Miralax Vs. Suppositories

Updated on February 01, 2013
S.S. asks from Los Angeles, CA
12 answers

I took away my son's pullups and he is withholding his stool now. Today is the 3rd day. I think he just needs to poop once in the potty and he'll be OK. He's scared of the notion and he needs to see that it's OK to poop in the toilet. So I know there's a buildup of poop in his system. he was dancing around yesterday trying to hold it in. I've given him lots of fiber and juice/water so I know it's inevitably going to come out soon. In case it doesn't by tonight, I want to make him go so he doesn't get constipated. I'm debating the benefits of Miralax vs using suppositories... Which do you think would be better? Thanks!

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answers from San Francisco on

Since you have already done the fiber, I would go with suppository. Just put it in when he is sleeping at naptime and hopefully he will go shortly after that. Otherwise, massage and baths help as well as using a smaller potty so he sees its ok to go.

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answers from San Francisco on

I used Miralax for one of my kids on the advice of the pediatrician (half capful once a day). However I recently read something about Miralax lately about adverse reactions and I am glad my child has weaned off of it. (http://www.gutsense.org/gutsense/the-role-of-miralax-laxa...)

But I will say that it did help make it harder to hold and easier to come out, but we also made the transition to pooping on the potty gentler on him by drawing out the process into multiple stages.

First stage was to have him ask for a pull-up when he has to poop. So he was in underwear and pee trained, but if he wanted to poop, he would ask for a pull-up. We would put it on him, let him do his business, then back to underwear. If it was a false alarm, we'd let him stay in the pull-up for 10 min and then take it off and say we could try again later.

Second stage was to have him ask for a pull-up, but have him stay in the bathroom while he had the pull-up on. He could stand, sit, or lay down on the floor...it didn't matter. All that mattered was that he was in the bathroom. We would let him read or play with a small toy. The key was to get him used to that the bathroom is where we poop.

Third stage was going to have him sit on the toilet with the pull-up on with the intention that we'd consider cutting a hole in the back of the pull-up to let the poop fall through into the toilet as the 4th stage. However, we got lucky and got him to try sitting on the toilet without the pull-up after stage 2.

I can't remember how long each stage was. We waited until we got some consistent results for a while. It took the stress out of the process as we reduced the battle for control over where to go in the beginning and worked more on going when we need to go, even if it was just in a pull-up.

And once we were ready for poop on the potty, we started to do small toy rewards for going. After X many times of going poop in the potty, we got him a bigger, bonus toy (trike) and declared him done with toy rewards.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

When my daughter was a Toddler, although we didn't battle or push her about toileting/pooping... she started to "withhold" her poop.
And she got bad pains from it etc.
We then, per the Pediatrician, had to take her to a Pediatric Gastroenterologist. HE said:
- that withholding poop, is really bad for the internal organs. It can then, cause medical problems. ie: Encopresis, backed up bowels, bulging bowels, internal impaction, etc. AND that, it then causes emotion based problems. ie: pain in the child so then they do NOT even want to poop, because it causes pain and when it comes out and when they hold it in. So then, a vicious cycle, is created, and it is very hard to undo.
Thus, he said, that when a child is ready, they WILL learn to poop, in a toilet. Do not battle about it. Let them poop in a diaper. For the time being. Otherwise, they will get medical problems. He said, DO NOT use suppositories in a child. And he did NOT recommend Miralax. We, had to use prescription based, remedies. For my daughter.
It took, THREE months... for her body and for her poop, to normalize. And for her mental status about it, to normalize.
Just the idea of pooping in a toilet, caused her stress and anxiety... even though we did not force her or battle her, about it.

Constipation... is bad for the child.
All of this is per the Specialist, we had to see for my daughter.

Just give your son a diaper. He needs to poop.

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answers from New York on

Neither! Apes is completely on the money. Probiotics will heal him as what he is doing is not healthy to his entire body. Allow the body to do what it's meant to do. I think most probiotics are pretty much the same. I cured my son's chronic constipation with probiotics and a tiny dose anytime he is coming down with anything will cure him right away.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I went through 3 very very hard years with this. Miralax is every doctors solution to everything. It didn't work for my son, and I actually cringe when I see the word. The Pedia Lax liquid glycerin are small and slippery and are a good last resort. I have used them only twice though. Before you do, give him a time limit, tell him that if his belly doesn't push out his poop by (whatever time) you will have to give him some medicine. Be gentle but be direct. Don't threaten. Witholding even once can really snowball into a very long term issue.

