to think that DD needs to stop crapping her pants?

(127 Posts)
brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 21:52:54

Every night. EVERY night.
She's almost 4. She has been toilet trained for a year.
Every night.
I sit her on toilet. She insists she doesn't need to and can't go.
I give up eventually and put her to bed. She promises, again, to call me if she needs the toilet. Time passes. Sometimes I check in every so often, but it is always the same - nope, can't go, I'll tell you when I am ready.

Then....she calls. I go. She has not only had a poo, but has undressed herself and tried to clean it up. I spend next twenty minutes cleaning up poo. Tonight I cleaned poo off the wall, off her, her pjs, her sheets, a dish towel that she'd used to try and wipe herself (ok, that one I just threw in the bin).

She gets rash. That makes her try to hold it.

She is not asleep when this happens; in fact, she can't fall asleep until afterwards.

I try not to be too cross, so as to make her more anxious about it and maybe make things worse - she gets anxious about me being cross - but I want her to know it has to stop.

Have tried a reward chart - this has worked with her for everything else so far - no luck.

Every. single. night.

She completely understands. But she doesn't seem able to stop this habit.

WipsGlitter Mon 19-May-14 21:56:49

She's withholding. Did she ever have trouble poo-ing? Anal fissure that could be preventing her from going? Has she ever gone in the toilet.

I had a poo with-holder. Dealing with the shitty pants, the chats with nursery and the accidents on play dates was awful and embarrassing.

PumpkinPie2013 Mon 19-May-14 22:00:34

Have you taken her to the GP to rule out any medical cause? I know she is toilet trained so there could be something else.

You mention she tries to hold it? Apologies I didn't understand the bit about the rash? Again could point to a medical reason.

How long has it been happening? Has she been poorly lately?

I'd start with the GP and go from there.

Hope you get sorted soon flowers

Shakirasma Mon 19-May-14 22:01:37

Could you pop her in a pull up at bedtime so she can do her poo, then put her in pants afterwards to go to sleep?

BobTheFly Mon 19-May-14 22:03:27

Can you give her a pull up to do it in?
Can you use a baby monitor to hear her and intercept before she tries to clear it up?

ScottishInSwitzerland Mon 19-May-14 22:04:27

We have poo issues here too so I sympathise

Could you stick a potty in her room?

RandomMess Mon 19-May-14 22:04:50

I agree I would put her in a nappy at night until she's been. I would tell her not to try and clean it up herself though!

Yep, withholding - this is an anxiety issue, not really a poo issue.

I'd back right off - put her in pull-ups at bedtime. When she fills it, clean her up, lots of praise and love and kisses (and good night without poo everywhere wink).

Once that works well, then let her decide when she can do without the pull-up. Maybe consider a potty in her room for a little while? We did this, on a bathmat, just until various DSs were more confident.

Don't 'try not to be cross'; don't be. Otherwise it will carry on longer tbh.

I have yet to meet a child who likes poking themselves sad

Lots of x-posts grin

Oh my, 'pooing', not poking ffs hmm

CardiffUniversityNetballTeam Mon 19-May-14 22:07:30

I had this with DS. He pooed his pants everyday for a year. Yes, you read that right, a year. I tried everything and nothing worked. Then one day it just stopped and he started using the toilet. Almost as if it had never happened. He is 6 now and it is a dim and distant memory. Sometimes I look back and almost laugh, but it's still not been long enough for that yet!
Deep breath, and remember, this to shall pass.

Alternatively I know my SIL has had some success using Movicol with my niece. It means she can't hold it in anymore. The first couple of times though were VERY messy. And you have to keep on using it, don't stop after the first few doses. I think you need to get it from GP too.

Good luck

PrincessBabyCat Mon 19-May-14 22:10:17

If she's trying to clean it up herself she's obviously feeling anxious about it, and it's not a willful disobedience.

I agree with the pull up idea, if only to save your own sanity of making it an easier clean up.

On a personal note, I'd probably have to have DH handle this because I don't think I'd have the patience for it. Just take a deep breath. It's probably not fun for her either.

theeternalstudent Mon 19-May-14 22:10:20

Please take her to the GP. Whether this is withholding, constipation or what you need some help with this.

My child also has this issue. Medication is helping.
You don't have to do this alone. Get some help please!

Ineedanewone Mon 19-May-14 22:11:05

How difficult for both of you, she must feel awful and it must be difficult to keep a calm face when you face a mess.
Have you tried leaving a potty for her, and botty wipes? And does she get time to sit on the toilet during the day, perhaps with a pile of books to look at? I'm sure you make sure she is eating and drinking well, with fluids and fibre, but ifvyou haven't already done so, do discuss with you gp.

ReallyTired Mon 19-May-14 22:12:09

I am confused. Has your daughter ever been clean? Or is she bladder trained but poo trained. Does she poo in the toilet during the day?

How does your daughter feel about night nappies? I realise its frustating, but she is still very young. I think that she is trying to avoid you finding that she has pooed her pjamas if she is attempting to clean herself up. Rather than scolding her for pooing in her clothes it would be better getting her to learn what she should do if she does poo. Prehaps the small mite thought she was helping by undressing and attempting to clean up.

CountingToThree Mon 19-May-14 22:14:30

Definitely go to the docs to get some help. My Dd was the same for around a year, tried rewards, got angry etc before I got help. Prescribed lactulose, all sorted within two weeks and never an accident since.

