Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
So, my DC have been with us full time now for 3 weeks 😀 and slowly, slowly we're adjusting to family life. Both struggle with toileting.
DS(4) simply forgets to go, usually when he's watching tv he gets so engrossed he literally forgets to go and pees himself. DD(6) is slightly different in that she'll forget to go but also soils herself. I'm getting her checked by the GP because she complains of pain but she will soil herself ever so slightly for 2 days before actually doing a proper poo, if you know what I mean.
Sitting her on the toilet causes her huge amounts of distress and she'll soil herself almost immediately after coming off again (I had her on toilet breaks at 30 minutes intervals and she soiled herself in the 30 minute gap). As feustrating as it can be for me - can go through 5 or 6 changes of clothes for both kids in one day - it's distressing and embarrassing for both children. I know toileting is one of the areas children subconsciously use to maintain a feing of control and it may just settle in time but I also think they've very much been left to their own devices in foster care and not been supported to learn how to read "urges" or indeed how to wipe their own bottom or clean themselves effectively. Any practical advice in how to help them both with this would be very welcome.
On a very practical level, the whole house smells of urine and poo - at least it feels that way - I feel like the Milton queen trying to keep everything clean and my poor washing machine has never had so much work!
Hi, 2 months down the line here. Not the same situation but our LO age 3 arrived "toilet trained" Throughout intros he was wetting himself and so we decided to put him back in pull ups for a while. We continued to still remind to use the potty/toilet but had very wet pull ups for the first month. Over time this has improved to now where he is just in pull ups for long journeys (and still tells us if he needs a wee so we can stop) and pull ups at night. He is dry when at home in the day without fail. We also tried sitting him on the potty for his ten minutes of tv after breakfast and before bed, which seemed to be a time he relaxed and used the potty/toilet consistently. I'm always happy to chat by PM-and also feel free to ignore everything I've said as every child is different but thought it might help to hear that we have had some similar issues with regression.
We also went 'back' to pull ups shortly after arrival for a 5 and 4 year old. We then started potty training them as though it had never been done before. It didn't take long for things to balance out.
We also had toilet time after breakfast, after lunch and after dinner/before bed. It was overkill really, but it definitely helped them to recognise. We had a magnetic doodle board thingy that they would sit and draw with whilst on the toilet to distract from the task!
Of course, like Monkey has said - it may not be that simple but worth a try. It will help it to become less of an issue, for all of you.
Thanks, I've avoided going back to full potty training because my 6 year old is very sensitive to the idea that she's "younger" than her years. It might be helpful though to introduce a routine after meals and look at whether using a potty might help - I'm thinking the squatting position can be good if constipation is an issue.
We made very little deal of going back to pull ups. I appreciate our little boy is younger than your girl. We continued with everything as before-reminders about the potty/sitting on the potty. I think it reduced our stress level massively-because we weren't worried about wee everywhere and the associated washing/smell. In turn I really believe (and our sw agreed) that it relaxed him as he didn't pick up on our stress. I think with everything else going on for him trying to be dry was too much. I also think that whilst the FC told us he was dry, we don't really know how accurate this was and certainly wasn't what we experienced during intros.
If you used the nappy/potty idea for the 4 year old it would free up more time to work with the 6 year old. In relation to the 6 year old, this area of how our bodies work is very linked to how we feel, so if she is already sensitive about being treated as younger than her years, using a potty or nappy may well make it worse.
Remember also it has only been 3 weeks, such early days!
There are other things which could help with constipation, such as certain foods. In terms of other ideas i don't have many, sorry, I can only think of lots of reminders, making going to the toilet and talking about poo and wee a happy experience (!) and just reassurance.
Also maybe humour? At 6 this might be right on track? I didn't understand toilet humour at all until we had dc. Any discussion of poo in unusual situations will result in them laughing their heads off. It may help her relax about it.
I meant to say also I think the 30 minute thing might be overkill, and might be counterproductive, and does sound quite stressful for her, but obviously I am not there, so I might be missing the point.
I do think 30 mins is overkill and stopped doing it - I was trying to catch the gap between soiling but talking to the GP she thinks is may be psychological not in the sense of her feeling unsettled so much as associating poo with pain because she's constipated. We're going to try Movicol and see if we can help her be more regular and predictable and go from there.
If she doesn't want to go on a potty, how about a little step for her to put her legs on on the big loo. That's the theory behind the 'squatty potty', that it's much easier to go with your legs raised. Also might help her to feel more secure on the loo.
You're doing amazingly.
Soiling for a few days before a real poo sounds like constipation....
Did the Gp examine her?
What is her poo like sorry.....is she struggling to poo? Rabbit like droppings? Or maybe thin spagetti like poo......really she should be doing a nice big sausage every day 😕....sorry for the toilet talk!
The movical helps....aim for a big sausage poo every day.
Remember it may have be used as a control thing, and prob is no easy fix.
For younger boys and wees i'd re toilet train.
Letting her rest her feet on a stool when she sits on the toilet should put her in a squatting position so you could try that instead of a potty. It helped my DD when she was constipated (and she was doing the same constant small amount of soiling).
Also, sitting on the toilet about 20 minutes after a good meal is usually a good time for pooing. With my DD i would get her to sit on the toilet (in the squatting position with her feet resting on a stool) after her evening meal and i would read her a story or do stickers with her until she did a poo. At first it could take a while but it ended up with her being able to poo as soon as she sat down!
Just one more thought, is that it could be straightforward stress instead of/as well as a control issue. When I'm very stressed, it goes straight to my guts...
I was going to suggest movicol for the older one. DD has / had v similar issues and we are currently on a regular maintenance dose of movicol daily which has really helped her. In our case, as others have suggested, the issues of constipation and poo accidents are very much linked to emotional health and therefore much worse when she's stressed. It's really early days for you, and whilst I know it's way easier said than done, do try not to get stressed by it yourself (this is a case of do as I say not do as I do /did because I used to get totally wound up by the relentless poo accidents!). As with all things, it does get easier. Honest. I'm several years in and it is considerably easier than it was when she first came home.
Thanks everyone, I'll try using a stool for her feet and see if a more squatting position combined with the movicol helps any. While I do get frustrated at the amount of laundry, I'm more concerned at her obvious distress when she has an accident, so would like things to improve for her sake. The GP did examine her and said she could feel that there was poo in her colon, she massaged the area and DD did have a huge poo about half an hour later - it had clearly been causing her a lot of pain and discomfort and she's happier in herself this evening.
My little boy is doing better - we've started prompting him to go to the loo every couple of hours and he's started taking himself unprompted yesterday and today. If he does skip back (which I partly expect) I think we'll go back to pull ups during the day for a while and start toilet training.
I know it can be such a vicious circle the stress/digestion thing - hopefully we're on the road to making things at least more comfortable for her.
Please login first.