Monday, November 17, 2008

Does Your Child Hold His/Her Poop?

*warning: this post is going to mention poop. a lot.*

I would like to start a Yahoo Group to talk with other parents who have children who withhold their poop, also known as stool withholding or functional fecal retention. E-mail me at mommy605(at)hotmail(dot)com if you want to be contacted about the group.

What is Stool Withholding?
Is your child chronically constipated? Does your child go for days without pooping and you're not sure why? Have you had to administer enemas, use laxatives, etc due to constipation? Does your child soil or go a little bit many times a day in his underwear? Does your child hide, cross legs, stand stiff-legged when he gets the urge to go? If so, he may be dealing with functional fecal retention or stool withholding.

About Me
A quick background - my son is 3 1/2 and he has been holding his poop for about a year, which means that he is physically holding it in when he feels the need to go. This can be called stool withholding or functional fecal retention. This behavior leads to constipation, laxatives, moodiness, lethargy, soiling, etc. Children who withhold often hide in the corner, cross their legs, and squeeze their buttocks together (sorry if TMI!). It can go on for years and eventually children can have difficulty with social relationships because of it.

This kind of thing is HARD on a family and HARD on a child. We have been trying to overcome it for months. We had success recently for about three weeks when he began pooping on the potty on his own and then four days ago he reverted back to withholding for no apparent reason.

This is not a potty training problem. This is a behavioral/psychological condition. Doctors usually don't really get it. Some psychologists do. But mostly, I find talking to other parents going through similar issues is the most helpful.


Connecting to Other Parents Struggling with This

If your child has similar problems and you would like to connect with other parents trying to resolve this issue with their child, please e-mail me or leave a comment with your e-mail address so I can keep you in the loop when I start the Yahoo Group. My email address is mommy605(at)hotmail(dot)com.

Edited to Add: The Yahoo Group is now set up! Go here to join: Encopresis Kids Yahoo Group This is a support group for parents with children with encopresis.

110 Comments:

Blogger Lotta said...

Gracie would hold it for so long that when it was time for her to go it was sooo painful. Just a screaming session that would break your heart. We just kept giving her tons of prune juice and lubing up her bunghole everday. She's 3 now and totally fine.

Hope it works out for you!

10:30 PM  
Blogger The Hussy Housewife said...

I LOVE poop talk. I don't love to clean it up however.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous laura said...

My daughter did this for about a year and a half. So frustrating!! She did eventually outgrow it but I think a lot was just feeling comfortable enough to go on her own. The whole idea of poop coming out of her body just completely freaked her out and it was worse on the days she went to daycare beacause it wasn't Mom or Dad sitting beside her. I don't have any magic tricks for you just a few suggestions that worked for us. We kept a ton of books in the bathroom and one of us would sit on the floor with her and read for up to 30 minutes at a clip to try to get her to relax while sitting on the potty. It eventually did work. We also gave her a prune and large glass of water and a V8 every single day and we still do that because you never know when things might turn around. I swear I thought we were the only ones who had this problem!

PS I also switched up what I serveded my daughter for snacks during this "problem" time. I tried to pick items that had 4 grams of fiber or more.for example some of the Paul Newman organic line of pretzels are high protein and also have 4 grams of fiber. win win for us.

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is 3-1/2 and has been holding it in for about 2 months, on & off. This past two weeks it's gotten worse enough now that I'm researching if I should be more concerned. I'm a nurse at The Children's Hospital and have seen children loose the ability of their bowel to tell their brain its time to go from over-stretching their bowel and loosing sensation. This is a long time worse case scenario. I guess I'm going to keep better track of his fiber, decrease milk and try to avoid the power struggle....see if that works? Thanks for the advice

4:10 PM  
Blogger Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Hi! Found your post in the most roundabout of ways... My oldest son, now 12, held his from age, like TWO until, oh, six or seven. SRSLY. We've done stool softeners and seen specialists and all kinds of stuff. Even now (here comes TMI) when he goes, the shape of it suggests that his insides got so stretched out during the holding in (which would be DAYS on end). He's on a stool softener and I'm afraid to have him stop taking it.

And if that's not bad enough? It kinda seems like his younger brother, now 4, may be showing signs of doing this too.