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:14:40


She had a bad spot of with-holding around Christmas-time, She was ill (croup) and just held it in and got very constipated, she didn't go for about four days.

She had really a red and inflamed genital area, back in the autumn, and we took her to the dr several times over that because it wasn't clearing up. Dr gave us some cream and some stuff to add to her bath water, and gradually it did go away.

She hasn't been ill lately, and definitely isn't constipated. She does poo in the toilet during the day, although she doesn't like it and sometimes complains that it is hurting her - the reason it hurts though is that when she has a poo in her pull-up at night, even though she calls me in there within minutes, it gives her a rash. It is definitely a rash caused by the presence of the poo, IYSWIM. Tonight, she had no sign of rash. She used the toilet before bed. Then she calls, I clean her up, and she's got a rash that looks and is painful. So the whole thing is made worse, because then she cries when I have to clean her up. WHich means she tries even harder not to poo, because I think it must be associated now with a stingy bum and a cross mum.

I have he baby monitor...she knows I can hear her on there, so she calls me in after the Event - but not before. If I try to get in there first, she'll just hold out. If I try to make her sit longer on the toilet, she refuses and it seems counter-productive.

I should have said - she wears a pull-up at night. I have wondered if this might be part of the problem, and maybe if I just put her in pants she would not do it?
I might try the potty in her room.

MezleyM Mon 19-May-14 22:15:15

She's not actually toilet trained, if she is still soiling every night. Had exactly the same situation with my eldest. After six months of the GP fobbing me off, telling me that this was normal at the age of 4, I had a total meltdown in the surgery (was 8 month pg which seemed to be the trump card!) and he was seen by a paed consultant. Although he was pooing everyday, he was actually chronically constipated and had effectively lost all sensation in his sphincter muscles. He was put on movicol which improved the situation in a week, in six months he was on a maintenance dose, and off it completely within a year. I have to say though, he is now 8 and I still have to remind him to poo, the consultant did warn me it could take years to resolve completely. Go to your GP, before there is long term damage...either physical or psychological. Movicol transformed my son...I am evangelical about the stuff! Good luck!

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:18:18

Prehaps the small mite thought she was helping by undressing and attempting to clean up.

Oh definitely! Tonight she had her pj bottoms down around her knees, and had found a dishcloth (from her play kitchen) and tried to clean herself with that.
I really do try not to have ago at her when it happens. We talk about how its a problem and how it hurts her and how it makes a mess, and how we really need to solve it, and we hug and she goes back to sleep. She's even helped me try to think of ways to sort it out - like she suggested she could have a Frozen poster if she poo'd in the toilet at night instead of her pants. So we said we'd try that, but she couldn't even go one night.

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:19:36

Mezley, thank you. That's a scary thought - that it might be more serious than I thought - but I will definitely check it out now.

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:20:57

We gave her lactulose at Christmas when she was so constipated. I guess I didn't think she was this time because she is poo-ing, just not where we want her to - I didn't understand that she could be poo-ing and still be constipated.

ReallyTired Mon 19-May-14 22:21:44

Do you think she is constipated? You you restrict drinks at bedtime? (Many parents do to avoid wet beds.) Prehaps movical would help.

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:23:17

Sorry, I was cross-posting and missed some of these - thank you all. Getting pretty consistent replies here! Honestly, thank you.

ReallyTired Mon 19-May-14 22:23:25

If a child is constipated then there is a massive build up in pressure until the child literally cannot hold it. If they have been constipated long term then they lose the sensation of the splinter muscles.

ShoeWhore Mon 19-May-14 22:24:26

You could have a look at the ERIC website for advice (or try their helpline) - they are very good (we had wee issues rather than poo so I can't offer advice myself)

cerealqueen Mon 19-May-14 22:26:23

I would definitely have the potty in the bedroom and see how that goes for a few nights.

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:27:47

She always has water in her room at bedtime. Her diet is pretty healthy. We moved house recently - she hasn't been upset about that and in fact has seemed pretty thrilled (much bigger room now!) but it has messed up her routines ever since. She is a pretty happy kid, but I know she picks up on it when I am stressed out or unhappy and it makes her anxious - that's what I mean, I try really hard not to show her that I am bothered. But she can tell I know.

Haggisfish3 Mon 19-May-14 22:28:15

Another Movicol advocate here!

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:29:17

then they lose the sensation of the splinter muscles.
I think that well could be what's happening.

OK. Making dr appt. And putting wee potty in her room for a few nights.

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:29:49

...and looking up Movicol!

SchnitzelVonKrumm Mon 19-May-14 22:31:47

Was going to say the same about constipation and impaction. My DD had also used to sit on the toilet before bed then poo in her pull-up - basically the only time she was relaxed enough to pass anything substantial was when she was very sleepy and in bed. She also used to try to clear it up herself sad. Please don't be cross, and take her to the doctor.
Be warned it can take a long time to resolve: DD was on Movicol (a maintenance dose) for three years.

gimcrack Mon 19-May-14 22:32:15

Poor little girl and poor you. If she is already in pull-ups, then you need go reassure her. She is trying to clear up because she is trying to help you. Reassure her that it is ok and you are happy (as opposed to grossed out) to help her. Sounds to me as though there is something else going on - it's not her doing a dirty protest.

happyyonisleepyyoni Mon 19-May-14 22:33:26

How long are you letting her sit on the loo for? Maybe try a distraction, with my DD I just sat her there with Ben and Holly on the iPad, she was so engrossed that she forgot to hold in the poo. Took about 20 minutes but Once we had one success it became much easier.

