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.

deakymom Sat 15-Mar-14 07:58:34

rewards? if he goes on the potty give him a reward if he doesn't ignore?

sounds hard but dont make a big fuss dont even tell him your going to reward him personally if i tell my son if he does abc he will get xyz he will sabotage it! no idea why

have a discussion with him about going to school explain no one else poos in there pants x

kaymondo Sat 15-Mar-14 08:07:52

We do the rewards thing - doesn't really work, or he'll use the toilet until he gets the reward and then go back to his pants - as I say, he is making the choice to soil himself.

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 but it seems to go in one ear and out the other hmm

Itsaburrdiee Sat 15-Mar-14 08:08:11

No ideas, just support. My dd is the same age and due to constipation issues has to be in pull ups. She has no control over bowel movements and despite being fully toilet trained at just over 2 now also wets her pants. it's very frustrating and worrying. We're fortunate in that we're in Scotland and she won't start school for another year. Nursery are a bit more understanding.

Is it worth leaving his lower half bare when at home to encourage him to use the toilet?

Littlefish Sat 15-Mar-14 08:08:42

Is it a full poo, or just small amounts each time?

Mumof3xx Sat 15-Mar-14 08:09:43

We had this with one of our boys

Bribery worked for us. Something he really really loves to do is play on a computer.

He had to poo on the toilet if he wanted computer time. It did work for us

henryhorrid Sat 15-Mar-14 08:09:55

It may well not be deliberate, it is so common to be witholding. Having periods of being Ok does not discount this. The night time wetting can be linked too. Child can have lost full control with constipation without any hard stools ever being passed and without you being aware of any straining. If this is the case there may be nothing he can do about it so reward charts will be more distressing as he cannot achieve it. Try sitting him on toilet 15 minutes after every meal whether he wants to go or not and reward for trying.

We were told to make our DD clean herself up, to see how long it takes and that time is taken out of play time.
We also made up a story about the poo going on an adventure...blush It went down the pipes and to the sea. Poo that goes in pants doesn't go on an adventure, you see smile

Allofaflumble Sat 15-Mar-14 08:12:08

Would it be worth a try when you can stay home for a couple of days to say "now you are a big boy, no more pull ups".

I knew a boy, older than your boy with s n and I was baby sitting one night and we got to talking about the nappies/pull ups and he told me he did it as he could not be bothered to go to the toilet!

I think they do it because its comfy iyswim- good luck. PS. When the parents of my boy made the decision to stop the pull ups it all stopped. Worth a try?

cathyandclaire Sat 15-Mar-14 08:13:02

What about sitting him on the loo at the same time every day? it's better after a meal 'cos then the bowel is stimulated to go, just let him relax for ten mins or so (not pushing or anything just read him a story, or chat ) and gradually his body can be trained to go then... I know people who it's worked for smile

FourAndDone Sat 15-Mar-14 08:13:28

My Ds did this, he is 7 now and thankfully grew out of it a couple of years ago. It is horrible and made me very angry, but obviously showing Ds that I felt that way didn't help. I'm afraid to say it took a lot of time and bribery (often big expensive toyshmm) and let him go to the shop and choose some nice character pants, tell him that if he soils them then they will go in the bin. Shitty pants cannot be cleaned in this house!

Spinaroo Sat 15-Mar-14 08:16:52

I would remove the night time pull up- we also had something similar- the withholding and then lots of dirty pants when he just had to go at about age 3. . But he did wet his pull up either during the night or every morning before we got to him. At age 4 and going to school in eight months, we removed it- it didn't work immediately but it did work

RuddyDuck Sat 15-Mar-14 08:18:12

My son did this until he was 4. Part of it was laziness - he'd be playing a game and couldn't be bothered to go to the loo to pee or poo. However, we also realised when he was about 5 that he had a mild lactose intolerance. If he had quite a lot of dairy in one day then he had very loose poo and he didn't get to the loo in time.

I felt really bad when the paediatric dietician confirmed it and taught us how to manage it because I'd been getting so cross with him about it. The fact that it was quite mild meant we didn't make the connectin for ages, so it might be worth thinking about whether there is a dietary trigger for your ds.

kaymondo Sat 15-Mar-14 08:19:45

Thanks for the ideas. Re pull ups, he only wears them at night for sleep -I was planning to stop using them but then realised he is actually wetting during the night when he's sleeping so thought he hadn't got the right hormone yet to get through the night dry.

Interesting about the withholding, I just assumed because he can have literally weeks of no accidents that this was unlikely. We've had times where there is a mark in his pants so you know he needs to go, I've sat him on the toilet and he's cried and screamed that he doesn't need to go and then within 2 min of him getting off he's done it in his pants - that's what makes me think it isn't necessarily a physical issue.

