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18 month old, nearly grad, suddenly holding poop

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

My 18 month old younger daughter, EC since birth, pooping and peeing on the potty regularly for months, has suddenly started holding her poop, and fighting to get off the potty rather than let the poop happen. 

 

Prior to the last couple of weeks, she had settled into a pretty regular twice a week pooping cycle.  This was not abnormal for my kids, as her older sister had been a once a week-er for quite a while around this age, but never seemed to be in discomfort or resisting particularly. 

 

As of the last couple of weeks, she pooped on Sunday, and then instead of again around Wednesday, has started to become uncomfortable around Wednesday and hold out for several more days.  Last week she waited until she couldn't hold it any more, and had a "turtlehead" as I finally got her to the bathroom (based on her look of panic and slight straining). This week, after an entire week had passed, and she was clearly resisting the urge to push, I resorted to a glycerin Baby-lax, which resulted in a small amount flying out on the bathroom floor, and then a whole lot more deposited in the toilet.  Very little seemed hard, and most of it was actually quite soft, ropey, and small diameter.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get her to relax and let herself poop when she needs to? 

post #2 of 3

Not advice really, but I notice that my DS (3.5 - long-time grad) periodically hits phases when he wants complete control of his body functions - i.e. he doesn't *want* to pee/poop now, even though his body is telling him to.  I don't think it's particularly EC-related, just developmental.

 

I just try to keep chill about it and make sure it doesn't become a power struggle with me.  I talk about how your body is just in charge of some things and can't be made to wait all the time. Try to find new ways of suggesting potty time.... eventually he's over it and back to normal.

 

 

post #3 of 3
My DS, 21 months, also grad, started doing this on and off with pee for the last month. I agree it has to with their discovery of their control over their bodies... It is hard for me to keep chill about it, but is definitely the thing to do- I try to just accept that drips and spills happen while he figures out the limits of that control... Even tougher I imagine with poop- you don't want her to become constipated... I have heard that withholding can also be when kids are holding in their emotions, and letting them express themselves (not stopping a tantrum, for instance, but just being there with her through it) can be helpful. Can't say it has made any difference for my DS- I think it is just the body control thing. Also play power games so she can have power in a different area. I agree with pp- avoid power struggles over poop!
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