OHforDUCKScake Mon 19-May-14 22:34:42

Yy to Movicol. My son was constipated, one poo really hurt and he feared going again. It went on for ages, it was awful watching the stress and panic when he needed to go or was going. sad

Movicol can take a while but so be it, as far as I know its a nice safe thing for them to take and has great success.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Mon 19-May-14 22:34:47

DH especially used to get very frustrated with our DD because she'd poo herself and then say "I didn't know" that she needed to poo. But she literally didn't, poor poppet.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Mon 19-May-14 22:36:05

Yes, Movicol isn't absorbed by the body, you could basically take it forever without side effects.

If she has a poo rash on her bottom then perhaps putting her on the toilet, she refuses to go, try putting a barrier cream on, then pants. Hopefully if she does a poo in her pants then the barrier cream will prevent rash?

I don't know if this will help but it did with my DD. We told her that poo that goes in the toilet goes on an adventure blush It meets up with mummy's poo and daddy's poo and cousin Xs poo and they all go on an adventure down the pipes! Poo that goes in pants does not go on such an adventure! grin

ophiotaurus Mon 19-May-14 22:42:51

Does she have cream on as a barrier to stop the rash for the nighttime poo? If you put a good layer of sudocream on before bed as a barrier it would stop the poo actually touching her skin and irritating her rash.
Obviously this won't help the underlying issue but could help her be in less discomfort?

When DS1 had really bad nappy rash we were prescribed timodene (sp?) which really cleared it up.

ILickPicnMix Mon 19-May-14 22:44:16

I was going to say similar to a pp about longer on the loo.
Yes to the iPad or a book or you sit outside the loo/in with her - whatever she prefers and she talks about her day from the morning til when she got home, or anything that will relax/distract her.

randomAXEofkindness Mon 19-May-14 22:50:06

Imagining your dd trying to clean herself up brought tears to my eyes.

she calls me in after the Event - but not before. If I try to get in there first, she'll just hold out.

I think that this, and the fact that she has tried to clean it up herself, points towards this being an anxiety issue. You have said several times that you try not to be cross. I think you already know that you do not have any leeway to show even a smidgen of disapproval of her over this. A lot of damage has been done, and it is up to you to sort it out. If I were you, I wouldn't be looking at how I was going to change her, I'd be looking at how I was going to change myself.

When your attitude changes, she'll feel better, and this hopefully won't happen anymore.

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:53:00

Yes, Movicol isn't absorbed by the body, you could basically take it forever without side effects.
Good - the lactulose had lots of scary warnings on it!

I try to keep her on the toilet longer, but it has become one of Those Things - she knows what's going on and won't have it.
We had timodene before, that was what the dr gave us back last autumn.

Yes, I should be putting the Sudocrem on after she wees to make the barrier. Don't know why I wasn't thinking of that. I think because it was not an issue for so long - she seemed to be toilet trained completely and we were expecting to have her out of pull-ups at night any minute, and there weren't these nighttime stealth poos - so I haven't dealt with it well. I have only recently gone to work full-time and DH is doing more of the child-care and I am stressed out all the time. I feel like I could have handled this so much better a year ago, and now I don't even think of the simplest solutions. IABU!

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:54:49

Imagining your dd trying to clean herself up brought tears to my eyes. I know, me too. sad

* A lot of damage has been done, and it is up to you to sort it out. If I were you, I wouldn't be looking at how I was going to change her, I'd be looking at how I was going to change myself. *
Point taken.

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 22:57:40

I don't want anyone to think I am shouting at her or trying to shame her about it. I know my thread title is a bit cross-sounding too, but I was trying to poke fun at myself.

BOFster Mon 19-May-14 23:01:50

Don't feel guilty, this is nobody's fault, it's just One Of Those Things, and it won't last forever. Going to the GP is an excellent move, and ask for a referral to the continence service- they are the real experts, and they will help you. Chin up!

brdgrl Mon 19-May-14 23:02:47

Thank you, BOFster.

BOFster Mon 19-May-14 23:09:57

Oh, and get some metanium cream- it's the cat's pyjamas of barrier creams, and you could get hold of some over the counter tomorrow. I have loooooong experience of these things, having a child with SN who wasn't fully trained for years. But don't get me started on my poo anecdotes grin

SchnitzelVonKrumm Mon 19-May-14 23:11:04

Be kind with her and firm with the GP grin. It's usually fairly easy to resolve, even if it takes time. Also, even little children are reassured by a diagnosis that says, it's one of those things, it's not your fault. Don't underestimate how anxious it may be making her.

clairewitchproject Mon 19-May-14 23:23:17

My DS (now 7, sorry) has always had poo issues...just with you saying she gets a rash instantly, I wonder if there could be some food intolerance? My DS has fewer accidents if we avoid lactose and he's being tested for coeliac as there is lots in the family. He usually gets to the loo nowadays but usually with very little warning and things can be pretty explosive. Is that a possibility?

DenzelWashington Mon 19-May-14 23:23:53

Another thing to try: wash her bottom with aqueous cream rather than soap. Much gentler on the skin, could help prevent rashes etc.

