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WIBU re DS and poo pants?

(33 Posts)
funkypigeon Sun 14-Jul-13 09:50:26

DS will be 5 in October. I've posted before about his terrible problems with constipation/impaction and how he hasn't ever been properly poo trained. Complete refusal due to fear about pooing on the toilet.

He was toilet trained at the normal time at around 2.6, with success early on with wees, but never got the hang of pooing on the toilet. He was on movicol for about a year and a half, which was a nightmare as it made him go minimum 3 times and maximum 10 times a day. All in the pants. The doctor was adamant that he needed clearing out so that he felt the need to go, saying that as his bowels were full without the meds, and that things would get better when he could feel he needed to go.

It never worked, it just made things unbearable, eventually resulting in him being asked to leave nursery (attached to a school) and my having to find a private nursery for him until he was due to start reception, which is this coming September.

We have had some progress since he's been at this nursery. I took him off the movicol as it was causing more harm than good, and he has stopped the almost constant (every hour or so on a bad day) accidents.

He will now sit on the loo and do one if put to sit there but will never go if not asked, but strangely he does it for his father (we are separated).

I have been clearing up poo pants now for nearly three years. Not once a week, not even twice a week, but every day. The accidents have been less frequent and I really thought we were getting somewhere.

Then yesterday happened. Massive one in the pants just after I'd asked him to sit on the toilet, and had numerous chats about how you need to tell me, remember to go if you feel you need etc etc. I have to say that I have been calm, angry, ignored, kind, everything in the last 3 years and now I'm just fed up. I completely lost it, like really lost it. I was screaming and shouting at him and asking him why, why didn't you tell me etc. We were both upset and the guilt is awful. Why am I failing at this? I am ashamed to say I smacked him as well.

I can't cope anymore with this, and September is not far away, what am I going to do? I feel so helpless. STBXH is next to no help, and says I'm too soft on him.

Thanks if you've read this far. I just needed to get it all out.

woopsidaisy Sun 14-Jul-13 10:04:08

DS1 is nearly 9, and without our constant support and assistance would not be on top of pooing.
He suffered the years if constipation and impacting too. I think that this can distort the shape of the bowel and its tone, as such. Making it much harder for them to have the sensations that we have when we need/ go for a poo.
It sounds like he is still impacted though, with all the accidents? A sort of faecal leak?
We find a clear out-using the 2 then 4 then 6 then 8 then 10 then 12 sachets over a week is good. Should be "running clear " then.
And 2 sachets daily from then on to keep things regular. We would do 4 some days if felt it was needed.
It is frustrating. So frustrating I know. I found another we crumb of dried poop on the stairs a minute ago. Right by crawling baby. I had just asked him if he needed the loo. "No" he said.
I told him to go. He stomped off locking the bathroom door. He only opened it because I reminded him that he would have to wipe his own bum-he just won't do it!!!
He then did a massive lovely soft poo in the toilet. But he only went because I reminded him that he had his medicine and so it would be ok.
He says he just doesn't like doing a poo. He does have Aspergers, very mild. And big issues with food, very limited diet. Apparently that us very common with Aspergers.

So I don't have any magic answers, but I feel you might need to revisit the movicols but find an amount that keeps him regular with occasional clear outs.
And don't beat yourself up. You are doing your best.

Hissy Sun 14-Jul-13 10:04:25

We had all this too. It's soul-destroying! I too tried everything.

It will eventually stop, but it will take time.

Find a 'hook'. I paid him. Pound a Poo. (in thé loo) I also give him lots of tomatoes, apples and liquids. It helps.

Try to get him into a routine of poos at nighttime, so it's at home and safe/familiar for him.

I tried lactulose too, but metered the doses so it was enough to soften, but not enough to clear. The uncontrolled poo is frightening to them, hence their need to stop it.

DS is now 7 and we're pretty much there! I'm letting him wipe his bottom himself now, so that he knows he can do it. Every little thing helps them gain poo independence. That will come to you, it really will.

Now, what's the thing with the STBX? My son got a LOT better when my ex left. The pressure of living in a failing relationship environment is significant.

Try to stay calm, I truly know how fucking awful it is, I hated every second, but gradually your boy will gain confidence.

I know another school mum with a son in our class, has exactly the same as us, it's more common than you think. You're not alone.

Rockchick1984 Sun 14-Jul-13 10:10:26

I'm so sorry you're going through this, you sound like you need a <hug>

It's not something I've been through but obviously if he is fine when with his dad its not something physically wrong with him. Depending on if it would work for your son, could you put him back in nappies? My friend's son is the same age and that would be like his idea of hell, he would do anything to avoid being "a baby". Would also save you the pants-cleaning. Could you speak to his dad and see what he does differently, or see if he will have a word with your son (with you there) and talk to him about it?

Hissy Sun 14-Jul-13 10:17:50

By the sounds of it, the boy doesn't do it at his dad's, cos he's scared to. sad

funkypigeon Sun 14-Jul-13 10:19:25

Thanks all. It's more common than I thought, but you can feel so completely alone with it all at times.

