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Toileting - please help, I am at the end of my rope :-(

(23 Posts)
StinkyWicket Sat 22-Dec-12 21:18:12

I have twin boys who will be four in January. We started potty training just after their third birthday, and they were wee-reliable within a day. Not so much with poos but we knew that would come.

Fast forward to about September, and having been getting very, very frustrated and upset with them refusing to poo in the toilet, we started a sticker chart. For a whole month, I think we had three accidents between them. So far, so good.

So, beginning of this month, we'd finished the sticker chart and we started a new one. We had a big talk about how they were 'big boys' and did we need the sticker chart etc, and we decided not to continue with it. The week after, DTS1 pooed himself 4 times in three days at pre-school and both of them pretty much every other day since.

We started the sticker charts again, we've tried ignoring it, we've tried shouting, I know I've tried crying, and nothing helps. Basically, they will not poo on the toilet although I know they know when they need to go as they have done it before! I took them up to bed earlier and DTS2 had pooed himself. So, I cleaned him up, stuck him on the toilet and had them both sitting there. I told them they are big boys at big school, teacher doesn't want them to poo etc. I go and get pajamas out the drawer and DTS1 says he's pooed himself. I'm sorry to say I lost it. I just started shouting about how upset he made me and how disgusted I was that he'd literally been pooing while I'd been talking to him about using the toilet! Please don't flame me, I feel utterly terrible but it is so upsetting.

I feel like we can't go anywhere because they might poo. I'm embarrassed they go to school and poo and the teachers have to clean them up. It upsets me so much that they know it upsets me and they genuinely couldn't care less. They seem to prefer sitting with a nugget of poo in their pants rather than go to the toilet. It's not just that they get engrossed either - I or DH can ask them, and they will say no. We can literally drag them to the toilet and sit them on it (best one was over half an hour because I knew DTS1 needed to go - he fell asleep!) and the second they pull up their pants they will poo in them.

I have asked the HV for help - we started the sticker chart the last time so we had a brilliant month and now a terrible month. I want to cry. I'm sure they're not doing it to upset me, but it can be all day every day as they will do little nuggets throughout the day in their pants which of course either have to be cleaned or binned.

Sorry for the epic story, I just really don't know what to do sad

Nevercan Sat 22-Dec-12 21:26:26

Have you tried mr poo goes to pooland story - it helped my dd and she says goodbye to her poo every time she goes and says its going to pooland now to see all its friends! Bizarre but it seemed to get into her head. There is a PDF version of the story and a version on u-tube which might help....

quoteunquote Sat 22-Dec-12 21:32:10

stop doing anything before you add issues,

they will do it when they are ready, and that is when they are ready, you can have a calm time or a stressful time,

get a pillow case, fill it up with lots of very little wrapped interesting presents, don't mention it, (good time to stock up in the sales of small stocking type things).

the first time one of them gets a poo in the loo, after he washed his hands get the pillow case and let him lucky dip for a present,

the incentive of a special surprise will be far more influential than anything else.

minmum fuss when there is an accident, pull up pants until they are confidant they have sorted, they will tell you,

sticker charts are to abstract a concept for the age and task.

good luck it will pass, but don't rush it or it will take longer.

Tolly81 Sat 22-Dec-12 21:35:34

This can be an issue with constipation - basically there are hard pieces of poo that are difficult to pass but then they can sort of be incontinent of softer poo round them - called "overflow incontinence". Constipation is very common in children who are having problem potty training for poos - they don't like it, so they avoid going, the poo gets harder to pass, they dislike it more, then they soil themselves, then everyone is upset, they dislike it even more - vicious cycle. Have they ever had this problem before? I would go to your GP and ask for advice or even a referral to paeds but in the meantime try plenty of fluids (fruit juice especially helps) and when you put them on the loo maybe try making a game if actually trying to do a poo? Just wanted to point out that just because they're still doing poos doesn't mean it can't be constipation.

Tgger Sat 22-Dec-12 21:48:09

You need to take the pressure off, give all of you a break then start again when you can be completely calm and straightforward. It's a very common problem. Agree with pp about constipation possibly being part of the problem. How about put them back in pull ups for a month, just so you can all chill out, make sure they are not constipated then start again.