Clearly, there's something freaky going on here.

Anyway - keep at it, it may be a while but eventually they do grow out of it. It's very common, we're told.

Hang in there!

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 2 year old daughter held her poop in for a year and a half. We tried everything from doctors, to a change in diet, to lax. Last year we moved to Costa Rica and within a week of being there she started going regularly everyday with no problem. We moved back to the United States this year and she started having problems within a week. The only familiar place for my kids in CR was a subway resturant in town. We ate there a few times a week, much more that in the states. My daughter always got lettuce and oil and vin. on her sandwiches, so I started getting shredded lettuce and putting a good bit of extra virgin olive oil on it with salt and pepper for seasoning. When she starts to hold it in I feed her just a few bites and she goes to the bathroom without any problem. I can feed her this while she is sitting on the toilet and it will come out right then.

Hope this helps some of you.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous clair29 said...

hi i have a 6 year old daughter who has been holding her poo now for the last 3 months, she was going to the toilet fine before all this.. she is standing stiff legged hides in the bedroom when she feels it time to go to the toilet.. and pooing her pants.. i have 2 keep her of school as i woudnt want other children to see her like that, i just dont know what to do. could any one give me adivce please thanks clair

6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had problems with my 9 (nearly 10 ) year old son since he was potty trained he never liked going poo on the toilet when he was first toilet trained so I had to put a nappy on him in order for him to do one, I thought he would grow out of it but even now he still holds his poo for days, he will go through a stage where he will go really well like every other day but then he will suddenly stop, he had a real nasty bout of diarrea when he was little and now he has a real phobia of having it and when thinks his poo will be 'runny' or soft that will be enough to stop him from going, I have tried everything from bribary to his nanny giving him £1 each time he goes. I worry about him as I dont know what damage he his doing to himself and I feel I dont know what else to try, any suggestions will be gratefully received!!

5:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I,m now 39 but can remember going through the holding poo in very well, It started when i was about 3or 4 i don't remember pooing ever being painfull but i do remember liking the feeling inside when holding it in (which i can't describe ) maybe it is more physicological because i was the only child then along came my brother maybe is an attention thing or is there problems within the family, i do know one thing the more fuss made about it the worse it got for me i had to go to hospital for an enima or flush quite a few times and was called names from other kids because i had poo'd myself, sorry its not much help but it more common than people realise

2:26 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Thank you for your comment, Anonymous! I am curious - when did you stop holding or did you ever and what eventually led you to stop? If you have any advice for parents out there, what would it be? I am desperate! Thank you!

8:06 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

I've set up the Yahoo Group!

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/encopresis_kids/

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI from over the pond,
My 5 year old has been holding on to it for 3 years now. One day I think he's cracked it and will do 2 in two days then we're back to 7 days between. I've been told to ignore it completley he's on regular lactulose but I think it's physicological. I think he's got a real thing about goingthe feeling, the smell everything. Any ideas how best I can tackle this, without mentioning it 20 times a day

Cheers
Debbie from the cotswolds

4:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, my daughter is 5 and has been holding her poop since she was 2, she also has Aspergers Syndrome and a TON of sensory issues. she is currently on PEG 3350 to help soften things, but I am desperate to find a more natural solution. we had to have her admitted and given an enema back in january, because she had a blockage. I have no answers, just glad to have others to talk to in the same situation.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Bryce said...

I'm a 17-year-old boy with encopresis. I have lived with this for as long as I can remember. I only learned what my problem was yesterday, because I have been so incredibly embarassed about it that I was unwilling to talk about it, even with any of my doctors. I have felt like a complete freak for my entire life and was made fun of throughout elementary and middle school. I cannot fully describe what it meant to me to find out what was wrong all this time. Now I know what to do to treat it, but I know that getting into a regimen of eating foods with fiber and sitting on the toilet every day will be extremely difficult, as I've always been an extremely picky eater and have ADHD on top of that.

