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Please help

Hi, I'm so happy to have found this website and source of support, it's so nice to read people's comments and not feel so alone with this issue.

My son is nearly 3 and has suffered with constipation since he was 6months old. Currently he is on lactulose and laxido and goes for a poo roughly every 8 days. He is very anxious about sitting on the toilet or potty and is definitely withholding his bowel movements. Every 8-10 days we have a whole day where we have to stay at home because he is so uncomfortable and grumpy as he needs to poo. He eventually goes and it is pretty explosive! I'm a single parent so find these days particularly challenging and frustrating.

I've tried everything from rewards for pooing, talking about it all the time, books about it, regular encouragement etc but nothing seems to be helping.

The doctors just keep prescribing different laxatives which only make the stools looser but don't change the amount of time between poos.

Here are my questions!

How do I know if this is a physical or psychological issue?

should I insist on a referral to a peadiatrician?

I would really appreciate any help and advice as I feel so alone with this and it's really starting to affect how well I am coping with single parenting.

Thanks in advance for reading and responding,


3 Replies

I would insist on a referral to a paediatrician. I wish I had insisted sooner with my daughter. We kept getting told that she couldn't possibly be constipated, but she turned out to have a blockage in her gut. It took us so long to finally get help but once we got help, it made a big difference She is 8 now and still has accidents and is still on Movicol, but at least she has improved massively from when she was little. Good luck and hope that you get the help you need.


Hi and welcome.

As he's been constipated constipated for so long it's likely that his bowls or colon has been damaged by stretching and this makes for delayed pooing also the nerves loose the sensation and the messages don't get to the brain that a poo is needed but this should be discussed with a paediatrician that understands chronic constipation as many GPs don't really have the time or experience (that's my view). I suggest that you ask for a referral to a constipation clinic if you have one in your area or to a paediatrician via the GP.

How much Laxido is he taking daily as this might need adjusting. Many children with constipation have issue with sitting in the potty or loo, I know my son did and it was a struggle to get him into a regular pattern. We sit 20-30 mins after a meal and straight away when he gets in from school so that his body is used to sitting and trying. When he was little I found that he was more comfortable sitting after a bath. We also blow bubbles while sitting as this was not only a distraction but they say you can't hold the bum closed while blowing out. Crouching like a frog is also a more natural way of going for a poo so we also tried this before sitting and over the potty. Anything worth trying.


1 like

Hi Eve

You have my sympathy. My son was constipated and ended up in hospital (only because I nearly complained as the Paediatrician was not taking any action after several months of seeing my son).

To cut a long story short we had to sit him on the toilet 5 times a day. 20 minutes after each meal for 5 minutes and then first thing and last thing. He's also been on Senakot for over a year.

He had to have his feet on a stool and blow bubbles or balloons. We even bought some of the balloons you blow up and then​ squeak when you let them go. He blew anything that would help his bowel and bladder to start working properly.

It's worked for us although we're​ still not quite accident free yet but after 12/13 weeks we're definitely seeing an improvement. Our latest trick is he blows a tune on a whistle and we have to guess the song.

We've been through 3 years of accidents and most of the time my son didn't even realise he'd done anything.

I'd get your son referred to a Paediatrician and take it from there​ but do try the blowing idea. It takes a while but it's worked for us.

Good luck.



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