My son will be 4 in December. He has been using the potty regularly since he was 7 months. He's pooped on it since then. He's been out of diapers completely since he was 2.5. About 8 months ago he started refusing to poop. He will hold it for up to 8 days. We've talked to his doctor and it is not a constipation issue. I make sure he has lots of high fiber food and when he does go it's not hard. He's pooping small amounts in his underwear multiple times per day. I'm getting VERY frustrated. Any advice would be wonderful! Thanks!
Hopefully you'll get some more responses with more ideas too. Good luck!
Holding it for 8 days is a behavioural issue that will quickly become a constipation issue. Our doctor recommended full adult dose of Restoralax (Miralax in the US I believe) until regularity was restored. Not going for 8 days can cause real physical damage to the colon. He probably has a large hard blockage and what you're seeing is the softer stool from above the hard blockage leaking around it. He is absolutely constipated. Google encopresis and seriously find a new doctor.
My 4 1/2 year old niece does this a lot. She literally doesn't want to poop in the toilet or potty chair. After she held it in for days and wound up getting so compacted that it compressed her urethra (to the point where she had to have a Foley catheter in for a week to drain her bladder easier), her doctor had her start taking Miralax 2 times a day and eating poop-friendly foods like apples, oatmeal, prunes, broccoli, and dried apricots. We also stoped giving her milk all together, instead, giving her almond milk.
Since we started doing this, she has had less accidents, but still messes her pants. When the doctor asked her why she didn't want to go in the potty, my niece said that it hurt and she was bored sitting on the potty waiting for something to come out. We started giving her books to read while sitting on the potty, as well as sock puppets. As far as the pooping pain, we put a little Vaseline on her anus to help lubricate everything, so it doesn't hurt nearly as much. So far, this has been helping the past 2 weeks.
Another thing you might try is an incentive. Brianna LOVES temporary tattoos, so we have been telling her that if she keeps her pants clean all day and goes poop in the potty, she gets a tattoo at the end of the day. This has been a big hit with her, since she gets to pick out the tattoo she wants.
One thing I definetly don't recommend is keeping your son in messy pants to teach him a lesson. We did this to my niece and it backfired big time to the point where Bri would mess her pants and not tell anyone she did, until we smelled something funky.
Seconding the incentive. My boy just turned 4 and he has been potty trained for pee for a year now, but still has the occasional poo accident. We started giving him a few M&M's when he has sat on the potty to poop. It has helped. But we are not trying to push him, even though we could really use the money back in our wallets from buying diapers/pullups. We figure he'll train on his own timeline.
Another thing you can try is taking him to pick out new underpants. Then perhaps he won't want to mess them up.
Mom to 2 boys, Ian (6) and Duncan (4)
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