Have you read the poo books? I think fear of pooing on the loo/potty is the big thing for a lot of 2/3 year olds, you need to normalise it and books can really help. DS had "Who's on the loo" and DD had "Everybody poos". Both of them needed support on using the toilet for poos, it did not come as easily as the wees.

Have you tried the sitting on the toilet to "try" for a poo at regular intervals? I think this is the advice. For both of mine it was after lunch (when home) and before bath (ie sometime after tea). I think this way you encourage a regular habit and you can be there with them to support. DS actually got stuck in a pattern for about a year of pooing before bath grin.

Good luck!

StinkyWicket Sat 22-Dec-12 21:48:59

Thanks all. Thanks especially for not making me feel worse than I do already, this is the one thing that really makes me feel like a failure as a mother sad

quote I will get a bunch of bits and pieces from the market tomorrow as I have to go anyway. Might as well start now! In fact, maybe I could do it as a 'Father Christmas has left this for you....' sort of thing.

Tolly I have toyed with the idea of them being constipated as they have always done very solid, large poos - but have never had any problems passing them. DTS2 was once extremely constipated but it was well before toilet training began. They are not much for drinking fruit juices but when they do there is no discernible difference in their poos tbh.

I think I'll call the HV after Xmas and maybe the doctor as well if we can't get anywhere with a bag of little pressies.

Thanks again.

StinkyWicket Sat 22-Dec-12 21:50:35

Actually we haven't read any poo books at all confused

Will see if I can get one in town tomorrow or Monday - mad, but I am so stressed with it.

Tgger Sat 22-Dec-12 21:54:43

DD very proudly showed all our friends and relations "her poo book" smile. Did the trick (along with bribery... I bribed her with ice cream, have you tried that one?!)

StinkyWicket Sat 22-Dec-12 22:02:50

Tried chocolate buttons....the little buggers sneaked downstairs before me and DH got up and got them out the fridge! shock

I doubt they'd try and get into the cupboards, but tbh they don't need to at the moment with all the Christmas stuff hanging about.

Piemother Sat 22-Dec-12 22:04:27

Fwiw this is really common amongst kids I know.
Carrot is always better than the stick so to speak - if reward led stuff was working before stick with it smile

Tgger Sat 22-Dec-12 22:08:00

Yeah, I had to "run out" of all the treats in the end for DD. I think she may have put on some weight during toilet-training shock.

StinkyWicket Sat 22-Dec-12 22:11:06

Weight I can deal with, skinny little toads grin

They are speech delayed as well, and while I know that it is not my fault, and there is nothing I can really do (other than attend SALT and do the exercises), but it feels like the disapproval is just weighing down on me when we are out or with ignorant family members who judge them not talking very well and not toileting very well.

StinkyWicket Sat 22-Dec-12 22:12:27

I don't know many kids their age actually, they only recently started at pre-school and I don't pick them up as I'm at work so DH does it. He's more friendly than I am though so maybe he'll make some friends.

Tgger Sat 22-Dec-12 22:16:43

Bla to judgemental adults! Not helpful at all and hope you feel reassured on here that they are very normal. I have two friends who only got their kids sorted on poos when they were 4 and countless others who had problems when they were 3. My kids got sorted quite quick but not without books, bribes and accidents smile. I also have a friend with a Y3 boy who could hardly talk in YR and is now one of the top readers in his class with very fluent, articulate speech.

zzzzz Sat 22-Dec-12 22:21:21

Get a bottle of bubble bath, add some food colouring (whatever their favourate colour is), if they poo in the loo they get to put a teaspoon of " poo party" bubble bath in the loo and flush wink. Keep it on a high shelf done up tight.

I have b/b twins one with language issues, good visual prizes work wonders. If they like different colours it will help but you will need two bottles. Let them measure it out and pour it in. It is a real hit for some reason, especially if brother is watching. Keep a jar to put the spoon in or it drips everywhere.

StinkyWicket Sat 22-Dec-12 22:23:57

Brilliant idea zzzzz and one I would have never thought of!

zzzzz Sat 22-Dec-12 22:26:16

grin tell us if it works.

