22 answers

My 3 Year Old Son Will Not Poop--at All.

Hi Ladies. I have seen the other similar requests but my problem is a bit different. My 3 year old son will not poop--ever. He has a little brother so with 2 kids in diapers the red flags didn't go off when he would poop very small amounts of soft poo several times a day. Last November he had a bout of severe abdominal pain and was diagnosed with having a bout of colitis(inflamation of the bowel). We were advised to see a peds gastro doctor so we did. My poor kiddo had a colonoscopy to rule out any inflamatory bowel disease as well as a disease called hirschsprungs--he has neither. He has been getting Miralx daily, lots of veggies and fruit and most recently I added oatmeal. He also see's a chiropractor 2 days a week. Nothing is helping. I catch him 'pinching it off' you could say. I think it is a psychological problem and I am lost as what to do. Today his belly is HUGE. He does expell some stool daily--like overflow that his body forces out. But he is FULL-- and it isn't hard either...any body else ever have this issue?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the great advice!! Just 2 days ago I saw my son doing the 'hold-it' dance once again so I ran him into the bathroom and sat him on the toilet. He said to leave and close the door so I did (just stood quietly outside of it) and to my delight-and his-he pooped in the potty!!! He has tried this several other times without success. He was so proud of himself and I think a bit surprised at how easy it was. The next day he went all on his own---what a relief! Thanks for all the great advice, it seems like he just wasn't ready. I am looking forward to only 1 child in diapers!!!!

Featured Answers

You might want to give his poor intestines a break for a day. Just give him gator water (watered down gatorade) all day instead of food. It might let his intestines "rest" and "reset" if you will. I don't know but it might help. I know that when I have constipation or my intestines are "full" I don't eat a meal or two and instead "juice". It works for me. Good luck, hopefully you find something that works

P.,

It sounds like you are doing what you can. However, my nephew was the same way. He didn't like going poop, so he would hold it in. After so long, the muscles down there could no longer hold his poop in. He is now 7yrs old and wears pulls ups. He can't hold it in and at times doesn't want to. He could care less when he has poop in his pants and at times thinks it is funny. He refuses to sit on the toilet to go poop, but does go pee on the toilet. My sister tried Miralax and everyother over the counter medicine out there. He recently went to a Gastro doctor, and they had to go in and clean him out. I don't like having to watch my nephew for fear that I will have to change his pants. It wouldn't be so bad, but he thinks its funny to mess his pants....

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P.,

It sounds like you are doing what you can. However, my nephew was the same way. He didn't like going poop, so he would hold it in. After so long, the muscles down there could no longer hold his poop in. He is now 7yrs old and wears pulls ups. He can't hold it in and at times doesn't want to. He could care less when he has poop in his pants and at times thinks it is funny. He refuses to sit on the toilet to go poop, but does go pee on the toilet. My sister tried Miralax and everyother over the counter medicine out there. He recently went to a Gastro doctor, and they had to go in and clean him out. I don't like having to watch my nephew for fear that I will have to change his pants. It wouldn't be so bad, but he thinks its funny to mess his pants....

Not sure where you are at in trying different things but I myself had digestive issues and so did my daughter. I just finished potty training my 3 year old boy also and we got through it without any problem. We consistantly use a very easy to use twice daily drinkable nutritional supplement that has NO side effects and is safe with no warning labels. I just love that I found this for my family because not only have our digestive issues no longer been an issue but we are so much healthier overall. You can contact me if you want to learn more about it.
Best wishes and I hope you find a solution soon.
L..

My daughter refused to go to poop in the toilet, she chose to control her poop by holding it in. It took her a year of frustrating horrible screaming, giant poops, suppositories, laxatives, bribery, letting her wear pull ups, whatever it took to poop. We ended up having to go to the hospital after one horrible bout of holding it in for 10 days. She was given an xray to rule out blockage, and was given mineral oil enema and clogged a hospital toilet with her poop and then we embarked on poop training with miralax and sitting on the toilet after each meal. The thing that worked for us was a book called It hurts when I poop. I will link to that article here so you can read the whole story and a link to the book.
http://momlifestyle.com/?p=199
Good luck, and you are not alone in the frustrating, poop refusal stage, in my ECFE group there were 3 of 10 parents experiencing this as well.

