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My 5 year old still poos in his pants

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.

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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.

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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!


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


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.

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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


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?


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