It’s been a while since I’ve posted but thought I’d provide an update on how my now 6 year old is doing in hope that it might help other families in similar situations!
I first posted on here back in may 2017 - at that point I was at my wits end - sleepless nights and constantly worrying about my daughter withholding, constipation and pretty much daily soiling which has been happening since she did a sore hard poo when she was 3!
We are still on our toileting journey together but things have improved to the point where our consultant thinks we are halfway there to cracking it! we still have the occasional relapses which our consultant says is normal but most days it’s good with clean pants and poos in the toilet, when we do have a relapse I just make sure we stick to the routine and have plenty fluids, a good diet with fibre and exercise and normally things will sort themselves out after a couple of days!
I’ve been told it can take a year or more to crack as the bowel needs to shrink back down and give the normal signals again to do a poo, So to stick to any routines as much as you can - it’s hard when daily life is busy but I’ve noticed since we’ve changed a few things it’s made my daughters soiling better!
Here are some of the things we have done - appreciate every child is different so what might work for one won’t work for another but if it helps another family improve the toilet/soiling situation it can only be a good thing!
1) see your GP to let them know of the soiling situation and get some medication to soften the poo - we are on lactulose twice a day 10ml - ask to be referred to a child constipation clinic at your local hospital - we had a 4 month wait but was really good to get some advice from a consultant who knew what they were talking about rather than my gp
2) establish a toilet routine! We were guilty in my house of rushing for work/school/social events so now we get up earlier so my daughter has plenty time to use the toilet after breakfast and does not feel rushed - an article from the ERIC website helped me get a routine going with my daughter. We also make sure that she goes to the toilet after dinner too! we call it “toilet time” I’m strict with the routine to the point now my daughter tells me it’s toilet time after breakfast or dinner! If she hasn’t been for a poo in a couple of days I sometimes do a lunchtime toilet routine at the weekends when she is not at school!
3) find out what gets your child to sit on the toilet for 5-10mins for toilet time - ours started with colouring in, reading, I stayed with my daughter initially to build up her confidence and showed her that it was ok to sit on the toilet! We used to have fun together and play games so she would get distracted and do a poo without noticing. She now wants to be in the toilet on her own so we now let her use a kindle but we limit the usage on it and try and keep it to toilet time - she will quite happily sit there for a longer period with the kindle
4) reward for completing toilet time - normally a sticker on a reward chart does it in our house regardless whether she has done anything and if my daughter does do a poo I give her a penny which she saves up to buy something with
5) we provide my daughter with a footstool and padded toilet seat (Disney frozen theme) this has helped her sit properly and find it easier to do a poo
6) diet - we start the day off with a fruit smoothie consultant said this was good for keeping the poo soft! Rest of the day I try and give my daughter food with a good fibre content and cut right back on dairy! She only has milk with cereal (weetabix), I buy 50/50 pasta so she can’t see the wholewheat, popcorn for snacks (quite high in fibre) and loads of water to drink
7) fluids - my daughter has never been the best at drinking fluids but we have competitions at the dinner table to see who can finish their glass of water first - works every time as she doesn’t want to lose so will drink all the water
8) we leave the car at home whenever we can and walk, go to the park, swimming etc to make sure she has plenty exercise to get the bowels going
I’ve read the book recommended on here called the in’s and out’s of poop! Would definitely recommend it my daughter had been soiling for so long I think she had forgotten how to push a poo out the book helped with some wee techniques to get her going - I also discovered that a party blower or blowing up a balloon on the toilet has helped too to get the pushing situation going again!
I hope the points I’ve listed above help other families with their kids soiling problems - it’s only when you start talking about it you realise what a common problem it is!
We are due to have baby no.2 in the house this spring and I’m kind of dreading the impact it might have on my daughters soiling but I’ll stick to what I’m doing above and fingers crossed it keeps working and it won’t be long until the soiling days are behind us