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Is it normal for a toddler to smear poop?

It’s not necessarily common, but it is normal. Toddlers are struggling with attempting to master their own body, to control its functions, and are quite curious about the their productions. (They don’t call it the anal stage for nothin’!) Preschool teachers will tell you it’s common to see children this age quite interested in messes, too. They can alternate between being quite the obsessive neat freak, OR the poop-smearing opposite -- as they struggle to master this stage. I would say, however, that poop-smearing past the age of 3 1/2 - 4 would concern me. An evaluation, starting with your pediatrician, should occur in that case.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.