2.10 months withholding poos after constipation :( - ERIC

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2.10 months withholding poos after constipation :(

Please help!!

My daughter is three in April. She's always been very regular at going to the toilet. Once or twice a day. We started potty training in August 2016 and it went well. Sje understood what she had to do. By Xmas she was fully trained in the day. Then she got constipated and didn't poo for 4/5 days. When she managed to go it was huge and it hurt her and made her bleed.

Since then she's held in all her poos because she's scared it will hurt again. Of course after 4/5 days it's big again and it does hurt. We've tried to explain that if she lets it out everyday it'll be fine.

We've taken her to the Drs and been given movicol and lactolose. But she's withholding probably 10/15 times a day and each time lets a tiny bit out meaning lots and lots of changes.

It's become so readily for our family. She's not the same happy girl she once was. Everything I read is so negitive and I feel this might go on for years.

What's next?! :(

4 Replies


It might be worth calling the Eric helpline to understand if she could be impacted. My daughter was similar at that age and I had no idea about disimpacting until I called Eric, it was so much better after that although she is still on a maintenance dose to keep them soft because if she can feel they are hard she withholds.

The other major leap for us was establishing a routine. She sits on the toilet around the same time every day - just after her dinner. She sits with a tablet so she isn't thinking about poo too much which helps her to relax and go.

Good luck


Often when a child has had a bad experience and hurt their bottom, it can take a long time to get rid of the fear. Although it sounds nasty it can help to get them to open their bowels in a warm bath as it lessens the pain but the stool must be small and soft . Also blowing bubbles on the loo can make it difficult for them to withhold.

Sometimes have to be cruel to be kind and use the Movicol and senna to the point where she cannot hold in the poo. Do this over a 3 day period when you do not have to go out. The Movicol will soften the stool and the senna push it out. Once the poo is soft it is very important not to build it up again or the problem and fear will perpetuate. Movicol doses can be put up and down depending on response. Hope that helps.

1 like

Just wanted to give you hope as I was in a similar place as you a few years back. My daughter had constipation issues and countless pooey pants at home and at nursery and school. All started around 3 years old. All I read was negative except for the odd post of a good news story on mumsnet and netmums which I actually copied and saved to my phone so I could refer to them on bad days. I felt really down and desperate for quite a while.

It has taken 3 years to get to a very much better place which I know will sound a long way off but I think had I had the consultants advice earlier then perhaps she would have got better sooner. GPs only ever gave movicol with various dosage guidance depending on who I spoke to.

With a combination of movicol, senokot (senokot made a huge difference) quite strict toilet routines, reward charts, upping fluid and watery foods (melon, cucumber etc) things are so much better now.

Also age and maturity have played a huge factor.

I also read books about withholding. 'Ins and outs of poop' I found good.

My daughter is now 6 and has recently come off all laxatives after being slowly weaned off them. She goes usually every 2 days with no pooey pants in between. I'm tentatively optimistic that this will continue but I will never become complacent as I know she is prone to constipation and withholding.

I totally understand how frustrating it is to be in your shoes right now, it's really tough and I hope this gives you hope x


Thank you so much!!

This is what we needed to read. We're just out of the doctors who have said to give more movicol. We're were only giving 2 a day it have been told to give 4 today, 5 tomorrow then 6 on Sunday and Monday and if nothing has happened to give the senokot Monday night. She said that it will take as long as she's been like this to her better again so that's two months so far. Then we just have to work on her confidence. She said to wean down the movicol until her poo is just a bit thicker than diarrhoea and then stay on that for 2/3 months so she forgets any pain x


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