VanGogh Tue 20-May-14 00:23:08

Support her feet on the toilet too so they're not dangling which causes more muscle tension IYSWIM. Does she have a stepping stool or anything you can use so she's sitting with her feet up and comfortable?

BOFster Tue 20-May-14 00:32:01

Yes, that's definitely an excellent idea. See if you can find a British version of thing kind of thing. I've read stuff which suggests that supporting the body in a natural squatting position could prevent the majority of constipation issues.

AuditAngel Tue 20-May-14 00:44:35

As VanGogh says supporting her feet when on the loo will help! but her knees should ideally be higher than her hips.

If the poo is escaping her nappy/pull up, does she need the next size up?

YY to metanium for any kind of nappy rash, but Sudocrem as a barrier.

Bogeyface Tue 20-May-14 00:49:42

She's only 3! I know how frustrating it can be but, honestly when I clicked this thread I thought you would be talking about an older child.

My DD is 9 and still sometimes has issues as she witholds when she is stressed or worried and then has an accident. But she does it when she feels safe, so at home and nearly makes it to the loo. Sounds like your DD only relaxes and feels safe to do it when she is snuggled in bed, so I would be wondering why.

Is she ok at nursery? ARe there any family issues, arguments etc?

At 3 it is annoying but wouldnt be considered abnormal by a doctor.

Bogeyface Tue 20-May-14 00:52:01

And "Crapping her pants"? Really?! If that is how you refer to it and your attitude in dealing with it is the same then the worry of your reaction will make it worse. She is barely out of toddlerhood ffs, if she was 12 then you might have a point.

BOFster Tue 20-May-14 00:58:56

I think the OP has explained she was deliberately exaggerating out of frustration/for comic effect, Bogeyface. It's an awkward topic that isn't easy to bring up.

Brdgirl, have a read of this about how seating position on the loo can help- its a bit cringey, but there's some useful information in there.

Bogeyface Tue 20-May-14 01:07:45

I dont buy that BOF I dont see that "crapping her pants" was the joke at herself the OP tried to make it out to be, she only said that after being pulled up on her attitude to the issue.

The only way to deal with an issue like this is to make sure it isnt an issue. I have been through this with DD for many years and I can guarantee that the odd time (and it has been an odd time) when I have "Oh DD! not again!" without thinking, she will do it again for the next 2 or 3 days.

Sometimes my acting skills now would win me an Oscar, but by just doing the necessary and asking if she wants a clean nightie or would she rather have PJs, do you need a drink of water? etc, she relaxes and it doesnt happen for a while. She gets stressed at school, it always happens just after the latest fall out with her best friend. I cant do anything about that, and in the last year or so it has really slowed down, she has only done it once since Xmas despite many fall outs, which is a massive improvement. She is growing out of it I think, but she would be regressing if she sensed for a second that I was pissed off about it.

Bogeyface Tue 20-May-14 01:09:25

Which I should say, I am not! But when faced with poo at midnight I defy anyone to be happy about it!

brdgrl Tue 20-May-14 01:20:49

I dont buy that BOF I dont see that "crapping her pants" was the joke at herself the OP tried to make it out to be, she only said that after being pulled up on her attitude to the issue.
Erm, that's not really fair. Actually, people had been really quite nice to me, I think, and I didn't feel I'd been 'pulled up'. So believe what you like, I suppose, but it was me that commented on my own thread title, not anyone else. I have been honest about my own failings on this thread, and yes, I was deliberately stating it in stark terms because I know perfectly well that I should not be frustrated by a child's poo, but I had just come down from cleaning shit off a wall, As you say yourself, who would be happy about it. I have said that I try to 'act' for DD, but I didn't come on here to perform for the world of MN, I came on for some advice. Which I have gotten, and am thankful as hell for. I put this on AIBU mainly 'for traffic', as many do, and I was not entirely serious in my thread title, in keeping with the AIBU style.

brdgrl Tue 20-May-14 01:23:24

VanGogh and BOF, Audit - thanks, another thing I hadn't thought of. She uses the tiny toilet at nursery with no problem, and there her feet reach the floor.

mimishimmi Tue 20-May-14 01:30:54

Oh my goodness. You poor thing. DS did a couple in his sleep at that age (after being toilet trained) and it was AWFUL. I can't imagine having to deal with that every night. DS was also very late to be toilet trained. Would scream for over two years and go rigid if I tried to get him to sit on a potty and child seat on regular loo. The pivotal point for us was to take him out without a nappy/pullups. At home, he would have 'accidents' regardless but he kind of knew it would be embarrassing to do it at the playground. Perhaps if you put her in 'big girl' underwear that she really liked (Disney characters etc) and madeit clear they would have to get thrown out if she had an accident in them would motivate her more to call you before she had a bowel movement?

brdgrl Tue 20-May-14 01:31:21

Sounds like your DD only relaxes and feels safe to do it when she is snuggled in bed, so I would be wondering why. Is she ok at nursery? ARe there any family issues, arguments etc?

I think its possible what happens is that she holds it in until she gets so tired that, as a pp said, her sphincter relaxes and out it comes. She falls asleep very quickly after she's had her poo, even after staying awake for ages beforehand - so I think if we can sort the poo issue, she'll also get off to sleep more quickly! It's keeping her awake trying not to go.

