Some children find it extremely difficult to poop or pee without a diaper or pull-up on. As mentioned in the previous posts on this topic (see list at the end of this post), wearing a diaper or pull-up helps them relax their poop and pee muscles, in part by assuring them that their poop and pee will not drop into the toilet.
Eliminating diaper or pull-up dependency is a two-step process which is described in further detail in my book:
The first step, counterintuitive but necessary, is to get your child to poop and/or pee while sitting comfortably on the toilet with his diaper on.
The second step involves cutting progressively larger holes in the diaper or pull-up, starting with slits so small that neither poop nor pee will drop into the toilet. This process may sound strange and/or tedious, but I have used this technique for over 20 years and it really works!
The key to success is to proceed very, very slowly because most diaper dependent children will refuse to pee or poop if they perceive the hole in the diaper to be too big. This can be avoided by asking your child at each step of the way if he or she is comfortable trying the larger hole. If not, stick with the smaller hole until your child is ready to try a slightly bigger one.
While for some children this process only lasts one or two weeks, it is also completely normal for this hole-cutting process to take months before the child is comfortable enough to let the poop drop into the toilet through the hole, and subsequently to allow the diaper or pull-up to be removed completely. Parents have found Chart #6 in Chapter 16 in my book to be helpful in guiding their children through this process successfully. And don't forget the use of incentives and visual sticker charts to reward each small shift in behavior!
Previous posts on this topic are located in the "Only Poops in a Diaper" category, see far right column or below: