Withholding Stool Even Though He Is on Miralax

Updated on July 26, 2010
J.J. asks from Los Angeles, CA
7 answers

I am wondering Why my child is still trying to withold stool even though he is on a high level of Miralax. He has about three tablespoons a day. The goal was to get him pooping so much that he did not have time to wothold. Even though he is on all of the lax he still does the dance. I am soooooooo frustrated and want to help him so much. He will be three next month. The funny thing is that I tried potty training last Nov. in which we stoped because he had H1N1. He was also getting one flu after another at school. During that time he was going pee pee on the potty but would never poop in the toliet. Rahter he always waited for nap time when I put his pull up on. None the less we stoped due to HINI and the stress of all that. Off and on he was suffering from constipation and on ocassion he would get Miralax. Nothing was that bad but I was told I should wait to potty train by his doctors so I have. It got worse again in April for some reason he held in his poo for 6 days and we had to give him an enema to clean him out. He had been on Miralax ever since. I am wondering why the problem is getting worse. I am wondering if he is withholding because he needs to be trained again. Everythime he goes poo in his pull up he is fully aware and says mommy change me or I am wet or the big one mommy. I need help with this please someone

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answers from Los Angeles on

HI J.,

oh, I feel for you; we're in the middle of a similar experience at my house. Thankfully, the Mirilax is working for us, and my son is using the toilet more or less regularly.

At this point, I would suggest you have a long conversation with your Ped. and consider asking for a referral to a behavioral specialist. There are many reasons that kids will withhold, and both the physical and emotional aspects need to be addressed. Since he is still fighting the urge, I'd say it's time to call in some more support.

What has worked for us is to have a conversation with our son about helping his intestines work better. He knows that the Mirilax is his "poop medicine" and is eager to take it. We also use some prizes for when he has a bowel movement on the toilet. Nothing expensive: superballs, cheap party favors from Micheal's and the Party Store, stuff like that.

Best of luck to you -- this is a difficult one to survive, but you both will, and he'll go off to school in good shape! :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

All I can tell you is my daughter is 4 next month with the same problem. She is on twice the dose of miralax & all that does is cause her to go all day long; in her pull up, and she's not able to control it because it's soooo runny. So, she goes without holding but I don't think it's helping her with anything other than to stay "cleaned out"! It is sooooo frustrating! We've tried not making it an issue; we've tried to use each diaper changing as a "teaching" opportunity just talking to her about how comfortable she would be by pooping on the potty; we've tried "bribing"her to just try to go on the potty......we watch her diet...make sure she gets lots of fluids....and.....this has been going on for 1 year!!! Someone else has posted this same issue......and, I've yet to see anyone with an answer that works! Good luck....I'm with ya on this one! ARGH

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answers from Boise on

Ok- get him off the mirilax. That stuff is anti freeze. (really). And it is not even FDA approved for long term use( i think no longer than a few weeks)

You can safely put him on all natural magnesium, even long term. In fact, it is a crucial mineral (right up there with calcium) but most of us do not get nearly enough. I suggest either citrate or malate. You can even get babycalm from online or kidcalm- those have dosing intructions. Magnesium works by calming the nerves and keeping the muscles relaxed.

Mirilax works by pulling water from the rest of his body(brain, stomach, central nervous system, etc) and moving it to his colon. What that does is severely dehydrate him AND it can cause injury to the brain.



answers from Sioux Falls on

I would give him 1/4 tsp of powdered acidophilus bifidus a day. It will regulate his gut and make it easier for him to go. He probably does not like straining to go #2. Bifidus will help, without making his stools loose (which is no fun either) You can go to www.nut-dyn.com and order Metagenics Ultra Flora DF. It is pharmaceutical grade. We prescribe it all the time at our clinic and have had very good results. You can mix it with yogurt, applesauce, pudding, etc.



answers from Portland on

If he's had stressful/painful experiences with pooping, and most especially if he sees those experiences as being connected with or caused by the potty, then it's quite natural for your son to NOT want to do THAT distressing thing again.

My grandson had a similar experience shortly after he was poop-trained, near the age of 3, and it set him back a few months. But when all the pressure to use the potty relaxed, there were no more issues. Everything smoothed out and he was better able to understand that his cooperation would make things easier, and trying not to poop would only make things harder and more uncomfortable. But until the pressure from eager parents was removed, he was stuck in a defensive, resisting position, emotionally and physically.

I can't tell from your request what your tone is with your son when he uses his diaper. I suspect that if you can keep your response accepting, patient, and supportive of his needs without babying (can be tricky, but can be done), he'll get to that natural transition into the independence a potty can bring.

I've also seen enthusiastic recommendations for the book It Hurts When I Poop, which a number of parents have found helpful. And I would sure take some of those questions you have to a pediatrician for medical guidance.

Good luck. Keep in mind that boys are not always ready to train until somewhat later. 3.5 or 4 years are not uncommon. You can push and push until they're ready, or you can wait until they show interest and initiative (prepping them with positive messages, puppets pottying, videos and books until then).



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J. - you HAVE to try Juice Plus soft chews for him. Not only so you can get him off Miralax so he can have healthy poops, but the nutrition will get his immune system healthier so he will be less likely to get colds, flus, H1N1 or even more serious illnesses. I have several Juice Plus customers who were having the same issues (even having child on Miralax for almost two years which you don't want to do!) and after a month of daily Juice Plus their children became regular poopers and overall healthier kids. I'm sure they would be willing to talk to you if you wanted to hear it directly from them that it works. Juice Plus is actually concentrated fruits and vegetables, not a manmade supplement. It's got a nutrition label and is considered food. The high concentration of nutrients, and the fiber from the wide variety of fruits and vegetables gets the body and the GI tract functioning better. There is a ton of independent research proving Juice Plus improves immune function, helps repair DNA, improves cardiovascular health, gets into the blood and works. You can check it out at wethriveonjuiceplus.com. Feel free to contact me if you'd like to talk. Regularity is the least of the benefits of taking Juice Plus. In the mean time, I hope he feels better very soon and you can get him off that Miralax.



answers from Los Angeles on

our son had very similar issues, and we'd get the call from preschool, "he's doing the dance again." We never gave him a laxative, but did put mineral oil in his juice (as directed by our pediatrician). This does not cause a runny stool, or a mess--which is exactly what anal retentive children are worrying about. I remember when the pediatrician said those words, and it struck me,
that that is where that term comes from.

The oil is odorless and tasteless and lubricates the passageway, so it is easy and painless to poop, and difficult to withold. It took a few months for him to relax and accept-- but once he got the hang of it, he much preferred the clean feeling of pooping in the toilet and an easy wipe, to a messy diaper. and then we stopped using it altogether.

He is now 16, and is a bit anal about things...but in a good way. He is responsible, and careful and takes very good care of his things--not typical teenage traits from what I hear. So don't despair, but I would definitely stop with the miralax, it just doesn't sound healthy to get him dependent on something like that.

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