The rash is part of it - she is scared of the poo because it hurts, and because being cleaned up hurts. I use cotton and water rather than wipes, which sting her more, and have to do it very carefully because it gets so raw. I hadn't considered food intolerance because she has never had any other problems with food and her general health is excellent.

She loves nursery. She's a happy kid at home. She is unhappy when she poos.

brdgrl Tue 20-May-14 01:36:28

mimishimmi, thanks. I have been trying to stick to positive reinforcement rather than taking things away, so maybe not throwing out the pants, but getting her 'special' ones.

She has a favourite blanket, and when this happens, "he" sometimes gets poo on him and has to be washed, which means she is without him for a night. That's upsetting to her, and I had hoped maybe would be an incentive in itself. The more responses I read on here, though, the more I think maybe she genuinely isn't able to 'feel' the need to poo like she should, because of having withheld.

VeryStressedMum Tue 20-May-14 01:41:43

This must be very stressful for you and your dd. I agree with the other posters that she may not like going to the toilet because sitting will stretch the bum and if she's a bit constipated it will hurt more. Giving her movical will hopefully take the pain away so she loses the association of pain and toilet.
I would also stop talking about it. Even in a nice way about how to solve it and it gives her a rash etc, it's still reinforcing that it's something she should not be doing and it needs to stop...which of course is true but it's not helpful for her to feel that, I would stop talking about toilets altogether, unless she brings it up. But at the same time give her loss of cuddles tell her you love her etc.
And at bed time don't even mention it, just say call me if you need me before you say goodnight.

Bogeyface Tue 20-May-14 01:45:47

Sorry Brd

I admit I did get cross because I have dealt with poo issues for so long and feel quite defensive about it. It makes me angry when I hear phrases such as "crapped his pants" when referring to a baby or toddler, because thats normal so I worry that the child will be made to feel bad for what is a normal function.

I apologise for being so snitty. My issue, not yours.

Anxiety... You mentioned you moved house AND you've gone back to work recently which are both major upheavals in anyone's life, let alone a 3 year old. Could that be partly where it is coming from? Poor girl (and poor you OP). Hope you get it sorted.

Bogeyface Tue 20-May-14 01:49:17

That's upsetting to her, and I had hoped maybe would be an incentive in itself

You are thinking about this as an adult, but at three she wont think like that. You think "If I dont do A then I will have B!" she thinks "A happened and now I dont have B sad "

Its difficult, because they understand cause and effect in some things "dont eat veggies, dont get pudding...hmm, ok I will eat the brocolli" but this is involuntary so she perhaps sees it as a punishment, even though you know it isnt.

BOFster Tue 20-May-14 01:50:36

Oh Bogeyface flowers- it really is hard, I do know.

brdgrl Tue 20-May-14 01:56:14

S'ok, bogeyface. Thanks.

brdgrl Tue 20-May-14 01:56:49

I would also stop talking about it. Even in a nice way about how to solve it and it gives her a rash etc, it's still reinforcing that it's something she should not be doing and it needs to stop...which of course is true but it's not helpful for her to feel that, I would stop talking about toilets altogether, unless she brings it up. But at the same time give her loss of cuddles tell her you love her etc. And at bed time don't even mention it, just say call me if you need me before you say goodnight.
I will.

brdgrl Tue 20-May-14 02:01:05

You mentioned you moved house AND you've gone back to work recently which are both major upheavals in anyone's life, let alone a 3 year old. Could that be partly where it is coming from?
Yes, I'm sure - especially the work thing. sad I know it affects her...she gets more impatient with DH and more clingy with me when I'm not around as much. Fortunately, I have far less hours in summer!

VeryStressedMum Tue 20-May-14 02:05:37

The thing is she's not doing this because she wants to, that she's cleaning her self up points to it being something she knows she should not be doing but can't help it, so using incentives probably won't work. If it's an anxiety issue incentives won't work, and if it's constipation or an involuntary act when she relaxes incentives won't work it just reinforces that she's failed.
Hopefully the movuxal will help that she can't hold it and it won't hurt and gradually it will get better. That's what happened to my dds when he was constipated and it hurt so much he was terrified to go to the toilet, he would hold it and holds it and he had stomach aches from it he would be crying in pain and was just awful but I loaded him with movical and he couldn't hold it and it didn't hurt as much as he thought then gradually it went back to normal. But I have to say the fear of going to the toilet in case hurt again lasted quite a long time after the physical side of it was sorted. I had to go into the toilet with him and hold his hand for ages.
But it will resolve, it may not seem like it now when you're in the middle of out and when you're stressed with full time work, but it will.

brdgrl Tue 20-May-14 02:09:10

Thanks, verystressed. I'm sorry to hear all these stories, but they are helping me understand.

Bogeyface Tue 20-May-14 02:11:33

Thanks Brd flowers

Bof thank you too smile

differentnameforthis Tue 20-May-14 05:54:07

I have irritable bowels, and with that get constipated quite easily.

Using the toilet to poo when badly constipated (I also use movicol) is quite hard, to be honest. I should have namechanged often go & lie down until I feel on the very verge of needing the toilet & then run for my life.

I won't tell you anymore then that smile Suffice to say, as an adult, I hate using the toilet when badly constipated.