I can't explain how I felt when I found out about encopresis. It's been a constant burden on my mind forever, and now I know that I'm not alone. I'm literally typing this post with tears in my eyes.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 32 and I used to suffer from encopresis. I don't remember for how many years. Maybe from 4 to 6-7. My memory fails me. I remember that there was something strangely nice about holding it, as someone already said. But mostly I think it was related to the fact that I was left on my own to deal with the toilet, and maybe I wasn't accepting that. My parents suddenly stopped helping me, and I think I got scared and felt left alone. I remember that when my father was still helping me he always had a disgusted expression, that may be related. Also, advice to parents, don't make your kids feel guilty about it. My parents did, and it felt really horrible. Once they found out, they just blamed me for being weird, without ever trying to understand. I think eventually I got out of it out of fear. My father was threatening to tell my schoolmates about it. But please don't try that on your kids! It really messed my self-assurance. All the best!

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a 3 yr old daughter that holds her poo and grinds to do so,she gose thru stages of being ok with it but never for long ,she can hold a week at a time and then she has a screaming fit when she cant hold anylonger.im beside myself as to know how to help her ive tried giving treasts for poo but she says she rather not,i tried the chart star thing and she just told me to put a cross,ive tried lax which dose work but very dramatically her screaming.the doc reckons ita all to do with diet but im not convinced at all.the only suggestion i have for anyone is we put her on the potty b4 we go to bed and shes half asleep she will poo then,besides that im totally lost

5:36 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

I have a 5 year old that was very constipated. We started working with our doctor to get it under control about 4 months ago. Until I saw some posts on here I didn't fully understand what he told me. I thought the issue would be solved if she wasn't constipated anymore. She does all the holding tricks still. I think her accidents are worse now than when she was constipated because there is not a blockage to slow it down. I'm wondering how long it will take for the stretching to get back to normal and I just don't know how to deal with all the accidents when we are not at home. It has been really tough for us.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have a 4 year old boy who appears to be suffering the symptoms ofstool withholding, have tried everything doctors not being much help just tell me he will grow out of it!!! Any advice would be greatly received.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Tiffany said...

I have a daughter who is 5 1/2yrs old and she has been holding her poop since 13 mths of age and we have been to the phsychiatrist and GI doctor for years and she is finally going 2-3 times a day but she is on 4 adult doses of miralax and was on senna syrup to get things going. Miralax just softens the poop with drawing water in to the poop and senna would stimulate her and push it out! We got a feeding tube in her nose at first because she refused to take the meds at 2 years old (it was a lot of liquid to get her to drink) now she has a tube in her stomach and gets 2 capfuls of miralax in the am after breakfast while she sits on the toilet and 2 capfuls after lunch while on the potty. Grant it these are drastic measures tubes, tests, botox in her sphincter. The girl has been thru a lot but if any of you could have seen her just a year ago she is completely a different child. A child that couldn't sleep thru the nite due to the pain of holding. She couldn't eat she was so tiny but had a very large tummy!! She was in the 1st percentile in her growth chart. When she was in pain she was very moody and nasty but now she is very pleasant. Since june 2008 we had her on a schedule with breakfast, meds, potty - poop, lunch, meds, potty - poop everytime and for the last year I saw her hold her poop a handful of time in the last year so we decided to cut back meds and she got to a dose where she started holding it again and we have been battling this for the past 2 months again. She also is scared of other potty's she will poop at home fine but will not go poop anywhere else and sometimes she will pee if she feels comfortable but 50% of the time she will not pee at homes we go to all the time. We have never gone a vacation as a family! She was known in the GI dept at childrens hospital in DC as the toughest stool retention patient that they had ever seen at such a young age!! She has the best GI doctor at childrens in DC!! Dr. Kerzner There is soo much more to this story just not enough time. Never revert back to diapers if possible. If we can do it anyone can! We had a horrible doctor in the beginning in loundon, VA that doctor was awful she had my girl get cleaned out every 4 hours in the hospital at the the age of 2 where a nurse put a liquid into a tube put it up her but about 9-12 inches and try to flush the poop that was impacted out and they didn't have enough staff on board so mommy and daddy had to hold her down how awful for a parent and how embarrassing for her. We were at the beginning stages of finding out all about her holding if I was to go back and do it again I would have never let them touch her. They had us giving her adult enemas every other day but she was holding so well that she held the enema too. Please if any of this starts for you don't let it go with out a doctor. my pediatritian didn't think much of this so neither did I until she was 2 years old and looked pregnant from so much poop in her bowels! Please take this serious and see a GI and clear everything thru them if your concerned in the least!

