Soiling again - recently potty trained 3½yo - ERIC

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Soiling again - recently potty trained 3½yo


Hello all,

My son was potty trained over the Christmas holidays (we know how to have fun in this house!). He took to it brilliantly and even started pooing once a day on the potty, a proper grown up poo, not his usual tiny poos throughout the day. He knew when he needed to go and did it no problem, whereas he would withhold whilst wearing nappies. He's on a maintenance dose of 1 sachet of motion a day so the poo was still nice and soft, he had no issues with it being painful.

However, four weeks in and he has started soiling and I feel a bit stuck about how to deal with this. I *think* he needs a clear out but I'm just not sure - the 'soiling' isn't dark and hard like it used to be, it's soft and a bit like cream cheese in consistency which we haven't encountered before. He hasn't done a 'proper' poo in about 4 days and the soiling is quite heavy - again not the odd bit like before. We're throwing pants away as they're just so heavily soiled.

I'm wondering if this is too much movicol or not enough? Anyone with any experience or thoughts please let me know. Also, if I do clear him out do I stick to him using the potty or go back to pullups during the process? I'm sure you'll all recognise my feelings of frustration and thinking I might actually go mad 😊



9 Replies

Hi Abby, sorry to hear about the soiling, it's frustrating for everyone isn't it! So much washing. Fab that he's taken to potty training so well though. Before you do anything, my advice would be triple his fluid intake. Whatever it takes- milkshakes, juice, water etc so he's getting atleast 800-1000mls a day. My daughter is 4.5 and has suffered with on off soiling for over 2 years. I reduced dairy and heavily upped how much she drank (it worked for us having 1 cup at each eating time so 5 times a day). improved practically overnight! She's on 1 sachet movicol maintenance too. xx

Ah yes, dairy, that old foe! He has very little anyway (I'm vegan, bringing kids up as vege) & I'm a big believer that too much dairy is no good for our poor human tummy! Glad you managed to find a solution for your daughter and thanks for the reply.

Totally recognise those feelings of frustration Abby! I think a few people on here have used Movicol so hopefully you'll get some helpful thoughts. How old is he by the way?

Best of luck with it :) Ali

Alibee75 in reply to Alibee75

Duh just noticed it's in the title of your post that he's 3 1/2 ... lol not very observant!

Abbybarker in reply to Alibee75


First of all, check if it is true soiling or not. If the poo is smelly and has a consistency like tar that will not wash out of the pants under a tap, it is likely overflow soiling and it will mean he has some hard poo somewhere in his gut and I would increase the Movicol by a half sachet every few days. If the soiling is watery and washes out easily then cut back on Movicol by half a sachet.

Plenty of praise and make sure he is happy with where the potty is placed.

Abbybarker in reply to FranAdam

It's definitely more watery - not the hard tar like, smelly poo we've had before. I upped him to three sachets a day which forced him to do a decent poo the I've dropped him back to one.

Thanks for the reply, helped a lot.

Thanks all for the comments, it's so nice to have such a great community of those who understand.

I think I may have presumed the worst and panicked. I've reset the potty training - regular sitting on the potty after meals, wrestling him on to at the first sign of him holding in a poo, moving the potty back in front of the TV by way of using cbeebies as a distraction - and it seems to be working. We've had proper poos for the past three days and today no soiling at all.

I'm just going to have to keep on line this for a while I think, it was a combination of being a bit too relaxed as he was *so* good at the potty training and an illness last week that upset our routine.

I'll update if there are any changes. Thanks again.



If children are on too high doses of laxatives then they cannot feel when their bowel is full and it just oozes out of them. You can reduces these occurrences by taking them to the toilet 40 mins after meals to 'drain' them.

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