34 answers

My 6 Year Old Son Has Not Had a Bowel Movement in 3 - 4 Weeks

We recently moved into our new house about 8 weeks ago and since then our oldest boy who is 6 has not wanted to go poop on the toilet. It has not been almost 3 - 4 weeks since he has had a bowel movement. I have taken him to the doctor a couple of times and he said to try Mineral Oil and a stool softener. I have read to him in the bathroom while he is on the toilet. Nothing seems to help. Does anyone have any suggestions?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

First, let me thank everyone who responsed to my situation. Everyone had such good advise. On Friday, I called a friend who is a peditrician to see what she thought of the situation. She said to give him more of the mineral oil and miralax. She said to stay away from "white" food and also give him senicot 2 - 3 times a day. He had a big bowel movement on Saturday morning and several others during the weekend. He is much happier to get the "crap" out of him.

Again, Thank you all for giving me such good advise. I greatly appreciated it and it pushed me to cal my friend to get a second opinion.

Featured Answers

My chiropractor Dr. Steven Kingston in Portland, has had much success treating children with constipation, and after an adjustment, relief is usually soon to follow! Chiropractic also settles down kids, helps them sleep better etc..

3 moms found this helpful

I would honestly take him to another dr. That could be serious if they have not gone to the bathroom in that long. We do give my 4 yr miralax, dr. suggested, and that seems to help, but that long with no stool might suggest another issue. Hope you get the help

2 moms found this helpful

as the teens like to say these days --OMG! 3 to 4 WEEKS?? Really??? Get him a new pediatrician or at the very least an immediate referal to a gastro specialist. I can't believe this little guy isn't in complete discomfort. I've had friends with children with chronic constipation issues, but even they didn't go 4 weeks. Poor baby-- and poor momma, you must be going crazy, too.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

If he really hasn't pooped in 3-4 weeks, I think you need to do something about this quite quickly, because a system literally can't take all this **** building up. Can you imagine if no one took out the garbage for 4 weeks!!! Cos this is the equivalent of not pooping for this long.

The first 2 answers on this post addressed habitual constipation but it sounds like your son has only had this problem since the move, and therefore it is emotional in it's source.
Having a bowel movement is literally about "letting go" so he is likely having issues with leaving somewhere familar where it was comfortable to "just let it all out", to a new place where he feels a bit uptight and insecure.

I don't know if you had to go through the potty training bit when pooping became an issue. Many children train easily peeing, but can't do the poop part cos they feel that when they poop, they are losing part of themselves and it is really scary to see it dissapear down the flushing thing. So he may be revisiting this but in a different stage - he knows that pooing is fine, but just not here!

So you need to address that for sure but in the short term, you really need to empty the garbage as it were, cos it is really unhealthy at best and potentially very dangerous at worst to not go for this long.

I would try a suppository. You can get them for kids at New Seasons in the kids health section. They slide very easily and painlessly into the anus and minutes or soon after, they can't help but go. There is something about lightly stimulating the anus, and then as the suppository dissolves, everything can't help but slide out, and in volumes, so be ready!!
You can try prunes, flax seed, slipper elm, more water, avoiding too many crackers and drying foods etc to soften the stool so that it comes out easier and ensures that constipation isn't the problem, but it doesn't sound as if this is why he is not going.

As I said, the suppositories are just to get some poop moving and show him that letting go in this place is just as fine as the old home. So make sure you do it under very reassurring circumstances. Then continue to work on the other pieces and use the suppositories if they work and help, just to demonstrate this. If you are having to use them every day to make him poop, or if you are still having to use them periodically after 3 weeks, despite working on the emotional issues surrounding it, then maybe you have to consider another course. But in my opinion, you don't have to see a gastroenterologist, as long as you get that poop out soon!!

Wishing you well in your new home, and I hope you have many opportunities to flush your new toilet!

3 moms found this helpful

My chiropractor Dr. Steven Kingston in Portland, has had much success treating children with constipation, and after an adjustment, relief is usually soon to follow! Chiropractic also settles down kids, helps them sleep better etc..

3 moms found this helpful

Has it really been 3-4 weeks? If so I would talk to the doc aagin. I can't imagine having 4 weeks worth of poo still inside me. I remember after my babies were born not being able to go for 3 or 4 days and that was awful! It sounds toxic to the system. How is he feeling? Sick at all? Does he feel like he needs to go but just can't?

Do you think it is nerves from moving and all the change that comes with it? How does he feel about not pooping? Is he concerned or uncomfortable about it? Does he have any ideas why he can't poop? Has he had a really painful poop right before all this started? Try getting to the emotions behind it in a supportive empathetic way. Share stories of you being nervous and unsure about change and you got through it. Validate his feelings and help him through the transition.