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HELP!
My child is 17 months and she does the same. She stopped holding it in for like 3 weeks while we were on holiday, but as soon as we got back home she will not go. Now she will not eat as her tummy is so full. I have tried prune juice (she is immune now) massaging her bunghole with vaseline, all she does is let the fart out but not the poo, she holds her tummy musscles and tightens her butt cheecks. She has not gone for 5 days and I am getting very distressed as her tummy is distended and will not eat anymore. She eats brekkie and refuses the rest, only wants drinks. I am so frustrated I feel like crying. What can I do? I am just fed up. I let her come to the loo with me so she can watch me and see it's no big deal, but at the end of it all, NOTHING!! she just dances around when she feels the urge. Very annoying. I wish she would just let it out. What to do?? HELP!!

7:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am now 34 i started holding my poo at about 5 and this went on untill i was in junior school, when i was about 5 i was admitted to hospital because a was eating it as well and i was vey poorly, i also had had an eating problem as well. I think this was all psycological what do you think?

8:15 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

Do you remember why you would hold it? I am curious. I do think a lot of it is psychological, but it is more complex that just that.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot remember how it started, when i needed to pass a stool i just held it in, like i said it was a constant problem that started at infants school and went on in to junior school, i rememer that often the assistant at school always had to clean me up and put clean underware on me or my teacher would have to take me aside and check me. I was taken into hospital because i had been eating it out of pants over a period of time and was ill, When i was 13 i discovered my mother had told the school i had coeliacs disease and they thought i was soiling myself because of that.

12:07 PM  
Blogger Gary Marsh said...

My son is 2 1/2 and we have recently started potty training. Early on he would poop on the potty with no problems. We would give him a small reward and tons of praise for doing it. The past week he seems to have not only reverted back to not using the potty, but also not pooping at all, even in his diaper. He absolutely refuses to let poop come out and he was up mos of the night last night crying because he had to fight off the urge all night long. My wife and I have upped his fiber, fruit intake, and water consumption to hopefully get to a point to where he cant hold it anymore, but it is not working yet. I suffered from this when I was a child, and for me it lasted for many years rather than a few months or so. This is really hard for me because I remember what I went through and I get really emotional when I see him so upset. It brings me right back to my childhood and all of the fears I had.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MY 3 1/2 YEAR old son holds his poop. This started as constipation almost 2 years ago, and now he just holds it. He's been potty trained for 1 1/2 years, so it's not that. He poops once a week. Just today I gave him a suppository because it had been a week since his last bowel movement.He and I are both at a high frustration level now. I'm trying to start sitting him on the potty after meals every day to try to get him used to pooping every day. I'm at my wit's end, it breaks my heart. He cries and sweats and screams, it is so pitiful. I'm comforted in knowing there are others out there going through the same thing and some have resolved the issue. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are definitely not alone. Please go to this link if you would like to join the Yahoo Group I formed: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/encopresis_kids/

There are many parents who can share advice on the board.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter caitlyn is 5 and a half, she was always constipated when she was younger but takes medication to help, she holds it more now than when she was constipated, she can hold it for a week at a time. Its extremely stressful because she wont let it out until she can't hold it any more then there's plenty of crying and screaming. I really don't no how to help her or make her understand wat she's doing is making it worse than it has to be. I never realised so many other parents and children went through the same.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 2 1/2 year old and is to busy to poop. He will not tell you that he has to go. He will just cross his legs and hold it in! I thought at firsst he was constipated and then we relized what he was doing. We try and watch him and take him to the bathroom and help him get it out!My husband and I just don't know what to do about it. We have tried everything! When we time it right and he finally goes it is large and scary for him. I can only hope this is a faze he is going through!!

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 2 1/2 year old and is to busy to poop. He will not tell you that he has to go. He will just cross his legs and hold it in! I thought at firsst he was constipated and then we relized what he was doing. We try and watch him and take him to the bathroom and help him get it out!My husband and I just don't know what to do about it. We have tried everything! When we time it right and he finally goes it is large and scary for him. I can only hope this is a faze he is going through!!

