Potty Training a Toddler with Hirschsprung Disease

Updated on August 03, 2008
R.S. asks from Augusta, KS
9 answers

I was curious if anyone had a child with hirschsprung disease. I am starting potty training my 2 year 3 month year old and the sensation to go poop isn't there yet. Should I wait? He tells me afterward he poops that he needs a change. He wants to go potty and I don't want to lose that desire. Thanks for all you advice!

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answers from Topeka on

I don't know this disease and how it'll effect potty traing but you can sit him down on potty and give him a toy or a book to look at while you are talking to him letting him know what it feels like to go poop.If you give up now while he is interested then that will give him or any child the sense to not accomplish.They will feel like if mommy doesn't care why should I they may not say it but will in their responses and actions.They learn very young.

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answers from St. Louis on

I have a feeling you may not have received the responses people on here normally would have received because of your sons medical condition & maybe people's lack of knowledge regarding this. I am not familiar with this either, but intend to look it up for more understanding. Even so I would like to say that no matter what with a child potty training any progress they are making is still progress, it may take longer for the pooping part or apparently with this it may not happen (just from reading the other responses), but let him do as much as he can & don't stop. this will just frustrate him. I know this is a long time for a 2 year old, but a doctor had suggested for my niece to be set on the toilet for 20 minutes every morning as soon as she gets up as this is supposed to give the body the sensation of having to go poop and will eventually induce bowel movements. Since he is young (she was five) maybe you could do five minutes or set him there and read a book to him. Good luck & let him go at his own pace, it sounds like he is doing great already!



answers from St. Louis on

My nephew has hirschsprung's but he has a bag! so I dont know if I can help you.. he has only pooped maybe 3 times!!
I will ask my SIL and see what she says and get back to you!
Good Luck in the meantime!



answers from Kansas City on

R.--Hi! my name is J., and I am the Mom of a 21 year old who had developmental issues. I also am the information, resource and outreach specialist for the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Resource Center (MODDRC) at the Institute for Human Development at UMKC. I have information on potty training children with developmental disabilities. Please feel free to call the MODDRC at ###-###-#### (out of area? call 800-444-0821) and I would be happy to send you the information. All of our packets of info are sent free of charge. I look forward to hearing from you! Sincerely, J. Hatfield-Callen



answers from St. Louis on

Hi R.,
Sorry that I don't have any good advice, but if you don't mind ,I wanted to ask you a question about Hirschprung disease.

I have a just turned 7 yr old that has always had "pottying issues" I have been reading up about Hirschsprungs disease and have been wondering how it manifests itself? I think that she still does not really have the sensation to poop, she's always extremely constipated, and when I give her the Miralax (that the ped-gastro. recommends) it helps with that issue, but then she goes back to having accidents in her panties before she realizes that she needs to run to the bathroom. We can't seem to regulate the dose so that she doesn't have one problem or the other. She has had muscle tone problems and developmental delays as a baby. I don't know if this is the part of the problem also, it makes sense to me that her internal muscles could be "low-tone" as well.

From the small amount that I have read on the internet (not always reliable!) it seems as if Hirschsprungs can sometimes affect only a smaller part of the colon for some people and I am wondering if maybe this could possibly be part of her problem. Obviously, it isn't a major health issue for her as she is able to eventually have a bowel movement although it can be days or weeks sometimes without the miralax! So far we have dealt with this by trying to have her try to poop immediately after eating dinner or breakfast and sit on the toilet looking at books, etc. until it she can go it seems that it almost comes out without her knowledge. This works better sometimes than others.

Would you mind letting me know how you realized that your son had this disease and what kind of doctor diagnosed him? Also what were the doctors recommendations for treatment in his case?

Sorry for the long post! I wish you the best in helping your son learn how to overcome and deal with this concern.

Thanks a bunch!



answers from Kansas City on


I also am unfamiliar with this particular disease. However, my 12 year old daughter has never yet experienced the sensation to go poop. There are medical issues involved, apparently, but so far none of the doctors have figured out what it is that's wrong with her. Looking back on things, I'm certain that I also didn't have this sensation until well into adulthood, and when it finally started happening to me it was the most unpleasant sensation in the world! My daughter had problems for years. She is old enough now to understand...try to go when she first gets up, and try again about 20 minutes after every meal or snack. It's all about the timing. If the sensation isn't there, the poop still is, and it will still come out. Possibly since your son is younger, 20 minutes is too long a wait after meals, since youngsters process faster than adults. I hope this helps:) Good luck!



answers from Columbia on

Hi R.,
I have only read a little on this disease, but it sounds like you may want to ask your child's doctor or specialist about what he will physically be able to do on the potty. That way you can know what to expect.

I also think that if your son is interested, let him sit on the potty. He may just not have the control to be able to go only when he is on the potty. If you notice that he goes at certain times of the day or a certain amount of time after he eats, then maybe those are good times to suggest that he sits on the potty.

Make sure that he doesn't feel bad if he goes in his pants. He probably doesn't have the control or sensation yet so it is not his fault. Also, even children without this disease still take longer usually to learn to poop on the potty than to pee.

Sounds like he is doing great already, and make sure you keep it positive so he doesn't get frustrated.
Best wishes!



answers from Wichita on

Good Morning R., I have no idea at all what hirschsprung disease is, but I think it is ok to go ahead and try potty trying. Since he seems to want to. Our 3 yr old grandson would poop in his pull up at nap time. In the last week has he started going to poop in the toilet alone and then asks me to clean his hinny. So it does take a while no matter the age or desire to get the idea they can poop in potty and it won't hurt them. He can hold his PP for the longest time so I ask him then make him go try every couple of hours during the day. Now he goes by himself to PP too. It takes time and alot of patience. But eventually it happens and they are so proud.

God Bless you and your little guy.



answers from Kansas City on

Hi R.- My 6 yo nephew has hirschsprung disease. He has a bag but still needed to be potty trained. I asked my sil about this yesterday. She told me that training him to go pee pee in the potty was pretty typical. She said for a bowel movement it was important to have him sit on the toilet 3 times a day after every meal. He wore a pullup for a long time because a cough or sneeze can cause a problem. Now that he is a little older he is able to control it a little more but he still needs to go after meals. He wears underwear during the day but he still needs a pullup at night because the control isn't quite there yet. I hope this helps! J.