Potty Training a child with Chronic Constipation

Shelly - posted on 02/22/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Any suggestions for making bowel movements less traumatic for a child who already has chronic constipation?



I have a 2 1/2 year old girl who has suffered with chronic constipation for over a 1 1/2 years. I've been putting off potty training because I knew her constipation would be a problem. She has been ready to potty train for close to a year, but within the last month has been asking to urinate on the potty about 3 times per day without official potty training. So - this weekend we made it official and made a point of trying eliminate the diapers all together. Potty training went great the first 2 days while she was able to "withhold" and not have a bowel movement, but by day #3 she could not hold it anymore (the bowel meds she has been on for months make her go).



Potty training today has turned traumatic. Every time she feels a BM coming she tries to withhold (obvious by her holding her bum, crying, etc) but eventually some starts leaking out which leads to even more screaming and tears.



I have tried everything I can think of to make this a positive experience. We only talk about BM's in a positive manner, she gets something special when she does have a BM. I have tried fun "pooping" songs, I will sit with her trying to calm her and reassure her.



Any suggestions? I just don't know what else I can do to help her through this.

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Lorna - posted on 02/23/2010

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I had exactly the same problem with my son. He once had a BM that was painful and he associated pain with going to the toilet so he withheld, sometimes for 10 days or more. I took him to the doctors and he was referred to an elimination psychologist, who was brilliant. Reward charts and lots of encouragement worked eventually, but it took about 6 months before he was completely happy pooing. He still does his poo every night or every other night at the same time (just before bed) and if he hasn't done one for more than 2 nights I give him some lactulose. He is five now and I still keep an eye on him. Dry fruits such as raisins work well to keep the poo soft and if your daughter likes it - liquorice is great too.

Hope this helps
L x

[deleted account]

try to give her liquids .my daughter had the same problem too.Give her more fruits speciallly those that contain more water like watermelon,cantaloupe,If you give her juice put less juice and more water to her cup.One thing that works for me was potty songs everytime she try or just trying .I got up and dancing wiht her.When she finally did try on the potty >my reward was stickers.She would pick the sticker and so far so good ..Good Luck dont press the issue too much cause my daughter refuse to use her potty so one day I decided to put underwear on her .she had couple of acccidents.She didnt like the feeling of been wet and one day without pressing the issue She did.Good Luck

Shelly - posted on 02/22/2010

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How long did you do this for? Right now she doesn't seem to want to have a BM in the diaper or the toilet, but its worth considering! Thanks

Nicole - posted on 02/22/2010

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My daughter was potty training and would not poop on the toilet. So I let her poop in a diaper and pee on the toilet. She would go and get the diaper herself and I would put it on for her and she would poop and then we would take it off and she would continue peeing on the toilet. I don't know if this is a possibility for you and your daughter. Good Luck!

Iridescent - posted on 02/22/2010

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I'm so glad you've already had that addressed! Now it's just a fear issue, which is a battle, but not as big a one as before. Simply reward the heck out of her. What works for her? A small piece of candy (m&m or skittle), or stickers to put on a potty chair to decorate it (eventually there will be lots!), along with big hugs and praise? Just keep encouraging her, and she will catch on! :)

Shelly - posted on 02/22/2010

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Most definitely. We've been to the doctor and have addressed the chronic constipation. She is on a daily dose of Miralax, and has been doing well and having a bowel movement almost daily with this for 6 weeks without complaints. She is still on the Miralax and is excited to get rid of the diapers, but now she just doesn't want to have a BM anywhere again...

Iridescent - posted on 02/22/2010

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You really need to address the constipation first. It will cause her to only associate the toilet and toilet training with pain otherwise. The best route would be to speak with her doctor and likely start a daily dose of something like Miralax (for a child, so dosing is quite different).

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