, I would take her toys off her altogether and punnish her in a way that works well for you both. I thnk it would make her think twice about doing it in future ... it would very boring for her if she has no toys to play with

S.G

 
Old 01-27-2007, 07:02 AM   #13
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

Try doing what my grandfather did when one of the cats defecated on the floor: Rub her nose in it. Also, don't give her back her toys that she soils - perhaps you can tell her that the feces she smeared on them hurt the toys and made them sad, so they ran away forever. Then you can either stick the toys in a box and give them back to her at a time when she won't remember them, or just throw them away (or donate them).

 
Old 01-28-2007, 09:58 PM   #14
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

I'm trying to potty train her and I will keep trying.
I also took all her toys away from her the last time she smeared the poop on the toys and she promised me she wouldn't do it anymore. It's been over a week and she hasn't. She's also stopped smearing it on her body too. So, we're doing ok. Now, if I can just get rid of those diapers........

 
Old 01-30-2007, 10:40 AM   #15
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Re: Toddler Smearing Poop on Toys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Stranger View Post
Try doing what my grandfather did when one of the cats defecated on the floor: Rub her nose in it.
I sincerely hope you are kidding.

 
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