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Toilet training problems - on going (nearly 5)

(18 Posts)
Cat98 Thu 14-Mar-13 14:50:58

Far too old for "potty training" forum so I'm posting this here if that's ok!
DS is nearly 5. He is driving us nuts with his toileting habits (or lack of!)
He always has accidents. Poo and wee. Usually at least one a day if not more. But he totally resists going to the toilet - if we suggest he has a try he has a full on screaming fit "I don't NEED the toilet"! And then inevitably has an accident. We have tried a reward chart.

Doctor has checked him out and apparently thinks there's nothing wrong medically. We have no other issues with him - he eats well, a reasonably good diet, is doing fantastically at school, behaves well, is very active - other than toilet problems! He has been referred to a paediatrician to rule out medical problems but dr thinks not. So assuming it's not medical, how on earth do we handle this?

He has accidents at school - comes out wet/soiled about three quarters of the time. School rarely notice and he doesn't tell them. When we have a day at home doing nothing it's not perfect, but better - when he's busy doing anything he just has accidents 9 times out of 10. We are fed up with cleaning up poo - please help!

looseleaf Thu 14-Mar-13 18:33:25

Have you tried asking him what would stop him having accidents ie see if he can help resolve the problem? Ask if there's anything he can think of so that he doesn't get messy all the time just in case if it's his own solution he might try? Probably no help but that'd be what I'd give a go xx

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 14-Mar-13 19:40:29

My dd still had the odd accident at school. They were very good and keen to point out that its normal. The fact that your school don't notice would be a concern for me.

elfycat Thu 14-Mar-13 20:13:59

Try nothing! I had problems with DD1 and googled researched resistance to potty training. It suggests leaving it entirely to the child, no prompting or discussion. Any accidents are cleared up without comment.

I think the idea is to take the pressure away, and also any confrontation or attention. Sounds like there is a bit of confrontation (from his point of view) in the reaction to having a try.

But some children are later to 'listen' to the signs their bodies are giving.

jojane Thu 14-Mar-13 20:22:08

Ds1 is 6 and we had the same as you, we tried everything from ignoring it to telling him off etc. also seein pead but no medical reason ha so far been found.
Until it broke after ds fell over we were using a wobl watch which was set at certain times to rimind him to go tithe toilet, like yours he would have a tantrum at the mere mention of trying fr a wee. It has helped loads, even now e doesn't wear the watch he rarely wets himself at school (home is another matter but he's often tired/engrossed in a book or computer game etc. ),
You can get the watches from the ERIC website.

jojane Thu 14-Mar-13 20:28:14

We tried the potty resistance thing and sitting him down and telling him that we were giving him responsibility for going to the toilet and we weren't going to nag him about it - didn't work. We did reward charts and bribing with toys and time on the iPad etc etc - didn't work, we tried making it as inconvenient as possible for him - making him out clothes in machine, wash him self and what ever he weed on etc etc- didn't work, we did removal of privileges for tv/iPad/wii/Xbox etc - didn't work, we tried everything we read about (execpt taking in back garden and hosing down with cold garden hose, that one seemed a little too extreme for us!!)
I think it's been a combination of his bladder not being strong enough, him getting engrossed in his activity and laziness on not wanting to take te out to go.
Try the wobl watch as also cut out black current. Aparantley it irritates the bladder making the problem worse.

Cat98 Thu 14-Mar-13 20:44:53

Thanks for the replies so far.

We have tried both your suggestions, looseleaf and elfycat. He didn't have any ideas other than his body 'learning to send faster messages to his brain'- which may well be true but doesn't really help! And handing him control just made everything worse.

jilted - the problem is it is more than just the occasional accident! And I don't really hold it against the school for not noticing, though now we've made them aware I hope they check more often. The problem is he's really able academically and I think they expect a lot of him, and they probably wouldn't expect this of him! The teacher was surprised (we made her aware this week).

jojane - they sound similar and we have tried many of the things you did. I was actually looking on the ERIC website earlier and thought about those watches. I will definitely get one. Worth a try! Glad we are not alone smile

Thanks again all, very helpful.

