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toddler holding poop

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I am just getting back to work (and a computer) from maternity leave and it couldn't be sooner in as much as we are having such a painful struggle with our 3yr old dd and holding her poop
She was pretty much potty trained while I was still pg but started to slide as the day got nearer and since our new dd has been born it has only got steadily worse. I'm sure there are posts in the past about this but I'm just looking for support. To think that I thought it was bad when she just held it in for a couple days and then would hold me prisoner in the bathroom for hours in a day until she finally pooped out such an enormous, well it was unimaginable. And she was never constipated, not once, you could tell from looking at it, v. healthy. But it has got steadily worse. Most recently, she says with absolute conviction that she does not want to and more over she is not going to. And it will be days, a week before she just can't do it any longer and it will be so emotionally painful for everyone. The poor child can't hardly walk or play and it affects her concentration, her personality and she just seems unhappy, not herself. She says her tummy hurts of course!it so hard to see her! but won't believe that its because she needs to poop. And to see her face and she tries to hold onto it and contorts her body, and falls on the floor every 10 mins. it is just awful for her I can tell.
She'll run to the potty, then says "its gone back in". Until the nxt urge comes. Well, I've decided to try this over the counter medicine that my sister recommends, I have resisted using any medication until now. She doesn't even like juice unlike most kids, even if I could give her prune juice or something. It is terrifically surprising she can hold it the way she does, because she honestly is a good eater and water drinker. This medicine has mineral oil in it and is not a stool softener like some others is what my sister says, it will just make it easier for her. Well, up to now, even if it was enormous it didn't really seem that hard for her to poop when eventually she would put herself to the effort. I am afraid that if she can't hold it we will be dealing with way, big messes now. At the end, she would be trying her hardest to hold it and little dime and quarter size pieces would "escape" out and she would be constantly asking us to wipe her. So what can we expect after we give her this medicine?? Has anyone experienced anything as traumatic as this? or is this common? and not as out-there as I feel? I am just crying inside to help her get past this....control thing, but I don't think I can wait for her to get there on her own, though I know she will eventually. It is just too painful, for all of us, there has been too much yelling which I am ashamed of and mostly I do worry that she might permanently hurt herself. I apologize for the novel, but there has been a lot going on, that until now, I have had no outlet to share with others who may have experienced this. I hear it is common but I don't have anyone to talk to.
post #2 of 6
Oh MY - have I been there, done that!!! And I am so sorry you are going through this - I know how awful and heart-wrenching it is!

My ds (2 1/2) starting holding his poop when he was around 18 months old - I think as a result of a painful bm - he was afraid to go anymore, and the holding began. We tried EVERYTHING - increasing fiber, increasing natural juices, increasing water - to no avail. That boy could HOLD poop! And it was the same as you describe - he was MISERABLE, exhausted, in pain, would contort himself in all sorts of ways to make sure he didn't go, etc. His ped was NO help, and I was really at my wits end. He was pooping less than once a week, and when he finally did go it was ENORMOUS, painful, etc.

After months and months and months of this, I finally asked his ped to refer us to a GI specialist - to make sure there was nothing "wrong", and to get some expert advice! The specialist is WONDERFUL - made us feel like this was not an uncommon problem, and that would actually be OVER someday. He has been on a medication (a stool softner - increases water in the stool) since November, and now, to our DELIGHT, he poops EVERY DAY, with NO DRAMA WHATSOEVER! I am sure you can imagine how much happier he is (and we are!). He has developed in leaps and bounds since this problem was resolved - he was spending so much energy holding poo, that he couldn't spend energy on anything else.

So there is a novel in RETURN for you! GOOD LUCK, and feel free to PM me - I definitely know what you are going through!!!

post #3 of 6
Yikes. Poor baby, it sounds awful, for her and for you all.

Have you tried adding some flaxseed oil to her food each day? Or molasses to her milk or water? Both of these are natural regulators and laxatives and much less harsh than mineral oil. You might want to post on the health & healing forum for more advice on natural stool softeners. We don't have this problem but it was a huge issue for a friend's son and she tried those two things with him.

Good luck.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

great ideas

Thanks for the beta, Serena, I have never heard of flaxseed oil or molasses (that esp sounds encouraging, she loves the flavor of my ginger bread and hermits) as an option, just juices. And to me it is a better choice than the Agoril (?) w/ mineral oil as a first option to help her along right now. I just wish I had come to this place earlier, I can't believe we have been going now for 3mos like this! I have been told that you can do nothing to change the will of a 3yr old once they have their mind set and I Believe it, after this!!
post #5 of 6

A friend of mine has a 2.5 year old who has had this same problem for many months. They just started acupuncture treatment with him and seem to be having some good results. So you many want to look into that.

I know how hard an issue this is. Hang in there. Deb
post #6 of 6

A friend of mine had this problem for many months with her 2.5 year old. They just started acupuncture treatments and are having good results so you may want to consider that.

good luck! Deb
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