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Trained for 7 months, still poos in pants

(34 Posts)
overthehill74 Sat 05-Apr-14 15:50:33

I'm at my wits end and desperately in need of help. My 3.6 year old DS has been going to the toilet since October. He's even dry at night. But poos his pants EVERY day. I've had help/advice from friends, parents, health visitor, even continence nurse but we are no further on.

We have ruled out constipation. He goes every day but just never goes to the toilet. He is not afraid of the toilet, it splashing etc as sometimes he has poo'd there by chance when doing a pee and he's been so delighted and couldn't wait to tell everyone.

I have tried rewards, blowing bubbles on toilet, going on toilet 20 mins after meals, stories about poo, but nothing works. I know it's wrong but on occasion I have shouted at him out of sheer frustration but nothing makes any difference.

I am at my wits end. I'm sat now at the bottom of the stairs in tears while he plays blissfully in his room after I've cleaned him up yet again, pants had to go to the bin. This has been going on 6 months now and I just don't know what to do. My HV says she's given me all the advice she can and now it's up to me. I feel so alone with this and it's really getting me down. He starts nursery in September and I know they won't tolerate this day after day.

Can anyone please give me any advice or hope cos right at the minute I feel like such a crap mother. I just want my boy to poo in the toilet and to be able to go to nursery happy and for me not to be worrying about a call to go clean him up. Please sad

overthehill74 Sat 05-Apr-14 19:30:14


Pink01 Sat 05-Apr-14 19:33:00

I didn't want to ignore your message as you sound so unhappy but I must admit I don't have any great advice.

At this age obviously you can speak to him about it, what does he say? Can you find out if he ever has the urge to go or is the first he knows of it when it has happened.

I'm shocked at your HV attitude. I would ask for a second opinion on that or a further referral to the continence nurse.

beatofthedrum Sat 05-Apr-14 19:59:18

Please don't feel so upset. I really don't think it's all that uncommon. My ds has been toilet trained for 2 months and poos in his pants every day. It's grim...but from what I hear from friends not at all uncommon. I appreciate this is no help, but I really wouldn't feel so upset as every anecdote I've heard has ended with...'and then they just stopped it - it only took once and the issue was solved'. I've only had 5 weeks of this grimness (as weirdly he could do it at first!) so I obviously have not the same level of nightmare, but please do not feel you/he are doing something wrong/very strange. It's just clicking in later for him.

thejoysofboys Sat 05-Apr-14 20:04:44

You have my sympathy. DS2 is 2.8yrs and has been dry for about 6 weeks but still poos in his pants everyday. When he does manage to get one in the toilet he's delighted but he still sneaks away, poos in his pants and doesn't tell me.

I wish there was a magic answer. I'm already sick of washing pants. Hugs hugs. It's driving me crackers already and you've been there much longer.

Mintyy Sat 05-Apr-14 20:06:26

Do an advanced search on Mumsnet. There have been hundreds of threads on this exact subject. Hopefully you will find something there to help you.

overthehill74 Sat 05-Apr-14 20:09:41

Thank you pink and beat for your replies. It's just so frustrating and demoralising. He says he doesn't know when I ask him. It's just so hard. Funnily enough I've become desensitised to the actual poo, it's just annoying me why he can't go in the toilet. He has only done it a handful of times outside of home and never at playgroup where he is 2 mornings a week, so it seems he has some sense of control.

Mintyy Sat 05-Apr-14 20:09:44

here, I've done the search for you

SinisterBuggyMonth Sat 05-Apr-14 20:10:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

overthehill74 Sat 05-Apr-14 20:11:51

Thank you also minty and the joys. I will look at your link now. I'm just having a low day and letting this annoy me. You can only take so much. hmm

SweepTheHalls Sat 05-Apr-14 20:12:50

I had exactly the same issue with DS1, what worked for us was putting a nappy liner in his pants ( the type the you out in real nappies). It's like being able to feel that reminded him. Worth a try, and makes cleaning up easier smile

candycrushhater Sat 05-Apr-14 20:15:53

This really struck a chord with me. My DD pooed in her pants until she was nearly four. She would hold it in for days before finally "letting go" and pooing her pants.

In the end, after trying lots of different approaches, it was having a "poo party" that worked for us. I explained to her that if she did a poo in the toilet we would have a party complete with sweeties, balloons, party poppers etc and we would phone her Nana to tell her all about it.

It was quite a lot of work, but she "got it" quite quickly. After a few parties we started to scale back the celebrations until she would just get a smartie. The smarties stopped when I "ran out" one day.

