25 answers

My 2 Year Old Is Terrified to Have Bowel Movements, Help Please!

I've taken him to his pediatrician four times over the last 6 months for him to just tell me that there is "a lot of it in there but it doesn't feel hard." So if he's not constipated then why does he scream while he's going, finally, after holding it in for as long as 4 days at a time? There is no way I can even start potty training with this going on. He does ask to go "poo-poo" in the potty, and has several times, but usually as soon as you put him on the toilet he will cry and say he's done. I try to wait until I know that there is no way he can delay it any longer and actually hold him down on the toilet seat until he goes, and yes he's screaming and begging me to let him down saying that it hurts. It breaks my heart but I do not know what in the world is going on with him or how to help him. I have 3 other children and worked in daycare for 11 years and never have I seen a child do this. Should I get a second opinion from a different pediatrician?

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi A.,
I just went through the same thing with my almost 2yr old. After pinning her pediatrician against a wall, he finally gave a referral to go to a Digestive Health pediatrician. Problem solved!!!!! My daughter is healed. That dr's name is:
Dr. Argao - ###-###-####(he just opened a Plano office).

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter went through the same thing. And for 2 YEARS! they could not find a out what the problem was. She gained so much weight because it just kept backing up in her. Although she would have bowel movements. I took her to several different doctors over the 2 years and no one can find anything wrong. Finally I took her to a stomach specialist and she diagnosed her right away. She has a condition called Chronic Constipation and she will be on medication for the rest of her life. Please take the baby to a stomach specialist and if you can let me know how you make out.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Hello A.,

I have worked with many children, as well as adults, who are not going to the bathroom at least once daily. My first recommendation is to add a friendly bacteria (acidophilus &/or bifida bacterium) the one I use is called BeneFlora and it also contains fiber and enzymes. I mix it into some applesauce and give to them at breakfast and supper. With his size it should not take more than 1/4 capsule twice daily to build up the friendly bacteria in his colon. This should help keep your son's stool thinner and soft which should make it easier on him to go. I would also encourage you to make sure he gets plenty of good filtered water through the day as being dehydrated can cause constipation. If you have any questions feel free to give me a call. I hope you and your son will have better bathroom experiences real soon. J. S. ###-###-####

1 mom found this helpful

I'm not sure what to do, but I don't think holding him on the toilet by force is the right thing. Put on a diaper and let him go when he wants. Give him some Myralax(stool softener), if the pedi says ok, and he will have no choice because they can't hold it in while taking it.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,
I just went through the same thing with my almost 2yr old. After pinning her pediatrician against a wall, he finally gave a referral to go to a Digestive Health pediatrician. Problem solved!!!!! My daughter is healed. That dr's name is:
Dr. Argao - ###-###-####(he just opened a Plano office).

1 mom found this helpful

When my daughter was little like your son, had problems going to the bath room, I gave her just fruit, juice, childrens spinach etc. and still very hard bowl movements, and took her to Dr. and he said her last intestines were secreting too much water, that she didn't need a laxative, but that colace drops would help the last intestine not to secrete too much water, and that did the trick. No more problems, and she didn't need to stay on the colace indefinately either. I think you can get this without a prescription, but otherwise, I think I'd try ad different Dr. if I were you, if he still keeps having the problem.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A., when my daughter was two she did the same thing. She screamed when her bowels moved. I took her to the doctor and he said, dont give her any milk and see if it helped. Dr. said her rectum was to small. Well it didnt help, so back i went to dr. So, he suggested getting me some surgical gloves and put vaseline on my finger and place it right inside her rectum and move my finger around and stretch it. It sounds awful but thats what i did,and after a couple of weeks of stretching it. she was able to have bowel movements without screaming. She also watched her sister who was 15 months older than her, use her potty and she started bringing me the potty, i wasnt wise enough to realize what she was trying to tell me until she had tenkled twice at my feet holding her sisters potty.She was 2 yrs old, This was 48 years ago. You might ask your dr. about doing this. Doctors now days have their on ideas. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

IT never hurts to get asecond oppinion, listen to what YOUR gut is telling you.

Good luck, I would give your son some Fiber one granola bars they always help my kids go poop... he may ust need more fiber to help get it all moving.

