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Poo withholding please help(11 Posts)
arted potty training my 2.5yo 3 weeks ago and from day one she started withholding her poo. I abandoned the training but she won't even poo in her nappy. She is terrified.
We have tried everything. Reward charts, bribes, treats. We have shown her cartoons, us pooing etc but she screams she needs a poo all say long and is in pain all day but won't let it out. She will hold on for about 4/5 days and then go in maybe 5 or 6 incriminants screaming blue murder. I'll have my lovely daughter back for a day then the process starts all over again. Screaming. Writhing. Lithargic. Badly behaved. I'm losing it. Actually feel like I'm being unhinged.
I have a 4 month old and I'm living in 4 hours sleep. I'm not able to stay patient and I'm sorry to say I've shouted at her. I honestly don't know best to do. Dr has given her lactulose she has 30mls a day and it's doing nothing. Please someone help. What can I do?
Apple juice also helps.
It is difficult and my youngest did this. In the end we used to sit him on the potty with the iPad and he would eventually go.
“Everybody poops” was what we used to say.
Sounds like she needs movicol so she has less choice about going. Go back to the doctor or you can get it otc. There’s a good story called Poo goes to pooland - it’s on the internet I think. Also check out ERIC for info and support.
We have just been through this over the last few weeks. We just gave our son a bit of time. He was frightened but once he’d been going for wees for about three/four weeks then he suddenly just sat on the loo and stayed there for ten minutes while I sang a song about poo. Since then he’s been fine.
I feel for you OP. It is amazing (in a bad way) how poo withholding can take over the whole family's life. With DS bribes and threats (we won't go to the park etc) would not help but 3 things helped:
-repeating that everyone poops like the pp says - daddy, me, X friend, even Batman! This was a revelation to him. I think he sincerely thought that poo was something terrible and scary that only happened to him.
-support when they are actually going... I would stay with him and hug him and remind him how good he would feel when he finished.
-starting school and seeing that everyone else just goes to the toilet when they need to and get on with their day instead of clutching their bottom and whimper all day
I second Paediatric Movicol from your GP. I think it would be good to keep GP involvement in case you need to be referred to another speciality in the future. I remember our GP saying that they didn't know a lot about this issue when they first saw us, then they read up about it before they saw us again, and realised that it's actually relatively common.
I've seen both the Eric website etc. and Poo goes to Poo-land recommended a lot.
We bribed shamelessly, but I know you've said that you tried that.
Lots of luck to you - I know how horrible this can be. I remember feeling that we couldn't even go anywhere when we had a similar issue.
Thank you for all the advice it's been really helpful but I think you've opened my eyes too. This isn't "a phase" like the Dr says. I feel this is going to be a long term issue for us which makes me sad. The next step is getting the right medication. I feel like if she was 'made' to go every day then it would become less scary and just become a normal part of her day again. I did feel like the Dr wasn't taking on board how serious it was and how utterly awful it is for all of us. I need to go back and get some better medication. I think that's where we start.
I think that's a good idea - DS was on Paediatric Movicol for ages, then was titrated back down to nothing. He's completely fine now, but I definitely remember how difficult that time was.
You’ve got to up the fruit and veg and also get him active.
Also we used syrup of figs before we even looked at potties. In the end we just got a step for 5e loo, and abandoned the idea of pooing in a potty.
It’s essential he never gets constipated.
Cut back on bread / wheat pasta.
I found a gin and tonic helped every night during potty training, but see that you’ve a younger baby, so my sympathies.
We talked a lot about friends’ poos in the plumbing and how his could join in the “poo party” if he’d just let it go!
I think it’s a fear of the unknown and loss that makes kids hold on.
You may find he doesn’t like change much as he gets older, and likes routine.
He may play a defensive position on a team, like goalie or full back.
It’s just the kind of person he is. (Anally retentive!)
Are you me? I posted a while ago about my little one and she had the exact same issue. After my post it got worse (sorry) before it got better! We ended up in a&e with her screaming in pain from the withholding!
What solved it was movical that was prescribed from the doctors. We went back to nappies and left potty training for a while. With movical you can’t withhold. It might take a few sachets on the first few days but you then gradually reduce to 1 a day.
When we were confident she was regular and ready to try again-about 3 months later, we used a new reward chart. I used large stars this time - paw patrol stickers were used the last time. I had yellow ones for wees and sparkling ones for poo.
For a while she waited until she had the night time pull up on to poo but again with movical you have to go and she just did one day! We cheered and danced and rang Daddy and granny etc and that was about 3 months ago. We have just had our first week without movical and it has gone ok! We reduced it by fractions rather than days as that didn’t work.
Anyway just wanted to give you hope as I too thought it was going to be a long term thing. But we got there and the most surprising thing was how common this problem is! When we were saying it to people we got lots of oh my little one was like that too! Yet another thing about motherhood that is common but unspoken about!
Yes you definitely have to push to be taken seriously in my experience. Ds had constipation and soiling for about a year (Sorry!) from age 4 until 5ish. It was awful and he was soiling 3-4 times a day sometimes because he was impacted and the poo would just come out. The rectal muscles lose their tone as well and the child loses the ability to know when they need to go. He was on movicol for months but we then discovered a maintenance dose was making things worse so went cold turkey. He still withholds occasionally now (age 7) and ends up constipated quite easily so we have a stock of movicol. The cause of his withholding was laziness as he didn't want to stop playing. I well remember the trauma of forcing him to sit on the toilet etc and in the end the only thing that worked was completely backing off, but it was bloody hard work and seemed to rule the family for ages.
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