What do you do if you poop your pants right now?

Reasons Kids Poop Their Pants

The solution to your child's toileting problem will depend on its cause. Passing stool can sometimes take time, and many toddlers simply lack patience. Others get busy playing and ignore the urge to go.

It is also common for toddlers to withhold pooping, which can lead to hard-to-pass stool, constipation, and other health conditions. Here are a few common problems and solutions to consider.

Not Pooping at Daycare

If your child goes without accidents all day at daycare but then poops in the car on the drive home, they are not alone. In this common situation, the solution is to encourage them to poop before leaving daycare.

When you arrive, greet your child lovingly, then shuffle them off to the bathroom. Be prepared to allow your child as much time as necessary and give them privacy if needed. If possible, use a different bathroom in a less busy part of the building.

You also may want to check with the daycare provider to ensure your child is comfortable using their toilet during the day. Some children have difficulty pooping in toilets away from home. If your child holds their poop all day, this may be the reason they're having accidents in the car.

Taking your child to use the daycare toilet every day before you leave can help them become more comfortable with the idea. After some time, they may start pooping before you pick them up.

What to Do When Kids Refuse to Use Public Restrooms

Ignoring the Urge to Go

Toddlers can get so wrapped up in what they are doing that they forget to stop to poop. If your child realizes it is time to use the toilet midway through soiling their pants, the solution is to schedule potty breaks.

The frequency of bowel movements varies among individuals. Some toddlers poop every day, some every other day, and some poop three times a day or more. Most people are on their own regular schedule and poop at roughly the same times every day.

If your child is having accidents at about the same time each day, take them to the bathroom 15 to 30 minutes before an anticipated accident. It may help to set an alarm or reminder on your phone so you can be consistent.

Poor Wiping

Poop-streaked underwear is often a sign that your child just isn't wiping well. Some children just do not like cleaning up poop, while others aren't doing a good job of it yet.

Remind your child to ask for help after using the toilet, continue to work on their technique, and offer lots of praise for trying.

Nightly baths or showers can help keep your child clean as they work on developing independence in the bathroom.

Chronic Constipation

If you are confident that your child is wiping correctly, but you are still seeing skid marks, it could be a common medical condition known as encopresis. Encopresis occurs when a child is chronically constipated. Stool becomes hard and backs up, and liquid stool travels around the blockage and leaks out.

Parents often mistake these leaks for laziness or stubbornness, but encopresis requires medical attention. If your child is constipated and having accidents, talk to your child’s healthcare provider. The first step is typically treating the child’s constipation with diet and medication.

Could Your Kid Be Constipated?


Muscle Problems 

Like an abscess, this can go unnoticed, though not to the same degree.

What could be happening is:

  • The muscles around your butt do not work properly, are strained or injured in some way, and do not allow your behind to properly close.
  • Because your butt is not fully closed, stool odors seep through much more easily.

As with abscesses, the best way to eliminate this as a cause would be to book an appointment with a doctor and have him or she take a look.

How to Keep Your Buttocks Smelling Good

It’s a simple one. You should try and do some of the following: start a nighttime shower routine.

That’s your biggest action against butt odor. Change your towel as often as possible.

I know this is an expensive venture. But if you really want to stop this embarrassing problem, you really have to try a few things until you arrive at the solution.

If this works for you, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind changing your towel every now and then. Take your time to wash properly after visiting the toilet.

It may look obvious, but you want to cover your bases.

If you’re not cleaning down there properly, it’ll smell. You can do what I suggested above, which is to combine toilet paper and water. I use only water.

But when I tried both, I immediately saw how purifying it is and why it’s more effective than just doing it with only water or wipes. 

So, try it and see if that’ll help. If you’re still experiencing the problem, as a temporary solution, use local creams or treatments to help control the foul odor. If all else fails, go in for a test to see if there is something specifically causing it. 


  • Practicing this too frequently can cause colon problems and bloating. It can be very dangerous to your health to hold in poop.

    Thanks! Helpful 52 Not Helpful 9


A Word From Verywell

When it comes to potty training, and pooping in general, setbacks are normal. They are especially common when there has been a life change such as a family pet’s death, the birth of a new sibling, a family move, a divorce, or starting a new school.

With time and consistency, your child will start pooping in the potty. However, if you're experiencing a number of challenges or if your child is chronically constipated, reach out to your child's pediatrician. They can offer advice as well as medications that can help alleviate some of your child's bathroom issues.

How to Help Your Child Poop While on the Potty