Why do they do that? Say they didn't poop (when they so clearly did!).
Short Version: Diaper changes are no fun (for anyone). Your child will try to avoid them at all costs because they are BUSY with other things!
You know that face your child makes when they’re pooping? Half smile, half grimace? It’s universal, totally recognizable and guaranteed to come with a dirty smelly diaper within minutes.
So, why - when you say, “did you poop?” -- does your child say “no”?!
Are they lying to you?
Don’t they want to be changed?
Nope. They don’t.
Take a look at a diaper change from a toddler’s perspective, and see if you can notice what’s missing.
La-di-da-di-da, I’m playing and playing and playing some more. Huh: something is happening. Let me go over here where I have some privacy and no one will see me. Because last time I had this feeling, my grownup took me away from my toys for a diaper change. [faces the wall in plain sight]. Ok, now that’s over I can keep playing.
If you noticed that what’s missing is any negative feelings about being messy or dirty or smelly, you were right!
Most children DO NOT CARE if their diaper is full. They want to keep doing what they’re doing, and they don’t really understand why they should stop for poop.
And they will lie in order to be able to keep doing what they’re doing.
The lying can be eliminated easily in this case: just STOP ASKING THE QUESTION. If you never ask, “did you poop?”, then you won’t force your toddler to say “nope”.
If you’re trying to teach them to recognize that they pooped, switch to a statement:
“You pooped!” (They might say, ‘no’, but then it’s just a disagreement among friends).
And when it’s time for the diaper change, just do it. Quickly. And let your toddler get back to their busyness.
Will you let me know how it goes?
All my best-
PS - If you’re struggling with moments like diaper changes, leaving the house, or temper tantrums, I invite you to check out Toddler Talk, my online program for parents. I’ve got tons of strategies to help you and your child move through the day more smoothly together.