holding in poop? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-11-2005, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know there have been a couple of threads on this already, but I need help.
My ds(24 mths) has been dealing with constipation since the end of august. I have tried everything I can think of to keep things soft and moving, but I think we have reached the point where he afraid to poop.
We have had to resort to enemas and laxatives just to get anything out of him. Is this something we will have to do until he gets older and can talk to us about it?
Any ideas would be appreciated!
Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2005, 11:57 PM
 
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Have you figured out yet what is making him constipated? How long does he go without pooping? I've had this problem with mine before also but, I didn't resort to the enema's and laxatives. I just waited and filled her with extra water. I think the longest she went was about 9 days. I really worry about the use of anything to make her go because from what I understand her body can come to rely on it.
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Xan will hold it in for a week if left alone. We have only tried the laxative and enema on 2 occasions when he went longer than a week and was in serious pain. He was so uncomfortable that he was waking up crying at night and he still wouldn't poop on his own.
We have tried cutting out dairy and other constipating food, as well as encouraging him to eat things high in fiber. It's tough b/c he is extremely picky and most of the things he wants to eat are the foods that bind him up.
I also have water with a splash of juice ready for him at all times and it seems like he drinks all day. Recently I've started adding a fiber supplement to his drinks.
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Old 12-12-2005, 12:44 AM
 
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Hmmmm, not sure what to say. In Liberty's case it has ended up that she is going through major changes or around new people that she will hold it in. Also, I slowed down with trying out the potty. (She will not poop in the potty) Oh, when it was really bad I remember I had her eat tons of popcorn (yay for fiber!)!

Have you talked to him about this? Let him know that his tummy hurts because he hasn't pooped?
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Old 12-12-2005, 01:50 AM
 
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Well, we've BDTD with my son for 2 years now. He started with terrible constipation at 6 months and it is still a problem. However, now he seems to get constipated from holding the poop in, rather than from diet. (Dairy did contribute early on but since it is now a smaller part of his diet that isn't the problem.) Just holding poop in alone can cause constipation because with time fluid leaves the poop and it becomes increasingly large and hard. It is so hard to see them in pain and cranky from intentionally not pooping (even if they don't understand the consequences).

I am now in the process of tapering my son off the constipation medicine that he has been on and off (mostly on) for almost 2 years. He is finally old enough at 2 1/2 that I can at least talk to him about the need to poop every day, push out the poopies, feel better after pooping, etc. I don't think he totally gets it yet. Hoever, lately he seems to understand a little better.

Things that help:
1. Juice followed by water. The sugars in juice help draw fluid into the bowel, thus keeping stools soft. Lots of water helps too, but juice is better.
2. Oil on the bottom. If my son is straining to poop I rub his backside and the edge of his anus with oil. This helps the skin stretch and is soothing.
3. Running, playing, etc.
4. Lots of verbal encouragement.
5. Anything that they will eat that is nonconstipating: grapes, raisins, oatmeal, flaxmeal (can be cooked and doctored up like oatmeal), juice, crackling oatbran (very popular cereal in our house - tasty and packed with fiber. Good for a snack or meal), etc. etc.
6. Warm shower and encouragement to poop in the shower. THis has worked a few times for us - shower + oil on the pooper + hugs and encouragement in the shower.
7. He cries and shakes when he tries to make a big poop. I hug him and comfort him a lot at these times.
8. A lot of happy hugs, words, etc. when the deed is finally accomplished.

I'll let him go for a week or so unless he is crying and in terrible discomfort - then it is time for an enema. As much as he hates getting one they are very effective and he feels so much better afterwards.
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Old 12-12-2005, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the ideas.
I have been trying to talk to him, but also feel like he is not quite getting it. I just feel so sorry for him b/c short of forcing things out, I cannot fix it.
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Old 12-13-2005, 02:18 AM
 
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Has your pede ruled out a rectal tear? Even a minor one (like a small paper cut) can be so painfull when he eliminates that he'll do everything in his power to hold it in. This, in turn, causes constipation, which leads to large, hard BMs which stretches the tear when he does eliminate. Often parents will struggle with constipation issues for months before they find out that a rectal tear is the underlying issue and if it had been caught early on it could have been treated correctly and been a non-issue.
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