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4.5yr DD has never done a poo on the toilet...

(18 Posts)
voiceofgodot Tue 13-May-14 17:06:24

Really hoping somebody can advise me with this increasingly frustrating problem. I have twin girls aged 4.5. One of them refuses to poo on the toilet. I have tried several times to sort this out, we always fail.

It all started because for a long time as a young toddler she suffered from constipation. She was taking Movicol for a while, is not taking it any more and there is no constipation. But as a result I think she has bad associations with pooing, and has developed her own 'technique' by sort of hopping from foot to foot whilst standing up and wearing a nappy.

Clearly I have my eye on September looming, and her starting school. I've taken her to the doctors about it a few times, although the issue was for a long while intertwined with the constipation - it isn't any more, but she absolutely refuses to go on the toilet. She will sit on the toilet, even after having held it in for days (if I refuse to give her a nappy) and even if just prior to sitting on the loo she has been saying she's desperate for a poo, she just cannot make the physical association with doing it once she's sat down. She'll sit there all innocently for half an hour, and then get off again saying she doesn't need to go.

Does anyone have any advice? We've tried sticker charts, promises of treats, encouragement, sitting with her, talking to her... it feels like we've tried everything. Last ditch attempt was to buy her a princess potty (oh the shame grin) to try to take it 'back to basics' - she was very excited about it.... right up to the point at which she thought she was expected to actually do a poo on it.

If I take away nappies she just holds it in until she can't any more and then will eventually poo her pants. It's incredibly stressful and I feel like I'm torturing her by taking away the nappies - because she's a very capable and proud girl and she finds pooing herself horribly humiliating - it's as though she actually doesn't know how else to do it.


PirateJones Tue 13-May-14 17:41:13

you're not alone, i can't give you any advice, but my 6 year old has only JUST overcome this problem.

there's a thread here [url][/url]

And my success thread here [url][/url]

But as i say, i can't give any real advice, he just decided on his own.

voiceofgodot Tue 13-May-14 19:52:29

Thanks Pirate - it's actually incredibly helpful just to know I'm not alone!

Do you think I should just let her do it in the nappies then? I've been getting so worked up about school approaching, but do think that left to her own devices she would manage to avoid poos whilst at school so maybe it's not such a big issue? confused

PirateJones Tue 13-May-14 20:01:49

If she won't go at home she will hold it at school too. I decided to stop making it an issue, and put him in a nappy every evening. We went to the bathroom to change, wash hands and so on so things were still being taught.
It's a pretty common problem, don't let it stress you out.

Thesimplethings Tue 13-May-14 20:01:55

I'm watching with interest. You are not alone, my just turned 4yo is the same. Won't poo anywhere apart from standing up in a pull up. He is still on medication for constipation too and has been since 1yo. We did have one success on the potty ages ago but that seems to have put him off.

No amount of bribery works, he just withholds even more and makes his constipation works.

Hv are useless, just say to improve his diet angry

Thesimplethings Tue 13-May-14 20:02:13

Worse not works

PeonyStick Tue 13-May-14 20:04:09

We had a very similar problem . We tried everything - twice ! Eventually it was a singing ducky potty .... Allowed in the living room in front of the tv ( the shame) .
We started with - she could have tv on if she stood near the potty with nappy on , progressed to sitting on potty with nappy on - then to nappy with hole cut in it .... This stage was frustratingly slow.... We thought we had cracked it and rushed to get rid if nappies ..... Which sent us back to square one ...... Eventually we did our first no nappy poo on the potty .... And the next day the little madam took herself upstairs to the loo by herself , did a massive poo, wiped her own bottom and washed her hands .....
I cried and she's been fine since then - she was nearly 4 .

Pancakeflipper Tue 13-May-14 20:04:25

My DS2 was about that age and not pooing in the loo with a month to go before he started school.

Tried various things. The thing that worked was him sitting in his nappy on the loo, then putting the nappy on the loo ( like a bizarre hammock) for him to poo into and then one day I informed him I could not find a nappy - could he do it in loo? He did and that seemed to break his mental barrier.

It is so frustrating, but it will come together and you will be soooo excited to see a poo in the loo. I hope things click into place very soon for you.

