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.
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!
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...
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)
my friend recalls going thru this as a child. He had diarhea one day and it scared him. He was scared to poop- he thought the diarhea would come back. He was embarassed to tell his mother (he was @4 yrs old). Has your daughter experienced any recent stomach upsets? been eating spicy food? hope this helps.
This exact same thing happened to us when my son was 3 (he's now 15) he would pee in the potty but would not poop. He would only poop in a pull-up. I tried Metamucil Drinks &
suppositories. After putting one in him he'd say he had to go. Then he'd run in the bathroom, sit on the potty, push it out and say he felt better. He went 7 days without pooping & it was just hurting me as a mom. I finally put a pull-up on him & he went and hid in his room & pooped! I waited a few months more and then reasoned with him..... "I told him I had no more money to buy pull-ups for him and he would have to use the potty now." To my surprise he said, "okay" and started using the potty for all his potty needs.
Have you talked to her doctor? Maybe some natural laxative, so she has to go? Waiting for days is not healthy, maybe a counselor?
Best, E. H
Go to Mimi's Cafe and buy a bran muffin and let your daughter eat the whole thing. Believe me....she'll poop within an hour. My son did the same thing and the bran muffin worked!!!
Parenting is full of surprises, isn't it? I experienced a similar situation with my 3-year old son (who's now 5 and a half)...often kids go through a "fear of going poop." I've been told that it can seem to the child that they are 'losing' a part of them. I think as long as you're keeping fiber in her diet and she doesn't go longer than 3 days without a BM, she's okay. I know from experience that the more pressure and emphasis you put on it, the tougher it will be for her to go on her own. One thing that finally did work for my son, was allowing him to "go" in his pants, so he could have the (yucky)feeling of poop on him! He didn't like it at all! Just keep encouraging her that she's a big girl, she can do it. Have you talked to your pediatrician? Mine also had me give my son milk of magnesia in his milk at one time, to stimulate the "feeling." Have you also tried getting books about the topic? I know there's one called "Everybody Poops." Good luck, and remember this too shall pass; try to play it down so she isn't so anxious and it will be easier on you and the family. :)C. A.
I went threw the same thing when my daughter was this age. My daughter who is now 7 had to be hospitalized 3 different times and have all sorts of procedures because she refused to "go" and caused herself to get a blockage which got worse over time. I dont know if you have heard of Miralax? It is a gentle laxative medicine thats in powder form that dissolves in water or juice. This stuff saved my daughter from having another hospital stay or surgery. It back then was only available by prescription but now you can buy it over the counter, I have even seen it at Walmart. Its about $20 for a bottle but it is more than worth it and you give about a table spoon a day and its amamzing how well it works without bad side effects. I hope this helps and hope things work out for you. Oh and my daughters blockage was so bad, her colon, the last part of your intestine, was so streched out from her blockage that it stopped working and Miralax is what fixed everything! Sorry to be a little graphic, just wanted you to know how well it does work!
The important thing here is that you don't make a big deal of this. I had the same thing with my daughter and I was also worried about her health and such. This is what I know now and what I did. I stopped making a big deal of it to the point of not talking about it. I put one tablespoon of mineral oil (found at the drugstore) in applesauce or chocolate milk everyday. After a couple of days, she went poop in the potty and I praised her- "what a big girl you are!" "your body is telling you that it doesn't need that stuff." Then I dropped the subject. I continued to give her mineral oil until she was going on a more consistent basis. Another important thing to know is that some kids don't poop everyday. Just because as adults our bodies process poop everyday (or at least I do) that doesn't mean the kids need too. Feel free to send a message to me if you want more advice. Good luck! A.