He is very resistant to going to the toilet for a try - even when he needs to go he will automatically say no if it suggested that he tries (ie before we get in the car etc).

It is sometimes full poos - sometimes he lets it out in little bits. So when he is using the toilet he'll have one, perhaps two,poos a day. When he's soiling it can be 4/5 times so guessing he's not going in one go iyswim

Treaclepot Sat 15-Mar-14 08:22:27

My 3.9 year old would never manage without a nappy at night though she has been completely dry in the day since 2.1, its hard to stop a pull up at night sometimes.

Does he ever wear pull ups in the day? This is very confusing for them.
Tr and not make a thing of it, even though it is really annoying my eldest used to wet himself for the reaction.

It will end soon!

Treaclepot Sat 15-Mar-14 08:22:56

Xpost!

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Sat 15-Mar-14 08:22:58

Is there any chance he is constipated, or has been in the past and is now witholding until he can't? This is so common, I had no idea until DS went to school (he's got it under control now, but is still on Movicol) but it affects at least 3 other children in his class, too.

kaymondo Sat 15-Mar-14 08:23:55

Should say that I do not clean poo pants either - they go straight in the bin, even his favourite fireman Sam boxer shorts.

Maybe i need to bite the bullet and lose the night time pull up - at least the weathers getting better for drying bedding.

byhec Sat 15-Mar-14 08:24:48

We had this with my daughter. Worked out she was a little bit constipated and didn't have patience to sit on the loo. Fruit with every meal made the difference for us.

Don't worry you'll get there eventuallly x

kaymondo Sat 15-Mar-14 08:26:17

I don't think he's constipated - I'd be surprised given the amount of fruit he eats.

SmeeHee Sat 15-Mar-14 08:27:38

I had similar with DS2, particular with the rewards working but as soon as we stopped them (thinking he'd got it) going back to poos in pants. So we kept up with the rewards for longer, going straight from one thing to "what do you want to get for the next 10 stickers" (we bought a collection of small toys that he wanted all together so he knew that there were lots to "earn").

It wasn't immediate and we lost a few more pairs of pants along the way but, when the rewards ran out, using the toilet for poos had become normal for him and we haven't had any issues since.

Hope that you find a way to help your DS.

willitbe Sat 15-Mar-14 08:30:47

I agree with Henryhorrid - be careful there is a possibility of constipation. It sounds very similar to many oldest ds, holding back lead to him having overflow soiling (leaking poo) which was a little intermittent. My son stopped what I thought was wilful soiling at age 4.5. But unfortunately continued to have occasional leakage accidents.

At age 9 finally constipation was diagnosed and we are still dealing with the consequences 18 months later.

Do not make my mistake and assume that ability to hold when strong bribery means that soiling at other times is wilful. Get him checked for constipation first. Constipation I learned does not mean that poo is hard and difficult to pass, the blockage can be higher up.

I hope you get a resolution soon.

woollybobs Sat 15-Mar-14 08:31:48

Could he be doing it for attention. Children like attention whether it is positive or negative.

I would try ignoring him when he poos in his pants and clean him up in silence. If he poos in the toilet give him loads of over the top praise.

I am a nurserynurse and years ago I had a little girl who wet her pants everytime I covered in the room. No one could understand why until one day it clicked. The first time she wet I took her in bathroom reasured her it was ok and chatted and sang together. She enjoyed her 1-1 time with me and soon realised if she wet she got me too herself.

This may not be the answer for you but worth a thought.

kaymondo Sat 15-Mar-14 08:32:06

Think I will reintroduce rewards too - just gets expensive as the things that will motivate ds are not necessarily small - still at this rate I will pay almost anything to save my sanity!

Sorry, realise I sound a bit negative about some of things suggested- it's just that this has been going on for so long now that I have tried most things.

I think laziness and attention seeking are big factors if I'm honest.

Nerris Sat 15-Mar-14 08:33:19

I feel for you. I had this with my daughter for nearly 9 months. It's so hard. I was changing pooey knickers and trousers sometimes 3 times a day, it really got me down.

In the end we used a treat system and went mad with praise if she pooed in the potty. If we noticed her pooing whilst playing we would whip her on to the potty. Basically potty training all over again.

Accidents do happen at night anyway, but I would get rid of the pull-ups, they might be confusing him as to where he can/should poo.

As hard as it is try not to get cross or teary or even make a big deal of it at all. It crossed my mind that my daughter may have started doing it for attention (she had a young baby sister on the scene too).

Good luck and don't despair, it's not that uncommon, but it is hard for you.

