Poo-holding 3 yo. Any suggestions? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 01-05-2010, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 3 yo dd has been poo-holding for about a year and a half now. It started with constipation but she has kept up the poo-holding since then. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm giving her half doses of Miralax, trying to force liquids (which is hard), and trying to give her more fruits. I'm concerned about her becoming dependent on the Miralax but I am also concerned that other problems would result if she doesn't get the poo out!

Leslie, open-hearted mama to 3.5 yr old dd and almost 1 yr ds
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#2 of 6 Old 01-05-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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That's rough. Between my mom, chiropractor, and pediatrician this is what I would suggest:

Acidophilus - and lots of it. I got a powdered acidophilus from my pediatrician but you could get something suitable for children at a health food store.

No dairy - except maybe chocolate. I know many people don't agree with giving rewards but this was one case I had to make an exception and offered a few chocolate chips.

Lots of fruit and fiber but only if accompanied by lots of liquid.
No applesauce or white breads, pasta, etc...

I don't know how to force them to drink except to have it on hand and find something they like a lot that's not too sugary. You could make home made lemonade together then maybe she would be exited about drinking it. Or have a tea party with a tea that is good for the digestive tract and drink that together out of tiny cups. They drink a lot out of tiny cups I have discovered - because they are fun to refill too I guess.

Flaxoil or some kind of oil would help lubricate the digestive system too.

Good luck!

Wife to French hubby (8/02), Mama to DD (3/05) and DS (02/07) and (3/10)
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#3 of 6 Old 01-07-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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Does your DD have true constipation (hardened balls of poop)? or is it just that she is choosing to hold it and then when she goes, it's soft/normal consistency?

DS is 3 1/2 and he does hold his poo. He even tells me so, "mommy, if I squeeze my butt, the poo poo doesn't come out." (Thanks for the tip, sweetie, good to know!)

On the other hand, I have also come to the realization that not everyone poops every day. DS goes every other day. This has helped me release the stress I feel when he sits down and doesn't poop ("Mommy, the poo poo is too tired to come out."). Usually I just ask him if he has to poop, and if the answer is no (it always is), then I just leave him be. If it's been 48 hrs since a poo, I do ask him to sit on the potty and at least try. 9 times out of 10, he poops.

Anyway, just something to think about, people's different poop schedules.

When *days* have passed without a poop, we have given DS prune juice, a tsp olive oil, and/or pear juice/fresh pears. And yes, he gets daily probiotics, and we try to limit refined carbs/sugar/dairy and encourage more rice, ripe fruit (mango works well, too), greens (blended in smoothies). Home-popped popcorn seems to get things flowing, too.

hth...
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#4 of 6 Old 01-08-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sky*hawk View Post
My 3 yo dd has been poo-holding for about a year and a half now. It started with constipation but she has kept up the poo-holding since then. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm giving her half doses of Miralax, trying to force liquids (which is hard), and trying to give her more fruits. I'm concerned about her becoming dependent on the Miralax but I am also concerned that other problems would result if she doesn't get the poo out!
We went through this, and my wonderful Nurse Practitioner got us through it, mostly with Miralax, which she assured us is unlike everything else on the market and is not something one becomes dependent on. With kids, once they have struggled with constipation, they often have problems holding in the future, because they are afraid it will hurt. They can also lose that "gotta go" sensation - she said using the miralax would help get it back. She had us using Miralax for about 6 months, then gradually discontinue. You might want to discuss this with your ped, it is common, and they may be able to advise you without a visit.

Sharon FF/Medic DH 3 DD's 2/98, 4/01, 11/05
~*The days are long, but the years are short.*~
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#5 of 6 Old 01-08-2010, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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JustSo - I don't even know what her normal consistency poo is anymore. We have been going through cycles with it. I will watch her hold it in for about 3 or 4 days. I hold out this long because I really hate to give her the Miralax and hope that she will start going on her own. During that 3 or 4 days she only lets out a teeny tiny amount at a time and most times not even that. So I will give her the Miralax once a day and after the 2nd day she will start to go. It's usually a mixture of hard little balls of poo and really runny poo, which tells me that she was a bit impacted! So then for several days after that her poo is just really runny because of the Miralax. When I can see that she's actually getting fresh poo out (wow, this is pretty gross) then I will stop the Miralax. But then the whole cycle starts again...

gingerstar - thank you for that info on Miralax. I talked to my ped about it and he told me I should just make her sit on the potty at the same time every day to train her bowels. Yeah right! I have a very strong willed and stubborn 3 yr old and I'm not about to attempt that with her. I need to talk to him about it again though and see what he thinks about the Miralax. Did you give your child the Miralax every day for 6 months? Or did you do 7 days on and 7 days off? The bottle says to not take more than 7 days...

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions... I'm thinking that maybe we need to go dairy free and see if that works too. I haven't attempted this yet cause dd loves cheese and yogurt so that actually may be our problem.

Leslie, open-hearted mama to 3.5 yr old dd and almost 1 yr ds
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#6 of 6 Old 01-08-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sky*hawk View Post
gingerstar - thank you for that info on Miralax. I talked to my ped about it and he told me I should just make her sit on the potty at the same time every day to train her bowels.
My son withheld for a long time--6 months until about 4 or so. It's funny, I was just talking with my husband last night about how hard it was on every member of the family. We had days/weeks when I just pulling my hair out. The advice from your ped above--sit on the potty at the same time every day--was the last thing we tried, and it worked (in conjunction with Miralax, a very poo-conducive diet, and lots of liquids). Every afternoon, he sat on the toilet. We had had HUGE power struggles about poo, and by this point in time the compromise of sitting -- not pooping, just sitting -- was acceptable to both of us.

At the beginning, he didn't poo during the designated sitting time. Then maybe every third day, he would return to the toilet soon afterwards to poo. Then it was about every other day he would return to poo. Then about every other day he would just poo.

As a previous poster said, some folks just poo less frequently than others. Now at 6.5, he voluntarily "does some sitting" every day, produces most days, and has big satisfying ones about every other day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sky*hawk View Post
Did you give your child the Miralax every day for 6 months? Or did you do 7 days on and 7 days off? The bottle says to not take more than 7 days...
It has been several years since we've used Miralax, and at that time there was no recommendation to stop after 7 days. In fact, I was advised to administer it for months to keep poo soft enough to break the cycle. I do think that ultimately Miralax made some of our problems worse--withholding a super soft poo is harder than withholding a regular poo, and my son's behavior got worse for it. So we gradually tapered off and, combined with the sitting plan above, made it through.

Poo issues are so difficult--I hope you find a plan that helps your family soon.
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