Could it be she needs more fiber? Our doctor recommended for emergencies we give her magnesium citrate which is a liquid that comes in different flavors and is sold at the local drugstores. I have a freind who, as a young adult, still struggled with it and would grind up flaxseed and sprinkle it on her food. Flaxseed is soft and can possibly help it come out easier without it getting messy. My daughter went throught it and it got pretty bad, she'd go once every two weeks and cried when she finally had to let it go. The day before she would be lethargic, sleepy and I would find her hiding in her room on her knees holding her tummy. The doctor's recommendations were good but it didn't change the problem. I really think my daughter's was psychologicial so I would go to the bathroom with her. The size and smell of the stool can be alarming and can cause a little bleeding when she does finally go. Plus, it can clog up the toilet so have a plunger ready. I would sit her on the potty, I sat on the floor in front of her and talked to her so that she would more comfortable. Many times I had to caress the top of her thigh or put my arms around her while she cried. It took until she was in Jr. High before it went away so be aggressive now about finding the cause and solution.
Holding it just makes it worse, but of course your daughter doesn't know this. Try Senecot for children. It worked with my daughter. It may be painful for her to poop right now so she needs a softener. Once that works, things may get better.
OMG, your story sounds like my life! I have a 3 year old daughter and she's been constipated since she started eating solid foods at 4.5 months old! I've been taking her to doctors and finally saw a specialist. He suggested to give her Mirelax for about 3 months straight so that she would get used to the feeling of a soft bowl movement. He also said that her rectum had stretched from holding it in and in order to "repair" itself she would need to have 3 months of soft stools before it would correct itself. I'm now almost 2 months into the treatment; however, I am also going to get her tested for food allergies. A good friend of mine is allergic to wheat and this caused her to be constipated most of her life to the point where she was unable to get out of bed. Other more natural solutions which I still have to try are 1/2 - 1 tsp flaxseed oil 1-2 times/day, prunejuice mixed with equivalent part water and juice from 1/2 of lemon, and a high fiber cereal before bed. My daughter is a very picky eater; however, I do not give in and let her eat junk food. I don't even have junk in my house. She eats high fiber foods, gets fruit every day and drinks lots of fluids all day long. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing about your progress.
She probably doens't want to poop because she's so backed up it hurts. Take her to the doc and talk about a lax or stool softener to get things going. Start over, don't make a big deal of things or she'll be more stubborn. She's probably afraid to poop. She could also be giving herself hemorroids which will make it all that much more painful.
Many years ago my now 14 daughter did the same thing, it was unbelievable because she was such a wonderful toddler and to was easily potty trained or so I thought.
What we did is come to an agreement about pooping and that was that she could use a diaper but she needed to go into the bathroom to poop. I know it heard to believe that if you can discuss this than it should be a simple process to get them to go on the toilet, but as we know this is not the case.
Once we agreed and the pressure was off her, she quit holding it and pooped in the diaper. This went on for about 5-6 months and then one day, I have no idea why, she said she was ready to poop on the toilet.
I guess the moral to this story is that when they are ready that's when it will happen! Don't push it just be there to understand and know that it is not a reflection on your parenting but a process that is just harder for some kids!
Your daughter may also be like mine and just have Coprophobia- Fear of feces. It makes it hard for them to go to the bathroom. With that said, all you need is patience and a lot of understanding of what she's dealing with. Just speak to her in a calm reassuring voice and hold her hand when she's on the toilet and soon she'll feel a little more sure of herself. There are days still even at the age of 8 that I have to sit with my daughter and just talk her through it. Especially when she's gone a couple of days without going. But back when she was around the age of 4 man was it hard. But for the most part she's going ok on her on now. Patience...
Best of Luck
This is normal and happens all the time. My 3yr old son was doing the same thing. You can't force them, or they hold it longer. I got a present, wrapped it, and put it on the fire place. I told my son when he was a big boy...pooping on the potty. That he would be able to open the present. It didn't happen over night. But it did finally happen. I also made sure he was getting more fiber. Fiber one bars, fruit, veggies.... Then he had to poop more. And the stools were softer. A lot of times they don't like the sensation of the poo coming out. And if at all constipated, it can hurt. And 3 yr olds seem to remember that. J.