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!

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.

LisaMed Sat 15-Mar-14 13:40:23

Had a few similar problems. Basically didn't want to be bothered with doing a poo, withheld, got blocked, stuff leaked, etc etc etc

I went absolutely rigid, no deviation, compulsory he has to sit on the loo morning and evening at particular times. Occasional laxative and include stuff like raisins etc. Lots of fruit and water so that pooing was easy.

My big breakthrough - the cheapest, knock off, bottom of the line bargain basement hand held video game from ebay. He only got to play it when he was sitting on the loo doing a poo. It didn't last long, but it helped get him to actually sit there for long enough. I've also made sure that I sat and played/chatted/told stories etc with him, but getting him to sit long enough to listen was the first challenge hth

Herecomesthesciencebint Sat 15-Mar-14 13:49:15

My 6.5 year old DS is still soiling. But it's better than it was. He went out of nappies easily at 3 and was fully clean for a year then just started doing full poos in his pants. He would literally look us in the eye and do it almost without thinking.
It's taken huge amounts of biting my lip but anger does not help.
There are some good websites about and suggestions and personal experience would be that criticism does nothing but damage everyone and that gentle and consistent support is all you can do.
We never found rewards useful as after a certain time it clearly wasn't in his control and he still rarely says he needs a poo and def never seems to smell it. So offering a reward just becomes demoralising for him.
It's tricky as they get older and other kids become aware and can be cruel.
We praise DS if he goes to the loo when asked or prompted without any complaining and he now helps us clean his pants etc. we celebrate improvements however minor and things are better but us have to view the bigger picture to see that as week on week can be variable.

It's important to avoid constipation as that aggregates it.

I really empathise, it's been a v long road and I've had alot of private tears and bought ALOT if little boys pants.
But like everything, this too will pass!

girlwhowearsglasses Sat 15-Mar-14 13:53:57

OP check out ERIC www.eric.org.uk/ - they are: "ERIC is a national charity that supports children with continence problems and
campaigns for better childhood continence care - See more at: http://www.eric.org.uk/#sthash.ldt8R3qn.dpuf"

They ahve a helpline. My DTs were both wetting all through reception and we were incredibly lucky to have a really proactive teacher.

Number one thing: don't try and go cold turkey at night. Night time is a completely different issue. Check out the factsheets on ERIC

NoodleOodle Sat 15-Mar-14 14:24:20

My friend's child had a problem with this. She started to give porridge made with water every morning, then sit on toilet a few minutes afterwards with parent paying attention doing something the child enjoyed - reading story or singing nursery song. It did help, the combo of porridge, routine, and attention but, they did need Movicol too so, I would agree with the advice to get it medically checked.

RedFocus Sat 15-Mar-14 14:36:16

I am amazed that you haven't taken him to the GP to rule out a medical problem! Have you spoken to your health visitor at least?
My daughter was exactly the same but I took her to the doctors and it turned out to be because she was constipated. She had some mild laxatives and that sorted her out within 2 weeks.

minouminou Sat 15-Mar-14 15:20:08

We had this with DS. He did it quite deliberately, announcing he was going to poo, going into a corner and doing it in his knickers.

We had lengthy talks about it, tried all sorts..no result.

What cracked it in the end was taking a photo of any poos he did in the toilet and "sending" them to significant people (we didn't send them in reality). These people were primed to send a text back saying "Well done!"

One day he announced: "I'm going to poo in the toilet all the time because it makes Saturn happy."

We didn't bother asking.
Whatever works for you, DS.....

minouminou Sat 15-Mar-14 15:21:30

....although there may have been one or two quips about Uranus....

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Sat 15-Mar-14 17:47:55

Don't be too sure he isn't constipated. Lots of fruit does not mean he isn't constipated. Sounds very like my son and daughter- they had been constipated then had an uncomfortable poo so were then terrified of going on the loo. Going in your pants is easier, in their mind. It can be very complex and getting angry doesn't usually help that much. I understand how hard it is to be patient though!

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Sat 15-Mar-14 17:54:17

And I recommend movicol- 2 sachets a day for a good few weeks. Tis good stuff and harmless. Needs to be used for at least a year, every day, to retrain the bowel properly

Pipbin Sat 15-Mar-14 18:00:45

I am a reception teacher and although it is 'proper school' we can and do handle soiled pants all the time. We never tell a child off for soiling. Just make sure you send him in with a change of clothes. Some parents send their child in with one at the beginning of term and keep it there until it's needed.