HTH
A. J

1 mom found this helpful

YES! Definately get a second opinion from a different Dr.
That is not normal. Try apple juice, apples, pears, and see if there are some children's gentle overnight stoole softners.
Apple juice has always helped my kids. They drink it and it tastes a lot better than prune juice. Also, try the baby food plums - it is like plum pudding, and that might help as well.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I feel for you and your son. You didn't mention if BMs were this dramatic in the diaper nor how often. My son had several bouts with hard stools due to inlaws insisting on giving him milk & cheese to build strong bones even though he was allergic. They also had issues with informing me if he had a BM while in his care. With Dr's approval, I did a stool softner with laxative gave it an hour, then filled his lower intestine with an enema (child size), laid him in the tub on a towel and massaged his stomach. I encouraged him to hold the enema as long as he could and gave him permission to go in the tub if he needed. He jumped up on the potty and asked me to keep squeezing/massaging his colon area. Out popped the rock. I spoke to my in laws about cutting the milk/dairy & need to know if he had a BM but they dismissed me. God is good ya know, they ended up getting to deal with the next difficult to pass hard rock. They called me frantic that my child was very sick & I needed to come take him to the hospital because there was nothing they could do to help him. I had all the stuff in his napsack and told them the steps to take with him. Needless to say they cut way back on the dairy & informed me if he had a BM while in their care. My child had a healthy diet but grilled cheese sandwiches, mac n cheese, nachos, noodle ramen with cheese at grandparent's worked against him. I kindly added the need to reduce processed sugar on my own which even my kid agreed to after his experience. You know it's painful when a kid will give up sugar. As time went on we found out that some people who have a high fiber diet and eat healthy need more WATER, not soda or sugary apple juice. My child has an inherited condition where his colon over draws the water from the stool period so stool softners are required.
See if your son will eat the prune fruit & juice, they now come individually wrapped and different flavors. Brown rice, granola, spinach are high fiber foods.
Also, you can take a higher dose of vitamin C and it will cause the body to eliminate. I did this under a Dr's guidance. You can find info on this in the alternative/natural health books.
The epsom salt drink works too but we learned to dissolve the epsom salt in less water (measure how much you use) than the box suggests, then gulp it down. Have ready another glass of water or juice with the remaining measurement of water suggested for the dose. Read the epsom box & this will make sense. Pineapple & grapefruit juice worked best in cutting the salt taste. This method according to the box of epsom salt I have pulls water into the bowels. I would check with your Dr on what amount if any to use. I would work on encouraging him to stay on the toilet without having to be held down. He is already in pain and the toilet seat can add to that pain cutting into the back of the legs. I noticed the correlation with my child starting to do these loud burps with an oncoming episode of constipation, next came the stinky toots! He knows now if he starts the burps to ask me for extra stool softner. I sure hope your little one finds relief for both of your sakes. Of course all I've included is my experience/opinion so take from it what you choose. Best of life to you.

1 mom found this helpful

-we gave my son prune juice and a small bit of Essential Balance Jr. (or a fish oil supp might work better for your son, depending on what he eats) & did our best to ensure he got all the liquid he would take; this routine might help your little guy keep his stool soft naturally

-do you let your son see you go poo? i know it's kinda silly to say, but my son thinks it's fun to mimic his mama and daddy on the pot (we even get him to grunt and make noises to make it fun for him -- what a boy -- sheesh! but my preference is offering him a toy magazine, he likes to read on the potty too)

-another thing to consider might be a more natural position for elimination -- squatting. i'll just give you the terms "nature's platform" and let you do your own googling on that one...;D

HTH!!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter went through the same thing. And for 2 YEARS! they could not find a out what the problem was. She gained so much weight because it just kept backing up in her. Although she would have bowel movements. I took her to several different doctors over the 2 years and no one can find anything wrong. Finally I took her to a stomach specialist and she diagnosed her right away. She has a condition called Chronic Constipation and she will be on medication for the rest of her life. Please take the baby to a stomach specialist and if you can let me know how you make out.

1 mom found this helpful

My youngest had the same problems. The pediatrician put him on Miralax (sp?) to help soften his stools. But the thing that worked the best (we did this in conjunction with the stool softener). We went to the comic book store (my son is a HUGE superhero fan) and we bought a TON of inexpensive comics for the bathroom. Every time that he had to go, my husband or I would sit with him in the bathroom and read comics to him so that he would stay calm. Eventually the BM would come out on it's own. After a few months, he stopped associating having a BM with pain.

We still have issues every once in a while. We have to vigilant and make sure that he has lots of raw veggies and fruit in his diet. And I have a great recipe that a friend gave me for pumpkin flax seed whole wheat muffins. We affectionately refer to them as "poopy" muffins. Feel free to email me off list and I'll send the recipe to you.

1 mom found this helpful

I have two friends whose son's did not have regular bowel movements (sometimes not going for 10 days). Their doctors said to give less milk, bananna's, and some breads. Give him plenty of fiber, fruit, prune juice and water. It probably does hurt him when he is potting does he tend to cry when he goes in his diaper? If not then don't worry about potty training right now try to get him on a regular schedule of pooping. Then potty train later. If you don't see any changes in his popping more regular I would consult a Chiropractor they are great at helping with the issues.

1 mom found this helpful

my 18 month old only goes if i give him suppositories or enemas. his stool is always very soft. he just has a problem getting it out for some reason and its painful for him as well.. i've never been told why, he is prone to consipation though because of his syndrome. we have seen his pediatrician because of this on many occasions along with his GI dr. we have tried miralax and are now trying fruit- eze.. i will let you know how it goes!

sorry, dont have any words of wisdom because i have yet to figure it out.. just wanted you to know that you arent alone!

