My 5 year old still poos in his pants: Hi everyone I am... - ERIC


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My 5 year old still poos in his pants

Thom24 profile image

Hi everyone I am new, just joined today. My son who is 5 is still pooing in his pants. He is on medication for constipation and that seems a lot better, but he is still refusing to poo on the toilet. He is happy to sit on the toilet and he does not have a problem with weeing on the toilet. I know when he needs to go for a poo and I put him on the toilet but he holds it in. Then after being on the toilet he hides and does it in his pants. I have tried everything the doctor and health visitor have suggested but nothing seems to work. I am at the point where I think he will never do it on the toilet and I worry as he is at school now and the school are not very supportive. I also worry now about meeting my friends with their children in case he poos in his pants in front of his friends. Any advice or reassurance would be greatly received.

15 Replies

I found being really open and honest with my friends and family about my daughter when she used to regularly poo in her pants. It helped me relax and once people understand the stress you go through they are sympathetic.

I have written quite a lot about my daughter so have a search through for advise. I was st my wits end a few years ago thinking what you are thinking but it has got much better 3 years on and doesn’t consume my daily thoughts, just sometimes when she has the odd small accident in knickers.

There are 2 good books "The Ins And Outs Of Poop" and "Stool Withholding, what to when your child won't poo" by Sophia Furguson. They both give great advice on what to do once your child CAN poo but won't!!

I also found child friendly apps and stories helped. There is an app called "poo goes to poo land" and a kindle book called "Meet the poos". Both of these tell a story/role play and I was amazed how acting out the story got my stool withholding child to try.

She was very reluctant at first and it's taken a good 6 months (which I understand is good going!) to get her down to less than one accident a week.

We have 3 try sessions a day: morning, lunch (trained TA does this) and after tea. She is richly rewarded for any poo that comes out. Basically I think her body is now used to evacuating at one of those times and the learned reflexes that held poo in are now learning a new controlled habit that prevents soiling.

We went for a day out in London this weekend! We told her she must poo the night before or in the morning and she tried and tried, got 2 medium ones - so I knew so long as we found a nice quiet loo at lunch time nothing would sneak out.

Good luck!

Angel_adel profile image
Angel_adel in reply to squizita

Can I ask how long your try sessions are? (Sorry for jumping in post)

squizita profile image
squizita in reply to Angel_adel

They recommend 5-10 min, 5 for under 5, 10 for over 5. we read her the poo goes to poo land story and she tries. We show her a treat (sticker or sweet) for sitting and trying, then do that. So long as they try, the muscles get re trained.

Im a newbie and I could have cried reading your post Thom24 as this is an exact replica of what we are currently going through with our son who is 4.5. We never had any issues/accidents in relation to urination & when peeing he is happy to use the toilet himself but when it comes to poo's he refuses to go on the toilet and will instead poo his pants. We have tried all sorts of methods to encouage use of toilet - stickers/toys/treats but nothing works. It is so frustrating because he will gladly hide and poo anywhere as long as its not the toilet. Even when the signs are there that he needs and we put him on the toilet he will refuse to go but then go hide and go in his pants. At my wits end because he is starting school next year and want this resolved. If you have had any useful advise that you could share then i would really appreciate it.

This sounds exactly like my boy. He's 5 too. He's started to tell me he does poos at school but then told me he does them in his pants then puts the poo down the toilet. He knows where poo goes but has no interest. The teaching assistant seems to get annoyed with him and they put him on the cloud for messing about on the toilet. I don't really know what to do. He's on movicol but doesn't take it. Just to say tho your not alone. I feel like he's the only child having problems but this page shows me otherwise x

Hi i have same problem too and you do think he/she is the only one ive had numerous visits from HV he shows no interest at all he just poos pants 3 maybe 4 times a day just wondering have u had any success with your littte one also its been put idown as a fear he was in movical for a long time but now no longer needs it

No success as yet. He's still pooing and often doesn't tell us. Tempting to do an impaction with movicol as think he's blocked up and last time did a mini one and he did seem to get a bit of sensation back as asked to sit on the loo a few times for a poo. I've spoken to the school nurse but they are useless and just say keep at it and look at these forums. The school said they could try and help but there's 1 teacher to 29 kids so can't really make him to to the toilet

Did the school (in the UK)? Ask you to go in and change him? Mine is, though ERIC policy and the local SEND guidance is that they shouldn’t ask parents to do this. Part of the problem is that he will resist being changed, but the onus still shouldn’t be on parents to drop everything should it. I’ve been pushed into agreeing to go in if he soils more than once a day (most days) but want to push back on this now.

I am in the exact same boat with my almost 5 year old, I’ve been to many doctors and the constapation clinic, we’re tried the Fodmap diet & daily laxatives and getting no relief, any tips would be amazing?

Hi you are not alone my 5 year old refuses to poo in toilet ee have been to hospital ect and ruled out medical problems its been put down as a fear im at my wits end i see u posted 8 months ago so just wondering has your little one started using toilet and have u any tips on what you did thanks

My son will be 5 in 2 weeks and in exact same boat, hes been dry since he was 3.5 even on a night with only 1 wet bed, but his poops are nearly always in pants when we do catch him he clenches his bum that hard its hard to get him to bend. When we do get a poop on the loo we praise, bribe, sticker and sweet treat him even with having days out as a reward. He sometimes can go a week without passing a motion he is treated with laxido and lactulose. At the minute hes had very wet stinky mucusy poop which doctors are treating as overflow which he will do in pants and leaks into trousers/bottoms also we have to change him about 5-6 times a day. Hes eating like a horse drinking loads and sleeping normal, ive have taken him off lactose to try help his bowels, he did have antibiotics 4 weeks ago so hopefully its just his gut flora imbalanced. Im dreading him starting school as he used to hold himself all day at nursery and made himself worse.

Thank you all for your comments. I am so happy to say my son is now pooing on the toilet, he has been for the last 4 months ☺. He just suddenly said to me 'I need a poo mummy' and went straight to the toilet and did it. I couldn't believe it.. We did have a little set back for a couple of weeks but since then he has been fine and he does not have a problem going in different places either. It is a huge relief, especially as he is at school. I've realised that I just needed to be patient and wait until he was ready. Try not too worry, they will get there.

Omg I could have written this? I’m going through the exact same with my 4 year old & I literally don’t know what to do??

Hudson_can profile image
Hudson_can in reply to Essexnot

Have things improved for you? I hope so! My now 5 1/2 year old boy gets 1/10 poos in the toilet but generally just goes in his pants/doesn’t try or get to the toilet quick enough. For 3 years people have been saying ‘it’ll sort itself out when he goes to school’ - it didn’t - or ‘it’s behavioural’. Thing is he has no problem producing poo and it looks normal, not constipated - he just claims he can’t feel it coming. But can usually tell us when/where he did it, so definitely feels it once it’s in his pants, even if he’s telling the truth about not feeling it coming. Just doesn’t care. We/I keep putting off disimpaction as husband not convinced there is a physical element & doesn’t want the bother of disimpaction. But I’m increasingly thinking we must try it to rule out a physical issue. (Though it would be good if possible to just go straight to 12 sachets or something and get it over with in a week or so, not longer)! Did you try that?

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