One thing I would warn against though is telling him that he can't go to big school if he still soils himself. I know of one child who turned this on it's head and continued to soil so he wouldn't have to go to big school!

willitbe Sat 15-Mar-14 19:51:24

Henryhorrid - you asked about how my son is doing now. As he was not diagnosed by X-ray until he was 9 years old, the recovery is a long slow process. There has been some improvement in that the pain of impaction has gone, but we are still using the movicol every day, plan was for two years of it.

I am not sure who said it, but fruit will not prevent constipation in a child who holds back from going to the toilet. My son has always had an excellent diet with plenty of fruit veg and fibre, part of the reason I assumed constipation could not be the situation.

I wish I could turn the clock back and realise that poo pants are not a problem. My son still soiling at age ten is not an issue regarding school. Maybe if I had been less stressed about it I might have stopped blaming behavioural issues sooner?

henryhorrid Sat 15-Mar-14 20:51:25

willitbe - does he still soil? How does he manage at school? Do they think his bowels will recover by movicol alone. I understood that if diagnosis was this late it is difficult to regain bowel control and an operation may be necessary. I agree it is not about the diet if a child is witholding. In fact too much fibre especially with not enough water can make the problem worse.

FreeWee Sat 15-Mar-14 21:17:31

I have never potty trained so my advice is probably totally useless but if you're convinced it's through choice rather than accident I would cancel all planned things for the week and say "we can't leave the house till I can trust you not to poo your pants". Then for every day without an incident I'd organise a fun activity out for the next day (immediate reward). Hopefully the gaps will be longer & longer until you don't have to do something 'specially' fun just normal fun IYSWIM.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Sat 15-Mar-14 22:52:25

Free wee that would be a very cruel way to treat a three yr old, especially if he has a medical problem and can't help it!

willitbe Sun 16-Mar-14 13:10:43

FreeWee - sorry but I too think that that idea is not good as if it is a medical reason it will be cruel to wave the "carrot" in front of them that they cannot achieve, and threaten the "stick" for something that is not their fault. And if it is by choice, then getting to know what the cause of the choice is more important, as if it is fear then forcing them to do something that frightens them, might just cause more harm than good. Getting to understand the reason is hard but much more likely to lead to possible resolutions.

henryhorrid - it is not soiling as in huge accidents, but he does get overflow. So it is only a little more than "skidmarks", and to be honest it is not noticeable to others. The occasions where he withholds for a while and then has a small accident before getting to the toilet, he deals with himself at school. We are hoping that the movicol will do the trick eventually.

Defnotsupergirl Tue 18-Mar-14 03:09:56

From a different point of view, I work in a healthcare setting and we have a lad that attends at 17 years old with a psychological constipation problem. He was brought up with Mum and Gran who used to give him lots of attention when he was on the potty/toilet. He started deliberately holding on which caused accidents. This progressed to him then having more attention as then he was "ill" which he enjoyed. This then caused him to live up to that status. After years of Mum and Gran keeping him off school due to stomach pain and accidents followed by extreme laxative treatment which meant more time off school and him living up to Mum and Gran's idea of what is wrong with him, he is now getting proper treatment and is being sorted out and is now clean. The psychologist treating him said there is a time and a place for celebrating correct toilet training but what this poor lad needed was someone to be displeased and show disgust at the accidents. He has no SN and is otherwise a typical, if cosseted, teenager. Mum & Gran still are adamant he is "ill" physically and do not accept it is a mental affliction at all. It is only his determination to be typical and clean that is overcoming this, they are still trying to persuade him not to listen to the doctor and that he is ill............

mathanxiety Tue 18-Mar-14 03:38:05

A reward in the evening for a day without poo in the pants and again in the morning?

This may sound weird but how much play in sand and mud does he get to do?

A high fibre diet without lots and lots of water will result in constipation.

Finally (assuming there is no constipation problem that needs medical intervention) -- who does the clean up every time?

Get him to do the clean up himself, every single small detail of it. It will be time consuming and he will prefer to do something else, and you of course would be able to get it accomplished in a fraction of the time, but he needs to take ownership of the entire process of pooping here, and if he poops in his pants or in his bed then that will include cleaning up afterwards, just as at this point pooping in the loo will involve wiping himself and washing his hands.

I would advise buying some disposable latex gloves and starting to teach him to clean up. It won't be fun. But he will own the whole process. YANBU to be angry and frustrated but do not do this with anger or as a punishment. You are empowering your DS and putting the process entirely in his hands.

mathanxiety Tue 18-Mar-14 03:43:10

Minouminou, I used a book called Toilet Training in Less Than a Day (or a week, something like that) for training the DCs. An important part of the training was to have a list of People Who Care lined up to take the excited call of the trainee who had managed to keep her pants dry and clean all day. The People Who Cared were primed to offer enthusiastic encouragement and congratulations. Some of our calls were transatlantic and quite expensive, and the DCs are a bit embarrassed at the thought of them all now, but they loved sharing the good news back then.