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter is almost 3 and has been holiding her poop since she was 2 years and 3 months old. She can hold it for up to 2 and 1/2 weeks and then she'll go really good for a couple of days and then she goes back to squeezing her butt together and screaming. It is very frustrating. any advice is greatly appreciated.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Megan87 said...

I noticed that you all have been experiencing problems with children soiling pants.

I am a research assistant the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recruiting parents of children who experience child soiling.

If you are interested, you may visit an online questionnaire asking about your child's behavior and your attitudes toward this serious and frustrating experience:

https://uncfunctionalgi.net/fi/cgi-bin/fiquestionnaire.cgi

You will be asked to complete two different questionnaires (one now and one in two weeks) which take a total of 15-20 minutes. You will be paid $10 for participating.

We appreciate your input. Thanks for your interest.

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am 35 and I remember doing this, why I did it and how I stopped. I began "holding" when I was around 3 or 4 because when I went inside to go poo my dog was hit by a car. It was very traumatic and I blamed myself. I held it until I was in first grade or so. I stopped because my Grandmother gave me an enema every two days for a week or so. That was a doctors orders so please don't do it on your own.
I know have a son that does it. He is three and started around two because he had a hard poo due to a milk/soy allergy. I have tried laxatives, oils and enemas. It is so tough and I don't know how to get him to stop. Something has to "click" in his head for him to stop. All I can do is try to avoid him getting hard poos. I hope he stops before he is "the kid that poops his pants" in school.

2:01 PM  
Blogger GreenLifeCarolina said...

My son will be 12 in 2 months and has been holding his poop for 4 years now.. He will poop in his sleep and hide or just wear his underwear.. We have him on a high fiber diet and make him sit on the toilet everyday twice a day.. It started to work the last few months

3:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is 3 1/2 and he started holding poop about 2 months ago. He had been potty trained for urine for a while but still is using a pull up for poop. We have increased fiber, changed diet, given daily fiber gummies but he still occasionally needs a laxative. He has always been an every other day pooper but started going 4 or 5 days. We called the doctor and did everything he told us to do with the diet and fiber. He is still holding and I feel so frustrated. No one knows how to help us help him. Is it normal to not go for a few days? What else can we do to help him?

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Mommy off the Record said...

Parents: Please go to the link at the bottom of my post and join the Yahoo Group. There are close to 400 parents sharing ideas, tips and support for managing this condition.

Also, go to www.soilingsolutions.com for a program that has worked for MANY parents that I know personaly.

--Mommy off the Record

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WE ARE POTTY TRAINING MY LITTLE GIRL, AND SHE GOES PEE IN THE POTTY NO PROBLEM. WHEN IT COMES TO POOP SHE WILL NOT GO.SHE WILL SIT ON THE POTTY AND SCREAM. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I HAVE TRYED TO MAKE HER SIT THERE. THAT DOES NOT WORK, SHE JUST SCREAMS THE WHOLE TIME. YOU CAN TELL SHE HAS TO GO SHE WILL HAVE A LITTLE BIT OF POOP IN HER PANTYS.SHE WALKS AROUND HOLDING HER BELLY. SO I KNOW THAT IS HURTS HER. I HAVE STARTED STOOL SOFTNERS. WE WILL SEE HOW THAT GOES. I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND....

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 12 years old and I have been holding my poop since about 3 or 4, I sometimes blame it on my eating habits but I'm anorexic so I don't see how that fits. When I was in 2nd grade my mom put me on this weird, bland diet and I don't remember if it worked or not, but I go sometimes and I hate admitting it to friends! Ugh, this is so embarrassing to post but hopefully someone has ideas of how I can get over this Gosh Dang problem...I'm sick and tired of people poking my stomach and saying I have a Potbelly or whatever >.> If you have any information about how to stop wil you Please Please PLEASE comment or whatever?!?!?!

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the last commenter, please google Soiling Solutions. I do not work for them, but know this program has been of great success for young children and teenagers alike. ALso, feel free to join the Yahoo Support Group linked to in this post. Best of luck!

9:23 PM  
Blogger kim said...

My daughter is amost 4 years old and she holds her poop. I have tried everything .nothing helps. I'm so frustrated.. Please give any sugestion you may have..

12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is your Child Constipated or Seems to Withold her Poop?

