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My toddler was scared of walking outside when she was around 3 years old

This might sound a bit weird to some people but last summer, my toddler decided she didn’t want to walk outside the house. Every time we took her out, she refused to let her feet touch the ground outside without having a tantrum. It got the point where it was affecting everyone else as we couldn’t go out with her. She was a bit of a late walker and didn’t find her feet until around 16 months or so but when she did, she loved walking everywhere. So I was mystified as to why my daughter, around the 3 year mark, developed a fear of walking. Is that normal? Has anyone else had this happen to them? Several months on, she no longer has a fear of walking outside so things are back to normal. However, she seems to go through phases where she has a fear of something temporarily. At the moment, it’s a fear of pooing. Yes I spelt that correctly – pooing. Makes it very hard for us because she can often go for days without doing it and I can see she’s in pain. Giving her laxatives seems to help as it forces the bowel to move but once she’s over this, whatever will be next?

What I’d like to know is how other people have dealt with similar issues. I seem to find the direct, forceful approach works best but I didn’t think child psychologists recommended this. When my daughter wasn’t walking, a breakthrough moment was one weekend when my partner and I went to see some new cars at a used car dealer. She cried and cried and insisted she was either in the buggy or being carried. My partner just couldn’t cope with it anymore and forced her out of the buggy, closing it and telling her she had to walk – partly dragging her across the concourse. She cried and screamed but settled after a few minutes, walking again as if nothing had happened! We had to continue doing this a few times until her fear had gone. Now we are doing the same with the pooing situation. And all I ask myself is what will be next?


buggy psychologists laxatives fear pain toddler

  • EricaC83
  • @2014-02-07 16:30:18
  • United States
  • Age: 38
Hi Master Sim, 
It does sound strange, but toddlers can be a little tricky! Did something happen at home, a change, an event, a death anything big or small? They tend to be creatures of habit and if something happens to alter their routine they can develop anxieties speaking from experience.
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