OverWintered Sat 22-Dec-12 23:28:19

Oh you poor thing. I went through this with one of my ds up until he was 5 + (sorry!.... not sure if that is helpful or dismaying to hear)

things that helped:

We reverted to back to potty for a while(he was prob about 4 at this stage) as it was comfier and he could have books/toys to play with on floor infront of him.

Insisting on them sitting on potty at least once/twice a day as Tggr said. It's a pain as you have to allow extra time in the morning routine to fit this in before school/nursery. They don't have to do a poo, just sit for 5 or 10 mins. They get praised for good sitting, even if poo is not produced (sticker chart/reward). Get them to sit about 15 mins after breakfast. Get them active after breakfast to get the bowel moving. Running up and down stairs is good, hide and seek, wrestling/chasing/tickling. I know! not always possible in morning, but it helps.

Everytime they have an accident, just very matter of factly, clean them up and put new pants on. Sometimes you will lose your temper and have a rant at them. you're human...

If you can afford it buy loads & loads of cheap pants. This often would stop me losing it, knowing that I could just throw them in the bin when I was struggling with losing my patience.

my DS used to be slightly constipated even before we started potty training. when he was in nappies he'd do little bits of poo throughout the day. His diet was healthy and the same as his brother who had no problems. just different bowels. At some point (prob when he was about 3) someone suggested prune juice. i used to water it down, but it helped too.

JackieTheFart Sat 25-May-13 20:29:45

Just thought I'd bump my own old thread as we are 6ish months since I started it and no further along sad

It's just one step forward, two steps back at the moment - they have a couple of good days and then (like tonight) they go upstairs to do a wee and come down with wet trousers and a poo in their pants.

Why? Why do they do it? They know how to go, and when they need to. They just deny it and deny it then do some in their pants. Both have also started wetting again. They will stand next to the toilet/potty and poo or wet themselves rather than use the facilities.

It's really upsetting me and DH. Every day we are having to wash about 6 pairs of pants and trousers. They don't do it at school.

It's half term next week and I am considering pull ups sad. I don't want to, but I'm near tears every single evening at the moment. I feel so disgusted with them. I know that is a horrible way to talk about your own children, but it seems to be no matter what praise/rewards/presents we lavish on them for good behaviour, they will revert to type in about 2 days. DTS2 in particular upsets me because he just grins. Like even though me and DH are telling him off he thinks it's really hilarious.

Back to the drawing board, will try the bubbles in the toilet again, and the sticker charts, and anything else we can think of.

EmmaThomson999 Sat 25-May-13 21:44:34

My dd was 2 last week and thats her just starting to do pees on the potty I told the the pooland story but changed from poo to pee it actully worked

orangeone Mon 27-May-13 10:48:32

So sorry it's not any better. Didn't want to read and run but what worked with us was (1) NO reaction from you. Be buisness like and matter of fact. 'oh dear you've pooed again in your pants' (even if inside you want to scream!), there won't be any treats today now' and (2) then making DD change herself. She hated this. Takes a short while but she learnt that the hassle of changing herself rathe than the attention from me doing it was 'boring' and 'hard work' compared to just using the Tiolet.
Good luck - if all else fails..... wine

HiggsBoson Mon 27-May-13 13:11:37

I have been through this. It is unbelievably stressful and you feel that you are being judged.

OP, can you ask to be referred? DD was referred to our local 'Continence Clinic' where they deal with hundreds of cases of constipation, witholding, soling and wetting every week.

Find out if you have one in your area as they are experts in combining medication with behavioural tactics to overcome your problem.

Every day used to be full of worry about where and when DD would poo in her pants (and she was loose too, so most unpleasant), but now she is pooing happily in the toilet, albeit with bribes and lots of Senna smile

I really feel or you OP and hoe you get this sorted soon.

JackieTheFart Mon 27-May-13 21:30:37

Thanks all.

I will ask about continence clinic - my HV is actually very good, I'm sure she will know where to go with it.

We've caved today and they've both been put back in nappies. I'm finding this really upsetting now actually, I feel like the worst parent going even though I try so hard to not let it get to me.

Thank god for small mercies - at least they aren't loose!

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