MrsStarwars Tue 13-May-14 20:08:22

Hi there, I had a similar problem a couple of years ago with my twin boys. Neither did a poo on the toilet until 4.3 yrs, they were due to start school at 4.5 years so like you I was worried. They would go off and hide to do a poo in their pants, nothing ever seemed to help them to go on the toilet. They both had slight constipation issues, but was easily remidied with extra water and fruit. In the end they both did their first poo on the toilet while we were on a camping holiday! I have never been more relieved! They never had an accident since so I think it is just down to their maturity in the end. They've got on fine at school too, I don't think they go for a poo there as they are usually straight to the toilet when they get home! Good luck sorry about the essay!

girliefriend Tue 13-May-14 20:13:00

I had this exact problem with dd and eventually what worked was giving her movocol regularly. On one day she was so desperate and like your dd did not want to poo in her knickers.

So I seized the opportunity and put loads of tissue down the toilet and may have even opened a nappy up and put in the toilet bowl, eventually she sat on the loo and went!! I nearly cried with happiness!!

Anyway something seemed to shift in her head and gradually it became less and less of an issue but did take time and patience!!

PirateJones Tue 13-May-14 20:14:11

See smile you're not alone OP.

alwayssleepy Tue 13-May-14 20:21:40

I had a lot of problems with my boy learning to poo in the toilet, but cutting a hole in the nappy worked for us. I cut a small hole in his pull up the first time, so only a bit of poo actually made it to the loo first time, and just cut the hole bigger and bigger each time. In the end it was barely a nappy, just a waistband and two leg straps. For him he needed the sensation of the pull up on him to be able to poo. The wind whistling around his naked bum just put him off.

We used a sticker chart at the same time, and it took about 20 poos with the pull up with the hole in, but we got there in the end. One day I just said I had run out, and he did it anyway.

What also helped was a really comfy kids toilet seat, making a routine of having a poo before bed (or at least a go), and he still puts his feet on the kids loo seat in a sort of squatted position.

alwayssleepy Tue 13-May-14 20:25:36

Oh, I should also mention that we had a chat with our boy and made the whole process very much lead by him. I explained that at school they didnt have potties, so he needed to learn to poo in a toilet, and asked him what things he thought would help and we made a plan together. I gave him some options to try, like pooing in an open nappy in the potty, or having a pull up with a hole in in, and he chose the hole idea himself.

Putting him in control of things seemed to help, even if in reality I made a sing and dance about the pull up with a hole idea and made it sound like he had almost thought of it himself.

ajandjjmum Tue 13-May-14 20:46:13

DS was around 5 when he started to poo in the toilet. Up until then we'd put a night nappy on, he'd hide behind the sofa and poo, we'd change and replace the nappy, and all was well. He never pooed in the day.

I think eventually it was the embarrassment of his younger sister standing by the toilet clapping him when he pooed that cracked it! Needless to say, she was already there! grin

voiceofgodot Tue 13-May-14 20:55:27

THANK YOU so much for these messages. I think I'm going to let her keep doing it in nappies for now and in a while perhaps try the cutting a hole thing - although for her it really does seem to be about standing up, not so much about the nappy. Poor love also goes and hides to do it.

PeonyStick Wed 14-May-14 07:12:08

First step might be to say she can do it standing up in nappy as long as she is in the bathroom ? And then take small steps forward from there .... Standing by the loo ... Standing on loo step ... Just perching on edge of seat ... All with nappy on to start with... With massive jubilation for each part . Good luck

alwayssleepy Wed 14-May-14 14:22:28

I thought my boy could only poo standing up too, as that's how he had always done a poo, sort of hopping around hiding and pooing. But he could poo sitting it turned out, I did put him a big step stool by the toilet though, so if he felt the need to stand up a bit he could do so while his bum was still over the loo (in the pull up with the hole). It was quite a high plastic step from Ikea.

At first there was some sitting, and then a bit of hovering over the loo stood on the step stool (he felt the urge to stand as the poo came), but this standing got less and less, and then he asked me if it was ok to put his feet on the seat.

At home he still puts his feet on the seat, and he also insists he is naked from the waist down, but he has done a couple of poos at school and i'm pretty sure he didn't take all his clothes off for that!

There was a time when I thought he would never ever never poo in the loo. But we got there in the end and i'm sure you will too one day.

A word of warning, its a messy job cutting a hole in a pull up, and the water absorbent granules get everywhere!

whotheduckisalice Wed 18-Jun-14 20:42:06

Bit late but my DD (also startint school in sept) is exactly the same. Will only poo standing up and crossing her legs. Refusing a pull up just creates a constipation nightmare. So that's what we do. You're not alone!

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