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Children's health

Four year old still using pram and not toilet trained?

41 replies

BeanJuiceq · 04/11/2023 12:59

I’m just looking for advice -

my four year old son refuses to walk more than 2 minutes at a time before he says his legs are tired - checked by GP, nothing looks abnormal. Does anyone have any tips to get him walking more?

Also, he refuses to poo on the toilet. He will happily wee on the toilet, goes all night without an accident - but will poo in his underpants still.

any advice appreciated ☺️

OP posts:
Callmemummynotmaaa · 04/11/2023 13:01

OP what does the health visitor say? How does he get to school? Will he scoot? Cycle? How long will he run around for if at a playground? Or gym class? (Ie is it just when walking with you he complains?)

Seeline · 04/11/2023 13:03

What happens if you don't take the pram?

Try an alternative - scooter etc

Make it into a game - race to the next tree, count door numbers, spot red cars, see how many flowers/Christmas trees/pumpkins etc you can spot

BeanJuiceq · 04/11/2023 13:08

He hasn’t seen the HV since his 2 year check - no clue why, just never got any more appointments! He goes in his pram to get to school. He has a bike and has a quick 5 min cycle then gets sick of it. He doesn’t enjoy school and is still quite quiet so doesn’t seem to run around much - prefers drawing/play doh etc.

OP posts:
InAndOutOfTheRedBalloon · 04/11/2023 13:23

I know MN hates armchair diagnoses, but this could be hypermobility / Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, which can affect a huge number of aspects of a person's life, including joint pain / muscle pain and interroception (understanding messages from the body's internal systems). Was he late to walk or sit? How is his balance? Do his elbows or knees bend "too far"?

We missed all these symptoms in DD and put it down to "being tedious" when she genuinely could not walk or use a bike without pain. The GP may well not recognise it unless you specifically ask, and even then you will probably need an expert.

Spirro · 04/11/2023 13:23

How on earth do you fit a 4yo in a pram? My child was too long for the pram by 6 months!

BeanJuiceq · 04/11/2023 13:33

@InAndOutOfTheRedBalloon I haven’t noticed anything like that but will bring it up with GP, thank you!

@Spirro i mean like a pushchair, sorry, they all just get called prams around here!

OP posts:
DibbleDooDah · 04/11/2023 13:38

If there are absolutely no medical issues involved then you are facilitating the walking thing by having the pram available.

Talk to them about how the pram isn’t going to be around any more after x date to give them time to get their head round it, and then the pram disappears, never to be seen again.

I would return to the doctors though. A reluctance to walk and the poo thing can sometimes be connected. Or he is just like many other children who have issues with poo. My friends daughter carried on doing it until she was seven.

ColaBattles · 04/11/2023 13:44

One of my DC would wait until he had his night nappy on to do a poo. Until he was really old. Eventually stopped when he was out of night nappies at 6.

Also scooter to go to school. We had proper fights over the pushchair when I was still using it for my younger DC. You do just have to bite the bullet. May be ok using it for a bit longer but soon DC will be too big and likely to get teased by other kids.

pear6782 · 04/11/2023 13:49

I second the possible hypermobility suggestion. It’s not something that most GPs will be too familiar with though. My 4.5 year old is definitely hypermobile and now walks (albeit slowly) to and from school. I started off by bribing him with the ice cream van at the start of the school year and then when they stopped coming, he just carried on. If he had had his way, he would still be in the buggy! Other kids were out of buggy by 2.5 so not a parenting thing.

Not sure if the toileting thing is related - could be a red herring. Could he just be anxious about using the toilet for no.2? Lots of kids have this problem although few parents are going to talk about it. Unless their are other clear noticeable differences in other behaviours, it might be worth just giving him a bit more time?

Mariposista · 04/11/2023 13:59

Get rid of the pram then it won't be an option. Bike, scooter or legs.
Toilet training can take a bit longer, particularly for boys. But absolutely don't give him his way over the walking. Remove privileges if needed - I'm sure he has plenty of energy once you get him to soft play/park/wherever.

grrrrarrg · 04/11/2023 14:03

Spirro · 04/11/2023 13:23

How on earth do you fit a 4yo in a pram? My child was too long for the pram by 6 months!

