Toddler Who Holds Her Bms

Updated on September 13, 2006
J. asks from Powell, OH
10 answers

Does anyone have any advice for what to do for a toddler that holds their BMs because they don't want to go? I have a daughter who just turned 3 a month ago. She isn't potty trained yet. This started a few months ago, but she will go for several days without having a BM (which I know not everyone goes everyday), but then she will start saying things like "I'm cold" which we've discovered signal that she has to go. Anyways, it's been almost a week today and she had an episode where she started crying for nearly 40 minutes and rocking back and forth while sitting on the floor and I kept asking her if she had to poopy and she would say she didn't want to go. I don't think it's a matter of that she can't go; it's just that she won't. I previously called her doctor about this a while ago and they suggested using mineral oil in her beverages to keep her BMs soft which we've done. Her abdomen isn't bloated or distended and she's eating fine. Whenever we talk about "going poopy" she will say no or she doesn't want to so I don't know if I should just try to distract her when I can tell she has the urge so that maybe she will forget about it and just go or what would help. If anyone has any words of wisdom, I would really appreciate it.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Columbus on

We went through the exact same thing as well. You have gotten some great responses, and I just wanted to add a few things. First, the miralax didn't work for us! It just made her need to go more often, which just meant more tears before pooping. We did use Milk of Magnesia, and that helped somewhat. What helped us the most was adding ground flaxseed to her spaghetti sauce. She couldn't even tell it was in there, it gave her the added fiber to make her regular, and it worked like a charm. She used to hold it for a week at a time, so increasing the frequency was key for us! Good luck and I hope you find something that works for you!

More Answers



answers from Columbus on

I went through this a lot with my daughter when she was 2-3 years old. Our doctor helped solve it in two ways: a prescription powder called Miralax (or generic called Glycolax) to mix in her drink or food once a day (oatmeal works great - they never notice it), and sit on the potty for 10 minues after each meal and at bedtime. The powder helps things along gently, but is not as messy as mineral oil, just makes things work easier ;-) And taking at least one 10-minute block a day on the potty trains her muscles to know what to so. The combination of both strategies works beautifully, but get ready to stick with it for a few weeks to really solve the problem for good. Ask your doc about mirolax and make her sit on the potty 10 minutes after meals and bedtime, and you'll be amazed at the results. :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cincinnati on

We had the same problem with our oldest child. In the end, I would have her choose a book she really liked that was on the long side (10 minutes or so). I would tell her that I would read this to her while she sat on the potty. I also used toy catalogues to flip through and we would have long conversations about what she liked and did not like and her wish lists etc. It has never failed to distract her enough to allow the poops to come. I did this every day for awhile and then only if I noticed she had not gone from one day to the next and soon enough she was all set. Good luck. It is an anxiety provoking thing for every was for us.



answers from Columbus on

I read through the other responses..and wanted to quickly comment on your situation. I do feel that the mom who said it was more mental than medical..i have to agree with. I would look into your daycare facility and ask some questions first of all. Secondly, keep in mind that you are pregnant..and little ones are smart. She might be doing somethings for attention or "fear of" the unknown of you and the new baby, etc. These are just a few things i wanted to share..i am a mother of three..and have been around kids a lot more before becoming a mom. It sounds like the medical thing you are on top of...usually with things like this they are more mental. I think if it was hurting her physically you would see symptoms. (i.e. bloated belly, gas, etc.) Goodluck to you with this..i know that this has to be hard to not be there with her during the day to see how she does and how they are dealing with potty training at the daycare.



answers from Columbus on

It sounds like it may be the change in a new baby coming. She may feel if she starts going poop in the potty that she is a big girl then and won't get as much attention, where as right now she's getting a lot of attention over when she goes potty. When my son was little he had a constipation problem, and the way we helped it along was prune juice. If you mixed it with some apple juice it would probably help it along. Or, I had the same problem with my second, my daughter. Her problem was though, she didn't like going poop on the toddler potty. She did however like it when I bought one of those seats for the big potty. She would still go pee in the little potty, but poop in the big potty. It's all mental, and probably not giving it so much attention will help. If your physician is saying she is healthy it's just something she is going through I probably wouldn't be too concerned.



