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Son still soiling age 4 - I can't cope with it anymore

(30 Posts)
PRMum2012 Fri 03-Jun-16 01:54:30

Poo rules our lives and I HATE it and nothing works. I give up... My son starts school in September and unfortunately he will probably still be pooing his pants.

It dominates our lives, it's all we argue about and I can't bare it anymore. The smell, the stench as the clean up operations stick to my skin and the negativity I feel towards my child as he does it to us again and again.

Everyone has an opinion and assumes if they were in our position they would sort it in a matter of weeks..... If ONLY! its always me who has to scrape the poo off his bottom. My dh might manage it at the weekends but he certainly makes sure we all know about it.

We have tried:

Regular sitting
Movicol
Rewards
Sticker charts
Punishment (taking toys and treats away)
Getting him to help wash soiled pants

Nothing is working he is still soiling regularly- sometimes up to 4 times a day. I hate motherhood and feel like a complete failure. It is stopping us going out and it's not fair on my other child. Will this problem ever go away?

OneMoreForExtra Fri 03-Jun-16 02:04:25

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I don't have any magic solutions sadly. Sorry if this is asking the obvious, but have you taken him to see a GP? Might be something they could suggest.

The other thought that occurs is that the only cases of late soiling I've come across in my circle of friends are when the children have been on the spectrum, and that was one of the clues. Absolutely no idea whether that's the issue for you of course.

Hang in there

Out2pasture Fri 03-Jun-16 02:23:36

first have you seen a physician? what has he said?

Katsite Fri 03-Jun-16 02:33:33

GP and lots of strength to you!

Plaintalkin Fri 03-Jun-16 02:33:42

I'm sorry you're at your wits end . It must be horrible.

But you know he's not doing it 'to you' don't you? It's unlikely to be done out of malice or spite.

He just hasn't connected the feeling with the action. I'm sure you've tried everything so I have two suggestions, one see your go to check he's alright. Then pants off and give up your life for a couple of days ( that's his pants off by the way :-) ) .

Sit him on the potty, get some potty books from the library. Read them to him, talk endlessly about poopy. Let him come with you to the bathroom. Sit him on his potty every 10 mins especially after food. Make a HUGE fuss if he's successful. Applaud the poo!!

I know it sounds hard work and ridiculous but it's never failed me with 2 daughters and 4 grandkids.

I hope it or something works for you . Please don't be cross with him, I promise the penny will drop , it just takes time for some xx

ReallyLoveWine Fri 03-Jun-16 02:35:23

We were in your position until very recently and my daughter has just turned 8!! It is frustrating, demoralising and dominates everything, I agree it's awful. We finally saw a hospital pediatrician who advised the following seemingly simple formula - at least 6 drinks of water per day and 3 tries on the toilet per day (proper try with child actually pushing to try to get poo out) , for 2 minutes each time, within half an hour of breakfast, lunch and tea. We have my daughter write a poo diary each day using stickers for number of drinks, poo tries and a sentence about any successes (poo in toilet) and accidents (poo in pants). Amazingly this simple formula has worked and transformed all our lives. She soiled herself everyday since since coming out of nappies and this is the only thing that has worked. She also still has one Movicol sachet every two days. Apologies for long post but I know how awful this problem can be and really would recommend this, hope it helps.

PRMum2012 Fri 03-Jun-16 09:02:19

Wow... Thanks this is all really constructive stuff, we keep a poo diary but it's more for us and his nursery. Doing one for him is a good idea. We are already doing the sitting after food twice a day. It rarely gets results and just causes arguments but I will keep going as this is pretty much what the continence adviser said. We stopped movicol as his poo is not hard it is more an issue of slow transit for us. Really appreciate this smile

veneeroftheweek Fri 03-Jun-16 09:06:51

I started a thread about a similar issue this week so you have my sympathy. It does slightly take over your life doesn't it. I'm goi g to try Reallylovewine's system while we wait for our specialist appointment.

JoMalones Fri 03-Jun-16 09:12:15

Is it certain times of the day? My daughter really struggled, in the end she had a pull up on before her bath for 10min, she would happily poo in it then that was done. It took another 6m or so for her to use the loo but it meant no accidents, constipation and a lot better for everyone.

imjessie Fri 03-Jun-16 09:14:20

My son has delayed development ( sn ) and I'm still clearing up poo at nearly 5 . We have only just cracked the wee's and I doubt we will crack poo for a good while yet . Maybe I'm used to it but as much as I don't like it I don't get cross with him . I really don't think that helps and most people are wiping their 4 years olds bums after poo so it's not like you are that different ( although it may seem like you are ) ...When you say soiling do you mean he is just doing his poo in his pants ? Can you ask for a referal to the continence team ? They specialise in these situations and can probably advise you better .

MiaFarrowsWheelbarrow Fri 03-Jun-16 09:14:52

Reading and running, sorry.

My twin brother and my 21 year old son have Hirschsprungs disease which affects the bowel. Basically they both have fewer nerve endings in the end of their bowels so aren't always aware they need to poo which can lead to soiling.
My brother wasn't diagnosed until about 8 years ago due to chronic piles and my son about 5 years ago due to soiling/hygiene issues which continued from childhood.

It may be worth investigating the possibility?

Blueberry234 Fri 03-Jun-16 09:15:04

I have a nearly 6 year old who just doesn't seem to realise he is going until too late and it is literally hanging out of his bottom. it has dominated my life for the last 3 years I panic if he is going anywhere without me and am already losing sleep about his reception class trip in a couple of weeks time. School have been great. I cannot get my Son to drink and we give between 0.5-1 sachet movicol at night. Dr doesn't think he is constipated just getting him to try and go first thing.

CodyKing Fri 03-Jun-16 09:19:06

I can see the argument type reaction -

We did this - hold hand walk to bath room - say nothing - stand in bath remove clothes - fetch clean clothes - slowly - say nothing

Clean and dress slowly - and then he's off free to play -

They hate being taken away from games - it does work

But you have to keep it to No reaction at all

puddock Fri 03-Jun-16 09:36:16

Glad you are having support from the continence service, but sorry to hear your DP isn't doing his share and you are arguing about it. A united and positive approach would reduce the pressure on you and help you not take it personally.

Slightly different (as I assume you regard your son as toilet trained), but my DS1 was still in nappies at this age, which although later than average is still within the limits of 'normal'. Like you I was very concerned about him starting school in a few months, but tried hard not to communicate that anxiety to him - in the event, it all fell into place over the summer. I don't use rewards/stickers as a rule, but was desperate enough to try that, and it had zero effect. Just talking calmly to him about it and backing off a bit, hard though it is, seemed the only thing that helped.

Maybe think again about the movicol/lactulose. Even if the poo that comes out seems soft, this can be leaking around lumps of hard poo which cause lots of problems with continence.

littlemaemae Fri 03-Jun-16 11:15:50

Just wanted to say that we have been there and it destroyed my mental health and self esteem, it was all we talked about and we argued a lot. Was a huge stress on the whole family.

The well meaning advice is like a punch in the face sometimes.
I am sure you have done all you can. And an ignorant friend making a silly comment or suggestion can be crushing

The cause of our dc's problems may be different but just wanted to say I totally get how you feel and how you and your family must be feeling utter despair. Being covered in poo day in day out is no way to live.

And I know what you are saying about the movicol. I find Senna better and less messy. You can also time it loosely for when is convenient.

I really really hope you get some help xxxx

littlemaemae Fri 03-Jun-16 11:18:45

It might be worth having a look at my threads. As it shows what we had to do to get help and there is a lot of good advice on there. There will be a lot that you will relate to as well with how you are feeling about it. Pm me if you want to chat.

80schild Fri 03-Jun-16 11:29:28

I can't offer much in the way of practical advice but I'm thinking deep breath, cup of tea and remember his continence issues are nothing to do with your competence as a mother. He will get there.

sleepyhead Fri 03-Jun-16 11:32:23

I'm sure you know about www.eric.org.uk but just in case.

This is far more common than people realise and you are not alone.

Ds1 still occasionally soils age 9, but no where nearly as badly as he did when he was your ds's age. It got a lot better when he started school (after a shaky first few months).