1 mom found this helpful

Definitely find another Pediatrician if yours is not giving you any help. No body should have to go through that especially such a young child. My son had issues as well until I put him on MiraLax which was suggested by my pediatrician. I put it in his milk (you can use any liquid) every morning and was told to make sure and not miss a morning. The goal is for him to not fear having to go poopies. The Dr. assured me of no effects of the long term use. He also said after about 4-6 months skip a day occasionally but not the same time frame in between. Hope this helps. But no doubt, I wouldn't use your pediatrician ever! Hope your little guy finds relief!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A. - yes you need to take him to a pediatric gastroenterologist. They are trained for just exactly this. I can't remember what they call it but it is common in kiddos but they have different ways of handling it that regular pediatricians don't have. Look for a pediatric gastroenterologist. He will associate pain with potty for a while and you may have to wait to get this taken care of before you really start full force with the potty and they will advise you ways of that. My friend took her daughter to ours locally and they really helped her but it did take a while before she didn't associate pain with poop anymore. Now she is 4 and she is fine.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the same problem with my youngest. We took him to the doctor and found out that he has anal fissars. Which are small tears in the muscle. I have them too and they are no fun. They do cause lots of pain during a bowel movement. I hope that the little guys feels better!

1 mom found this helpful

Absolutely get a second opinion! You might even try a specialist. Like a Pediatric Gastroenterologist. Dr. Mark Miller is WONDERFUL but I'm not sure if he sees children. His number is ###-###-####. He saved my Papaw's life so we hold him in high regard in my household. Good luck and God Bless! Keep us all posted!

1 mom found this helpful

A.-

I feel your pain!! We went through the exact same thing with my son and we have just recently resolved the problem...I think/hope!!! It took us many visits to the doctor and we got the same response as you. Potty training was a nightmare for us because our son was so dramatized by the very thought of going to the bathroom and having a hard BM that he would physically fight us when we took him. I know every child is different but here is what finally worked for us (BTW this was all OK'd with our doc first)

1-Fleet Enema for children. I know it's unpleasant but give him the fleet and put him in a diaper not underwear. This will "clean out any of the hard stool stuck in there) The reason for the diaper is so he doesn't associates the discomfort and unpleasantness of the enema process with going on the actual potty.

2- Miralax and Benefiber EVERY day. (Your doc can give you the correct dosage but we had to tweak the dosage a few times to get it just right)

3- Lot's of fiber rich foods and avoid things like cheese, milk etc.

4-Prizes for going #2 on the potty. We used a prize box filled with small little treats for him going.

I hope some of this info helps you!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

There is obviously something going on. I can't imagine that he is just "afraid". Although, I have never exprienced this before. I think that you are right to get a second opinion.

1 mom found this helpful

We had a nightmare with one of my girls for almost a year. It took that long to get through to the pediatrician and get some real help. Talk to your pediatrician about using Miralax; it will help regulate your boy. He probably has constipation and the small amount that he goes is probably leakage around the blockage. It probably really hurts. Also make sure he is not getting diaper rash on his bottom; use Aquaphor on his bottom between movements. Miralax is available without a prescription but at that age you still want to talk to the dr before giving meds. It helped our daughter tremendously.

1 mom found this helpful

This is a horrible cycle that could only get worse. The child holds it in until it comes out and really does hurt. So they are afraid the next time... again hold it in until it really does hurt. I have seen it in a daycare I've worked @ the parents choose to give the child (3 years old) an enima (I don't know if I spelled that right). My own son had the same issue. I choose to lessen the milk in his diet, add lots of apple juice & water and also I would make homemade pancakes with ground flaxseed. My son 's pediatrician also suggested massaging his tummy and bottom when he had the urge to go to 'help' it come out. (This takes a strong stomach and only a mothers love :) ) I would get a second opinion...

1 mom found this helpful

I babysat for a lady and the little girl had the same problem she was terrified of having a bowel movement it always amde me want to cry! But we put her on phyllum husks or i guess another name for it is corn husks i didnt spell the first name right and cant remember hw its spelt... But its corn husks ground into a powder. Anyway she would ask for it if we did not give it to her b/c she knew it did not hurt then it makes it soft any way that what i would try,It worked for us

1 mom found this helpful

My baby has had that issue since he was about 3-4 months old. he is now 11 months old. He has rectal fissures. Small tears in and around his rectum. I mix MIRALAX laxative in one bottle a day per our pediatrician. It makes there stool really soft so the tears can heal. Something to look into.

1 mom found this helpful

We bought about 20 matchbox cars for my son (cost $20), put them in a bag up in our closet. He knew that each time he went poopy in the potty (in your case you could do the diaper) he got to choose 1 car. This was highly motivating. Maybe associating something positive with going poopy will help him.

Bless you and hang in there!

1 mom found this helpful

I think holding him down while he is screaming can create more problems.

1 mom found this helpful

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.