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Advice please, 4 year old will not poo on the toilet.(22 Posts)
I'm not sure what I should be doing. He has been delayed in everything so far. Had speech delay until he was 3, was slow to hit every milestone bar walking and potty training only really kicked in in the last 4 months.
He is dry in the day, wears a nappy at night but will only poo in a pull up. He makes such a drama out of it, will hide under the table, behind a curtain, shut himself in rooms, doesn't want us to come newr, doesn't want us to change him. It's a daily struggle and we really have tried to downplay it totally but he ends up stinking terribly and obviously makes himself sore if we can't change him within a reasonable time frame.
Another thing is his poos are massive and loose. When I talked to the doctor about 18 months ago regarding a rash I was worried about we talked about his stools and I said they were always loose, he described it as 'toddler diarrhoea' and wasn't worried. However he is now a lot older and his poos are still 'splatty'.
The one time I forced the issue and just removed his underwear totally in the summer to force him to poo in the toilet (he was desperate to go). He ended up pooing on the floor of the toilet and in the toilet but it was really messy. I think the whole thing scares him and I can't blame him really!
Food wise he eats a varied diet. Porridge in the morning with berries, lunch is either something like beans on toast or a packed lunch at preschool. Dinner is something like fish fingers with veg or rice and chicken. He LOVES cucumber so eats that daily, I also allow a few snacks like a rice cake or some mini biscuits. Drink wise he only has full fat milk or water.
Could he be constipated with overflow diarrhoea? DS only pooped in pull-ups for about a year after being potty trained for urine. He could hold it all day and would poop after being put to bed then shout to let us know.
We bought a book off Amazon "It hurts when I poop" and chatted to him about eating more fruit and veg and within a few weeks he had got the hang of it.
Check with doc again. They can feel his tummy and tell if there are lumps of hard poo inside.
Other than that you might just need to wait, especially if he was a bit behind with other things. If you make a big deal of it, it becomes a big deal and so it goes on...
My dd made herself terribly constipated by holding on for up to a week when we were training.
Bribery/rewards, ridiculous levels of praise for anything close to a poo on the loo and meds to make her poo soft helped eventually. She was so scared it was terrible. Really very upsetting. Fingers crossed something works for your wee boy
My son used to have very loose bowel movements, not diarrhoea but not "solid". It wasn't until he was 6 that we finally realised he was mildly lactose intolerant. We cut out almost all dairy for a while and that sorted things out. It might be worth considering if that could be an issue.
I can't see his constipated but I'm not really qualified to say that for sure 🤔
He knows when he wants to go as he asks for a pull up or just grabs one and puts himself in it, then seems to do a poo soon after. When he hides it's after he has gone as he doesn't want us to change him. I never see him straining or anything, no sore tummy and he goes everyday around the same time.
I'm happy to wait it out but I wonder if I should be being more proactive. We have tried bribery and he has a reward chart, we've discussed it at length but he just will not entertain pooing in the toilet
I did wonder about a food issue but worry about cutting out food groups. I might just read up a bit more though and see what other syptoms a lactose intolerance might throw up.
I have lots of chums whose children have allergies and intolerances and who have very loose bowels. Many are now 4 and still some way from training at all
If he goes at the same time most days, could you try bribing him to sit on the loo at that time with an iPad or similar?
I'm watching this with interest. My dd is 3.5 and always asks for a pull up when she needs a poo. She also makes a drama out of it and hides behind the curtains. She also devours cucumber every single day, she can't get enough! I've tried everything, the massive praising/rewards but to no avail so I'm hoping someone will come along with an answer!
Lactose intolerance would be unusual at this stage - he would have been very poorly. Unless it is a secondary intolerance. Some of my pals swear by pro-biotics to help with gut issues.
Dairy intolerance is maybe more likely. Or gluten perhaps. Worth considering if he has always had very loose bowels
We had difficulty persuading DD to poo appropriately (she pooed in her pants for a year...). One thing I read was that it's much easier to poo in a slight squat position, and even now, a few months after she deigned to poo in a potty, she'd much rather use a potty than a loo. Does your DS have access to a potty? We use tippitoes potties - they're larger than many (DD is almost 4).
