39 answers

My Daughter Doesn't WANT to Poop, So She Holds it...how Do I Stop This?

My 3 year old daughter says she doesn't want to poop so she holds it. She is potty trained for pee but now she doesn't want to poop in a diaper or on the toilet. It is making life miserable for our whole family as the days she really needs to go, she is crying about not going, whining, and cranky. She'll go for days and I worry about her health. I am making sure she has a diet to encourage her to go with a little prune juice, fruits, vegetables, etc... She just fights the urge as long as she can and when I know she is fighting hard I put her on the toilet but she cries how she doesn't want to go. I have tried all kinds of bribing and rewards but she just doesn't want to go! Help!

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Featured Answers

My friend's pediatrician recommended cod liver oil 3 Tbs. a day in the am and this loosened things up so he couldn't hold it. It worked.

Have you tried a special treat as a reward? My child has always had problems pooping. I give her LOTS of prune juice - probably 8oz everyone other day for maintenance and when I know she really has to "go" I will have her only drink prune juice instead of other drinks/water until she goes. Once we started potty training and she learned she gets a treat for going in the potty it gave her great incentive to go. I don't keep junk food in the house and my daughter never had chocolate, lollipops, etc until potty training started so she was really excited about these new tasty treats.

She got a lollipop the first time she went poopy in the little potty. When I got tired of cleaning the poop out of her little potty, I told her she could get three chocolate raisins for going poopy in the "big potty. It has worked for us. She's been potty trained for several weeks now.

Maybe find something you daughter would LOVE to eat or have in someway and use that as her incentive to go. The first time I just held her hands while she sat on the potty and I told her, "I know you can do this! I am here for you!" FINALLY she did it. I think it took all day...

Hello W.,
I know how you feel because I too have a three year old girl who has "poop" issues all the time!There are a few things that have helped her but still not completely fixed the problem..one is I put flax seed in oatmeal and that REALLy makes it almost impossible for her to be constipated so she is more willing to try. I also sit and read her a book and just pretty much tell her she HAS to really try and I will wait as long as it takes. Reminding her that she will actually feel better seems to lessen her fear. I have three daughters and did NOT have this issue with my older ones. I am hoping that it is a stage that hopefully SOON she will out grow!
good luck :o)
M.

More Answers

This one hit home, poor baby. I sure so relate to her. I had the very same problem myself as a child. I held it for a week or longer. This problem literally lasted into my late teens. I'm now 38 and the doctor's advice way back then was to have my Mom give me enimas whenever I needed them. Arrrrgh, I still have nightmares. It turned out to be an emotional trauma issue where I had been punished by a babysitter when I was 5 or so for messing my pants when I was sick. I think if the problem had been aproached psychologically (telling me it was okay, etc) instead of physically (enimas, yuck), I would have gotten over it much sooner. If I were you, I would try to ascertain whether it's emotional, like she's afraid to go or if it's physical like it hurts her to go. There's got to be books or something out there if its emotional. Anything's better than the Old Enimas. Good luck and I sure hope you figure it out, for both your sakes.

DS had troble figuring out how to "sit and poop" for about 6 weeks after he had figured out the whole pee deal. He WANTED to poop in the toilet, but couldn't figure it out. After watching him cry for a week straight about it, I finally decided to "help him" figure it out. I had some glycerin supositories (sp?) for babies, so when I KNEW he had to go, I gave him one and sat in the bathroom with him for 20 minutes while "it did it's work". Then- he had that sudden urge of "PUSH NOW" and went in the potty. He never (except with diareah while sick) pooped his pants again.

I know it sounds odd to medicate a child to potty train her, but it really worked in his case. He just needed help figuring it out. Hope that helps! ~J.

If she'll go in a pull up then let her wear a pull up. Try to find out why she doesn't want to go on the toilet. Was she constipated in the past? (may be afraid to poop because of past pain while pooping). If she keeps holding her poop she may suffer from Encopresis. My daughter held her poop on and off from about 2.5 till 5 years old, after receiving great advice from a Dr. who was familiar with this she is now 100% better and poops on the toilet daily.

For more information on Encopresis visit:
http://www.aboutencopresis.com/index.html

If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me.
M.
____@____.com

Lots of Cheetoh's. They have an ingredient that is a natural stool softener. She won't have a choice.

My sister's daughter had a Cheetoh addiction. She would scream when she had to poop because it was so runny and she didn't have the timing down. The panic would cause her to scream so her mom would know to hurry.

The doctor finally figured it out when she walked into his office with a bag of Cheetoh's. Luckily for her, he was also interested in nutrition and knew how to read food labels.

Here's something you can try, it may sound a little strange, but it worked on my daughter, I heard it from a nurse. Have your daughter sit on the potty and lean forward, gently take hold of her bottom on either side and spread her butt cheeks apart, it will allow her to release the poop.

I've experienced this with my daughter before. And our doctor said that sometime the reason is because she may have had a bad experience or two with hard stool (or constipation) that had now caused her to hold her poop rather than go to avoid the pain. Maybe this is the case with your daughter.

Nevertheless, our doctor had recommend giving our daughter MIRALAX for as long as necessary until she forgets how bad it hurts or to "make" her body go when it needs to. He told us that Miralax is completely safe and does not absorb into the body. It simply soften the stool - but does not cause diarrhea. So we shouldn't fear using it long-term (as long as needed). Hence, we tried that for 2 months. And she is now fine. Miralax used to be doctor's prescribed but is now available at your local store, like Target, supermarkets etc.

hope you'll find your solution to this.

My daughter is turning 6 and still has pooping issues on occasion. I've told ther that the longer she waits the harder and bigger it gets ... My Daughter loves to watch TV so when I know that she is holding it in I don't let her watch it because it is too distracting... that usually does it. Little Tummy's makes a Baby Laxitive.. It works nicely.

Have you tried a special treat as a reward? My child has always had problems pooping. I give her LOTS of prune juice - probably 8oz everyone other day for maintenance and when I know she really has to "go" I will have her only drink prune juice instead of other drinks/water until she goes. Once we started potty training and she learned she gets a treat for going in the potty it gave her great incentive to go. I don't keep junk food in the house and my daughter never had chocolate, lollipops, etc until potty training started so she was really excited about these new tasty treats.

She got a lollipop the first time she went poopy in the little potty. When I got tired of cleaning the poop out of her little potty, I told her she could get three chocolate raisins for going poopy in the "big potty. It has worked for us. She's been potty trained for several weeks now.

Maybe find something you daughter would LOVE to eat or have in someway and use that as her incentive to go. The first time I just held her hands while she sat on the potty and I told her, "I know you can do this! I am here for you!" FINALLY she did it. I think it took all day...

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