Bowel issues at 4.5 years old: Any advice would be... - ERIC

4,169 members1,751 posts

Bowel issues at 4.5 years old


Any advice would be appreciated, I really don't know what else to do.

My son has never really gotten the hang of doing poos in the toilet. He is now 4.5 and due to start school in August. I am beyond breaking point with this, I have literally just stumped across ERIC. We are due back to pediatrician end of July, we have prescribed movicol which worked at the start and now he has regressed. He gets it sometimes which is he killer so I don't know if he is genuinely not aware or lying to us now. He has a good diet and lots of water so I still struggle with the constipation label as it's not little pellets or even completely loose like there is a blockage there, it's a normal poo or bits of normal poo. I just don't get it at all. He is still wet at night too which we aren't even thinking about yet. It's the fact he is going to school and this is still and issue that really has me panicked.

I have broken down more than once due to this. Please, any advice I would appreciate it.

6 Replies


I feel your pain and stresses too. My son has been having accidents for 3 years but fingers crossed we are now finally on the up and I never thought I'd say that.

He started school in September and the school have been amazing. They have supported us throughout the year and without that I don't know what I would have done.

We made the school aware of the problem at our home visit last May. (His Year R teacher was looking after him at nursery whilst doing her teacher training so we have been lucky in that respect).

The School Nurses can also help out and support you too as toileting issues don't seem to be very easy to resolve and there's no quick solution.

Perhaps talk to the school and the nurses as that may ease your anxieties a bit. Please remember you're not alone and this forum offers amazing support and comfort when you need it.

Good luck. Xx

My daughter was very similar at the same age prior to starting school in September. I fully empathise with the stress.

My daughter is 7 now and pretty much over her troubles. We used movicol over the years and more recently senokot. In hindsight I think a lot of her troubles were caused by her trying to withhold her poo. The bits of normal poo in knickers is as you describe. She is not a regular child and if I didn't give her regular fruit and veg she could easily not go for 3 days.

Age played a huge part in her treatment which I know is not helpful to you now. Also lots of toilet routines, sitting for 10 mins after breakfast and dinner even if they don't need a poo. Reward for sitting.

With regards to school that was the most stressful fear for me. To me I just opened up to her teacher and told her everything and continued to do this as she moved up each year. They will have most likely dealt with this before. My daughter still has a small bag in her school bag with clean knickers, freezer bags for any dirty ones and moist toilet wipes.

Have a good vent on here when needed. We all understand xx

You don't mention how much movical he's on as maintenance dosages can be tricky to gage. As another message said get school aware as soon as possible and have an intimate care plan made so that if he needs changing at school it's done the way you want it. Schools are more used to this than you'd think. As for night time if he has bowl issues this can put added pressures on the bladder. I feels Age plays the biggest part in this and body awareness comes at different stages for everyone. Get him into a routine of sitting for a poo for 10 mins after food is the best time. For us it worked best for sitting at 4pm so as soon as he gets home from school and the school had him sitting at 2pm too. This has cut accidents down so much because of the routine and his maturity level too so it might be worth getting the routine in place now and see what time best suits you both before September.

Thank you all for your responses. I am waiting on the school nurse coming back to me to try and do some sort of plan. Even if it's just someone to tell him to go and try after breaks. I had a long chat with the head teacher who wanted someone there in the school full time as support but I am not sure I need that or want that for him as he can change himself.

In terms of dosage the ped was vague and advised us to try diff dosages until we found a balance that worked. We go back and see her in a few weeks. Initially it was one a day at night but didn't do anything. We are, over the last week, upping that to two at night and one in the morning to try and flush his system and then we will revert back to maybe one or one and a half at night. It's a total guessing game though.

Can I ask at school, did the kids pick up on accidents? My worst fear is bullying over this for him. I was even toying with keeping him back a year because of it.

Thanks x

We have wee problems with my daughter as she has overactive bladder and so far we've never had a problem with poos but wanted to reassure you that there are more kids with same problem out there than you would think as we just don't talk about it! That's why I love this site.....!

My daughter is now just finishing year 3 and so far, with exception of few odd comments over the years, the kids really don't think anything of it. It got harder moving in to year 2 as for most of the class, they were only allowed to go at breaks but I've always kept a good dialogue going with her teachers (I've always just dealt with them one to one, never done a formal plan and luckily they've been fantastic) so they know the issue and let her go whenever she really wants. They also know she has spare clothes and will be able to sort it out.

I get sense that the point at which other kids pick up on it is more driven by how your own child reacts - if they just go and sort it and don't make a big issue of it themselves, the other kids tend to follow suit and just ignore it. I'm lucky that my daughter is quite outgoing and confident and so she's happy the be honest with her friends that she still has accidents but we're talking to the doctors to sort it out.

I personally wouldn't let it get in the way of starting school. Without wanting to depress you, this could take a while to resolve and so I think you're better to just find a way to work it through......and then come on here every now and then to rant and let off steam - everyone here get's it and will be there to support!

Best of luck x

I have a 4.5 year old who seems to have no awareness of his bladder & wets frequently. Constipation has been suggested & like you, I struggle with this as his poo is relatively normal. I find it so hard to continue with the laxido dose as I constantly wonder if he is now clear & if the meds are making him wee more! I know how you feel about school, it's a worry here too. My sons paediatrician has said an ICP will need to be in place for Sep & she's trying to arrange a meeting with the teacher, herself, me & the school nurse...could you maybe ask for similar? Big hugs to you as I know how you feel x

You may also like...