Playing with Poop

My recently potty-trained 22-month-old thinks his bowel movements are fascinating. When he has an “accident” (usually on his bedroom floor) he plays with the poop! Is he the only toddler to do this?

Dr. Greene’s Answer:

Many kids do go through a phase of finding poop fascinating. The goal is not to make it more so by reacting too strongly to it. Usually, the best way through this phase is to smile and say, “Poop is yucky on the hands,” and then take him and wash his hands right away.

If poop smearing is done as an act of aggression or frustration, it can be a cause of concern and kids should be evaluated to see if there is an underlying problem going on.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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