What should I do about my son holding in his poop even after the enema?

Courtney - posted on 03/07/2013 ( 3 moms have responded )




My son is three, almost four and was potty trained over the summer. He has always had "potty issues" since he was two and we introduced the potty. When he was two, we didn't make a big deal of it, but he started holding it...mainly I think because he was not ready and putting so much pressure on himself to poop on the potty when he just simply wasn't ready to do so. He got into a holding it pattern and we had to give him an enema after five days of holding it. He fought us physically with this but we had no choice! After the first enema, he still continued to hold it for a couple hours. We have ruled out all medical issues and this is just a control thing.


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Elfrieda - posted on 03/07/2013




This might be too little, too late, but have you tried talking about his body in a kind of detached way? Like, it's not HIM pooping, it's his bum. My son had the beginnings of this problem, too, and I could see from two of my friends' kids how bad it could get, so I tried to take the pressure WAY off, including making a big production when he succeeded.

"Hmm, I wonder if your bum will push out a poop now. Maybe, maybe not. Let's see. Did it do it this time? Oh well, maybe your bum will do it later. If you feel like your bum is about to make a poop, run to the potty." or, "Hmm, yes, your bum made a poop. Does your stomach feel better now?" Not a very big deal whether he did it or not, because I was trying to get him to feel like it wasn't something that you succeed or fail at, it's just part of life.

And after talking about it like this for a while, suddenly pooping on the toilet was not really a big deal. Half a year later, I feel comfortable enough to say, "You can try to help your bum push the poop out." but I wouldn't even have gone that far at the beginning.

Amy - posted on 03/07/2013




You can also talk to the doctor to see if you should put him on a regular dosage of myralax (spelling) to help keep him regular.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/07/2013




Start feeding him prunes daily, avoid to many crackers, tons of water, grapes, watermelon, broccoli, really any food that is going to get him regular.

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