What I strongly strongly suggest is a good pro-biotic like Culturelle. Don't even bother with the kids brand, as you can give the normal brand beginning at age two. It causes poop to be very lubricated. I know, gross, but it really does balance out belly issues, and I have to also say that since our son has been on it, he is never sick. No flu, no colds, no ear infections, no nothing. I minor runny nose and he goes to a full time preschool. Put it in a cool drink every day and make it a routine. You have nothing to lose by trying it. It's very expensive, but there are a lot to a box, you can find them cheaper at bigger box stores, and every box contains a coupon towards your next one. Money well spent.

My son does have added health issues, and goes to Occupational Therapy. But let me tell you the problems that withholding causes is really traumatic for the whole family. If left unchecked or not dealt with immediately, it can really lead to hard times. I don't mean to scare you, I just wish I had help when we went through it.

PM with any questions or concerns. I would help ANYONE out with this issue day or night.


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answers from Austin on

I have had the same issue with my LO holding her stools and frankly, it doesn't matter how many times or how long she sits on the potty. She will hold it until it comes out hard (even with Miralax) and causes a tear. I try to avoid that stage by giving her Pedia-Lax Liquid Glycerin Suppositories - it makes her go within a minute. I have spoken with our Pediatrician about her "holding issue" and talked to her about my plan asking if there are any lasting side effects she said it was fine. We've been doing this for the past month and she will go on her own about 50% of the time now. Much better than having to wait for five days for her body to force one out causing her to tear even worse. She has a high fiber diet, drinks plenty of water and again, I have tried the whole Miralax cycle but it doesn't help if she holds the poop in.


answers from San Francisco on

Well... we went through this with both kids, so I have an unfortunate amount of experience with it. What I learned through trial and error is that fiber causes the stool to be bulky. If he's not pooping, lay off of the fiber until he poops. Otherwise he will have basketball-sized poop (sorry, TMI, I know).

Miralax is not a laxative, it's a stool softener. You can't go wrong loading him up on that during the entire potty training process. It's not habit-forming, so go ahead and use it until he's routinely pooping in the toilet with no issues.

Now, to get him to go right now, you could go with the suppository, or if that offends him, you could give him a tablespoon of mineral oil in a cup of OJ. Wait an hour or two, and bam, he will not hold it in. Stay close to the bathroom though, because when he goes, he will REALLY go.

My older daughter was terrified to poop in the potty, and when I knew she had to go, I made her sit on the toilet. Just held her there until she went. She was upset, but got over it pretty much immediately, when she realized that everything was fine (and she felt SO much better not holding it in anymore!).

This is a tricky issue. Good luck with it.



answers from Los Angeles on

Want to second what S.H stated. Stool is not urine. He CAN hold it. I have seen kids this age end up in surgery to remove the stool. If he is not ready please give him a pull up and keep working with positive reinforcement. Check with your pediatrician before suppositories but glycerin works great.



answers from Charleston on

Miralax. My daughter had the same thing happen to her at age 3 when she started wearing panties. We gave her the suppository, and unfortunately, she remembers it to this day (she's 10 now). It was traumatic and horrible for her, for me, and my husband. We were all crying by the time it was in and then when she finally went. I do not recommend this way at all.

We've used Miralax since then because she gets constipated very easily with certain foods in her diet. It is gentle, and works effectively. I'd give your son a dose of Miralax, wait a few hours, keep him drinking and eating the whole time so he has the "urge" to go. If he hasn't had a movement after about 4 hours, you can give him another dose.

Good luck! It's so frustrating!



answers from Washington DC on

Maybe he's not ready for no pullup at all. I like the suggestion to use the pullup only for pooping right now and make a big deal to put it in the toilet and flush it. I would also look at the toilet setup. If you have the ring on the regular toilet, is it uncomfortable? My DD would use the potty all the time for bowel movements til we finally took the potty away (after she started using the regular toilet more). If you do not have a tall enough stool or a potty on the floor, I'd get one to make him feel more secure.

And, it's kind of gross, but sometimes Monkey See, Monkey Do. Does he ever sit on his potty while you or DH are in the bathroom doing your own business?



answers from Oklahoma City on

Miralax is going to be way less stressful for him. Do that.



answers from Appleton on

Neither. Laxatives are just BAD for the body.

Why take away the pull-ups? Just put him on the potty about every half hour to hour eventually he will just go. But if he does have an accident you will have all the clean-up to do with regular underwear. I wouldn't push it he will go on the potty when he is ready.

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