Don't be pedantic. Pushchair.

Humbugg · 04/11/2023 14:25

Get rid of the pram or pushchair.

ERIC for toilet training issues is very helpful

Poppsidoppsi · 04/11/2023 19:36

I was going to say, check out ERIC for the toileting issue but PLEASE do ask for an incontinence referral from the GP as I know from experience that you need to nip these issues in the bud early (if there is an issue there). Also, I agree to ditch the pram. Tell him he gets to choose a special book / film treat if he manages to walk to school and back every day. Also, what about doing geocaching to get him out and walking more? It’s a great treasure hunt and my DC love it,

OhcantthInkofaname · 04/11/2023 19:44

Does he clean himself up when he poo's in his undies?

bakewellbride · 04/11/2023 19:46

I would get rid of the buggy then it's not an option.

Newuser75 · 04/11/2023 19:50

Does he run around ok at soft play , park, in the garden or whatever?

If not then maybe there may be an underlying issue. But if so then maybe he has become reliant on being pushed about which can be changed.

What have you tried with regards to the toilet training? Reward charts? A little sweet each time he uses the potty/toilet may help.

Ap24 · 04/11/2023 20:09

Could you get him to agree to give santa his pram? For another child? Then get rid, once he's not got it surely there's no other option. I've heard of people doing this with dummies.

halloweenhalfterm · 04/11/2023 20:11

I would get him checked for hypermobility Op.

One of mine is hypermobile and often suffered with constipation which caused overflow and poo withholding.

Would those of you saying just take the pram away, take a wheelchair or crutches away and tell a child to just walk?

SkyFullofStars1975 · 04/11/2023 20:15

There is an ocean between "can't" and "won't".

Only a medical professional can decide which is which. I would push for a paed referral or ask for a private one if you have the budget.

Lifesapurpledream · 04/11/2023 20:15

@BeanJuiceq my little girl (4yr now) was the same. She was kicked out of the buggy quite early on when her sibling arrived. All the time didn’t want to walk saying legs were too tired etc but she’d happily run around the park. I think she was actually just completely bored by walking so had lots of chat along the way spotting things and playing a game getting points for things we see.

she’s also similar in that she’s very shy and overwhelmed easily by any sensory things (noise, textures etc) but loves crafts and drawing etc. I wondered if perhaps she felt her muscles working a bit and got anxious so we’ve also had chats about building up muscles and walking being good for them.

no advice on the poo I resorted to bribes in the end which wasn’t ideal but solved the problem.Again think this is a sensory thing and we sometimes have the odd blip.

HerculesMulligan · 04/11/2023 20:16

I also suspect he's hypermobile. Ask your GP for a physio referral. My son didn't toilet train until he was about 5.5, despite us following advice from HV, a private toilet training consultant, ERIC and the enuresis clinic. He's very hypermobile. He'll also need some support at school around things like sitting on the mat for extended periods.

Superscientist · 04/11/2023 20:44

Rewards have been the only thing that have helped my 3 and a bit year old poo on the potty. We reluctantly started after she got up from the potty having weed because she started to poo and wanted to pull her knickers up to go there.

Nursery are doing a sticker chart alongside pom poms in a jar at home. It's a nice visual reminder and it fits 10 pom poms in. She gets a bigger reward for 10.

My daughter has toddler diarrhoea and allergies and some times doesn't get a lot of notice so I think she found learning the cues were hard for her. We spoke to her paediatrician and he just suggested nappies which wasn't very helpful

Givemeahigh · 04/11/2023 20:50

Those that have had hypermobile children with toileting issues, did they grow out of it or did they need intervention of some kind? My ds is hypermobile but I had no idea there was a toileting link and he's still having multiple accidents a day despite being out of nappies for over 2.5 years!

Tigger1895 · 04/11/2023 21:15

I think you have 2 separate issues here and need to work on the one giving you the most grief first.
A 4 year old shouldn’t need a buggy if it’s a short walk, maybe start by going around the block without it, 5 minutes tomorrow, then 6 and adding a minute a day.
The toilet issue is a hard 1 (sorry for the pun). Have you looked up kid friendly toilet vids on YouTube? POOLAND, worked for me.

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