Aibu to want to cry over ds constantly pooing his pants?

(76 Posts)
kaymondo Sat 15-Mar-14 07:49:44

Ds is 3.8 and is consistently pooing in his pants/pull ups. This has been an ongoing issue since he was potty trained a year ago. I've tried everything and just don't know where to go next. It is the most frustrating thing I've had to deal with as a parent and my patience seems to be waning. He is choosing to do this, as opposed to it being a physical issue or him not knowing he needs to go. I know this because we've had a couple of spells of a few weeks where he's had no accidents and used the toilet. Then he reverts and goes back to the pants. I am at the end of my tether. In all other respects he is a bright articulate little bit, no sn's, I just can't see where we've gone wrong. He goes to nursery/preschool at the moment and they are at a loss too. My main concern is that he starts proper school in sept and whilst pre school are set up to deal with accidents, I'm not sure they'll be so understanding once he goes into school proper.

After getting up this morning to find he'd wet his bed and pooed in his pull up I just want to cry.

I've tried ignoring it, bribery, poo goes to Pooland. Just don't know where to go now.

Sorry not really an aibu but posted in toilet training before and got no response so here for the traffic.

kaymondo Sat 15-Mar-14 08:33:46

Re constipation, is that something the gp can check for?

Budgiegirlbob Sat 15-Mar-14 08:34:44

If you are confident that he can control it, you need to get him to help getting sorted after each soiling. So maybe get him to clean himself (under supervision), put his soiled pants in the bin, get him to fetch his own clean clothes, get himself dressed, even get him to help him wash his own clothes. It needs to be more of a hassle for him to soil himself than going to the toilet, otherwise he'll keep just taking the 'easy' option.

I've been there with my DS, and it does work !

Littlefish Sat 15-Mar-14 08:35:29

Kaymondo - the 4/5 times a day, small amounts of poo could definitely be overflow pooing as a result of constipation. Go and see your GP and see if they will prescribe moviol or lactulose. The pattern of being ok for several weeks and then seemingly regressing could easily be constipation too.

minidisco Sat 15-Mar-14 08:37:25

My son did this, and after being called into his school (he was 5) for the 3rd time, I gave him a massive bollicking! I really shouted, and was very angry. He never did it again!

I had obviously done the sensitive approach first, and knew there were no sn/medical reasons etc.

DomesticSlobbess Sat 15-Mar-14 08:42:25

Does your DS have fruit juice? When DS was potty trained, he started off great but then kept pooing his pants after a couple of weeks. It was the sticky kind so I thought DS was not always aware it was coming. Sometimes he would go in the potty but for the most part it was in his pants. At the time he was having a small amount of juice diluted with water, and we realised it was the juice that was causing it. We started giving him just water and his stools soon became firm enough that he could make it to the potty in time. He's had only water ever since and the problem sorted after a couple of weeks.

kaymondo Sat 15-Mar-14 08:43:02

Thanks all - I'll take ds to the docs to see if there is a constipation issue and keep going with rewards.

Got to start potty training ds2 soon -was hoping his big brother would be done by now, there's only so many poo pants one woman can deal with!

cece Sat 15-Mar-14 08:45:41

I went to GP with my DS after 12 months of poos in pants. He had an abdominal x ray and was found to be impacted. 2 months of movicol and he is now much better (but not 100% pooing in the toilet).

I would say get this sorted before Reception starts as DS has had a few poo incidents at school which he found very embarrassing.

Booboostoo Sat 15-Mar-14 08:54:46

Could it be a problem specifically with the toilet? Is it worth buying him a new, special potty and seeing if he is more willing to sit on that?

Was just thinking similar to Booboostoo
My mum had similar problems with me withholding, I can't remember all the details as obviously I was v young, though old enough to have some vague recollations. I do remember that I absolutely hated pooing in the toilet, it felt too huge like i was going to fall and I hated the feeling of gravity 'pulling' the poo out my bum iyswim and dreaded getting any water splashed back when it plopped.

Now I'm 38 and free from any toilet issues! However for whatever reason I never articulated this to my mum at the time and she was at a loss.