I think it is do to with relaxing everything that helps me. On the toilet, trying to hard, everything is tense & I get quite wound up!

differentnameforthis Tue 20-May-14 05:54:52


differentnameforthis Tue 20-May-14 05:59:30

brdgrl DO NOT let anyone guilt trip you on this thread!!

I went through impaction with dd (then 5) when her sister was born. I dropped the ball & because of a section, illness, demanding baby, dd1's diet tanked.

I couldn't see it happening as I was in the new baby fog. I soon sorted it, but realising it was my fault was awful. We make mistakes. It happens, you WILL get through this.

differentnameforthis Tue 20-May-14 06:03:48

The links re squatting, keeping feet supported have helped me too, op. When laying down I am in a foetal position, so now I understand why that helps.

Foodylicious Tue 20-May-14 06:10:40

Just a thought But can you put some barrier cream on after she has her bedtime wee? That way it shouldnt sting when she does go and she might become less anxious about it.

iloveanicecake Tue 20-May-14 06:23:43

This sounds like it may be a fungal (thrush) type of rash which even babies can get in nappy area. It makes the skin raw and split.
You can get a simple anti-fungal cream like Canesten from chemist if you can't get to gp quickly. I've found some own brands of the medication (clotrimazole 1% cream) can sting but Canesten doesn't in my experience.
Best of luck to you both.

Stuffofawesome Tue 20-May-14 07:49:07

look for online for story called sneaky poo. helped my ds.

brdgrl Tue 20-May-14 09:00:47

Thanks, different. smile
I'm going to start putting on a barrier cream (sudocrem or BOF suggested metanium cream) after her evening wee.

Ilove, that's how it is - raw and split.

And I'm going to look for sneaky poo, but not talk too much about toilet stuff!
Trying it all. DH is calling the GP for an appointment this morning while I'm at work.

Dubjackeen Tue 20-May-14 09:10:48

Ah, poor little mite.
Loads of good advice here already. Just to echo, (and I know you have said you won't do this anyway), but definitely not a good idea, in my opinion, about having favourite pants that now need to be binned.

Hopefully it gets sorted.
Best of luck to both of you.

starfishmummy Tue 20-May-14 09:15:52

Another barrier cream you could try is Cavilon.
Its available over the counter at pharmacies but expensive so perhaps your doctor will prescribe it.

Unlike metanium, sudocreme etc it dries on as an invisible layer which may be nicer for her. Also won't interfere with the absorbenvy if her lull ups

Its what the continence care nurses here recommend.
(ds is incontinent due to disability)

CrayolaCocaColaRocknRolla Tue 20-May-14 09:18:32

When you sit her on the toilet, do you stand there? I'm a nervous toilet go-er and my mum always used to stand in front of me going "do a poo/wee!" and I wouldn't because i felt strange having someone stood there. Mum ended up sitting me on the toilet and leaving me for ten minutes and it was done, maybe she's just a nervous poo-er, you said she was anxious. Try sitting her on the toilet and standing outside the door for ten minutes and keep checking on her, asking her if she's done anything, if she does, lots of hugs and kisses and "do you think we can do that again next time, sweetie?" sort of thing. If this doesn't work, I suggest GP.

HayDayQueen Tue 20-May-14 09:35:45

If this is psychological, and it seems it is, then I absolutely agree with others about Movicol. You probably won't need very much, it just needs to be runny enough that she CAN'T hold it in, even if she wants to.

There possibly is fecal impaction, where the constipation is so built up that fresh poo just goes around it and leaks out.

This can also take a LONG time to sort out if the bowels become distended.

So PLEASE, PLEASE see your GP asap.

Foodylicious Tue 20-May-14 11:35:37

Cavalon really is great, but in the mean time if you do use sudocrem or metanium can i suggest putting a bit in the palm of your hand first and mixing it round with your finger, it will make it warmer & loosen it up a bit- you can apply it more gently and just a thin layer is all that is needed.
Good luck!

CrystalSkulls Tue 20-May-14 12:08:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

13amielsaoranna Tue 20-May-14 12:15:45

Sorry if this has been asked or answered, but has she ever done a poo in a toilet, my DD was dry for ages but still needed a nappy on to do a poo (hid behind curtain to do it) as she wanted to do it standing up, like she was used to, sitting on the toilet for a poo mystery have felt weird for her.

Try asking if she would like a nappy on just to do the poo. She sounds all worked up over it.

We have dealt with a lot of this, it's been a long-term problem for both my kids for different reasons. There's a great book which helped us called Constipation, Witholding and Your Child. (Obvs was a MN recommendation.) And yes, do go to the GP. Movicol is wonderful stuff.

ziggiestardust Tue 20-May-14 12:35:54

random, I don't know if you meant to sound so judgemental and rude; but you did. A 4 year old soiling themselves night after night would try anyone's patience, regardless. If it wouldn't try yours sometimes, or you wouldn't even become a little exasperated; then have a big, shiney medal because you win parenting.

OP, you're dealing with this really well. You've had great advice on here; definitely go to the GP and don't leave without a referral. Young children can't always put into words how they're feeling and what's wrong. Good luck to you.

Ruthselina Tue 20-May-14 12:55:44

what time is she having a poo? Is it so late that you couldn't keep her up and put her to bed after she's been? You could still do the bath/bedtime routine and then have quiet time with her until she is ready to have a poo, then straight to bed after that.

Another advocate of the wonders of Movicol. It draws water into the bowel & prevents impaction caused by withholding. I wish it was over the counter.