Hang in there, it'll get better eventually.

heather1 Sat 05-Apr-14 20:21:30

Try googling the book Poo goes to Pooland. Worked a treat on my Ds when he was doing this.
Other alternative is to explain to your Ds that you know he knows when he needs a poo but he is deciding to do it in his pants. This isn't nice for mummy as poos for big boys belong in the toilet. Explain it's ok but if he wants to do this he has to wear a nappy like a baby. It's a gamble but hopefully he will then not like this as he will want to be a big boy and will be back in pants before you know it - I had this problem with my other Ds. He was trained but preferred to wee in his pants. I tried everything, and it mean everything over a period of 6 months. In the end I said right back to nappies. Within 2 days he was dry and back in pants.
In the end I realised it was just an attention thing.

BuffyFairy Sat 05-Apr-14 20:28:59

I've heard good things about poo goes to pooland I haven't used it myself.

BuffyFairy Sat 05-Apr-14 20:29:18

X post with heather1

Chocchip88 Sat 05-Apr-14 20:29:21

It's so hard isn't it? I don't have a whole load of advice, but wanted you to know you're not the only one. My DS is also 3.6 months and still poos his pants most days. Last month it was every day. I too was at my wits end, I was crying, shouting, threatening, nothing worked.
I calmed down a lot, decided to just accept it, not get angry and change him as quickly and calmly as possible when he had his accidents. As well as this I bought a pile of (cheap) presents and wrapped them up. I told him every time he did a poo on the toilet he got to unwrap one. We talked a LOT about pooing on the toilet, practiced sitting on the toilet, and talked about what could be in each present everyday.
After about 10 days he finally did a poo on the toilet! He was so pleased with himself, so excited and thrilled to unwrap a present.
He still has accidents regularly, probably more than he goes in the toilet but I am finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.
So sympathy and hope being sent your way.

Littlefish Sat 05-Apr-14 20:33:28

Please don't worry about nursery in September. I'm a nursery teacher and we have children at all different stages of toilet training. We clean children up every day - it's part of our job. Supporting a child with toilet training is as much of our job as helping them learn to count.

How have you ruled out constipation? Did you see the GP?

3DcAndMe Sat 05-Apr-14 20:34:18

We had this with our younger ds

He also had toddler diarrhoea which we just about got under control by about 3 years old by giving him a high fat diet. But he would still do a poo daily in his pants.

In the end it resulted to bribery. He loves technology, computers etc. So every time he did a poo on the toilet he got to go on the computer. I also bought him underpants with his favorite animal on. And if he pooed in them they went in the bin which he hated.

He started school in September and since then has only had about three poos in pants which for us is fantastic as it was every day for so long and very very frustrating!

overthehill74 Sat 05-Apr-14 20:37:46

Thank you so much for all your replies, it's good to know in not alone, even though it feels like it. I like the idea of wrapping presents for him. I did have lots of treats sat on bathroom window sill but soon it was like he didn't even see them. Something wrapped night entice him more! Also the nappy liner sounds good and the poo party! I've tried various books his favourite being peekapoo blush but they haven't encouraged him to act! From feeling hopeless earlier I now feel like there are still some things to try. So thank you to all you lovely ladies, you've really given me some hope. And to you all in the same position, good luck! thanks

negrilbaby Sat 05-Apr-14 20:38:53

I had the same problem with DD - and her childminder was not amused!!

I read up about it and found somewhere that it can be a power struggle (even if not conscious). What worked for DD was that we put her back in pull-ups and told her to let us know when she was ready to start poo-ing in the toilet and go back to her knickers. It took about a week - she then decided she was ready and we haven't looked back since.

Bumbershoot Sat 05-Apr-14 20:39:23

Ours has been trained for nearly a year but still won't poo anywhere except in a nappy overnight. Grr.

theeternalstudent Sat 05-Apr-14 20:42:57

You say you have ruled out constipation but are you sure? You have mentioned that you've been to see various health professionals but have you been to see the GP?

When I spoke to my HV about DD having 'accidents' she put it down to a behavioural issue. I ended up going to the GP anyway and she was diagnosed with constipation. Is it worth going to visit the GP anyway?

You say he doesn't know when you ask him why he does it. Do you mean he doesn't feel when he is doing it or he doesn't know why he won't poo in the loo. If it's the first then it's indicative of constipation.

Good luck!

Littlefish Sat 05-Apr-14 20:45:02

Good post theeternalstudent.

Lucelulu Sat 05-Apr-14 20:48:09

My DS did this for 6-10 months (although he's had occasional issues with constipation so think there might have been some connection)
We never made it an issue to be honest, always told him it would be better in the toilet but never let it become too important.
He's absolutely fine now and has been since about 3.8 just decided by himself as he got a little more mature.
They're very little still so I really wouldn't worry too much

funkypigeon Sat 05-Apr-14 20:58:35

You have my sympathy, it's bloody hard work when they do this day after day. DS was eventually clean at 4 years and 10 months. Difference was with us that he was on movicol for constipation which would make him go about 8-10 times in his pants a day. I got very low about it all, and incredibly frustrated with him and the situation. I must have spent hundreds on pants as in the end I binned them.

One day it will click, I promise. I don't even know what we did differently in the end, but it just got better, which it will for you.


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