You should also try lots of water, fiber (yummy bran muffins), prunes (very tasty and VERY effective), no sugar, more exercise.

Good luck

3 moms found this helpful

First, please seek a second opinion from another doctor. Your poor little boy must be feeling just awful! I have given this advice to many because it was a miracle for us. My daughter suffered many, many bouts of constipation from 3 years old to about 8 years old. Finally a pharmacist friend told me about Fletchers Castoria. It was a God send! Takes great, like root beer syrup. Works quickly but naturally. It doesn't have the harsh side effects that many stimulant laxatives or suppositories have. No cramping or uncontrollable bowel movements. Very natural, very easy and easy to take because it is quite yummy. You will more than likely need to ask the pharmacist for it. Many places do not keep it on the shelves - too much temptation for some with eating disorders. I hope your little one is feeling better soon. good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

My grandson was chronically constipated during his toddler and preschool years. He never went more than a few days without a bowel movement. I'fe read that if one goes too long without a movement their bowels are probably impacted. Take him to a doctor right away.

If he's feeling OK and not complaining of pain or discomfort he's having bowel movements or he is not feeling the compaction. Not feeling is a medical issue as well as actually not having bowel movements. Another cause could be that he wants to be secretive about them. Some kids are embarrassed by bodily functions.

I also think that his constipation could be related to the adjustments of your move. Try talking with him in a calm supportive way about your move and how he feels about it. And be sure to be understanding about anything that he says.

Is it possible that with the stress of moving and all that involves that you have expressed frustration or even anger to him about his bowel movements. Some kids are really sensitive to what they perceive as a negative view from parents about themselves and their bodily functions. Combine a new home with a fear of his own body being unable to perform and/or a fear of the pain and you have a reason for constipation

My grandson's pediatrician did not know why my grandson was constipated but she prescribed medication for him. She never suggested mineral oil or stool softener. Today mineral oil is rarely used because frequent use can deplete the body of nutrients. Stool softeners can become addictive. She did prescribe a medicated glycerine suppository. As I recall that didn't help my grandson. Yes, he would have a painful bowel movement at that time but would then be constipated again.

I wonder if your son's doctor realizes how long he goes between bowel movements. From your description I think that he could have a serious medical problem. If his doctor is not adequately addressing this problem you might get a second opinion. Consulting with a pediatric gastroenterologist could be very helpful.

And I repeat that lots of water and a diet high in fiber are very important. You can find how much fiber food contains by reading the label. Anything less than 3 grams/serving does not have sufficent fiber. Try switching to a product that has more fiber. Eating refined foods such as white bread, processed cereals, cookies, cakes, those high in sugar are most likely to add to the constipation problem.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm with Kathy D...O-M-G!!! New Dr NOW!!! I am surprised enemas haven't been used or suggested? My daughter is 9 and has crohns disease...a bowel problem you really don't want to deal with. You need to get this under control and NOW.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi S.,

I have had my fair share of this issue with my own son who is now 9. He holds in his BM's literally until he is so sick he can't stand up straight. We ended up taking him to a gastroentologist who did several tests and found that he needed daily assistance in relaxing to have a BM. It was so bad that at 6 my son had bleeding hemmoroids! We put him on Miralax (you can get this at any pharmacy now without a prescription) and gave him apples and lots of high fiber fruits and veggies daily! If push comes to shove....give him a concoction of 2 ounces warm prune juice mixed with a dose of Milk of Magnesia (have him drink it through a straw really fast....it won't taste as bad!). Try one thing at a time though and give it time to work. If he still isn't having results in a couple days of trying these things I would take him back to the Dr with a list of things you have done and get a referral. My son had a pretty severe bowel obstruction that required hospitalization for, and they ended up putting in a nasogastric tube (the tube that goes through your nose into your stomach) and they had to give him 2 gallons of "Go-Litely" to clean him out! Since then I have been completely on top of it with daily stool softeners and lots of fiber and water in his diet.

I hope this is helpful......
I don't know if your Dr. told you but when there is change and things in their environment are out of their control they will control things that they can.....like their BM's! Maybe you could let him help make that toilet "his" by taking him to buy a really squishy toilet seat cover of his choice.....
we drained the water out of our toilet and let it dry and then had our son use special paint for the toilet and let him paint a design in it!

Take Care...


2 moms found this helpful

Hi S.,

I wanted to second what Jenn said.

I'm thinking he might be upset about the move and all the new things going on (new school, having to make new friends there, new house, new neighborhood, having to make new friends there), but also there may be some other medical reason. If the doc wasn't concerned about it after *that* long, I'd definately see another doc. That is way too long to be stopped up.

Like Jenn said, try and get him to share with you why he's not going, if it is in fact an emotional thing.

Good luck to your little man. I hope he gets better. :o)

K. W

2 moms found this helpful

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