My son had the same problem when he was younger... But he was also a pickier eater too. He loved milk, cheese and chicken nuggets and pizza. Unfortunately, the food he WOULD eat tended to 'plug' him up too. I also believed it also got to the point of being psychological...how could it not though??? This is painful stuff for a little one to deal with! So he stopped even trying to have a BM because it was such a stressful means to and end. Not to mention it meant he'd have to stop playing! So, of course it compounded things and complicated things much worse for him in the long run.

Our pediatrician finally prescribed Miralax...to get his bowels and intestines moving into a regular pattern again. That was an excellent way to start off and get going in the right direction... This stuff pretty much forces the BM. Which in turn got him to forget about the stress in having BMs (the pyschology stress is gone). And also it helped to get his intestines back into a normal size for his age. As I'm sure his intestines were so badly stretched out and had grown/stretched completely too big for his little body to let the BM even exit his body. Then, we eventually started in onto independent measures...and leaving the Miralax behind. Getting many more fiber and healthy foods into his diet...daily if not hourly...is so important.

Besides adding more fiber and produce. Here's some assisting dietary items to utilize instead of Miralax... Prune Juice is good...however my son tired pretty fast of this taste. However, Pear Juice is great!! -- Gerber's makes this. Though it is hard to find! Then, as he got older... We noticed that Rainbow foods sold a 3-pack of 100% Juice 'Tree Top' brand - Apple Pear juice boxes. These worked awesome! Then, also noticed that Hi-C puts pear juice in their 'Grabbin' Grape' flavor juice boxes as well. So, that helps somewhat too. Now I'm not at all an advocate for kid's drinking juice all...but this stuff did definitely worked for him! So, I think 'the end does justify the means' in this case. Also, CUB Foods in our area many times has decent fresh Bartlett Pears in their produce section. So, whenever I do see they look good....I stock up! Wait til they ripen to desired flavor/texture...then they store fairly well for awhile in the fridge. My son LOVES these (course he prefers them without the peel). But I prefer him eating actual pears to drinking juice. Also, if you can get him to eat Grapefruit (with sugar on top to entice him) and oranges or mandarine oranges (canned is fine)...this also will help him out. Unfortunately, many boys are not that great at eating produce compared to girls.... So, you definitely have to actively work at on incorporating this stuff into their diets whenever possible. I've even heard of people mashing and putting veggies into their spaghetti sauces. Or putting vegetables masked into their desserts...like brownies!

I also read an article written by a pediatrician up in Duluth...he gave his child a handful of chocolate covered raisins daily. The child thought it was a treat, but in reality he was also devouring raisins with lots of good fiber too.

Lastly, you'll need to definitely increase daily a clear type of fluid intake. The more water or clear liquid the better(heard someone mention Gatorade...that probably would work. Though be careful as I'm not sure how good ingesting a ton of salt-laden liquid is that good for the small ones). Lots of liquid helps the intestines out a TON and will help soften everything to help it pass much easily through his system too.

Best of Luck!

Hi P.,
Did you doctors also run food allergy tests? In particular an intolerance to gluten and caseins?
Poor kid must be so uncomfortable.
I could be that he is "holding it". My daughter did that for a while and we talked about how we "try" to go every day. I even did bribes for a while to get her trying. Once she learned that if she goes every day it doesn't hurt, things straightened out.

Good luck,
K.

Hi P.- you might want to do a food trial, eliminating certain foods and then adding back foods one at a until you know what is causing the issue. We too thought that our son was holding it at age 3. Fast forward to age 7 we found out that he has an intolerance to gluten, wheat, rye, barley , malt and OATS! Its not that he didn't want to go, it was that he couldn't go. Within 4 days of being gluten free he was no longer on any fiber, laxatives, etc. Check out the website celiac.com. He is a much happier healthier kid! If you have any questions, send me an email!
~S.

well CD im glad you have healthy happy kids with no health issues. But unless you have dealt with this you have no idea what you are talking about! My son is 9 and we are still trying to fix ther problem, my friends son was even older before he was better. she even did what you said and made him sit on the toilet for hours because she was at her wits end! you remind me of those people that talk about how they are not going to raise there kids a certain way before the kids are even born, you dont know what you will do till it happens and until it happens to you dont give advice on it

I highly recommend going to have a private consult with the folks at Nutritional Weight & Wellness http://www.weightandwellness.com/index.html . This is exactly the kind of thing they specialize in. It sounds like food sensitivities are wreaking havoc in his bowels. The fact that he has had issues for so long are a strong indicator. I am surprised the chiropractor has not suggested food elimination trials.

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