Still having poop in potty issues at 4 — The Bump
Pre-School

Still having poop in potty issues at 4

I'm embarrassed to even post about this, but my 4 year olds are still having many poop accidents and I'm at a loss. One of my girls has severe constipation and is undergoing all sorts of tests, so I'm not pushing her as much. My other 1...not sure what to do anymore. She tells me she has to poop a few seconds too late (it'll already be in her underwear). I've tried every kind of reward, bribe, cleaning up, talking to. The dr recommended not to punish her, although I admit I've threatened to take things away. I'm frustrated that I cant get thru to her. I'm looking into summer camp programs now and it'll be the 2nd summer in a row that I cant sign up for anything due to potty issues. Did anyone else go thru this? Thanks for listening!

Re: Still having poop in potty issues at 4

  • Hi: I remember your other posts about this issue and I know just how you feel. I was having the same problem with my four year old around 3 months ago and also felt so embarassed to mention it. Please dont think you are alone. :) My daughter at first would do the same and tell me about having to poo too late with it already being in her underwear. Eventually she stopped telling me altogether and would end up with huge messy smears multiple times per day. i'm glad we had such a supportive daycare, I think they actually handeled it better than I did. our situation ended up being constipation like you mentioned for one of your girls. We have gone to the Pedi GI for awhile and are doing the Miralax treatment everyday,1 teaspoon. Also we give her 1 teaspoon of fiber powder mixed into juice in the morning. I think that may help to give the bowel movement more bulk and possibly make it easier to feel in time. I dont have a lot of answers but just try to hang in there. I know i felt the same way and was worried if she would ever be able to go to Kindergarten or do the dance classes she wanted. I know it felt pretty hopeless at times but we are now doing so much better after a few months on the treatment and its like a whole different ballgame. I think you are doing all you can in treating the constipation for one and unfortunately just being patient with the other. Just try to keep hanging in there and you are definetly not alone!
  • Thanks for the reassurance. I'm also afraid they wont let them into kindergarten with poopy pants. They actually miss out next year so we have another year of preschool. I'm kind of glad for that reason. Hopefully it'll click at some point!
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  • You are not alone. Parents that go through this don't talk about it because we feel embarrassed because our kids should be trained at this point. I have one that is going through this and it is extremely frustrating. But we are also having pee issues, but it is coming from the constipation problems. I see you are seeing a specialist with the one and that is very good. Until the constipation issues are taken care of she will continue to have problems. My DD will have some poop accidents, but more pee accidents and it drives me batty. At 4 1/2 I didn't expect to be dealing with changing my child 3-4 times a day because she wet herself. I mean she trained pretty easy herself right before turning 3. Then 6 months later the constant accidents started and we can not get through 1 day without an accident. It is starting to get a little better since we have cleared up her constipation issue, but it is still a long road to get her bladder back to acting normal. See my DD was so constipated her colon was putting constant pressure on her bladder and this caused her to become a "holder". She learned at a very young age to hold her bladder and rectum because she was afraid of having an accident that she actually caused her bladder to become thicker and now the bladder will just spasm and let little amounts of pee out and she doesn't know it is happening until she is already wet.

    So our first step was getting her completely cleaned out stool wise and now that she is cleaned out and on a full dose of Miralax every day (for the next 6 months to a year) we can work on retraining her bladder and relax the muscle and have less and less spasms. I am hoping by this summer to be doing much better. But for now I just have to keep going and remind myself this is a medical condition and not a behavioral problem and it will be better down the road. My DD's start Kindergarten in August and I am a little nervous about how this is going to go if she doesn't get better by then. I plan on talking to her teacher about it earlier on, if we are still having issues. I don't want them not letting her go often enough because they think she is faking it or just trying to go to the potty to get out of an activity. What really helps her the most is going often, not letting her bladder get very full. 

    I would keep concentrating on getting the constipation under control and then hopefully she will be able to move forward with less accidents. Oh and just because your other DD doesn't seem constipated doesn't mean that she might not be, I would try upping her fiber as well and see if this help her to go easier and then she may have less accidents as well. We as westerners could all use a lot more fiber in our diets.

    Lastly, I highly recommend the book "It's No Accident". This book was recommended by our Pedi and has been so helpful with dealing with this issue. The Pedi that wrote it is a Pediatric Urologist and his entire practice is almost all devoted to constipation and peeing accident issues. I have been following his suggestions and we are seeing improvement. It is not a fast improvement, but is an improvement. Again hoping in another 4-6 months to have her in a good place to start summer camp and then full day school in the fall.

    Good luck to use all. You.are.not.alone!

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  • Thank u for sharing. I'd like to check out that book. We went to our 4th GI yesterday. I have to do cleaning out, blood work (testing for celiac), a stomach xray...so it'll be a long road. My other one is completely pee trained but still late with the poops. Shes also slightly constipated so I'm going to work harder to get her regular as well. The preschool teacher is very understanding (they're the oldest in the class...I still send the 1 in pullups). I'm not sure how camp counselors or other activity leaders would treat it. Best of luck to u.
  • Ds is not quite 4 but was trained for almost a year when he started having poop problems. We finally contacted a child specialist about it (we had also tried everything) and she said 1) make sure that it is not constipation 2) for us it wasn't an issue of not being able to feel when he needed to go or not understanding where he needed to do it, he just didn't do it in the potty unless he by chance decided to. So she suggestted to put him on the potty 3x a day for 5 min at a time. (When he trained it was not by putting him on the potty at set times but him telling us when he needed to go so this was a bit strange for us.) So we started putting him on the potty after lunch and reading him a book there. He also goes on the potty before bed (no book) and if he goes to preschool before we leave in the AM (no book). It has worked wonderfully for us. He now takes a book with him (so he can read to himself) and barely ever has issues. He als gets a sticker on a chart if he goes in the potty.

    Hope you find what works for your kids! It can be so frustrating!

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