Apart from his toilet issues, ds1 has no particular special needs. He has had investigations from the paediatric continence service and no physical reasons have been identified. It appears to be behavioural but not linked to trauma or anything in particular. As far as we can work out he just has a belief that he can hold on to poo and wee (and therefore not have to bother going to the loo) for far longer than he actually can, and of course this becomes an ingrained habit and so very hard to break.

We're at the stage now where accidents are rare and tend to be small, and he mainly takes care of it by himself (we went through a stage of him hiding soiled pants which was horrific). He understands that it's socially unacceptable and that is helping to change his behaviour.

I actually remember my mum going through the same thing with my brother, and funnily when we were in despair when ds1 was younger and it seemed never ending my dad admitted that he had a similar problem, but can't remember why he wouldn't just go to the toilet, just that he'd try to hold in as long as he could! My poor gran in the days before washing machines!

I feel for you - it's not nice and it can feel very socially isolating when everyone else has children who seem to have had no problems. It's a huge stigma that people just don't talk about, but when I have mentioned it to other people I've been amazed how many have admitted having similar issues with one of their children.

And yes, the people who say they could sort it in a week. Bollocks to that.

Fairylea Fri 03-Jun-16 11:36:17

My son is 4 and has special needs and will be in nappies for the foreseeable future. I think as difficult as it is you need to change your mind set a bit - 4 is still very young really in terms of being toilet trained- most children do get it around 2 ish (my dd was 18 months) but many are still pooing their pants well into their 4 and 5s. For me personally changing my sons nappy doesn't bother me in the slightest, of all the things I have to deal with it really is the smallest of things!

Is your son in pants or nappies / pull ups? I would put him back in nappies for now - sometimes that encourages them to want to use the toilet as they don't want to wear them and if they genuinely aren't bothered it makes things easier for you to clean up for now too.

All children get there in the end - you don't hear of teens pooing in their pants unless they have additional needs so as hard as it is I would try to take a step back and try to not get so bothered about it.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Fri 03-Jun-16 11:38:30

Has he had a referral to check for faecal impaction or just the GP? They can be very severely constipated without appearing to be as some leaks around the blockage. Meanwhile the permanent feeling of fullness means they can't tell if they need the toilet sad

SchnitzelVonKrumm Fri 03-Jun-16 11:39:09

Has he had a referral to check for faecal impaction or just the GP? They can be very severely constipated without appearing to be as some leaks around the blockage. Meanwhile the permanent feeling of fullness means they can't tell if they need the toilet sad

WipsGlitter Fri 03-Jun-16 11:39:46

I had this with DS1 - there were tears (mostly mine), charts, sitting, books about poo, movicol etc etc. I was so, so stressed with it all. He did have a few soiling incidents in nursery but they were fine about it.

He did just sort of grow out of it. He still holds on and on and then does a massive poo (he's eight now). I think he just likes going at home in peace. He now squats on the loo seat to go confused

I have no constructive advice apart from hopefully he will grow out of it but in the meantime wine and flowers

SchnitzelVonKrumm Fri 03-Jun-16 11:44:12

And just to reinforce what others have said - he is only little and it's much more common than you think. I would consider putting him back in nappies or pull ups for a while.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Fri 03-Jun-16 11:45:58

And just to reinforce what others have said - he is only little and it's much more common than you think. I would consider putting him back in nappies or pull ups for a while.

Roomba Fri 03-Jun-16 11:51:21

I've got similar with my DS who is about to turn 4 shortly. I am really loathe to put him back in pull ups as it seems a backwards step, also he starts school in September (argh I don't want to be called in to clean him up every day!).

In DS's case it is constipation that is the cause, he witholds it for so long as a result that it just leaks out. Lactulose doesn't do much and he absolutely point blank will not drink Movicol - to the point where he'll make himself sick if I try and force it in or sneak it to him! Shame as it worked very well and stopped the problem when we first tried it - for a fortnight then he started refusing it.

How do other posters persuade their kids to take medicine they hate? Tried bribery, charts, the lot - but it's not working!

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