6 year old;years of soiling and withholding - ERIC


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6 year old;years of soiling and withholding

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First time on this site. My 6.5 year old daughter has been having soiling accidents and withholding since potty training. We have never known why. She has been on movicall for three or more years. She has periods where things seem ok then times, like now, when she is having 2-3 soiling accidents a day and refusing to poo. She is very stubborn and no matter how much encouragement or ‘sitting time’ on the loo she has,helps ( I’ve tried EVERYTHING to help encourage her over the years). On the surface she doesn’t seem bothered by the accidents, but I think deep down it does really affect her. She is about to go into year 2 and I’m worried she going to start getting called ‘smelly’ by other children as they get older and more aware of it. I’ve been to the GP last year who was sympathetic but just said just carry on with medicine and give it time. It’s been three years plus now, what else can I do? I’m fed up of being told ‘she’ll grow out of it’. She has a good diet and is not actually constipated, more just prefers to hold on out of long term habit then has accidents. When she does go it’s huge and soft. Any advice or positive stories please. I’m feeling really down about it.

5 Replies

Hi, you might be interested in reading my blog in which I write about my battles with soiling myself as a child. I went through periods of using the toilet without problems but other times withholding and having accidents.


Thank you so much. I will have a look now.

Hi there

My daughter is in a very similar situation - soiling since potty training - she’s now 10! However, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that the laxatives are now to blame.

She started on 2 sachets of movicol and 30ml of Senna a day - and had this same dose for about 1.5 years! Rather than the accidents getting better they got worse. The paediatrician said because she was still soiling then she still needed the laxatives.

I believe that actually she went past the stage of needing so much laxative and it should have been reduced earlier. The accidents were due to the poo being so runny and so urgent that she just couldn’t control it. So I’ve slowly dropped the movicol completely and then reduced the Senna to just 5ml a day. Things have improved massively since then. I don’t think we are out of the woods yet but I’m feeling more hopeful than I ever have before.

So, just a suggestion to you that maybe your daughter doesn’t need so much movicol now? The other thing I was told about movicol is that it bulks out the poo, so my theory is that if the constipation has stretched the bowels already then bulky poo isn’t going to help it shrink back to what it should be.

Sorry for the long reply but I hope my ramblings are making some sense!

I hope things improve for you and your daughter soon :-)

Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I’ve been wondering for ages about movicall being partly to blame but too scared to stop it. I will wait for half term ( then I can monitor it) then I will reduce her dose ( she’s on 1. Sachet a day). I will keep you posted. Thank you again and hope your 10 year old continues on this good trend x

I might be wrong of course but maybe worth a try if the poo she does do is a lot and very soft/runny. If it doesn’t help I would suggest going back to the GP and insist they refer you to a paediatrician for further help/tests if she hasn’t already seen one. GP’s don’t know it all and kids certainly don’t ‘just grow out of it’.

Also, there is a video on this site by the poo nurse which explains about constipation and overflow soiling - definitely worth a watch if you haven’t already seen it, as it is possible your daughters’ soiling is overflow - in which case she would need the movicol!

It’s such a horrible problem for the kids suffering, and their families, with no easy solution, so I really feel your pain! As you’ll see on this site, your daughter certainly isn’t alone with this - it’s a lot more common than you’d think!

Good luck

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