How do you Potty train a 4 yr. old with chronic constipation?

Penney - posted on 01/13/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )




My son will be 4 in Feb. and he has chronic constipation issues that our Ped. is aware of and only recommends Miralax daily,I admit his diet could also be better and it's not that I don't enforce it,he's just very stubborn,anyhow with this said it's making potty training very difficult,not that he doesn't have any willingness,it's hit or miss,mostly miss,and pretty much completely miss when it comes to having a BM because of how difficult and uncomfortable it is,it's pityful seeing him in such discomfrt and straining do hard,any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.Thank-You Penney A.


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Stephanie - posted on 07/04/2012




Hi there...I know this is an older post, but I'm hoping this may be seen by other mothers who have issues with Chronic Constipation and maybe the issue of Encopresis. My daughter started becoming extrememly constipated when she was 4 and kept having accidents (soiling her undies) a few times a day and she was diagnosed as having encopresis. All the doctors did over the 4 years of visits, was tell us she needed more fiber, drink more water and take laxatives. Finally we realized that gluten (wheat products) may be to blame and we started giving her fruit flavored chewable probiotics on a daily basis and within 24 hours, her system got back on track and she had a massive bowel movement.

I started a blog for other moms who are going through this and frustrated and searching for answers! Please visit my blog at to learn more. I'm not selling anything, just trying to educate and give hope to mom's who are going through the same thing I went through for 4 long years.

Have a great day,


Jane - posted on 07/19/2010




mickie's suggestion sounds great. as far as getting him interested again, reading a book worked for my daughter and just sitting w/her while she sat was helpful. i just told her to take some good deep breaths to relax her belly. i'd have her read to me or sing a song w/me. now she is on her own. i think when things need a helping hand, they may get gun shy about it. just keep things on the upbeat so he's comfortable about all of it.
good luck!

Michelle - posted on 07/16/2010




Try cutting things like wheat out of his diet and see if it eases the constipation. My daughter used to suffer badly and it turned out she has a gluten intolerance. I suffer badly if I eat things like bread or stuff with loads of wheat in. Constipation can be extremely painful - it landed me in hospital - but now, with a change in diet, both my daughter and myself do not suffer with it anymore. It's really worth sticking to a strict diet and will probably lead to your son not needing medication anymore too.

Mickie - posted on 01/16/2010




Hi Penney - my name is Mickie and I might have something that could help. I had a child like this in preschool and his doctor recommended a medication that is now over the counter called Myerolax. It is tasteless and he took it 1 tsp. in juice every evening before going to bed. It worked without any cramps usually by morning. What it did was give him some fluid and fiber that helped regulate his BM and helped him eliminate easier. I also have had an gastroenterologist recommend I use it for my grandson (who is now 14) for the very same reason - hard time going to the bathroom. Now, you may have to regulate the dose and of course check with your pediatrician, but maybe he needs a little bit of help with this in order for him to feel more comfortable about going BM. If it hurts ... they won't try - and it sounds like it hurts, so he stores it up and that's what makes it hard. If they hold it in, than their stomach aches and they won't eat because there is no room. Check with the pediatrician and see if this is a regiment that might be useful. Hope that gave you a place to start. Mickie

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