Wurstwitch Tue 18-Mar-14 04:51:50

Ds is in the same position as willitbe's ds. He's 12 now. Mostly clean, but occasional soiling.

He was given the full works, X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests etc. Dx around 9, too, but has always has problems with continence. I have lost count of the number of shitty pants that I have washed, he has washed, I have thrown away, he has hidden.

He has never had a problem at school, but did once stink out an entire bus for three hours because he had been on an overnight trip and attempted to withhold. Weirdly, no one realized it was him. His sister was on the same trip and knew. He came back from a weekend cub camp with an entire hold-all full of soiled clothes.

Yanbu to want to cry. Been there, got the t shirt. School used to piss me off as they were aware of his issues, but seemed not to notice when he was wet/ soiled. It would take me a fraction do a second at pick-up time to clock he'd had an accident. Sometimes it was very obviously hours old.

Anyhow, yes, enuresis clinic.

minouminou Tue 18-Mar-14 16:14:45

Mathanxiety - some of your calls may have been transatlantic, but we had an entire planet involved!

Thinking back, DS said a few times he was going to poo in his knickers forever, as he liked it. We tried offering cheap nappies specifically for him to poo in...he wasn't having it, we tried a potty, just in case he was scared of the water splashing...wasn't having it.

We knew he had control because he'd come home from nursery and poo within a few minutes - always announced, always same corner. The people (and planets confused ) that cared really made a difference to him, so I think if this method has made it into a book, then others should try it.

We did actually take pics of poo in the toilet and claimed to send them, when in reality we just sent a text prompt for fulsome praise.

It really was very wearing, but with a bit of imagination we cracked it.
Obvs if there's a medical issue it's a bit more complicated.

Pancakeflipper Tue 18-Mar-14 16:22:43

My DS had a problem pooing (similar age to yours OP in fact a dew months older when we resolved it).
What worked for us was an idea the H gave that I thought was bonkers.
When DS wanted to poo we would put a nappy over the loo trapped hammock like by the loo seat. So he sat on the loo and pooed into the nappy. I read many books sat on the bathroom floor.

Apparently a fear of pooing into the abyss of a loo is quite common . Then one day we happened to run out of nappies.... And he was fine. And already for the school loo.

Good luck. ERIC are good listeners!

FreeWee Sun 23-Mar-14 00:05:23

I did caveat with 'if you're convinced it's by choice' If it's not by choice & you're in the slightest doubt then of course a carrot/stick approach isn't going to help if it's medical. But my DN voluntarily went in his pants aged 9 because he couldn't be bothered to stop what he was doing & go to the loo (his words) so the carrot/stick approach worked with him because he wasn't allowed to do the thing that was 'distracting' him from going to the toilet. As I said if you're convinced it's by choice it's a potential course of action which has, with my particular DN, worked.

kaymondo Wed 26-Mar-14 09:21:52

Hi all

Thank you all so much for your input - sorry I've not been back for a while as life got in the way and ds went through one of his 'good' spells with no accidents so it wasn't at the forefront of my mind. However after a very bad few days we're going to the docs this afternoon and will take it from there - I'm really grateful for the info people have provided here as I feel a bit more confident about what may need to be considered and hopefully not being fobbed off.

Someone up thread commented that they were surprised I'd not been the docs before and maybe I should have but every time it got to the stage that I was going to, ds had a good spell and it would seem unnecessary - and because of that pattern of behaviour I thought it was not likely to be a medical issue. I now know that is not necessarily the case.

I'll update after we've been this afternoon.

mathanxiety Fri 28-Mar-14 02:40:01

Hope it went well Kaymondo.

LibraryMum8 Fri 28-Mar-14 04:39:20

I earned my sainthood toilet trainings ds. He was extremely difficult to train, extremely resistant. It literally took years to train him though he is very bright.

Rewards never worked, he would earn the reward and then go back. I showed him how to clean himself up and when he had an accident I'd just say 'You know what to do ' in my most calm manner possible. No getting angry, never shaming, etc. Just lots of patience and No reactions.

Though I will say if he's in a pull-up don't expect him not to stay clean and dry at night. For ds and many other children this is literally impossible. It feels just like a diaper.

Ds finally was 100 percent trained maybe by age 7 (no accidents for a year) after three years of me earning my halo. It will come. I never thought it would!!

LibraryMum8 Fri 28-Mar-14 04:56:41

TO stay clean and dry!

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