4 year old withholding again: Hi My daughter is nearly... - ERIC


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4 year old withholding again

Rcb2011 profile image


My daughter is nearly 5 and has suffered with constipation since she was 2. She has been on movicol for 2.5yrs and things had finally been going well for the last few months only requiring movicol from time to time and managing to poo on the toilet every other day.

She has just had a set back and only done 1 poo in the last week so we are increasing the movicol every day now to disimpact.

She is in a routine and sits on the toilet at the same time every day but nothing comes out (I think because she is withholding). I know it will come out once the movicol takes effect.

My question is about any tricks to help a 4/5 year old to understand it is so much better to just let the poo out! I've tried all sorts, poo stories, poo videos, rewards.

Just when I thought we had got there too!

Thanks in advance


12 Replies

Have you tried blowing bubbles while sitting on the loo or a feather or small peice of loo roll and get her to blow it as hard as she can to lit it off her nose. We naturally release our bottoms when blowing the body can't seem to do both at the same time.

You're doing all the right thigs but they don't get the connection like an adult would. She might have small cuts inside or around her bottom which hurt when going so use nappy cream if possible to sooth any visible sores and keep doing what you've been doing. As you know movical adds water to the poo so keep her really hydrated to ease the process while you wait.

We also do a sort of star jump or sitting like a frog before sitting in the loo to help the bowl to move it seems to help my son.

Rcb2011 profile image
Rcb2011 in reply to Georgina1475

Thank you. We have tried blowing bubbles but will try the loo roll for something new and I hadn't thought about any sores so will apply cream.

Have you got any tips on getting them to drink more? I've gone out and bought loads of different types of drinks to encourage more intake.


Georgina1475 profile image
Georgina1475 in reply to Rcb2011

We do different flavoured waters and have watered them down over a period of time so that he gets different tastes and all sugar free. Also we found he drinks more if he uses a straw I'm not sure why that is though.

I also agree about straws, or bottles with straws. These encourage my daughter to drink more. I also have drink races with my daughter as she is naturally competitive and enjoys trying to beat me!

Luella19 profile image
Luella19 in reply to Rcb2011

Try sugar free jelly. My daughter enjoys that and it's a way of getting fluid into them.

Hi, I don't have an answer, just the same problem with my nearly five year old boy. Can't help thinking there must be some age appropriate behavioural help out there but not finding any through local NHS, just routines and medication!

Had anything changed that lead to recent constipation? diet changes? stress? Does she get enough exercise?

Rcb2011 profile image
Rcb2011 in reply to

her last poo hurt because it was a bit hard and that's all it took to go backwards. I think the main issue is getting her to drink more which is difficult when she is at school so I may have to send it some other drinks alongside her water bottle. I will put her back on a maintenance dose of movicol once we have had the clear out and just keep her on that for a long time I think - until she is old enough to understand about withholding.

Thank you all.

The movicol has taken effect now. She is on 4 sachets now and the poo is like a sludge (no lumps) and a lot has come out yday and today - all in the toilet which is good. My question is whether I should carry on at 4 or increase to 6 as part of the disimpaction? I'm guessing sludge is not watery enough to think she is cleared out and also her tummy is still sticking out.


I could have written this, my 4.5 year old daughter is the same!!

2.5 years with movicol, still on a 1 sachet per day maintenance and drinking atleast 700-1000mls a day with a reduction in dairy. It's a lot harder when they're at school as can't guarantee that they're drinking. I have had discussions with her teacher several times to ensure they're aware that she just drink a few cups there of anything, milk, rice milk, water, herbal tea (she's at a steiner school).

I find she withholds her wee as well sometimes. I've watched her playing and she's wriggle and hold herself as if she needs to go, won't, will have a dribble in her pants and then 20 mins later will go. Every time. I think it's a control thing with her though, she's very controlling at times! She now goes for a poo once a day or once every other day as long as I keep her fluid intake up, maybe one episode of soiling a week. She has a sweet from a jar when she does a poo! xx

Rcb2011 profile image
Rcb2011 in reply to annierosered

It's hard isn't it! I'm going to speak to school after half term about helping to make sure she drinks throughout the day. It's definitely easier now than it was because I have learnt so much versus the early days of going back and forth to the doctors until I found Eric and finally got some good advice!

Here's hoping it continues to improve with age!

Oh I was also given a good idea by a health visitor, buy a clear bottle and use permanent marker to mark lines that she should drink too by mid morning, lunchtime, snack time, bedtime etc so it's easy for them to see how much they should be drinking. Means we have to lug it around but I thought it was worth trying. Keep meaning to buy one 😂

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