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Toilet training a withholder
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Summ3ers · 27/05/2019 19:24

Hello. After some advice (and a big glass of wine). My son has just turned 3 and we are attempting to toilet train him for the first time. He became severely constipated when he was one and has withheld ever since. Although he’s on medication, pooing has always been a big issue for him. He also has a speech delay which hasn’t helped matters either. We are now on day 3 of toilet training. He’s had a few accidents each day but is beginning to wee quite consistently on his potty. However, he will not sit on the potty to do a poo. He has withheld for 3 days now and finally went this evening when we put his nappy back on for bedtime. Tbh I don’t have a problem with him doing a poo in a nappy as long as he goes but I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced this and what you did? Or if anyone has any tips regarding toilet training and withholding. Thank you in advance.

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endofthelinefinally · 27/05/2019 19:26

Have you looked at the ERIC website/called their help line?

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Summ3ers · 27/05/2019 19:29

Yes. They are really good although it took weeks to finally get through on the phone. I will try again this week as last time I spoke to them, I wasn’t toilet training but trying to overcome the withholding.

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tumtitum · 27/05/2019 19:55

My DD also withheld after becoming badly constipated. She took movicol for a few months. For at least six months she would only poo in her nappy at night time. I completely took the pressure off, asked if she wanted the potty but didn't push it. Always made her aware she would get a present when she did poo on the potty 😂 one day when we were out shopping I asked her if she wanted a special potty just for poos and she said yes so we bought one and a few days later she decided to poo in it! She still has blips sometimes, eg she had an upset tummy which freaked her out so she went back to pooing in her nappy for about a week but now we are back on the potty.
Hope that makes sense, apologies for all the bad grammar and lack of punctuation! :)

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Summ3ers · 27/05/2019 20:16

Thank you for your response. I love the idea of a special potty for pooing in. Yes, my son has been on Movicol for 2 years unfortunately but he’s on quite a low maintenance dose now. I think I do need to take the pressure off but when he withholds, a little bit sometimes comes out. Not such a problem when in nappies but more of an issue now toilet training. He’s under a paediatrician who has run various tests etc so I know he’s not constipated or impacted. 🙈. Really great to hear that it has improved for your daughter now. What a relief 🙂

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tumtitum · 27/05/2019 21:34

Argh that doesn't sound great, washing pooey pants is not fun!! 🙈 it's still early days for potty training, maybe the uncomfortableness of dirty pants might encourage him to use the potty? Or ask for a nappy when he poos which my daughter also did for a while.
A friend of mine also had problems and it was suggested to them to get him to sit on a potty, with an iPad or game or something, in a toy tent, so he had privacy. I don't know if it worked for them or not tho!!!
Good luck, hope it gets better soon x

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Summ3ers · 28/05/2019 08:02

Toy tent for privacy? That’s a really good idea. My little boy likes his privacy when he goes and often hides. Well after a bad morning of withholding, he asked for a nappy and finally went. So many training books say not to do this but I can’t see another way as he screams and tenses if taken to potty when withholding. 🙈

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tumtitum · 28/05/2019 08:41

I would definitely just give him the nappy if he asks. That's what we did with my daughter and I know other people who've done it and they do grow out of it. Personally I think if they have a history of constipation just do whatever you can to stop them with holding!!! We did poos only in nappies for six months!!

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Summ3ers · 28/05/2019 09:16

Thank you tumtitum. It’s such a relief to hear others who have had success from going down this route! I think I’ve over read too many potty books that are a ‘one approach fits all’ rather than taking into account individual needs that I am doubting my own judgements. X

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MummyBear2352 · 28/05/2019 21:05

No massive advice I just didn’t want to read and run.

I’m sure Iv read something similar here before tho where a wee one would only poo in a nappy so they let them get comfortable with pees, then sat on the potty with a nappy on then lined the potty with the nappy then moved onto the potty only - a slow transition but worked for that individual child.

Well done for mastering pees! He’s half way there already xxx

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Summ3ers · 29/05/2019 19:58

Thank you for replying MummyBear. Funnily enough, that was the advice I was given yesterday when I phoned ERIC. They explained that as he has got real anxiety already, then do what works for him. Once he’s not withholding in the nappy, get him to use it while stood next to the potty, then later wear it while sat on the potty, then put it open on the potty etc. Hope it works as had a bad day withholding today despite using the nappy when requested. Xx

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BroomstickOfLove · 29/05/2019 20:21

With DS, I started off by keeping the nappy and the potty in the bathroom, so he would need a poo, go to the bathroom, put on a nappy and poo in it, and then wipe himself, flush the poo, wash his hands etc, so that even though he wasn't able to use the loo, he was still learning independence. Once he was comfortable with that, I got him to sir on the potty out the loo with his nappy on too do his poo. Once he was ok with that, I cut a hole in the nappy for him to poo through, and increased the size of the poo. By the end, there wasn't any nappy left, but really- just the waistband. We talked about when he would be ready to poo without a nappy, and what we would do to celebrate. He choose his own timeline, and stuck to it, and we celebrated by watching Frozen be and eating ice cream.

Once I started ignoring everyone who suggested that I was a terrible parent for not having DS out of nappies until he was 4, it was a nice, relaxed, stress-free and effective process .

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Summ3ers · 29/05/2019 20:48

Thank you Broomstick. What a reassuring post and I love the idea of talking about when he would be ready to poo without a nappy and working towards his own timeline.

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BroomstickOfLove · 29/05/2019 20:58

Sorry about all the typos - I wish I could go back and correct. I'll suffer through the embarrassment of all the rest of it, but feel I should clarify that I increased the size of the holes in the nappy rather than the size of the poos.

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Summ3ers · 29/05/2019 21:09

That shows you how tired I am. I didn’t notice any typos. 😃

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