27 month old holding poos despite soft

Hi, my 27m old had a couple of really hard poos around his birthday that he held in for around 4/5 days at a time. I took him to the docs and got Movicol which helped loosen him up, but he's still getting upset and holding his poos in and saying that it's hard to poo and his tummy hurts before he has a poo. He was on one sachet originally and doing type 6 stools. He's now on two sachets, and when we first went up he started pooing twice a day (still type 6), but he's recently started holding again and getting very anxious (he's still on 2 sachets). The shear volume when it comes makes me think it's genuinely soft poo, rather than overflow. He's been back to the docs and she thinks it's anxiety, there isn't anything seriously wrong physically, and to stay on the Movicol and up it if needed. His relapse in the holding has coincided with a developmental leap and he's very sensitive and having some separation anxiety so I suspect it's all related and he's projecting his anxiety downwards so to speak. He only holds for a day or two max at the moment, but he still gets very upset. We read poo related books, use the Poo goes to Pooland app, let him do his poo in his nappy (he's not toilet trained), or on a mat on my knee, or in his potty/toilet, whichever he prefers. I've talked to him about how poo is made and what it is, and we've talked about the rubbish trucks coming to collect his rubbish (he's vehicle mad). He's got very good language and understanding for his age. Is there anything else I can do to help get him over his anxiety? I there anything I need to do differently? Should I increase the movicol again? His diet is very good, although I'm in the early stages of pregnancy and my milk has pretty much dried up, so this may hve affected things (he's still dry nursing though). Thanks. Kate

8 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi Kate - sounds like he's really getting loads of lovely mummy time just now, hope that helps him work through whatever's going on for him. I suppose it might be a lot of changes for him at the moment, if you're expecting?... It can be a tricky time for toddlers I think sometimes - looking back, my son was definitely unsettled when I was pregnant second time (I also wound down nursing during that time). Hope he starts to feel a bit better about the pooing soon.. Ali

  • Thank you! Yes, the pregnancy could definitely be part of it. He doesn't officially know yet but he knows something's changed I'm sure. Hopefully it'll get easier after we've had the 12 week scan and feel like we can talk to him about it and prepare him...

  • Hi, it sounds like I'm in a very similar situation to you with my daughter Sophie, who is 30 months. She's has been on laxido since December after trying lactulose for a couple of months to no effect. She also seems to be anxious to let it out. Some days she spends just running back and forward to the sofa to lye down and do all these movements she has, to desperately hold it in! its so hard to watch as she is clearly so anxious about it coming out. I try to explain to her that its good to let it out and everything else but she doesn't yet believe me! The longest she's went without doing a poo is 8 days which was so distressing for us both. We were last told to give her 1 sachet per day but increase it by 1 until she's on 3 as long as she doesnt poo. Although I've never actually given her 3 as it seems so much for a 2 year old. In the last couple of weeks she has been quite regular, going every second day or so but she still does alot of holding in. Ive just really started reading into it alot more as its clear to me more than ever thats its a psychological thing that i need to try and change the way she thinks about it, which wasnt addressed by her doctor, it was more like 'go and try this medicine' and that was about it! It is a horrible thing to go through as it does have a huge impact on her life at the moment. I hope we can both find some help on here. I've ordered a book called "what to do if your child wont poo" from the ERIC website. Just waiting on it arriving. Im really hoping it gives me a few good ideas! I'll let you know. Eve x

  • Oooof - and I thought 5 days was bad enough! 8 days must have been brutal for you! It's horrible watching them isn't it... He seems to veer between saying that he wants to do a poo poo, and then immediately as soon as I've suggested that we go upstairs and do a poo poo or something, he clams up and says 'no' and gets really upset about it. We've also got stuck in a bit of a situation where we have poo time at the end of the day every second day, when he's at the end of his tether, where me and my husband sit on the bathroom floor with cloths on our laps and he jigs around nudey bum until he eventually does one. It's awkward though as he almost immediately wants to leave the room and go to bed/get out of the situation and in trying to encourage him to stay and get it done I fear we're 'forcing' the situation on him if you know what I mean. I might ease off on it and see what happens... I think I've seen that book recommended elsewhere. Do let me know what you think of it!! I may stick it on order myself as well! Good luck with Sophie! I hope her recent progress is a good sign... Kate x