Cat98 Thu 14-Mar-13 20:46:46

Woah just seen those watches are £69!! Does anyone know of a similar cheaper version?!

3littlefrogs Thu 14-Mar-13 20:50:38

OP - google ERIC and encopresis.

I think you will find a lot of information there.

This sounds like classic encopresis to me.

If your ds has not had an abdominal Xray, no doctor can possibly say that there is nothing medically wrong.


3littlefrogs Thu 14-Mar-13 20:53:08

"He always has accidents. Poo and wee. Usually at least one a day if not more. But he totally resists going to the toilet - if we suggest he has a try he has a full on screaming fit "I don't NEED the toilet"! And then inevitably has an accident"

This is typical. Does he ever do a "normal" poo on the toilet?

Queenmarigold Thu 14-Mar-13 20:55:40

My dd is similar, gets carried away doing stuff at school and leaves it too late. Also still in nappies at night. We have spoken to drs, they say its not an issue until kids are 7+, nappies in tesco go up to age 15 so must be fairly common. Don't worry about it

Cat98 Thu 14-Mar-13 21:00:17

Thanks, 3 little frogs. That's what the first gp we saw wondered, prescribed movicol but it didn't really help. And he does at least one normal poo on the toilet most days (plus a couple of little bits in his pants!) and sometimes the 'normal' poo is also in his pants. The texture of the poo is normal - ideal when looking at the enlightening (!) Bristol stool scale! The little bits he does are sometimes a bit runny, but as I say he also does do regular normal poos.

Cat98 Thu 14-Mar-13 21:01:20

Queen marigold - is it most days though? Some of his friends still have the occasional accident but its just that - occasional. We are concerned he's going to get teased if it carries on much longer!

LittleMissMoonshine Thu 14-Mar-13 22:00:43

I also have a 5 year old who started to withhold poo from the age of 2. We had wet and poo accidents everyday and it would be a few accidents a day. The dr's were rubbish and initially prescribed lactulose. This did not help. I thought it would get better at nursery etc but it didn't. I would pick her up from nursery, family and now school in a right mess and no one would notice! We have been on movicol for the last 8 months and its only the last couple of months that things have improved.

Like your DS my DD would not go to the toilet and would say I don't need to go when it was obvious she was about to burst! I would take her to the toilet and 10 minutes later she would be wet!. We would have a poo accident and she could sit on the toilet for ages and would not do a poo. Before taking movicol she seemed to have no control over wee or poo. movicol has helped the wetting greatly.

I didn't really know what was going on with her but I have read around chronic constipation due to withholding and I think this is it. Starting school was very stressful for both of us as it is such a long day but I think the peer pressure has helped. We still have accidents where she will say i didn't feel it which i don't know whether this is true or not but she does have clean days now.

jojane Fri 15-Mar-13 13:05:25

we got ours for £30!!! will have another look for you

jojane Fri 15-Mar-13 13:07:33

just had a look. they have some for £35 which are the ones suitable for small wrists

3littlefrogs Fri 15-Mar-13 17:48:38

WRT the movicol, how long did you use it? It can take years to reprogramme the bowel - you need to use it regularly for at least as long as the problem has existed. So if the soiling/weeing has been happening for 6 months, it will take 6 to 12 months of active treatment to cure, then usually a gradually reducing dose for months or years after that.

marshkat Sat 16-Mar-13 09:38:27

Sounds exactly like my little boy, he is now 6. We have had constant problems with accidents and seen so many different people, but little boy is very clever, as one doctor mentioned in front of him that it could be dairy intolerance, so this is currently his excuse! so past 2 weeks we have stopped him having milk (but not cheese, butter ect) and he seems a bit better. to help with washing we were advised to buy panty liners for him to put in the back of pants then he has to remove dirty one ect, this helps with washing millions of pooey pants! he also sits on the toilet 20 mins after main meal and either blows up a balloon or blows bubbles to help his muscles work. Things have got a bit better for us. it was every day now its more like 2-3 times a week. Get the school on bored to, they were really bad with us at first but after a few meetings with the head they do encourage him to go to the loo if they smell an aroma! hope that helps a bit?

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