The ex thing- not sure what that's all about. He is just much more likely to do it for him, and even tells his dad when he needs to go. It's very annoying to me, because my ex will delight in telling me how good he's been for him, whilst the rest of the week I have to deal with it.

I think I will have to go back to movicol, yes. He is on a daily (highish) dose of lactulose. Although the accidents are true poos iyswim rather than just litre accidents. Just in the wrong place.

funkypigeon Sun 14-Jul-13 10:20:07


evertonmint Sun 14-Jul-13 10:33:17

My DS is just coming to end of reception and it has got so much better since we had referral to child continence nurse - are you seeing one? If not I would recommend you ask.

DS would only ever have accidents for me - he has worked really hard at school not to despite all my worries, rarely when home alone with his dad, would only ever want me to deal with his poo if we were both at home. It's a sign that he trusts you more than anyone, even if it is so frustrating for you.

Nurse has helped purely by me being able to externalise things - "Nurse Tina has suggested you do this" is much less psychologically and emotionally pressurising for us both than "I think you should do this".

Our approach has been 4 fold - medication, real focus on water intake, strict toilet time after each meal and before bed, and a high step to rest his feet on when in the loo so he has something to push against. Rewards have been focused on water intake rather than poo which has helped take the pressure off him from thinking about poo.

We've had a small blip in the hot weather as we should have upped his water intake and he got a bit constipated again, but before that we had 7 weeks of no accidents and 2 months of only occasional skid marks.

BTW my DS is the only one of his friends under continence nurse, but he's the only one who's not had a poo accident at school. He's so adept at holding on that he would save it for me at home! Not very nice to think of, but meant I could stop worrying about school too! He will now poo at school if needed - such huge progress smile

It is awful, I completely empathise, but you will get there I promise, and school may not be as bad as you fear.

Fightlikeagirl Sun 14-Jul-13 10:37:23

Completely know how you feel. Sounds exactly like my ds a few years ago.
Will your ds poo in a nappy? My ds would and he would ask for one on when he needed to poo so I would let him. It was our secret and maybe not great for a 5 year old to be pooing in a nappy but it kind of stopped pooing from being such a scary experience for him and then one day he decided to try the toilet. He would sit there and read a book (or play with my phone!) and not do anything but at least he was trying and then one day he pooed in the toilet!! It was a massive achievement for him and I almost cried!!
He is now almost 7 and will poo on toilet, still not something he likes doing and I do have to remind him to go as he puts it off until his tummy hurts but he will go.
Whatever you try, hope it gets better soon smile

LilacPeony Sun 14-Jul-13 10:46:39

Hi. I'll tell you what i did, but not sure if it will help or not. My dd was scared of pooing. When she needed a poo she would ask for a pull up and i would quickly put one on her and she would poo in it. She then got rewards for sitting on the potty with the pull up on a few times. Then reward for same but with the pull up torn on one side. Then both sides torn. Then both sides torn and the nappy laid open on the potty. Then pull up on the loo, then torn on the loo, then open on the loo, then pushed down the loo. (Fished out afterwards.) Then loo roll across the loo, then loo roll down the loo. Then she cracked it a few months before she started reception. Quite long winded and i might ahve forgotten the exact steps, but it did work for us, but i think we were less far down the line as she didn't have the problems with constipation. Just fear of poooing not in a nappy or pants. Have you asked your P to refer you to a specialist to help you?

LilacPeony Sun 14-Jul-13 10:48:06


funkypigeon Sun 14-Jul-13 12:05:19

I tried nappies/pull-ups in desperation for him to go in them when he needed but that wasn't a success either.

We have been referred to a child psychologist but to be honest it isn't very useful. She talks to me about strategies and how we can best help him but I feel like I zone out because to me, now, it feels that everything has been tried. That's why I get despondent and can't imagine my life or his without poo in pants being involved. What a thing to say!

Trying desperately to hold on to my sense of humour and the kids mum I know I can be, but quite honestly, I'm not enjoying being a parent at the moment.

funkypigeon Sun 14-Jul-13 12:06:26

Kind mum, that should be

Hissy Sun 14-Jul-13 13:11:01

Just a thought... your ex could be lying!
My mum lied baldly about this! I congratulated and offered to reward my DS, but he was adamant he didn't do one for her.

Try rewards, try talking, try routine, try laxatives, try it all. It'll pass, when he's ready. He just needs more confidence I think.

Oh, btw, make sure you inspect the toilets at the school! Make sure they are kept clean!

Both my DS and his friend really battled due to the conditions the toilets were kept in.

Hissy Sun 14-Jul-13 13:15:26

I promise you, as hard as it is to see an end to this, it WILL get better! It really will!

Don't give up, but perhaps try to not let it get to you? Throw the pants away rather than deal with them?

I threw away DS swim shorts once after he'd pooed in them at holiday activity club. It was so bad I really didn't know where to start. I think it made a difference to DS somehow.

Yeah I was cross at losing an item of clothing, but it was shed loads better than smelly hands after scrubbing poo pants!