I'm sure there were lots of strategies she tried, but I do remember feeling a bit better when she sat behind me on the loo.

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 15-Mar-14 09:36:27

I had this with dd (though she never quite fully trained, she could hold on like a trooper, and mostly made the toilet)

Anyway we went through diagnosis of toddler diarrhea (many times) constipation, then finally lactose intolerance. It was missed at birth and she was nearly 4 when she was

TeWiSavesTheDay Sat 15-Mar-14 09:41:15

Sorry - nearly 4.

The reason dx was missed is that it's only recently been recognised that babies with lactose intolerance don't all have failure to thrive - so her symptoms (vomitting and diarrhea around 20mins of feeding) were dismissed as in the range of normal for babies)

So I recommend looking back and seeing if there is a possibility of any dietary connections.

Good luck, it is really tough dealing with an older child with issues like this. If it is constipation there is a book called 'constipation, withholding and your child' which I would also recommend.

cherrytree63 Sat 15-Mar-14 09:52:11

My son had chronic constipation as a child and would only poo in a nappy until the age of 4. He had to go to hospital to have an enema after passing nothing for a week and then got referred to a paediatrician. I was told
that it can be a psychological fear of letting things go, and not to be anxious myself about it. As she rightly said, he will grow out of it, and won't be asking for a nappy at 18! Apparantly it is a common problem.
He did grow out of it, one day we were having my DDs first birthday party with loads of guests, and he completely stole her thunder by running into the crowd yelling 'I JUST DID A POO IN THE TOILET'!!!
What is your actual loo like? We moved house and have a low loo, my friend's son had the same problem but could poo easily on my low loo, probably as he felt safer being able to put his feet on terra firma. I'm quite short, and can only poo on the higher downstair loo if my tummy is upset. I read somewhere that if the nerves on the back of your legs get compressed by the loo seat that can affect your bowel opening.
Hope you get it sorted, I remember being stressed by it all, seems that it takes over your life at times! :-)

SuburbanRhonda Sat 15-Mar-14 09:57:43

At least three children in one of the schools I work in have this problem. Two of them are under the care of the encopresis clinic at the hospital. They were referred by the GP. The nurse who runs the clinic has a high success rate, especially with the younger children. They address the emotional issues as well as the physical ones. In your shoes, I would be asking for a referral to such a clinic straight away.

I've attended these clinics with parents and one suggestion that seems to help with younger children is giving them a pot of bubble solution to blow while they're on the toilet. It loosens the muscles and helps to relax them and not feel anxious.

Btw, in your OP you said school might not be understanding of this problem. We are very understanding! The only issue is that for a serious soiling incident you may need two adults to clean up (and should do for safeguarding anyway unless the child is cleaning themself up). This can cause problems for management of the rest of the class. The only time we get frustrated is when parents don't tell us, for example, that their child has had two sachets of Movicol before getting on a coach for a school outing! Just keep the school informed and you should be fine.

Good luck smile

henryhorrid Sat 15-Mar-14 10:49:18

Willitbe is absolutely correct constipation does NOT necessarily mean hard stools/straining.

It is extremely unlikely the GP will be able to diagnose it and are likely to dismiss you with talk of reward schemes and not refer you on until older.

Do listen to what willitbe says as undiagnosed this can cause long term problems.

Willitbe how is your DS being treated now? Will his bowels recover naturally or will he need an operation?

Cece how did you get your GP to send you for xray because I have never heard of one agreeing to it? Most paediatricians wont even agree to it. Did they do that when you first went or after lengthy investigations?

TheNightIsDark Sat 15-Mar-14 10:54:50

We have this with DS and he's 5 next week. Consultant has said it's an impacted bowel and he's lost sensation when he needs to poo. He's on movicol which is helping a lot.

It took us 2 years to realise there was a medical problem.