My daughter did the same thing starting a little younger and lasting awhile. I'd echo those that say go the doc who will likely prescribe a stool softener. We got Miralax, which was good. You need to keep using it for a little while even after she regulates to get her used to pooping and not afraid of it. It can be quite traumatic as you've noticed and it only builds if you don't do something. Baby food prunes on toast worked sometimes but sometimes only the medicine was successful. Don't do a suppository in my opinion. We tried that once and it only freaked her out and made things more traumatic. Likewise, bribing NEVER worked. She was afraid to poop and that was more powerful than any bribe. My daughter is totally fine now at almost 6, and has been for a couple of years, but still she only poops every 2-3 days, it's just the way her body works.
My daughter went through this too. I took her to a pediatric gastroenterologist who prescribed Miralax. She has now been on it for a year and poops in the potty. Yes change her diet, water down liquids, soy milk and fat free organic would be good too. Fruits with each meal and don't bug her about it. I know how hard it is to have to carry around a diaper bag but believe me when my daughter finally got it, she was out of pull-ups in a week. She didn't even have to wear them at night. But she was over four years old. Be patient, work on her diet and use miralax and don't bug her about pooping on the potty. Just get the bowels moving first, the toilet learning will have to wait. Good luck!
My daughter did this around the same time. I believe in our case she was reacting to our unstable homelife at the time- if they cant control the homelife the can control the poop. Also pooping can be scarey if it has hurt in the past. My daughter would lye on the ground, straight legs, wrapped at the ankles and just tightly roll back and forth on the ground.
After making everyone in the house miserable along with her I finally put lots of epsom salts in the warm bath and got in with her then when she started to act like she had to go I forced her into a squat position. She pooped alot out into the tub. Of course I used alot of compassion and loveing words of encouragement while doing this. She went quite a bit and we talked about "HOw MUCH BETTER THAT FEELS TO GET IT ALL OUT OF THERE!!!" Then she got a prize and lots of praise. For about a week after that when she had to go again I would hold her, sometimes force her, again in that squat position, over the bathroom sink (this made it easier for me to hold her and somewhat fascinating for her to watch in the mirror all that poop come out- again, reiforcing how good that feels to get it out...lots of love and compassion...prizes,,, she really did feel better afterward so she started connecting the scarey experience with now being supported through it...and then ahhhh relief! After about a week of holding her over the sink she started trying on the toilet and soon was on her way.... of course cont the foods that encourage soft bowels. My daughters colon was very stretched out and so her poops were very huge- bigger than huge poops even for and adult...thus making the problem that much worse.... try to get on it asap as my daughter still has huge poops..as a six year year old.
First off, sorry you're going through this. But you need to make sure your daughter goes poop. We went through almost the same exact thing with my son last year (right after he turned 4). He had been completely potty trained but had gotten really sick for almost a month. After having diarrhea, it was like he was afraid to go poop, so he would hold it in as long as he possibly could. To the point of his body forcing it out and he would just scream. I too tried everything from treats to bribes to time outs. None of it worked. Our doctor eventually sent us to a pediatric gastroenterologist, thinking there was something wrong because he stopped gaining weight. My son stopped wanting to eat because he knew it would make him go to the bathroom. It was awful.
The only thing that worked for me was making sure he sat on the toilet atleast every other day until he went. The specialist also told me to give him Miralax each day to help soften his stool. They said one capful to start until he began going, then go to a half a capful. I only tried that stuff for a couple days before my son started going. But I MADE him sit on the toilet until he went. He screamed and cried, but we knew it was the only way to ensure he would get a healthy routine again. It took about a month to get him back to normal, but we did it and haven't had any problems since.
It may be a bit hard for you since your daughter hasn't started going poop on the potty yet, but just be firm and consistent and she will learn. Good luck, and hopefully this helped some. Take care.