Kat101 Sun 14-Jul-13 13:49:43

We have had this issue with 2 out of 3 boys. We ditched the movicol and used Fybogel from the GP. Its an orange drink and makes it very predictable when they're going to poo (approx half to one hour after drinking it). Totally cleared any impaction too.

What I would do would probably not be advised by any medical professional in the land. But with one of ours, we had to physically hold him on the toilet while he screamed and yelled and then pooed. I suppose it was a bit like controlled crying (short sharp shock) but we did get results within a week, and he was no longer frightened of pooing on the toilet. I suppose it desensitised him. I am sure it does not follow 21st century parenting methods in the slightest, but I think if I was that desperate I would give it a go. 3 years of an issue hugely impacting on family life, well it needs sorting for your sanity and your son too.

Your son can obviously poo on the toilet if you definitely know he does it for his dad. For some reason it sounds like hes choosing not to poo on the toilet when he's with you, and that could be any number of reasons that may never been discovered.

I had a different technique for my 5yo who was ok with poos but constantly dribbled wee. I set up a pile of clean pants and wipes in the bathroom and every time there was an accident he had to sort it himself. It took away so much of my frustration as I didnt have to deal with it, and he had a consequence for his action. Not a nasty punishment consequence, more of a natural one. I guess this might be more difficult for poo as more messy for him to clean himself, but thought I'd add it anyway.

Has the psychologist advised going back into nappies for a while? Also wonder if you need an incontinence nurse rather than a psychologist.

prepares for flaming

Hissy Sun 14-Jul-13 15:30:25

2 out of 3? Jeez, if anyone flames you, give me a shout, cos ONE child like this is awful enough, 2 is unimaginable to me! I almost weep just at the thought!

Sometimes different approaches work.

PatsyAndEddy Sun 14-Jul-13 15:39:14

I hear you loud and clear.

Ds had encroprisis (impacting, leakage, monster poos) and it was he'll, felt like the only one worrying about dirty pants at 5.

He's seven now and has grown out of it more than anything we've done. He still needs promoted though.

Hang in there.

I've saying Grace was he never once had an incident in school for which I was grateful but it also annoyed me as it said to me there was an element of control!

Kat101 Sun 14-Jul-13 16:03:59

Yes 2 out of 3, but it was very short lived (due to our approach? Luck?) . Will never know.

lottieandmia Sun 14-Jul-13 16:17:03

I know it's hard but please don't lose it with him again or smack him sad I know how frustrating it is as I have a dd who is exactly the same - she will also start school in September. But it's not something they do on purpose - in my dd's case she is scared of the sensation of pooing.

One suggestion I have is to go back to the GP. Movicol didn't work for her either - the GP changed her onto Lactulose and Senna and this is much more effective for her. I have had years of having to coax her to do a poo with her crying every time but the last week she has done 2 poos in the loo so it may get better.

LilacPeony Sun 14-Jul-13 18:16:18

My dd is 8 now. We solved the pooing problem a few months before she started reception as i decribed above, but she has more recently developed a phobia of something else unrelated to toilet training. (I won't say what it is as it is quite specific and would out us.) Anyway it got me thinking about when she had the fear of pooing on the loo or potty and i think it was quite like a phobia. I dealt with it in the way that is recommended to deal with a phobia. ie desensitise the person by exposing them to the object of their fear gradually until they are no longer worried by it.

LilacPeony Sun 14-Jul-13 18:18:50

(in conjunction with a reward system.)

funkypigeon Sun 14-Jul-13 18:34:42

Very useful to know I'm not alone. Don't know why that's useful, it just feels better as someone up thread said that I'm not the only one worrying about dirty pants at 5!

How do I get involvement from a continence nurse? That sounds just the thing we need, as no, the psychologist isn't helping. He won't even engage with her, so I feel like we go for my sake, which compounds my frustration.

I know I shouldn't smack him. The rage I feel though is indescribable. That sounds like such an overreaction, but when you're dealing with it day in day out, it takes its toll.

Ex is adamant that he not only tells him that he needs a poo, but sits quite happily on the toilet too.

He is current on lactulose. Sorry I haven't made a note of who's posted what, but to the poster who got their child to drink fybogel, how did you get him to? Isn't it thick and horrible to drink?

pooquickly Sun 14-Jul-13 18:47:17

OP, my DD has had poo issues, constipation and witholding for 2 years. she insisted on pooing her pants every day for months and smirked at me so I lost it last year ad shouted. After that she would hold in all day then do in night nappy. Then she started school so I had to talk to them in case of poo accident and cos wee accidents were frequent. About impaction, they can lose the sensation of needing to go and can take very long time fr rectum back to normal size. Can he feel it? Btw our school were brill about it. Talk to them ad hopefully put your mind at rest. We also got referred to a paediatrician who was useless. Then I found a Continance clinic who have really helped. Just before she was 5 she started pooing in loo. My 3.5 yo then poo in loo 2 weeks after her and been doing so ever since. Not you op.

pooquickly Sun 14-Jul-13 18:55:35

Google 'continuance clinic' and see if they have a paediatric nurse. Whereabouts are you in the county? County wise ? If you are near us I can pm you

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