Stool withholding 3 year old: Hi, I'm new here. My son... - ERIC


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Stool withholding 3 year old


Hi, I'm new here. My son started withholding since toilet training a few months ago, going 3 to 4 days between poos. His poos have always been reasonably soft still and when he does go he's happy going on the potty, but the Dr says he will have stretched out his bowel and so has prescribed laxido to help him go every day. We started last week and after holding on for 4 days initially he then went 4 days in a row. The only way he'll go though is if he runs around a lot and then we get him to sit on the potty straight after. He doesnt seem to recognise that he needs to go and will still hold on until we get him to do this. Regular sits after meals and at bedtime don't work at all. We have a step stool, have tried blowing bubbles etc, and he seems to try and push, but he never does anything. Yesterday he didn't have a bowel movement again so I'm planning to up his laxido dose. His poos are already very soft though, he just doesn't seem to know how to get them out. My question is how long did people in a similar situation find it took until they pooed during the regular toilet sits or started initiating themselves? Did you just have to keep upping the dose until they couldn't hold on at all? Any other advice for how to help him? I don't want to keep pressuring him to try when I can see him holding, but feel I can't rely on the regular toilet sits to ensure he goes so am not quite sure what to do.

4 Replies

Hi there! We’re in a really similar situation with my 3 year old girl so I don’t have a lot of advice but didn’t want to read & not reply! We were advised to find a maintenance dose where she was going once a day and to take it from there. I think the expectation is that a child who has had constipation will not have the same control over their bowels initially as a child who hasn’t as the bowel has been stretched & some sensitivity lost temporarily. Sometimes my lg knows when she needs to go & sometimes it takes her by surprise. Often it’s when the poos are a bit soft that she doesn’t make it to the toilet. I’ve heard it can take a while for the bowel to recover. It’s so hard as you just want them to feel ok! Not sure if that’s any help. Maybe you could speak to your gp about adding Senna when he hasn’t been for a day or two? My lg hasn’t been in a few days as she’s just started nursery & doesn’t feel comfortable going there so I’m planning on giving her prune juice, lots of water & fruit/veg today & then will give her Senna this eve if no action. Good luck & let me know how you get on/if you have any tips that work for you!

Xomum in reply to Yippieyay81

Thanks for replying! He went in the end this morning so feeling a bit better now. I know we're only just starting out and I'm probably being impatient, I just get really stressed when I know he needs to go and there's nothing I can do! I feel like my whole day is always focused around whether he's going to go or not. Each time he goes I try to talk to him about how he was feeling beforehand in the hope that he'll eventually start to recognise the feeling better. I guess for now we'll just play around with his dose a bit and see how it goes. Good luck to you too! I hope you have some success with your little girl today.

Yippieyay81 in reply to Xomum

Ahh glad you had success...we did too without having to add any Senna 👍 Totally understand...I am obsessed with her pooing at the moment. Our fruit & veg bill is through the roof! I used to be a fairly normal person before I had children 😳

Following this post. In the same situation with my little girl. Lots of withholding behaviours and not having much success with laxatives. Currently prescribed 10mls lactulose morning and night and 10mls docusate three times a day. Daughter is 3 in January.

Feel helpless and frustrated with it all. She won’t sit on the toilet or the potty and is still in nappies. 🙈 any help or suggestions welcomed 😃 I’m obsessed with her pooing!! Xx

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