I just googled 'toddler diarrhoea' and it confirmed what the doctor said. BUT something suddenly struck me that could be pertinent, he guzzles drinks. He will drink anything he can get his hands on, even water. He will steal my partners tea, he will try and drink his squash, asks for water end milk regularly. Could taking in a lot of liquid cause a loose stool?
Btw it has crossed my mind that there could be a medical reason behind his drinking but in haven't actually asked a doctor or anything. Diabetes is the one I know that can make you really thirsty but I would think he'd have other symptoms?
He does have access to a potty btw. We have those Pourty ones and the seats for the toilet too which he seems to prefer.
Diabetes Insipidus would make him drink loads and pee loads - litres and litres each day. Not the same as diabetes mellitus which is the more common one but that would make him thirsty too. The other symptoms of each one can be totally different.
Do you still see his health visitor? Might be worth a check up, even just to set your mind at rest.
I had something similar with my son - ended up
Putting a pull up in the potty and he's ho in that ...
Then in the loo
A bit messy but better than a sore bum / nappy rash
It doesn't sound like constipation overflow.
The drinking loads could be a factor, but he'd primarily be peeing gallons rather than having loose bowel movements.
I'd definitely pursue the intolerance line of thinking. I'm sure he's kind of old for toddler diahorrea at this point.
Kids can be very weird about pooing, like withholding or hiding themselves away (as you're experiencing). I think some kids are just, like you say, really disgusted with the whole business. I had terrible trouble toilet training my DD, and she was definitely grossed out by the sight of her poo! It was something she hadn't really encountered when she was in nappies. Thankfully, she got over it.
We had this with DS. For him it was anxiety-based. Interestingly he also suffered from toddler diarrhoea for an extended period of time (maybe because he drank so much milk as I don't think he is lactose intolerant). Everything I read at the time was this is a tough one to crack! The advice was to not make it into a big issue and let them use the nappy without judgement. After a few weeks when everything is more relaxed again you can then have some gentle conversations around what it is that worries them about using the loo. For our DS it was the noise. We solved this by putting lots of toilet paper down the toilet and sitting down with him and talking to distract him while he went. We had an instant reward for going on the toilet (not a chart with a delayed reward system). For him it was a skittle and we used to talk about what colour he was going to choose whilst he was going as a distraction method! After a couple of weeks it became normal to go on the loo and we ran out of skittles.
Keep a poo diary using the Bristol Stool scale which you can find on the ERIC website and take it to your GP after a couple of weeks. There could be one of many things going on but at this stage documenting the issue so that the GP understands the scale of the problem and then getting them to properly examine and refer him would be a good idea.
I sympathise - poo problems are tough to deal with.
We had this but not as extreme. He always pooed in his nappy before bed. So we made it that he had to sit on the toilet after his bath and made him sit for a while, although that took a bit of working up to.
We spent a lot on magazines with stickers and he was only allowed to do these whilst sitting on the toilet. Also we would let him have iPad for CBeebies app which he never really gets. Because we timed it to when we knew he needed to poo he eventually couldn't help it.
He still poops every night after his bath and he also has sloppy pops.
Really helpful replies, thank you so much. Lots to think about.
My daughter was the exact same at that age. She was potty trained at 2 but used to hide if she needed a poo. I used to sit with her for hours in the bathroom, we brought books and toys in but sometimes she was just screaming that she didn't need to go (even though she'd had a leak in her pants). When her belly was rock hard we'd give her lactulose but that always distressed her more. It was definitely anxiety.
She did get over it before school but it was hard work and a lot of patience/determination.
I am having the same problem now, it took me what felt like years to even get my ds to have a wee on the potty, he is now 4 and been having wees on toilet for just under a year, but he still has a poo in his nappy. Before he started with the wees I rang health visitor and they sent a nursery nurse out to help me and gave me advice and she came out once every 2 weeks to help and see how we got on ... after my ds mastered the wee she didn't come out for about 6 month then she visited and I mentioned about the poo she said keep encouraging him to go to the toilet but don't force it on him as it will scare him more and won't go, he will go in his own time. Xx
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