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5 year old ds has pooed his pants on and off for last 3 years - will it ever end?

(11 Posts)
wehopeyoulikespaghetti Sun 18-Sep-11 14:37:57

My 5 year old ds2 was potty trained around about 2 yrs old, and we had no problems for about 6 months (as I recall). There then came an episode with ds1 (now 6) where he had a bit of a pooing accident on the bathroom floor after bedtime, and accidentally got quite a lot of attention while we were cleaning him up, which ds1 saw from the door of his room. I think this is probably what started the problems, but it may just have been coincidence.

3 years later, I really feel we've tried all sorts, and it just doesn't seem to be getting any better. We continue to keep a reward chart (because every time we've previously stopped the problem seems to return) - 1 sticker for every poo successfully in the loo, 1 treat of his choice for every 6 stickers. For a while the problem was helped by making him sit on the loo straight after breakfast each day, but then sometimes he would poo at this time and then again later on in the day. So then we started trying to make him sit on the loo after school as well.

Recently (since beginning of new school term - he has just started Y1) we have had poos in the bath and in the pants, often just after he has sat on the loo to try. He has also been pretty badly behaved recently, which we are putting down to tiredness and the stress of a new class, new teacher etc. We have grown very weary of making him sit at regular intervals, since it doesn't seem to be working brilliantly, plus also we often have 10-15 minutes of argument/wingeing/shouting if we insist and he doesn't want to. We don't punish him for pooing himself, but I have sometimes recently punished him for refusing to sit on the loo - I always say to him "you don't have to do a poo, but you do just have to try". I have pretty much stopped insisting on the sitting on the loo, to try and avoid the conflict/punishment that inevitably follows.

I don't actually mind the poo itself. I have a 1 yr old baby, so I clean up poo, it's no big deal, it's only ever a tiny bit in the pants and doesn't explode messily. If I knew for sure that by carrying on as we are or doing something different he would safely grow out of it eventually, I would be reassured. It is upsetting when it happens at school, for him I think as well as me, but it has only happened that way once or twice.

Does anyone have any tips I haven't thought of?

Is anyone able to tell me that they had this problem and it just solved itself eventually through time?

Fiolondon Mon 19-Sep-11 00:01:48

Hi. That sounds awful for you. It must be so frustrating. I have no experience if this at all but reading your post it seems that you suspect that it is an attention issue. If he only ever does this in the house then presumably this might well be correct. If it happens at different times and places that are awkward for him then possibly not.
Have you been to your gp?
I actually was googling to see if cranial osteopathy would help (it might) and came across these pages so it seems you are not alone:

see also this one which doesn't make conventional treatment sound great so I'd defo try osteopathy at least in combination. does any of that sound useful/relevant?:

An0therName Mon 19-Sep-11 20:35:56

have you talked to doctor/school nurse -

marshkat Sun 02-Oct-11 20:47:11

we are in the exact same situation with ds. but he will do well (no poos in pants) for maybe 2 to 3 weeks then he sees his real mum, (who he has limited contact due to suffer physical abuse from her) then the pants pooing starts again. No one has an answer. but it could deffantly be stressed related. try just ignoring it or use a marble jar. buy a bag of marbles and a jar to put them in as areward if he goes all day without any problems he gets 4 marbles, 3 if only small probs ect ect. make sure he gets to play with them for a while then let him put them in jar. When the jar is full ish! he gets to choose a family treat! evening out or time all together. this works for us a few weeks at a time.

bumbleweed Thu 06-Oct-11 14:36:12

I wish I was typing you advice or reassurance, but I came on here with exactly the same problem. Dd is 6 next week and poos pants every day almost. Sure she started it for attention when ds was I'll. Been through sticker charts and all sorts. Going back to gp tmrw to check again for a medical cause. She does it at school but they havent noticed. She will happily sit with poo for hours and make her clothes and furniture smell.