You need to give it for weeks or even months though - you have to give her muscles time to repair themselves & develop strength and sensation again so that she has control over when she poos. My DD1 was 4 when we went through this too.

theressomethingaboutmarie Tue 20-May-14 13:46:36

My DD (now 6) suffered similarly between the ages of 3 and 5. We were exasperated with the constant cleaning, the constant encouragement to go to the loo etc. We had to keep clean pants and wipes on our person at all times - it was endlessly frustrating.

After she hadn't been to the loo for a week and was looking peaky, we took her to the doctors who diagnosed her with faecal impaction. My poor girl was frightened of going and it was only when she'd had enough Movicol to encourage an elephant to go, that she finally said that she was frightened of pooing as a relative (who I had serious words with) had told her that she was a 'dirty girl' for staining her pants.

I'm so glad to read that you are gentle with her after she's had an accident. It can be such a source of anguish for all.

DD was put on regular Movicol and we gave her plenty of water, wholegrains and did lots of walking. It all did the trick and she grew out of it just after the age of 5.

I second the barrier cream and also have you tried lotion and cotton wool instead of water? That's what I used for ds and now dd at home as it slides over the skin better than water does and I find it cleans better. I just buy boots sensitive one but any lotion will do, maybe one for sensitive skin so it doesn't irritate it more. A doctor suggested it when I went in despair over ds nappy rash. He also said metanium was the best bum cream.

Letitsnow9 Tue 20-May-14 14:59:11

It won't solve the pooing her pants issue but could you apply a barrier cream before bed to protect her skin when she does go?

brdgrl Tue 20-May-14 19:59:26

Wow, you guys are great, thanks so much. I've made a list of everything to ask the GP about/look for at pharmacy.

She's gone to bed but is still awake, I can hear her on the monitor. I am feeling good about tonight though. When she had her last toilet break, I put a box under her feet so that her legs were bent up a bit, and she had a big poo almost right away. So thanks for that! I didn't make a big fuss over it, just told her 'good job'. I sat down on the floor instead of standing over her and maybe that helped too. Then I put some sudocrem (that's what we have in today, I will get something else) on her bum, read her story, and left her to sleep, with no further talk about the pooping stuff.

Really hoping that means a poop-free night, but if not, I am ready for it.

AuditAngel Tue 20-May-14 20:12:40

brdgrl I'm glad the box helped. A couple of times when pregnant I was constipated and I always found using one of the kid's steps to support my feet helped.

There was a really good thread a few weeks ago about raw nappy rash. A lot of the things suggested on it have been repeated here. One thing I haven't seen here was the suggestion of using egg white on the rash. I seem to recall you separate the white and whisk slightly then paint it on. I had a quick look, but I'll see if I can find it.

AuditAngel Tue 20-May-14 20:22:21

brdgrl read through this, it is the thread I mentioned. I'm not suggesting your DD has the same problems, it's just it also had lots of nappy rash advice.

evertonmint Tue 20-May-14 20:28:48

I saw this and need to run so haven't had time to read beyond first 10 posts, so apologies if the thread has moved on or this has been said.

We had (different but equally upsetting) poo issues with DS. We got a GP referral to a continence nurse. This was brilliant - 3 sessions with her, a few tweaks to how we were handling things, some medication and her talking to DS about it all helped. Pretty easy to implement, improvements within a week. A minor regression 3 months in, but after discussion with her and ages tweaks, we got there.

Definitely worth asking GP of you have a continence nurse in your area and getting a referral. GPs tend to be about more medicine focused but nurse helps with routine and the psychology of it.

MyrtleDove Tue 20-May-14 20:39:59

OP you are handling things really well. I had some poo issues at around that age, and chronic bedwetting til 15 (I know!), and neither were handled half as well as you are handling this. I wish I had been taken to see continence nurses etc, my bedwetting at least had a purely physical cause but it was just treated as if I was doing it on purpose sad

Aw, brdgrl, you're last update sounds so much more positive and calm than your first post smile

Wishing you all the best - the advice you got here from so many is spot on btw.

This gives v comprehensive advice on the management of children with constipation/withholding and, as others have said, it is all about staying calm and supportive and being really, really consistent in your approach. And Movicol grin - marvellous stuff!
Keep treating for weeks and months after things have improved, even if you reduce the dose of her laxative to retrain muscles/nerves/her confidence.

Fingers crossed here for tonight although that might be a tiny bit optimistic

differentnameforthis Wed 21-May-14 04:02:03

What a great update!

Shonajay Wed 21-May-14 07:43:14

I was admitted to hospital recently for bowel impaction due to morphine use ( I had cancer). Just be aware that movicol can mean sudden and uncontrollable diah, as you get used to the dose. I was on eight sachets a day but omg couldn't leave the house!

VanGogh Wed 21-May-14 08:06:10

brdgrl your update about the box, your positivity and "can do" has made my morning!

Any further accidents last night?

cowsarescary Wed 21-May-14 09:38:49

This has opened my eyes! My dd is 7, and has occasionally had smeared pants since she was 4. Maybe every 10 days or so. She poos every day or couple of days usually, and it had never occurred to me that she could be constipated - I assumed she was trying to put off her poohs so she didn't have to stop what she was doing, so left things too late on these occasions.