My friend just had me start taking one tablespoon of apple cider vinagar a day. It cleans out the whole system. If you gave her 1 teaspoon it should work the same for her since she is small. It works like a laxative and it is healthy although it tastes horable. Put it in a medicine dropper and try to shot it past the tip of her tonge where the taste buds are. If she holds her poop it will become more solid and usually solid poop hurts more when it comes out. Also Raisins and cranberry juice will loosen her up more. Good Luck, D.
Use a depository, if she doesn't like that then tell her she has to go on her own. It's one or the other. Tell her that holding it in will give her sores that will bleed inside her and then a doctor will have to stick his hands in her bottom to take care of the sores. Groose and graffic yes, but if she doesn't like a depositoy in her bottom then she surly won't want a doctor's hand. Plus reminder her of how her tummy feels when she won't pooh. Bottom line make her sit their all day till she goes. She will learn that the faster she goes the faster she is free from this punishment. Good Luck! J.
I don't know if you've already tried this, but it seemed to work for my son... (however, he was 41/2, close to 5 at the time).
He was already potty-trained for about two years when this happened and I thought we were well passed the potty stage, but suddenly, he didn't want to go poop anymore.
I think what happened is he was constipated once and had a painful BM and then was afraid to go after that, because one time he was saying it hurt and after that didn't want to go. He would hold it until the last second, and even then, would not sit down and acknowledge that he was going, but would stand up and go on the floor or in his pants b/c he was so desperate to hold it in.
We took him to the doctor and found nothing wrong- behavioral only. The doc gave us a mild laxative, though, which he HATED.
A friend who went through the same thing suggested that I focus on sitting him on the toilet at the same time each day and making sure he sits there for a certain amount of time and reads or something, and then give him a sticker for each day he sits there. At the end of the week, a sticker on each day leads to a toy. At first, we said nothing about going, just sitting there. We tried to get him comfortable with sitting on the toilet again.
Then once he actually went in the potty (took a few days, and then it was only a tiny, reluctant little turd) we praised him and upped the sticker ante- each time you actually GO POOP you get a sticker, and just worked it progressively like that.
He did backslide after doing great for several weeks but I just explained to him that if he doesn't go, his body will get sick, so unfortunately I have to make him go by giving him that yucky medicine, and actually that, almost more than the stickers, was enough to get him to sit down and try, even though it was hard and I could tell he was scared.
The next hurdle was getting him to go at school- where he was also chronically holding it.
I think the laxative he despised so was a gentle, OTC- oh, Milk of Magnesia! That was it. Doc said was mild enough for kids. He absolutely DESPISED it, and the thought of getting a mouthful of it made him sit down and try (though I didn't give him the laxative until 3 days or so went by without a BM).
Also, I'm sure you've done this- but if you haven't- sit down and talk with her about poop (maybe with some books on the subject) and how important it is to remove waste from the body to keep us healthy, how everyone does it, how the more you hold it, the scarier it gets because it gets bigger and harder and makes it painful to go- I know my son was older at the time, but he's also a boy and girls tend to understand these things earlier so she'd probably understand you.
Hope this is helpful- don't worry, it will pass- it took 4-5 months or so to really get past it for my son, but it will pass.
There was a tape/DVD that I got for my son when he was young...it was with BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE and it was on going potty. It showed kids where it goes, why it comes out, the whole thing. Giving them the understanding that they aren't losing a part of their 'body' seems to be important. And until the DVD, never realized all the stuff that could be rolling around in their heads about this potty thing.
I believe 'BEAR' also had one on brushing teeth. I hope you can find it. You might want to google it.
My son watched this tape a handful of times long before I was ready to train him. But about 3 months before his 3rd birthday he was running around before a shower and then realized he had to go. We always had a kid potty sitting there but never used it, and I told him run sit on the potty! Then we took that and poured it down into the toilet. He was potty trained from that point on. I told him for months prior that by his 3rd birthday no more diapers. So between the mental 'prep' time, and then that one incident when he got to use the potty, he was hooked.
