3 yr old with holding poop. Help! — The Bump

3 yr old with holding poop. Help!

This has been going on since around Thanksgiving.  I think it was a combination of new wipes = rash, more people around then usual (to help me with bedrest), that let a poop or two hurt.  Now, he does everything in his power to hold it in, and we are all miserable because of it.  The dr said Miralax, which we do, but he still holds it in so only a little comes out at a time causing another rash.  Sigh.  Help!  He eventually goes when he can't hold it anymore and goes multiple times for a few days in a row making rash worse.  I really don't know what to do.  I just want him to feel better but he's still too young to understand.  He sits on the couch and holds on and whines to hold it in.  He's totally ready to be potty trained cause he tells us when he pees, but there is no way we should even try it while we're dealing with this.  Dr's said next step was to see the developmental doctor. 
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Re: 3 yr old with holding poop. Help!

  • Did the dr try Nyastin for the rash? It's an Rx anti-fungal ointment that may clear it up, lessen the pain when he poops. Offer a daily stool softener too. I'm not above rewards/bribes.
    Mommy of two girls: DD1 4/14/9 DD2 4/15/11
  • Holding poop is going to affect his potty training. So better to fix it now. Really push the miralax like the Dr. said. Don't stop giving it when he starts going, you have to give it every day consistantly for months to get past this difficult time. He needs it do be nice and soft every single day (think applesauce consistantly) so it doesn't hurt and he gets over his fear and stops holding. If he continues down this road he will stuff up his colon which will cause him problems with holding his bladder because the colon pushes on the bladder when it is overly full.

    I am dealing with retraining a 4 1/2 year old DD because she was constipated for a year and half which caused her to hold her bladder so much she caused her bladder to thicken and now has no feeling when it is time to go and just pees randomly. It totally sucks. She is getting better, but it is going to take months for her bladder to thin out so she has more control over it. We had to do a clean out of her colon to get all the excess poop out so we could start retraining her bladder. It involved a long weekend and taking many doses of Miralax to get it all out. Now she poops every single day and has no more belly pain.

    Once he starts going better you will need to work with his diet to get more fiber in it. I switched my DD to whole grain everything instead of white flour. I make my own chicken nuggets for her with whole wheat flour. I also make sure she gets a lot of water to drink everyday and at least 60 minutes of running around outside time (or inside by going to a play area). This helps to keep things moving. She also gets an adult fiber gummy every morning. She also gets a baby spinach salad every night with dinner. At a double serving of veggies with dinner.

    A really good book on this is called "Its No Accident", recommended by our Pedi GI Doc. It really goes over the importance of getting children past constipation because it effects them down the road.

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  • imageregenab:

    A really good book on this is called "Its No Accident", recommended by our Pedi GI Doc. It really goes over the importance of getting children past constipation because it effects them down the road.

    Thank you for the book recommendation!  We have been dealing with this for a while and I have never seen this book.  It looks really helpful.

    To the OP - we have had DD on Miralax since she was a toddler and it helps, but we have to tinker with the dosage sometimes.  For instance she recently moved to a new classroom at day care and she is having some anxiety about this, which I suspect is contributing to the problem, and she is holding and complaining of constant belly aches again.  When this happens we do the Miralax twice a day for a few days until things get cleared out.  I will be checking out the book above for more suggestions, though!

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  • I'm having the same issues with my DD. My Dr suggested that we should allow her to ask for a diaper when she does need to go and give it to her guilt free. Once she learns that going frequently will not hurt, she should transition to the toilet on her own.

    We also increased her water intake, and give her Miralax.

  • My DS did this for about 2 weeks right before he potty trained, right before his 3rd birthday.  It actually pushed us into potty training.  The pedi just encouraged us to help make his stools as soft as we could, add miralax,  but we still wound up using a suppository 3 different times because he would hold it for days. Poor thing was walking stiffly with his cheeks clenched, grasping the edge of tables and chairs for leverage when the urge hit him.  He would cry, "Ijust can't". Not to offer TMI, but it would be *right there*. We could literally see the poop, but he would just clench up. He just refused to go in a diaper or pull up, refused to sit on the potty and wouldn't tell us why he just wouldn't go. 

    He hated the suppository so much, when it came that we had to use one a fourth time, he was finally willing to sit on the potty. He went and looked so relieved and honestly, that was it. I'm convinced that he just no longer tolerated a poopy diaper, but was just afraid to poop in the potty.  Once he went, the fear was gone, he immediately went to underpants within a matter of days was in underpants all day.

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