Poo withholding 4 year old - not constipation(7 Posts)
Deep breath. I'm sorry tired and fed up of battling this issue and really need some encouragement / light at the end of the tunnel. My DD is 4.5 and starting school this year. She has been dry for wee for over a year but won't poo on the toilet. She is extremely regular ( daily) and has soft stools - if anything they have tended to be looser which I put down to her big fruit habit. When we started potty training she would wait until bedtime and then once in bed poo in her pull ups. She developed quite a ritual around this - needing her legs covered by PJs, having certain toys with her etc. Gradually we have tacked the routine and were able to move it so that she was in the bathroom before bath time but she was fairly immovable about not sitting on the toilet and covering her legs. We were on the " softly softly" approach ( going nowhere) when my childminder came to babysit in the evening. Wouldn't you know it she was able to get her to poo in the potty. I thought that after that she would carry on for us but that has not materialised. In despair we've switched it up a gear and have gone " cold turkey" but this has resulted in withholding for days and days and eventual leakage in her pants ( although no full on poo). The other day she did a poo on the toilet for the childminder because she was told that they wouldn't go to the zoo if she didn't do it. Apparently it was done with no fuss. If we try the same tactic she goes into full meltdown mode and would rather give up the treat than do it.
I'm now at a loss as to the reason for this behaviour and the best way to proceed. I have tried the HV who seemed at a loss to suggest anything. We've done bribery with chocolate and the promise of toys ( even had the toys sat there in the bathroom). We've done reward charts, bubbles, balloons. Etc etc. I'm slightly loathed to go to the Drs because I don't think the problem is constipation and I think they'll only prescribe Movicol. I've tried the Eric site but the advice ( get them to sit on the toilet wearing pull ups and then gradually loosen them) is rejected. She will sit on the floor wearing pull ups but won't go near the toilet with them on - not even with the lid down. It pisses me off royally that she will do it for the childminder and not for us and leads me to believe it's a massive control issue ( which is why I went cold turkey against general advice) but I also feel so bad that she makes herself uncomfortable and miserable with this behaviour. Hoping someone has some advice or an expert we can go to.
Let her poo in a nappy. it's really common and a lot fo children at her school will still be pooing in a nappy.
The power battle isn't worth it.
Let her poo in a nappy when she comes home. We had this for SUCH a long time. Don't know how it worked but we started having poo parties to make loo time fun (fixed grin). Sitting on the loo pretending or actually blowing bubbles helps all the muscles to work. I share your despair and still can't believe we are past it. School attendance was about the time it sorted itself out. Good luck
We had this for nearly a year with ds. After a horrific few months on movicol we got him to only poo in his pull up after his bath. We eventually followed the Eric advice to the letter; so he had to poo in the bathroom, then standing near the loo, then on the step, then sitting on the loo lid closed etc etc etc. All with a pull up on. Then I made 'magic' pull-ups (cut out the inside) and within 3 weeks of starting this, he was pooing on the loo. If he followed that day's instruction he got a lucky dip (toy car) out of the bag in my wardrobe. 6 months on and he can need reminding/low key bribery to do a poo, especially if we've got people visiting or are very busy. Things are vastly different to where we were a year ago, you have my sympathies-it was dreadful. Hope you make some progress soon
Generally, even though it's pretty gross letting her use a nappy is far better than letting her get impacted. The advice is to let them use a nappy.
Hello sorry haven't been here for a few days. Thanks so much for all your replies. Really I knew that the cold turkey was not the way to go, it just created so much stress about the whole process. I think we felt pushed into it because of the success of the childminder and well intended comments such as " she's just being a little madam" 😁 We reverted back to the pull ups after 4 or 5 days of poo withholding as we were on holiday and decided the whole thing would be ruined otherwise. Any doubt we had about this was gone after she was finally able to poo in her pull ups again - she was just a different child. Sunny and happy. Since our return we have resumed our efforts to move towards the toilet with renewed bribery of chocolate. For some reason she is now actually listening rather than refusing straight away. She has moved from her usual spot near the door and has gradually moved to sitting on the toilet with the seat down. She is thinking about having the seat up next time, we'll see. I think the lucky dip is a great idea but I haven't got around for buying all the bits and bobs for it yet so we're sticking with the chocolate for now. All in all I think it's a step in the right direction. Thanks for the support and knowledge that other people have been through the same and survived. ( I've written so much so that the next person has a bit of hope!)
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