byanymeans Thu 06-Oct-11 15:48:46

my Ds 4 has been on and off pooing his pants for 2 years now, it just seems to be poo's. he has gone all night dry for over 2 years. I know he knows how and when to go the the loo because no does for weeks then it all starts again in his pants. I thought he was good at pre-school he will be ok at primary but he has got worse since starting and now is having 3-4 poos in pants a week. I have no idea what to do anymore.

wehopeyoulikespaghetti Thu 06-Oct-11 20:39:39

oh dear. You poor people. We're having a good patch here, since I started this thread, but I think it's just luck - I don't know what to tell you. Someone private messaged me to suggest I get him taken to the doctor and have faecal impaction ruled out as a diagnosis, so maybe that would help you guys? I have been to the doctor once, and the school nurse, and was told if there are patches where there are no poos in pants, that must mean it's not physical, but don't know if that was good advice or not.

The school thing sounds awful, bumbleweed. We've had it happen once or twice, but mostly at home thank goodness. We have made gradual progress with things such as ds telling me when he's pooed. I know others the same age have similar problems, but I think the kinder you can possibly be to them, the more they are likely to tell you when they've done a poo instead of just ignoring it. Nowadays he'll pretty much always tell me straight away, which is a huge improvement. Sometimes he'll think he's pooed but he hasn't. The way we're managing is by getting him to sit on the loo at the same time each day, and that way it's part of a routine.

Good luck, guys. Will let you know if I discover a magic cure.

latesummer Thu 06-Oct-11 22:18:25

I think it will be impaction even if there are weeks without soiling. Since our horrendous misdiagnosis experience I have found 3 people in real life all with similar experiences to yourselves whom I have told about our experience and got them to get a proper check for impaction and all were found to have impaction!!

It appears to be something that is constantly misdiagnosed despite some websites (royal college or nursing i think) stating that 95% of children with soiling will be due to impaction. In fact it is very rare that it is for emotional/abuse reasons and a medical reason should always be eliminated.

If they poo in the bath or after a bath then that is a sign as the warm water is relaxing the muscles. They will have lost sensation so may not know when they have pooed if only a little bit or even think they have when they havent.
There are many different types of poo that can be a sign including long thin/ribbon like, runny overflow and small crumbly bits. Really is worth researching all the symptoms as in hindsight it should have been obvious but wasnt to us and professionals were totally incompetent in their misdiagnosis.

There is hope though as our lives have been totaly transformed since the impaction was cleared. Happy to help further as I have spent most of the last year on this subject!

bumbleweed Fri 07-Oct-11 21:47:35

latesummer please could you direct me to best place to read up on impaction. We have referral to paediatric gastro consultant now. Dd has loss of sensation. School have said they will prompt her go go after lunch but can't make sure she goes. Can't see it ever being solved unless she starts sitting in the loo at set times. Feel awful. I have yelled at her over it several times.

latesummer Sat 08-Oct-11 09:30:42

Professionals should be following Nice guidelines CG99. I read the whole 259 pages to prove full extent of our misdiagnosis. Full guidelines and summary for parents is available on line. Also map of medicine website gives flow chart that medical professionals should follow.

Am happy to help as our lives were nearly destroyed by soiling 10 times per day and then misdiagnosis of non medical cause and therefore assumed it was due to abuse, despite nothing to base this on other than soiling/wetting.

When we got the medical diagnosis I vowed to not only complain but to try to prevent anyone else going through misdiagnosis and suffering as professionals have no idea the strain it can cause the whole family.

I found it my sons medical records that his head teacher had phoned nurse and asked for him to be sent to school in nappies because all other parents had complained about the hygeine issue of his being allowed to be at school!! She totally denied that anyone had complained at the time despite my being certain that this was going on.

bumbleweed Sun 09-Oct-11 18:48:42

thanks so much I will look this up now.
how awful for you to have had abuse suggested. And also to have had that experience with school.
we have struggled on with this for about 18 months and been told by gp
and hv that it behavioural. Although lactulose also suggested.

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