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Retraining the bowel!

Hello, following the brilliant ERIC parents event last weekend, we started the disimpaction programme on Friday. We are already at the brown water stage. He had 7 sachets of movicol today, so I'm wondering if he wasn't that badly consitpated. Who knows, but we're desperate and will try (almost) anything.

My question now is how do we go about retraining my sons bowel? Is it just through a maintenance dose of movicol, plenty of fluids and a regular poo routine? What about wees? Should I be reminding him to go for a wee every so often? I'm feeling a little bit lost if I'm honest. Although positive that he has now been disimpacted and hopeful for the future. I've been dealing with regular soiling and wetting, not to mention bed wetting for four years now and its exhausting. Thanks

9 Replies

Hi, yes all of the above is what you need to do. Finding maintenance dose that suits and brings regular poo without being runny. You don't mention his age but if dealing with for 4 years then he will be older than 6 I assume. Perhaps start with one sachet per day for maintenance dose and see how that is. Then up or lower accordingly. Sometimes we used to use half sachets too so it may be you settle on 1 and half for example.

Toilet routine as you mention we're a big one for my daughter getting better. Every evening after dinner, 10 mins with reading time together. Even if she did no poo it was good discipline.

Lots of fluid and fruit and veg. Diet played a massive part of recovery too for us.

I think as parents we recognise the signs when are kids need the loo. I had to be strict about this one. She wasn't allowed to play in the garden until she had sat on the loo. Wasn't allowed in the car. Etc etc. Pooing her pants in the garden was a common situation before.

It's great that you have had this support from Eric. Don't get disheartened if he still has accidents, it's all part of the journey. But hopefully the accidents will reduce. Keep a poo diary with movicol dosage so you can keep a log of what works etc, when he goes. That helped us too.

Have a rant on here if you have a bad day, someone will always reply with an understanding ear ☺️ And equally share success, we all love to hear that...

As our consultant told us last summer when my daughter turned 6 the way to crack it only happens when the parents are fully on board at all times and they have a child that will cooperate (that's the hardest part I feel) it takes real commitment and can be exhausting but it should get better.



Great response, thank you for the reassurance and advice!


PS. He's six, seven in July.



We've been in the same boat but we hit the three year target for toilet training in June with my youngest who is 6 in September.

We've been sitting my son on the toilet 5 times a day for 5 minutes straight after he gets up and just before bedtime and 20 minutes after each meal for 5 minutes. When sitting on the toilet he blows balloons, whistles etc and he has his feet up on a stool so his muscles are not clinging to the toilet seat and they're doing what they should be doing. He's also been on Senakot for over a year.

We've followed this for 11-12 weeks religiously and it's working for us. We're not out of the woods yet but we've seen a massive improvement in the number of accidents.

My son's school have been a massive support since he started in September and we're​ very lucky.

Good luck and as Luella says please rant on here if you need to. I'm so grateful to have found this forum. It's been a great support to me.



Hi you've had great replies so far and just wanted to add. From now on it's all about consistency get the dosage right and stick to it. Keep an diary for a few months to help if things get tricky and make sure the toilet sits are regular and the same times every day.

It will take a long time for the body to repair but the good news is that you're on the right track.

Best wishes


Thanks all. It seems to be going well. He's been on 1 sachet a day for the past couple of days. He did have an accident yesterday but that was probably my fault as he went for a walk straight after tea with his Auntie. Today though he did a massive poo on the toilet, about five smooth sausages. He did that shudder he does and I realised he needed the loo so got him to sit on the toilet. It was before tea and not part of the poo routine. About half an hour later he realised he needed the toilet and went independently (Brilliant!) and had another poo, about four small fluffy sausages. I was surprised by the amount of poo as he's only recently been disimpacted but is this a good sign that the movicol is working? Thanks again.


The soft sausage like poo or bits are a good sign that the meds are working I found that the little bits were a sign that my son has wind which happened a lot while he's body adjusted to just sitting on the loo. Keep going in the same dosage while he gets used to sitting and relaxing on the 🚽.

I'm surprised at the relief I feel when my son has been, imagine how they must feel. Good luck.


Like many children with soiling issues he has probably been holding poo in for some time, which leads to constipation and soiling. I think the movicol helps them stop holding the poo in and so they learn to release it. It is amazing how much poo come out isn't it! My daughter turns 7 this month.

Sounds as though you and he are doing well. Like Georgina says it's about being consistent. Just keep doing what you are doing and keep watching him like a hawk (subtly!) to get him to the toilet when you see that poo look that kids get! It's building a habit of pooing in the toilet. You will get there, and keep us posted x


A quick update! Things are generally going well and more poo is ending up in the loo than not. He's drinking loads and for the first time this week he came home from school and his pants didn't smell of wee! Yippee! Also one day in the week he went for a poo on his own. I remarked 'wow! thats great Alf, you felt your bodies signals and went for a poo on you own.' His reply was 'well actually mum, I'd been holding onto it for so long I couldnt hold it any longer.' This is the first time he's acknowledged that he withholds his poo and the fact that he's now aware of it, I'm assuming can only be a good thing on this journey. :)


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