CSIJanner Sat 15-Mar-14 11:05:13

DC1 has had this - I was worried about he school start but other than a few accidents, not wiping thoroughly etc, alas been well. We were referred to a specialist as our doctor could prescribe but didnt have the specialised knowledge to help. DC1 had rewards from an outside source (not just parents) as incentive, bubbles on the toilet (they do work!) and singing on the loo plus movicol pediatric. Basically, after a bad case of constipation, DC1 got toilet phobia so held onto the poo. By holding onto the poo, the colon got distorted so instead of shaped like an elastic funnel, it became bell shaped at the end, almost like the end of a yard of ale IYKWIM. That's the only way to describe it without pictures... The colon has fully recovered - we're now trying to break bad toilet habits such as not wiping properly, hands, preferring to play instead of popping to the loo etc. We've also had to look at diet such as only so much fruit, more water etc as apparently that all affects digestion.

OP - you have my sympathies. It's very disheartening, and for me (as I wash the pants) a tad yuck also but you will get there.

Mumbledore Sat 15-Mar-14 11:09:11

I totally sympathise - my dsis is going through the exact same thing and it's really getting her down. Again, my nephew has been diagnosed with constipation by the GP and referred to a paedeatrician.

This may or may not help you but yesterday he admitted the smell puts him off so we gave him a perfume sample card to sniff on the potty. It helped distract him and he managed to poo. Slightly weird but it seemed to work!

fruitpastille Sat 15-Mar-14 11:22:57

I would try daily 'toilet time'. Same time every day, sit on the loo for 15 mins or so with a comfy seat and stool for feet. Have stories, toys, ipad, whatever. Reward with a sticker each day (doesn't matter if he poos nor not, just reward for sitting). When he has say 10 stickers he gets something (we did hotwheels cars). This worked well for us, eventually pooing at this time became a habit and 2 years later we still have daily toilet time. There is moaning sometimes but we have stuck to our guns.

it would still be worth checking for constipation though.

Forgettable Sat 15-Mar-14 11:39:29

Sounds like textbook impaction with overflow

Talk to GP, expect to be fobbed off with lactulose solution, be firm about wanting to try Movicol to clear out and to subsequently retrain and maintain the bowel function

Look at the eric website, lets see if i can link...www.eric.org.uk

DraggingDownDownDown Sat 15-Mar-14 11:57:42

My son wouldn't poo on the toilet - complete mental block over it. We put a nappy on his at night and he would poo into that and would go to bed.

He went to school dry day time but still pooing in nappies at night. Didn't make any reference to it (although I was most concerned about it) then one day at 4.3mths he just decided he would go on the toilet.

Now at age 10 he has turned into a typical male and takes a book in there!!

I am constantly trying to explain to him that it won't be acceptable at school and that none of the other Children will do it
Ouch.

Starting school is scary enough when you are 5 and ready for it. Using this as ammunition against a 3 year old is likely to worry him I would have thought. Presumably he won't be starting until September? Six months is a long time in the life of a 3 year old.

JackShit Sat 15-Mar-14 12:16:41

Been there, got the poo-stained t-shirt.

The absolute best thing you can do right now is ask for a referral to you nearest children's continence clinic. As mentioned upthread they address the emotional side of things as well as suggesting practical steps and prescribing tailored medication.

Best thing we ever did - DDs poos all go in the loo now smile

SuburbanRhonda Sat 15-Mar-14 12:19:11

secret, totally agree.

As I said in my pp we have three children at my school with this issue. We treat them all with kindness and adopt a very business-like approach so they don't get unduly upset.

The only time it's frustrating is when parents don't keep us in the loop about what's happening, in particular when their child has been dosed with laxatives and they don't tell us, so neither the child not school is expecting an accident to happen.

SuburbanRhonda Sat 15-Mar-14 12:19:57

* nor

Bumply Sat 15-Mar-14 12:31:06

Ds1 would poo in pants until well into primary school.
It didn't appear to be medical, but no amount of talking, coaxing etc. had any effect. I just had to leave him to it, take the emotion right out of it, just treat it as 'normal' for him and he eventually grew out of it. Worst part was trying to get him to admit to an accident and change, as he would deny despite smelling to high heaven.

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