She's never had hard poos, never had any pain or splits. But she has said to me recently that she doesn't feel this poo coming into her pants, or feel the need to go to the loo when it happens, and I reckon she must have an intermittent blockage. I'm off to the GP with her, so thank you all.

brdgrl: one thing I have noticed with my daughter: she will sit on the loo before her bath in the evening and say, 'I don't need a poo'. After being in the bath for a few minutes, she will jump out and have a whopper! I think the relaxation does it. I wonder if your dd would benefit from a bath before bedtime to get things moving??

brdgrl Wed 21-May-14 10:04:56

cows, I know, people have been so helpful. I hope it works out for you and DD too.

We've always bathed DD in the morning, it just has been easier on the schedule because of my work and dinner, but lately have been thinking we need to switch to evenings anyway - this is one more reason to give that a go, I think.

She made it through the night! (She still took ages and ages to fall asleep, but that's a side issue.) I'm not jumping to conclusion that it's going to be that easy, don't worry, and she's got her gp appt, but it was nice to feel that there are things we can do. Will ask about the continence nurse, too, in case things don't improve.

So, shonajay sounds like if we end up with Movical it might be best to start it at the beginning of a long weekend!

That nappy rash thread is helpful. Her rash isn't quite so bad as the one described (how awful!) but it's similarly raw.

Thank you all sooooo much for the kindness and the advice. thanks

CrayolaCocaColaRocknRolla Wed 21-May-14 10:50:33

The box will help! I watched a program on victorian health and it said something about elevating your legs increases bowel movement. Glad it worked for you! Good luck with all poo related antics in the future, brdgrl

JSG07 Wed 21-May-14 12:24:19

As many others have said, Movicol is very good. DD2 has been on it for years for severe constipation and it's really helped her. She used to withold and had lots of problems when toilet-training (and sometimes even now, she's 7) but Movicol does work. You can give whatever dose you think is needed and work it out from there. DD used to have half a sachet/day but we've recently increased it to 1 per day.
Good luck! I know how trying it can be.... x

sunshinecity17 Wed 21-May-14 12:55:25

the poor little mite can't feel it that's why!She most likely has faecal impaction causing her rectum to be distended and insensitive to the normal signals
get her to her GP and in the meantime put her in a nappy/pullups at bedtime!

cowsarescary Sat 24-May-14 08:39:57

How are things, OP? We have Movicol here now

brdgrl Sat 24-May-14 12:08:44

That's great, cows
She has her dr's appt on Tuesday. In the meantime I've been carrying on with the feet on box (definitely helping) and with not really saying much about it at night. I think the box trick has helped - about half the time now, she's able to do it in the toilet and that avoids the overnight accident. I'm cleaning her up with lotion instead of water and that helps too. smile

passmethewineplease Sat 24-May-14 12:12:24

Nice update OP. My daughter is exactly the same, if you are prescribed movicol don't do what I did and stop it too early.

I'm glad brdgrl, hopefully you will get it sorted soon.

differentnameforthis Sun 25-May-14 16:11:52

never thought I'd be happy to hear about someone else's poo habits smile

brdgrl Sun 25-May-14 16:19:23

I never thought I'd be sharing so much about poo habits! People warned me it was part of being a mum and I did not want to believe it! smile

RandomMess Sun 25-May-14 19:11:23

Glad you've made some progress already smile

AuditAngel Sun 25-May-14 19:21:12

Glad to hear things are improving.

differentnameforthis Mon 26-May-14 02:05:32

I know...the things mums talk about. We have no shame ;)

AuditAngel Mon 26-May-14 09:18:30

Well, once you've had your feet in stirrups, with the world and his wife having a look, your perspective changes confused

brdgrl Mon 26-May-14 20:46:22

Well, once you've had your feet in stirrups, with the world and his wife having a look, your perspective changes
Very true.
I even sing in public, since having a baby!

erin99 Mon 26-May-14 21:18:23 . Get her to a dr for some movicol. Get her in a pooing habit 20 mins after tea, give her a pullup or whatever but most importantly get her in a good position with her feet well supported and knees higher than hips. A kiddy footstool by the loo might not be enough - use a bigger one or put a phone directory underneath. Potty could work well.

Then a few mins privacy. Reading can help, or blowing bubbles. Stick her on a potty in front of tHe tv and leave the room, whatever she would like. Talk to her, get her involved in the solution and let her think it's her idea.

erin99 Mon 26-May-14 21:19:21

Oops sorry, didn't read to the end! Great to hear things are improving OP.

Good luck at the GP's tomorrow smile

SuburbanRhonda Mon 26-May-14 23:01:17

Another toilet tip - buy some blowing bubbles and let her blow them while she's sitting on the toilet. It helps to relax the muscles which makes it easier for the poo to come out smile

SuburbanRhonda Mon 26-May-14 23:09:01

X-post, erin blush

Imnotbeingyourbestfriendanymor Mon 26-May-14 23:12:08

Not sure if you have ruled it out but the rash sounds to me like it could be thrush. My niece had similar and despite having had babies and previous cases of thrush neither my sister nor I recognised it in that instance! Might be worth ruling out? Best wishes to your little girl.

brdgrl Tue 27-May-14 00:40:49

Thanks, all!
I really do think thrush is a possibility, and will be quizzing dr about that too.
Another good night tonight! Hooray for the box. Blowing bubbles sounds like a fantastic idea - thanks.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now