answers from Lansing on

Sorry to hear of your childs discomfort. This is a long shot, but my best friend had a daughter who did the same thing. Come to find out after months of this going on. She finally looked very close at her daughters bottom (anus) and found that a small piece of skin had adhered through the center and when she would go poop, it was forced to go out one side or the other and was extremely painful therefore she would hold it and then it would become hard, etc. etc. You may want to take her in for an actual exam!? Just a thought, hope this helps.... Have her eat lots of apple sauce too:)



answers from Columbus on

Hi I am dealing with this now with my 23 month old. Hers is all mental. She was a very constipated baby and associates pooping with pain. She began holding hers also only making it more painful when she finally had to go. She would hold on to something, turn beat red, and scream. We at first thought she couldnt go but after seeing a specialist at Childrens we figured out she was holding it. We have done the mineral oil thing but it also didnt work enough. My daughters issue of not wanting to go got so bad she is now on a daily Laxitive (miralax) that makes her stools so soft she doesnt even know they are coming out. They want her to forget all about going so she no longer associates it with pain then we will slowly lessen the miralax and make her push a little then a little more until she is finally off of it. The problem is this could take a year or more and we are not aloud to potty train her. Really you cant because her stool just "falls" out she has no control over it.

I hope you can get some answers. Some things we did before the miralax is p fruits everyday (pear, peaches, prunes etc.) usually 3 meals a day. A glass of prune juice (might have to mix with something to make it taste better) once a day. The mineral oil in pudding twice a day. Also the specialist told us when we she her trying to hold her poop or not want to go take her to blow bubbles. She said you can not hold that muscle and blow bubbles at the same time. Recently she still got constipated (how I dont know!!!!!) and we did this. It worked like a charm. She forgot about holding her poop started blowing bubbles and went!

Another thing the specialist also told us to give the mineral before bed. Like once before nap time (if she takes a nap) and then right before bed for the night. Their body obvioulsy relaxes at night and with that and the mineral oil they are more likely to go.

Now given all of that I realize my child is much younger than yours and you are dealing with potty training!



answers from Wheeling on

Oddly, this fear of going suggests something mental, not medical. Not mental as in there's something wrong with her, but mental as in she's picked up the idea somewhere that going poo is a BAD thing and she's clinging to it.

I'm wondering if her caregivers were loudly dissapproving of her or another child goiong in their pants and that started it. If they are attempting to potty train her and are using more agressive verbal messages it tends to cause a child to just kind of "fear" going at all.

My oldest daughter had a similar problem. It turned out my then husband, would yell at her for either a)not wiping properly when she tried on her own or b) yell for her going in her pants when she was thought going at all meant she'd be in trouble. (And yes, I took care of the situation between them-lol. He's no longer in our lives.) Kids look at situations a lot differently than adults do. And they have a reason for everything, even if we don't think they should.

I think maybe talking to her calmly, getting her some kid level books about going poo, and maybe letting her see that other kids do, in fact, go poo all the time might help out a lot.

And don't make a fuss if there are accidents. Just calmly state, "Oh, you had an accident? Ok, let's get your pants changed then..." When you don't make a big deal out of it, some of the fear will be gone.



answers from Cleveland on

Hello, my daughter was almost 4 and she was completely potty trained except for poopy. She would beg me for a pull-ups and hide to go poop. She was very frightened by the toilet for poopy. She went pee on the toilet fine. We tried bribing her, reading to her, talking to her while on the potty, I even tried to be stern. She would hold it too, until she begged me for the pull-ups and had to go. I gave in because I did not want her to get sick. I was at home mom so I did not mind the diaper thing once a day. We finally had a poop party, cake and everything when she went. And then she was okay. I don't know what was the problem, I knew it was strange but she truely was afraid and I did not want to make it worse. All I can say is be patient and talk to her. It will come. Good luck with everything and the new baby.



answers from Cleveland on

I used to have to put a pull up on my daughter when she had to go poop. One day I took her Barbie (which she was really into at the time) and I put some little chocolate chips in my hand so that she wouldn't see them...I took Barbie and held her over the potty lkike she had to go...I told my daughter "Look Barbie goes poopy on the potty" and I slowly dropped the chips into the potty...That was all it took..she then wanted to go poop on the potty... If your daughter has a favorite doll or toy I would give that a try...Good luck...

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches