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3 y o DD started to poo pants a LOT after being fully toilet trained

(7 Posts)
linserella Sat 26-Sep-09 01:18:13

I would really like to hear whether anyone else on here has experience of this or similar. My DD has just turned 3 and gradually over the past 2 months, and now several times this week has begun to poo her pants. She does 2 days at nursery and poo'd herself on both days this week (and has done occasionally in the past) and has continued to do this on a daily basis at home. She says nothing and continues with what she's doing (whether we're home or out) or sits on the loo but the poo is already in her pants. I've asked her to tell me when she needs and she agrees but no change. When nursery told me this week that she'd had an accident she quite happily interjected that "I did a poo". She told me later that her favourite staff member there changed her, I asked if she did this for attention from her and she said yes though I don't know for sure if she understood what I was saying. I don't believe it's constipation as I've read on other threads as it is mostly soft (sorry to be graphic!) though admittedly she does complain of a sore bottom or cry out when I wash her bottom. She has gone from being totally potty trained to this reversal and I have been calm and patient, also (to my shame) been angry and attempted humiliation tactics and we're also doing the star chart but she doesn't seem to care less and frequently tries to hide her smile (guaranteed to tip me over the edge!!). Any thoughts or similar experience v much appreciated! Thanks

PandaEis Sat 26-Sep-09 01:39:44


my DD went through a phase of this when she was around the 3yo marksmile i think it is possibly an attention kind of thing and she soon stopped when she stopped getting her stickers on her chart! does she have a favourite cartoon/kids TV charecter? i found that stickers for dora the explorer/my friends tigger and pooh were a big hit for my DD and it seemed all the more incentive for her to do a poo on the toilet as she had a special 'poo chart' just for these stickers to go on (i made it myselfsmile) i would just try a new approach (i.e ignoring the poo/rewarding the poo on toilet with special sticker) for a week or two and see if that helps anysmile


xx ei xx

linserella Sat 26-Sep-09 15:10:39

hi ei

thanks so much for passing that on, I think you're right, my instinct says that this is an attention seeking thing and not physical. Your idea for a sticker chart exclusively for poos on loo is a good one (i'll stick it above the loo! grin). I made a star chart after a guitar trashing incident (really) and have already peeled several off as she has continued with the pooing in pants but think it makes sense to focus on a separate one for this, I'll definately give it a go as she loves stickers too. I'll learn to ignore too and see if that helps.

thanks! xx

sleepwhenidie Sat 26-Sep-09 15:24:01

My DS regressed this way at same age(classic reaction to arrival of new sister in his case). It was definitely for attention and drove us up the WALL! When we realised how much attention we were giving it and how much stress it was causing (us, not him) we just backed off, said ok, if you don't want to go to the toilet you can wear pull-ups again, no problem (and acted as if we genuinely didn't mind). He accepted this,we all relaxed, he wore pull ups for a couple of weeks and then one morning, when he was back to nursery after the summer, I gave him the choice between pants or pull ups. He chose the pants and hasn't had an accident in the year or more since then. Maybe an option for you, although I know it feels like a huge step backwards, it was worth it for us and she isn't likely to want to stay in pull ups long now she's used to pants.

Millarkie Sat 26-Sep-09 15:33:31

It might be attention - 3 is still quite young - but the poo that comes out involuntarily when children are constipated IS soft (dd's is a thick porridge texture) so don't totally rule out constipation just on the consistency or amount of poo.

If she has hurt her bottom at some point she may have been withholding her poo for a while - this stretches the bowel and it loses the ability to push the poo along inside..they end up with a 'bag' of poo inside them (rather than a tube) and it just drops out with no control.

If the sticker chart doesn't work then take her to the doctor's (although I took dd to several different GPs for almost 2 years and they all said it was for attention until I paid privately for her to see a consultant gastroenterologist - one X-ray and it was obvious that it was an enlarged bowel and now we've had her on medication for 6 months and looking at at least another 6 months).

linserella Sat 26-Sep-09 21:44:16

thanks sleep, good to see your post as it confirms what has been slowly dawning on me - getting angry or trying to rationally talk it through with her / question her is attention none the less for her. i really do intend to keep my reaction to the next one to a minimum and though I'm loathe to do it, maybe i will put her back in pull-up's...there is no new sibling here which makes me wonder (and worry) over what it could be that has triggered this, she does seem to be going through a bit of a crisis of confidence over being "a big girl" and "not a baby" now she's in the 3-5s at nursery but frequently reverts to "i'm a baby" and i joke "nooo! you're not a baby"! and asks me to feed her etc (unheard of till now believe me!) so yes, i can see it's probably all tied up with that. it's reassuring to hear yours and others similar experience x
millarkie, thanks also. you raised some good points and it was certainly a revelation to learn that it can be soft when constipated. i'm certainly not going to rule it out and will remain aware of this being a possibility. her sore bottom seems to be stingy - more like nappy rash and looks red, but it's only from time to time, not sure what causes it but see that the pain COULD put her off. i will keep what you've said in mind and will take her to the doc if other approaches don't work. thanks and good luck with your dd on medication, i hope it helps x

linserella Mon 28-Sep-09 11:12:55

ok, just to update, she handed me something yesterday in tissue and it took me a moment to focus on it and realise it was a poo! i asked her where it came from (iyswim) and she told me there was poo on her bedroom floor. ok - calm i tell myself, cleared it up with no fuss and she was definately looking for a reaction saying - it's bad to poo on floor etc. i told her we were going to make a poo in loo sticker chart for the bathroom and i involved her in helping make it. We stuck it at her height in the bathroom, she chose her sheets of fave stickers and they were stuck just out of reach and i explained she would get to stick one on when she next did a poo in the loo, and hurray! it's just happened! never would have imagined a sticker chart would bring such rapid results! thanks for the idea, here's hoping she sticks with it!

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