5 year old daughter withholding. : Hi my 5 year old... - ERIC


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5 year old daughter withholding.

Anna908 profile image

Hi my 5 year old daughter is withholding her poop for 2-3 weeks at a time and i am worried for her because ,when she poops it often is extremely painful for her and she cries for hours trying to push it out. When she dose get it out it is the size of a softball and then 20 mins later she will poop out 3 more the same size. She will also not poop un-less i make her by giving her a laxative. I have tried everything to make her go by her self. I have tried candy,bribing, giving in, and not saying anything. I do not know what to do this time as it has been 4 weeks since she had last gone and i have tried laxative and she did not go. She is also very bloated and having lots of gas. Also she is not potty trained so that might make a difference.

Thanks : )

9 Replies

Hi Anna,

Your situation sounds exactly the same as what I went through with my 4 year old daughter Lola.

We had lived like this for a few years her holding her poo and refusing to go she would run off and hide and only ever had overflow as her poop! She started nursery for a few hours a day and got to the point where she didn’t want to go to nursery in her nappy but because of the holding issue always had poop leaking in her knickers but never a full poo. We tried lactulose for months and it didn’t make a difference in fact all it done was make the overflow leaking poop worse!

So as nursery was ending and she was starting full time school this September gone I knew she couldn’t go to big school with these issues going on.

Off we went to the GP again convinced I was going to hit yet another brick wall!

Finally we saw a Fantastic doctor who totally understood Lola’s situation! I explained everything and said it had delayed potty training and she was still in pull ups etc. He knew exactly what to do! And 12 weeks later the transformation has been amazing!

Lola was prescribed Movicol laxative.

We were advised to do something called a disimpaction regime which is basically over a number of days increasing the dosage of the movicol until your child has a total clear out of thier bowels and colon, luckily we were able to do this over the summer holidays as the disimpaction itself was not something she would have coped with at school! Once the disimpaction takes place you reduce the dose until the poo is of a soft normal substance and you stick to that dose so right now Lola is on half a sachet a day and going poo once a day!

Getting her out of nappies was tricky to but I just point blank refused to put her nappy on kept her in her knickers and we done a poop chart for her so at the beginning every time she even tried to go poo on the toilet she got a sticker and 10 stickers = a treat! Then if and when she would go a poo on the toilet it = a treat! There were tears a lot of perseverance but she done it!! We have not looked back and once she understood there was no more nappies she understood she had to do her poo in the toilet and with the help of the Movicol allowing her to clear the blockage out and make her able to poo regularly we really have seen a miracle and I still can’t believe we are through it! She will be on Movicol for quite a while as all the poo holding stretched her colon so this needs time to shrink back.

The Gp also told us about this site and another thing that helped Lola was a story called poop goes to poop land it helped her understand that it’s ok for you to let you poo go in the toilet, give the story a go with your little girl, you can actually download it as an app for the phone.

Sorry the post was so long but when I read your post it was exactly the same as what we went through only recently and I wanted to let you know that there is hope and you will get through this with patience and perseverance! Go to your gp with your daughter and ask them to prescribe Movicol and explain the disimpaction regime to you. If you need any help at all please just let me know.

The change in Lola and our lives in general has been amazing!! And all because a doctor finally listened and knew exactly what to do!

Good luck with everything!

Michelle x

Thanks i am glad that im not alone with this problem.

I echo what Michelle says. My now 6 year old withheld between aged 4 and 5 years. Our lives were changed by Movicol. Luckily we didn't have to do a full disimpaction but after a few days of high doses she started to clear out, got over the pain and subsequent feat of going and started to get better. We are still on a maintenace dose of one sachet every other day and our daughter poos happily on her own now! Good luck and keeps us updated with how you get on. Xx

Anna908 profile image
Anna908 in reply to SallyCal

Thanks I think that she is impacted and I will take her to the doctor tommrow.


I just got back from the doctor and my daughter had a x ray to see how much poop was in her. Her intestines were filled with poop and they are extremely stretched out. The doctor also showed me this ( infomediasolutions.medicali... ) He then said that she looked just like this and that she would need laxatives to help her go.

Hi Anna,

Just checking in to see how things are going?

I really hope things are looking up for you and your daughter.

Michelle x

Hi, My daughter had just pooped yesterday for the first time in 6 weeks. I am so happy but it took 16 sachets of Movicol and 2 enemas a day for 4 days to get her to go tho.

Hi all,

I have a 5 year old - she is scared of going to the toilet without a nappy. She will happily poo with a pull up - the longest she has gone without a nappy is 9 days before we caved in.

She is also very stubborn, no rewards, bribery will work. She will lie down after school, which i assume lessens the impact of holding it for so long.

I have movicol and have decided to go cold turkey - I think deep down she knows we always give in - I am just scared about long term constipation.

Any thoughts?

Thank you :(

Anna908 profile image
Anna908 in reply to Emma_tennis

I would just keep her in a nappy it is not causing harm unlike constipation.

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