4 Year Old Scared to Poop

Updated on May 22, 2011
M.A. asks from Lenoir City, TN
10 answers

My daughter is 4 and was a bit consipated so the dr gave her miralax (I am sure I mispelled it). Now she is groning for the past day and a half and she said she is to scared to poop. She thinks it will hurt. I told her that holding it is what hurts and she will feel better if she poops. She is still scared and in alot of pain. My husband and I both tried to sit in the bathroom and hold her hands to let her know we are there but she still wont poop. She has gone through 6 pairs of underwear. Does anyone have experience with how to let her know that it is ok to poop. She is making herself sick and is in a cold sweat. She does not have a fever though. PLEASE HELP!

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answers from Raleigh on

My son went through that too. Keep up with the Mirilax ... eventually she will just have to go. As she has many, many successful non-painful bms she will start to realize that it is okay. We also gave my son a small reward everytime that he went for a long while (like a year or more) ... just three jelly beans, but they were a treat. We didn't give him jelly beans any other time.

Hang in there! I know how you feel.

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answers from Louisville on

I'm going through this right now with my DS who is almost 4. I've put him on Fletchers Laxitive after advice from our pediatrician. You can also use Miralax. He won't go because the last BM he had was painful, just like your daughter. At this point, I don't have more advice than what you've received - because my son won't go yet either. I just know though, after another day or so of the laxitive, he'll have to. Once they go and it doesn't hurt - the problem will go away. BUT, I was told, once they go - DON'T STOP the laxitive. You can lower the dose, but if you stop, she'll hold it again most likely (the fear won't go away with one poop) and then you'll have to start it all over. Some people and pediatricians say it actually takes 2-3 months of treatement to effectively shut down the fear....

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answers from Jacksonville on

I still go through this with my 6 yr old, but it started when she was 2. Her poops would be so hard that her bottom would bleed. When it happened last year, I gave her a dose of laxative, but it was not working. My daughter had the cold sweats, felt like she had to vomit etc. I also sat in the bathroom and grunted with her! I finally gave her a enema (made for kids). She hated me doing it but... it worked in about 3 minutes. I had her lay on the floor, I loaded her little bottom with vaseline and did it. We sang the abc's while I was doing it. I also had her cd player in the bathroom and we put in her favorite song. I told her by the time the song was over, she would poop. And she did and it felt wonderful. After the first few hard ones, it was looser and easier to poop. It did not make her feel like she had to poop forever, just a few minutes, but relief was almost immediate.

To counter act this problem, I make her smoothies at night - drinkable yogurt and frozen fruit blended. I would add a small amount of fibersure (it is in a blue bottle and it mixes in without getting thick or adding a flavor). I also made sure she had good exercise and drank water/juice. I noticed that when she was not running around outside daily, that her constipation was worse.

I hope this helps and your daughter feels better soon. Good thoughts coming your way.

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answers from Chattanooga on

Hi M.! I'm so sorry you and your dd are going through this. But I've been there as well. We tried pedialax with her. It's a laxative designed for children, it will make her go whether she wants to or not, and it will soften it up. It takes up to six hours so make sure your home when you give it to her, also like some of the other moms say, you can keep giving her the miralax, it's supposed to help regualte you and make your bm's softer. Good luck and hope things get better for her!!

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answers from Saginaw on

Something happened.

Something hurt coming out (or going in) and she's now reacting like a normal human --she doesn't want the pain again.

It would probably be helpful to stop talking about it, and let her work it out in her own head. When she groans, you can ask her what hurts, wonder what she might do about that, or stroke her arm or massage her shoulders in sympathy... but try to avoid focusing her attention on her bum and what it does.

Feed her things that are hard to keep in: lots of water, fruit, berries, actual whole wheat bread (been seeing a lot of 'whole wheat bread' labels lately that the first ingredient is white flour), beans, peas, nuts, seeds and fat/oil.

Avoid things that make the problem worse: cheese, milk, rice, meat, corn, popcorn, sweetened drinks and juice (except prune juice, which you may not be able to get her to drink, anyhow).

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answers from Cincinnati on

I actually went through this when I was a little girl (it's still embarrassing to admit years later!). It was hard on everyone involved. I would go ahead and give your daughter a laxative to get it out (yes, it's going to hurt because she held it so long, but she can make herself truly sick by holding it too long). Then, make sure things that will make the poop softer are part of her diet - lots of prunes, grapes, etc., stay away from things like bananas that add to constipation. Set aside the time when she usually poops for her to just sit on the toilet (I remember sitting on the toilet for what felt like forever, because I couldn't get up until I had gone). Come up with a really great treat for her when she does poop in the potty, and give it to her, even if you have to use a laxative - something immediate, not a reward later like going to the zoo, but something that happens right away, like her favorite candy or a new toy or something. You should talk to your doctor about this, because for me, the fear of the pain lasted for several years, and it would be good if you can nip it in the bud now. Good luck.

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answers from Orlando on

I am not sure how to answer this, as my parents didnt say very good things as I was a bit older. They actually told me what would happen to my colon if I did that. I definately do not reccoment that at all. Telling her that holding it in hurts worse is the correct thing, but it hurts a lot coming out too. Alos, by the time you read this you probably already figured out that Miralax does not work. I took that stuff recently twice a day for two weeks with NO DIFFERENCE. I was very scared and honestly I still am. I look like I am pregnant every 3 or 4 days, because of how full I am. I also have double scoliosis, so that interferes too with severe back pain. What does work and it makes it easier to go are foods very high in fiber. I hope this helps...:P



answers from Goldsboro on

My 4 year old went through the same thing just recently. The Miralax worked but she still won't do anything in the potty. She has done it 2 times while she was constipated but not since then. I don't know if I'm going to be of any help. I just wanted to let you know that I'm in the same boat as you more or less. Kylie, my four year old still goes in her pants. It's annoying. I don't know how to make her go in the potty either. Have you tried talking to your doctor to see if they have any suggestions on how to make her go in the potty? If not, you might want to check into that. I need to do the samething. I did tell my daugther's doctor at her 4 year check up that she still wasn't doing #2 in the potty, all she said was that it takes longer than doing #1. Good luck and I hope she feels better soon. J. A.



answers from Spartanburg on

fill her up with fluids (water, juices, broth for a meal etc..) and let nature take its course...she can't hold it forever! After she's gone (because she will, and if she doesn't go ahead and give her a enema...you'll have to force it on her, but she'll be happy you did) make sure she eats veggies AND drinks a lot otherwise all the fibers she is getting will do the opposite and turn into a hard ball in her anus, so veggies+water MUST go together. Also try psyllium, which is a natural soluble fiber that you mex with water and makes soft stool+ is a gentle laxative, do it for a month every day in empty stomach. It'll work! No more laxatives though, if she become resistant then it'll be a problem. Good luck.



answers from Greensboro on

Hi M.,
When my little one had problems, we went for a walk. It was a good time to talk but it also got things going so the urgency will make her want to go.

You got good advice so far but I wanted to add my two cents to what you were told. Psyllium will work. However, it can get stuck in the throat if it is not swallowed completely and flushed with water. It actually expands and gets sticky so it works really well for this problem (I take a psyllium supplement that is also an antioxidant everyday) A four year old may not be able to get it down. It is gritty and depending on which product you buy the taste varies.

Hope your little one gets to feeling better soon!


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