That was the extent of our potty training...ahahaa. About a week later, he messed in his pants twice that day. I asked him why? He said it was 'tiring' to go to the potty, pull your pants up, then down, then up then down...EVERY time you have to go??!!! We laughed and explained that that's what all big people have to do from now on.
That was the end of that.
I hope to have the same ease of transition for my daughter here soon.
I have the tape out after reading your story! I had almost forgotten about it.
I was in your EXACT situation: a 3 year old who wouldn't go #2 (for many days on end!) and a daughter 18 months old. My pediatrician recommended pure corn syrup 1 tsp/3 times per day. I am very health conscious, so I did it with trepidation. It seemed to help a little, but not enough.
My mother recommended mineral oil which she used with my younger sister when she was constipated as a toddler.
I was able to have my son take the mineral oil(2 tbsp to 6 ounces of milk) with his bottle in the morning (he still enjoys one bottle of milk a day) and it worked wonderfully. The bowel movements came out very easily and more often.
I only had to do this for a few days.
Good luck; it will get better--my son has zero problems now.
This is called Potty training resistance specifically bowel resistance... it can occur from disciplining while potty training, too much pressure, a painful bowel movement etc. My son was resistant and we were given the following information and once followed, worked wonders :)
I went through this similar situation a few years back. What ended up working for my daughter was to give her two glasses of the Purple Grape Juice and wait almost an hour. Then I'd put her on the Toilet with myself sitting by her and read a book to her. She could not fight the grape juice in her system and did end up going while I read the book. Maybe, this could work for you.
We did try the Bran, Prune Juice and even the Mineral Oil. They did not work on her. A few times we did use a laxative which worked wonders on the really bad days. But the Grape juice is what really worked for her.
Just so know, my daughter is much older now and still holds it! And I still give her Grape juice and tell her to get to busy on the toilet. Our Dr. said this "Holding It" situation is common..
My son turned 3 in February and did this too for awhile. he would refuse to poop in the potty or in a diaper. He was afraid of letting us down because we were pushing the potty training too much. I laid off of the whole potty training thing for a few weeks and about 3 weeks later he was completely potty trained (poop and pee). I was so anxious to get him to potty train I guess I pushed him to hard and it stressed him. I would just remember to ask my son if he had to go, but if he said no then I didn't stress the issue. I would just put her back in pullups or diapers and leave it be for awhile. I seriously thought my son would be in diapers forever, but he said one day he wanted to wear his big boy undies and hasn't gone back since. Good luck!
W., you will get through this and successfully! My niece went through this when she was young (and she lived in the same house). She didn't want to go because it was too large and was VERY painful to come out. My sister tried all that it sounds like you are doing - natural items. The doctor mentioned using stool softeners because they are not harmful to adults or children. My niece took stool softeners after that for probably a few months. Somehow after that, she was regular and no longer dealt with the great size. Stool softeners are located around laxatives but are much more gentle than those and won't cause her to go, but make what needs to come out a whole lot easier. To me, your daughter sounds just the way my niece sounded - when it is painful, of course they don't want it to come out. This works. Good luck & God Bless You!!!!
Have you tried having her read the book "Everybody Poops"? I remember that was the only way we could get my sister to go potty. It was because of that book- that she would actually start to use the toilet. It might help? Not sure- worth a try. It might make it fun for her! Good Luck!
My 4 year old did the same thing with pee, holding it forever. We went to the doctor to rule out infection. This started after her sister was born. A friend told me she might be doing it because it's something that she can control. Was something new going on in your/her life when this started? It's important to talk to your daughter about how she is feeling and try to determine why she is afraid. Keep it simple. Many times children need to know their feelings are valid. If she says she's afraid, instead of saying "there's nothing to be afraid of" respond by saying, "It's scary for you to go poo, isn't it." She'll probably find it easier to talk about it if she feels heard. Ask questions to determine what is scaring her. If it continues you might want to go to the Pediatrician to rule out any physical problems. There is a fun children's book called "Everyone Poops" by Taro Gomi. Hang in there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
If you have any specific questions, feel free to email me.
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.
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.