Holding poop. I need some advice!

Becky - posted on 08/16/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My son will be 4 in 3 weeks. He has been holding his poop since last October. He had been potty trained for a long time before this started, and it began because he apparently had a painful poop after a bout of constipation, and now he's terrified it will hurt.

This has progressively gotten worse to the point that, even after several soft poos, he is still terrified and refuses to go. Before, he'd be okay after a few times of it being easy and he'd poop without problem for several weeks until he had a difficult poop again, but now it doesn't seem to matter. He can hold it for 7-8 days and he gets completely miserable. His stomach gets very distended, he quits eating, and he gets very grouchy and just wants to lay around. I hate seeing him make himself so miserable. He is on daily Miralax to soften his stools, and he has been to both his pediatrician and a pediatric gastroentereologist. There seems to be no medical reason; this is a psychological issue. I am unsure how to handle this as putting him on the potty, explaining bodily functions, begging, and outright bribery are just making matters worse. Thanks for any advice you have!

4 Comments

View replies by

Heather - posted on 08/24/2010

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Hi everyone... I've had three kids and all three of them have had this issue. It finally got to the point that we have them sit on the potty before bed every night and they have to go poopie. If they do not we DO tell them that they will have to go to the hospital. None of them wanted that. There was some upset that happened, but they got through it and now our youngest (now 4 years old) seems to be over it and is pretty regular. As long as they eliminate once a day, things are ok. Also, we've found that if she drinks V8 Fusion it helps a great deal.

I hope this helps.

Danielle - posted on 08/22/2010

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Becky,
My 3 year old is by the sounds of it going through the same problems as your son.
We have been back and forth to the doctors on many occasions, given medication and noe help. We are currently waiting to see a pediatrician.
After reading the reply from Kimberly, I sm quie worried about Matthew. I do think like your son that it is in his mind as he is able to go sometimes and then refuses the next time he needs to poop.
He is also getting the "overflow" in his pants to, when he is forcing him self to hold it in, the access fluid is escaping. He then wont tell anyone he has a poopy bum. this then leads to a very sore bottom which he will not let anyone near to clean up.
It is a very upsetting situation for both him and me.
Please let me know if you have any breakthroughs or want to chat.
Danielle x

Kim - posted on 08/20/2010

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What will happen and maybe you can tell him this, (it happened to my son because he just held it, it didnt' hurt him), is his rectum got enlarged making it so he couldn't feel when he had to poop anymore, the nerve endings got stretched. He kept getting constipated then the looser poop would leak around and he would poop his pants and he couldn't feel it and because his nose got used to it he couldn't smell it either. We have been thru yrs and I really mean yrs of fixing him up with Miralax, making him sit, allowing him to poop on his own, then getting constipated again and pooping his pants. He started out at 4, we took him to the Dr around 5/5.5 and he is now 10.5. Hopefully he is finally better, we will see. If you do give him enough Miralax he will have no choice to poop only thing it maybe in his pants. If you give them too much it can cause very loose poops to diarrhea. Good luck.

Tina - posted on 08/17/2010

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Hi.. I dont know if this will be of any help and I am guessing you may have already tried it, but ask him if he likes his tummy being sore when he doesnt go "potty". try explaining to him that if he doesnt go to the toilet and do poo's his tummy will get very sore and sick." the only other thing i can think of is a scare tactic of sorts but that might make it worse. you could tell him that if he doesnt go to the toilet and do poo everyday he could end up in hospital with a very sick tummy. i know it sounds drastic and mean etc but it's all i can think of that might work... good luck, I hope you get him to go "potty".. let me know how you go :)

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