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5 year old DD soiling regularly...really need some advice

(12 Posts)
itsababslife Fri 28-Mar-14 21:42:22

I'm finding this so upsetting. DD turned 5 in feb. She regularly soils herself, both at home and school. It can be every other day, sometimes consecutive days. She says she can't tell it's coming or it comes too fast and won't say when it has happened.

I've looked on here for advice, and on the Eric website but the majority of information relates to it being an issue of constipation and how to deal with that. I have taken her to the doctor and he wasn't convinced she was constipated, I am certain she isn't as she doesn't have any of the symptoms regularly listed. She's dry through the night, and regularly uses the toilet at home for a poo, and sometimes wipes herself independently. I wondered if there was an issue with not liking the loos at school, but having spoken to her about it I don't think that's it. It seems she just either forgets to go, or ignores or enjoys the sensation and leaves it too late.

I've tried talking about it with her, not making a big deal of it, sticker charts, sometimes it just makes me so frustrated and I get cross with her although I know this isn't helpful. What upsets me most is whenever I talk to H about it I feel he just ends up having a go at me. He had a very authoritarian upbringing and believes that there should be consequences when she does it, despite me trying to make him understand we don't really fully get why it's happening, and maybe she's not doing it deliberately. He's difficult to have a sensitive conversation with and although he bangs on about how we need to be consistent, he has pretty much left any strategies eg behaviour charts to me.

Sorry this has turned into a bit of a rant, I'm 7 months pregnant and very tired and hormonal today. If you've managed to get this far, thank you, and if you've got any advice, or just a hand to hold I'd be very grateful. I'm feeling like totally rubbish parent sad

neolara Fri 28-Mar-14 21:47:18

What happens after she has soiled herself?

TheGreatHunt Fri 28-Mar-14 21:51:16

Well unless the doctor properly rules out constipation I would suspect it. Does she do normal poo or always sloppy?

Could she have a dairy intolerance? My ds does smelly sloppy instant poos if he has too much dairy.

itsababslife Fri 28-Mar-14 22:04:59

She can do very normal and plentiful, well formed poos in the loo. Goes every day. The ones she does in her knickers are a full poo, sometimes a bit looser, but often it's hard to tell if it's happened at school and the soiled clothes have all been bagged up together. She doesn't have excessive flatulence or distension and doesn't complain of tummy ache. The gp felt her abdomen and asked the usual questions about diarrhoea etc, and prescribed her movicol in a "I'm not convinced but you may as we'll give this a try" kind of a way. But because she seems to pass such normal looking poo without straining I've never actually given her it.

She very rarely volunteers that it's happened, I generally have to ask. Sometimes she a little sheepish, sometimes matter of fact. School haven't said much, but I do need to go and talk to them about it in more detail.

kazza446 Fri 28-Mar-14 22:13:12

Sounds psychological to me. My ds1 did it throughout first year at school. Think he was afraid to ask to go to loo or was afraid to go because he couldn't wipe his own bottom. I stressed over it for a long time but on doctors advice tried to ignore it and keep calm. It seemed to work too. By end of first year it had stopped,

itsababslife Fri 28-Mar-14 22:18:48

Poo not generally sloppy, there have have been a couple recently that we're vinegary, like teething poo - and her back molars are coming through. But it doesn't explain why it happens almost daily

itsababslife Fri 28-Mar-14 22:27:37

Thanks for your replies. There have been a lot of different teachers at school, her first was covering a mat leave and only did 4 days, DD became very attached to her. She has just gone on mat leave herself. The teacher whose class it was originally has come back 3 days a week and the other 2 are filled with a variety of different assistants. Hopefully she'll be in full time after Easter. DD is generally a very happy, bright little girl but can be sensitive and internalises her worries so I wouldn't be surprised if there were some anxiety/behaviour issues going on. It's just what to do about it...talking and positive encouragement don't seem to be helping much at the moment. I'm worried if it goes on into future classes, the other kids will start to notice and tease her.

Biscuitsneeded Fri 28-Mar-14 22:28:08

Is your DD very bendy? Did it take her a while to walk? I'm asking because this sounds just like my DS2, who is hypermobile. I am utterly convinced that poor muscle tone can make children not realise when they need a poo until it's too late. Like you I couldn't accept that he could be constipated when he so clearly wasn't. I believe some messages were not getting from his muscles to his brain in time. It's better now (he's just 7) although the occasional accident still happens if he's not near a toilet when the need strikes.

neolara Fri 28-Mar-14 22:35:31

My dad did this when she was around 3. It did my head in, but I eventually stopped it overnight following discussion with a very experienced nursery teacher. This is what we did.
1 - told dd, very matter of fact you that dd was now a big girl and needed to do poos in the loo. All her friends do poos in the loo. So do mummy, daddy, teachers, granny etc.
2 - if she did a poo, I didn't really say anything directly to her. I might have said something like "it's a bit smelly in here" but then I'd wander off. This was done to avoid the game of me chasing her round the house to get her to clean herself.
3 - sooner or later, dried on poo becomes uncomfortable so she would want to get changed. I would hand her some wipes, tell her cheerfully she needs to clean herself up and the either leave the room or become very busy doing something else in the room. I would also tell her she needed to clean her own pants. She would then have to get changed into new clothes all by herself. No praise.
4 - Throughout all the above it was vital to adopt a zen like calm. Basically, the idea was not to give any attention, either positive or negative, for her soiling.

As I said above, this worked overnight. It also worked on dd2 who tried the same thing at roughly the same age. The key for my dds was removal of absolutely any attention for soiling in combination with making my dds take complete responsibility for their own accidents.

Incidentally, if your dd has constipation, I wouldn't recommend the above approach.

neolara Fri 28-Mar-14 22:36:10

Not dad! Dd !

itsababslife Fri 28-Mar-14 23:38:21

biscuit I wouldn't say she's hyper mobile, although it's possible she doesn't always recognise the sensation, however It's difficult to unpick this from her being so absorbed in an activity she just ignores/forgets to pay attention.

neo we've had lots of conversations about the correct place to poo, and she understands perfectly well. She also knows it takes about 5 times longer to clean up a mess than go to the loo in the first place. Sometimes she goes running up to bathroom, does the necessary and cleans herself up - cue lots of praise, but so often it doesn't happen and it's the inconsistency that's so frustrating. I may try your tactic of getting her to sort herself and her mucky knickers out though, see if that makes any difference. Thanks smile

TheGreatHunt Sat 29-Mar-14 06:45:18

I would be wary of leaving a five year old to sort herself out. She could get poo everywhere and if she wipes incorrectly end up with an infection.

How about keeping a food diary to rule out dietary causes?

Also if she goes at the same sorts of time a day then keep an eye out for poo signs (my ds starts holding his bum for example!) And send her to the loo matter of factly.

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