Oh boy, have we been struggling with this for almost a year now!
My ds, now 3.9 yrs, passed a somewhat harder stool than was comfortable for him last June. After that, he started resisting pooping. At first I thought he was constipated and struggling to go but after observing him in action....he was struggling to keep it in-for days! That made the stool harder and wider for his poor little anus to handle. Oh, we had awful times trying to get him to pass these stools: coaxing, baths, exercise, distraction, you name it. Sometimes I felt like a midwife trying to deliver a stool instead of a baby....let me tell you, it has been awful. Finally, I took him to the doc who recommended mineral oil. This worked
OK but was too little too after the fact and ds would struggle on a couple more days before the mineral oil took effect. Oh yeah, and ds is a picky eater and all my efforts to provide bran, prune juice, etc went for naught. He was compacting his stools and once the damn was broken he would pass 4 or 5 stools in a day.
Here's what we are doing now and the situation is getting better:
Two months ago ds toilet trained so we started a new tactic-no more trying to poop (or not poop) standing up. It's harder to resist in a sitting position. I keep a poop chart on the fridge door to monitor when he goes/needs to go approx every other day. Okay, after a good meal, about 15 mins after finishing we go in and he sits on the toilet. I read books, we talk about toys, anything to get him talking and comfortable and used to the toilet and pooping in general. I've added aloe vera juice, prunes, raisins to his DAILY diet. He has a constant supply in his bowel tract. His ped prescribed a med called Lactulose and although I didn't want to use it at first I did anyway because it worked without any side effects (cramping, runs)and greased the works for the prunes-aloe vera to proceed through. In the 1 1/2 months since getting the medicine we've only had to use it 5 times and now he's pooping regularly every other day...give or take. Sorry this is soooo long, I am thrilled with our progress and understand how awful this can be on a mom and child and want to share my experience. Please PM me if you want to talk further about this. Marilyn