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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.

sparklekitty Mon 15-Jul-13 08:45:18

I have no experience with my own children but I want to share as it seems you may be stressed about what happens when he gets to school.

I have taught a couple of 6yo that suffered similar issues. One who would have accidents every few days, maybe once a week. Another who had accidents every day.

It's not their fault and that is the attitude we take at our school. We do the 'oh dear, lets clean you up then' and get on with it. I would hope your DS's new school will take a similar approach. You must tell them about his medical issues though, otherwise they may think he's just not been toilet trained properly.

I can imagine it is horrid and stressful. Like I said, I can't give you any advice about home etc but I just wanted to give you a teacher pov and hopefully stop you stressing about school.

evertonmint Mon 15-Jul-13 08:15:40

Referral to continence nurse was through our GP so just ask them. I asked for a psychologist as I didn't know continence clinics existed, but she said that it is rarely a true psychological issue with kids this small and that although there are psych issues around it, the underlying cause is invariably physical so the continence nurse focuses on that. It has been great.

BTW my DS gives all the signs of ignoring the nurse - refusing to look at her, busying himself with toys, hiding under chairs or in the corner etc. But the nurse said they all do this and they are all always listening to her smile

WipsGlitter Sun 14-Jul-13 22:04:47

You are SO not alone. When DS was due to start reception I was I. Tears as I knew he has no control. A combination of a grat nursery assistant, movicol and lots of tears/praise got us though. Laculose was no use. Movicol MAKES them go. We still have some issues with "smudges"but every few days he will do a MASSIVE poo. I can see the signs he needs to go but us withholding.

You will get though it.

fruitpastille Sun 14-Jul-13 22:01:54

We had this problem to a lesser extent. We did get prescribed movicol at one point but I delayed using it as I wanted to wait until school holidays and things improved by then.

Firstly, buy loads of cheap supermarket pants and throw them away so there is less mess to deal with. I chuck them along with the wipes in a plastic bag.

The thing that helped the most was dedicated daily 'toilet time' at the same time (between tea and bedtime so we could manage it on my work days as well). DS has to sit on the loo for at least 10 minutes every day, whether he needs to go or not. He reads a book now but in the past has had a toy or phone app etc. We did a reward chart with a sticker for sitting down (regardless of whether he did a poo or not) and at the end of the week he got a hot wheels car of his choice from our local toy shop. He has a child seat on the loo and an ikea step for his feet.

2 years later we are still doing the same routine as it works. Ocasionally he will say he needs to go at a different time but for the most part his body is in a routine. He does complain about toilet time sometimes but we explain how it helps and we don't give in.

After all my agonising I can't believe how simple it was (I know we are lucky). Got the advice off mn, of course!

DD has had lots of accidents too so she has a similar thing after lunch but I think hers has naturally solved itself so we are not so strict.

mummydarkling Sun 14-Jul-13 21:57:34

Brings back memories. DS3 was not poo trained until 4.5 and my life involved lots of poop remember constantly checking. All these things will pass and you will survive. flowers

Idreamofsunshine Sun 14-Jul-13 21:42:31

Ds is six now and is on movicol. He is a lot better now but nit completely cured. I was panicky about him soiling himself in school which he did do a couple of times but school were fine about it and none of his classmates even noticed. Please dont worry. he will get there eventually

Kat101 Sun 14-Jul-13 20:44:21

GP referral to continence clinic.

I mixed half a sachet of fybogel with warm ribena, got him to drink it while distracted by peppa pig, and quickly after making it before it goes jelly- like.

It then took half an hour for him to start dancing on tippy toes around the lounge moaning, and another half hour before he ran off and did the business.

cosydressinggown Sun 14-Jul-13 20:32:09

Yes, of course you were being unreasonable to lose it with him and smack him, I don't think you're actually asking if we think that is reasonable though!

That doesn't mean that it isn't a horrible, frustrating situation, though, and something my sister is still going through with her DS. For him it was very much psychological and something they are still having to work through. I know it drives her to the very end of her tether.

I think you should see your outburst as a sign that you need more help with this and perhaps get some more referrals sorted out for some more specialist help. Part of the problem with my nephew is that it had just got into such a bad place that it was self perpetuating, and it is taking a long long time to break the cycle (the bowel goes' baggy' after impaction so the same thing happens again).

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

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.

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?

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

(in conjunction with a reward system.)

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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 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!

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.

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

Kind mum, that should be

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.

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


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?

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

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