  • It is horrible watching them. Sophie had a carry on holding in from late afternoon today right until she went to sleep tonight. I was pretty distressing to watch. Even although she's slightly more frequent there's still an awful lot of holding on! The book arrived and I've read practically all of it. I think it is worth getting. It has no magical answers (that I might have been secretly hoping for!) But it does have same useful ideas. I think the "poo time" for your son is a good idea, one of the things I got from the book that seems to be important is to have a daily toilet or potty sit where they have to sit on it at the same time every day so it becomes predictable and doing it at a time where they won't be out e.g. at school or nursery. I feel now that the next step for Sophie is to get her to do this. (I've had no success with getting her to sit on potty yet even fully clothed! But I'm in the process of doing a sticker chart so im hoping this will help) I felt quite comforted reading the book as it is written by a woman whose son was in the same position. It just kind of gives an overview of stool withholding. From everything I've read, it seems like we just have to be patient, give them the medicine, get into a potty/toilet sitting routine and try not to go on about the issue to them but just to be relaxed about it (which I do find a big challenge!) X

  • Thanks for the recommendation on the book! I got it and have skim-read it (I'll read it more closely when I get chance). So far though, it's been a big help. It hasn't been revolutionary, but it has been very reassuring, and helped me to feel comfortable with increasing his dosage etc, and knowing how/when to take him down as well in the future. We're on 3 and a half sachets at the moment (I aim for 4, but getting liquid in him is a nightmare!!! I have to say, it's really working!! I don't hold out too much hope that this is the start of the end, and I know we have a long way to go yet, but things have got better, so there is hope for Sophie! We started upping his dose and he started having one poo at day, late a night, after an hour and a half of him saying he needed a poo, getting upset and trying in the bathroom and holding off bedtime. One day we just didn't let him carry on trying. He didn't go, so we just put him to bed. The next day he had a big upset poo in the morning, then a big poo without upset an hour or two after. The following day he didn't have one again, and the following day he was at the childminders. He's been holding his wees, especially in the morning, and getting really upset, so I'd asked her to get him on the potty and make sure he had a wee wee (he's always been pretty good at doing wees on his potty when we do a nappy change). He had one, but after sitting on the potty for around half an hour with some books and toys (broadly happy, although slightly anxious), he did a big poo on the potty. She left him without his nappy on and when she took the other little one upstairs to have a nap, she came downstairs to find him back on the potty voluntarily, having another poo! The following day he had another poo at hers on the potty, and since then we've had some non-upset poos in his nappy, a big poo on the potty at home, and a bit of an upset poo in his nappy. Crucially though, when he does get upset and hold, it's not for as long. It's big progress!! I'm still battling with getting him to drink, and I know he's not totally ready for potty training yet, but having a mixture of potty and nappy time, and having a high dose of movicol seems to be working well at the moment. Basically, there is light at the end of the tunnel! I know what you mean about routine as well - I'm currently trying to get some routine and learn to pre-empt things. I think my childminder is probably better at that than me at the moment, but I'm hoping I'll start to learn the right times for him. I haven't used a sticker chart or anything yet (I'm saving it in reserve for if we regress), but I hope it helps Sophie. I can see how it could work well. I did find that having some 'potty books' about going on the potty etc helped get him on the potty in the first place. I was really wary about doing much around toilet training until the poo issue was sorted, and I'm still holding back off properly going for it as I don't want to try him too soon and cause more issues, but I do think it's helped us with our situation. I hope things get easier for you as well! x

  • Hi Kate you have some very good advice here. Also have a look at a you tube video by a nurse called Sandra Hanson called tackling constipation and soiling with a macro gol laxative. We were lucky enough to go on a course that she runs at Darenth Valley hospital n Kent she's excellent. Our daughter is at last coming out the other side of this after four years , she is nearly eight and it's taken all this time for her sensitivity to come back. The medics haven't been very helpful with the movicol dosage. Good luck you're doing all the right things xx

  • Thank you! I'll definitely check out the you tube video. Yes, our GP has been lovely, but it's felt a bit like the blind leading the blind, I have to say. Hopefully I can get some better understanding myself at least...

You may also like...