My baby is 2 years and 2 months old now and she'd been withholding her poop from the time she was 1. When she's not busy playing or watching t.v - my baby lay face down on bed and squeeze her 2 legs very hard, her body is so stiff she looks like a mannequin when we try to hold her up, sometimes hides under a pillow when she does this. when she poops, she holds on to my leg.


As to frequency- i dont worry much because she poops once a day, but i assume she needs to go twice a day because I often see her squeeze her legs before bedtime or in the morning - if she doesn't poop for 2 days -im already worried - when this happens, I give her lactulose (prescribed by her pedia) and this helps a lot.


I've consulted several pedias to ask why she squeezes her legs and looks like in deep pain but doest cry-but they are not very adept with the issue. these are the assumption of the pedias I visited -UTI might be causing this, another one told me to have her poop examined bec she might have worms and her anus might be itchy... Hah!!! How could they not know!!!


Last night, it was worst because she was moaning while doing this. This prompted me to check the net and I saw this article which helped me understand my baby's condition....


http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/928185-overview


-----> To sum it up - Babies/children withhold poop because they associate popping with pain. (painful pooping because of constipation)
-----> let them take plenty of fluids and fibers to soften poop
-----> Use laxatives (eg lactulose) regularly until she no longer associate pooping with pain


I hope the article would help you too coz it did clarify a lot of issues i had in mind.

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my daughter went through this for 4 years while she lived with her mother in the end i took her to court and won custody sorted the problem out by being firm and making her sit on the toilet untill she had been sometimes 5-6 hours but it worked now 3 years without a problem it started out of the blue and im dealing with it again

kennyrosenthal at hot mail dot com

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi all, it is amazing how many people have this problem with their kids. My daughter might have it but not sure yet she is pooing only every 2nd to 3rd day and sometimes if not most of the times it hurts her and cries. Today got me concerned as it broke my heart to watch her trying to push it out and hurting her, we opened a reflexology book and looked at the presure points for bowels and little intestine. We massaged her feet with a bit of baby oil just above the heel area of the foot and she managed to push it out which was unbelievable. I cannot guarantee that it works as this is the first time we tried this and I was thinking maybe others should try the massage the pressure points methode. Give it a go and see how it goes. Spread the words if it works. I hope it does

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am 21 years old now and I can remember holding stool when I was about 6 or 7 years old.
As it was mentioned in previous posts, the act gives strange physical pleasure that's hard to describe.
Nevertheless, this makes it more difficult to poop afterwards.

To answer your question I don't exactly know how it stopped I just started realizing that it was not a good thing and just quit.
If you really don't know what to do I would suggest you let your child "hold it" just not to take it too far (has to poop at least once in 3 days) and most importantly DO NOT make a big deal out of it...

Hope this helps

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your post but was looking for other information. I just wanted to share. My oldest son, who is now 6, has a limited diet (multiple food allergies) and I think this led to him being constipated. it hurt to poop and he was afraid to poop again. He bled, cried, held it in for days. wE have done enemas.

We finally saw a specialist and she had us give him Miralax daily. Ask your doc, better yet a specialist, about it. Ours was a bowel/intestinal specialist (cannot remember the exact specialty).

In all the posts, no one mentions Miralax. its not a laxative where your body becomes dependent on it. well, i don't work for miralax so just read up on it and do your research.

best of luck to all the parents out there with constipated kids

9:19 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

OH MY GOSH this comment thread helps SOOOO much!! I am potty training my oldest--he's been pretty reticent about the whole affair, but he's three and pretty well pee-trained. Poop is a different story, and it seems after all we've been through and from what I read that we're actually dealing with encopresis. It may not yet be the fix/solution, but GOSH it helps to know that I'm not just a dysfunctional teacher when it comes to potty training!! There is hope! Light at the end of the tunnel, even!!

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 3 1/2 year old daughter used to hold her poop and we would have such a battle of crying. When she could not hold it any longer, it would come right out without to much effort. Now she goes still only once a week or more without the battle, but I am still concerned. So many toxins can build up with that much time gone by. There must be more to diet besides lack of fiber. Too much of something maybe?

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couple things that are helping my 3 year old...even though we are in a bad session right now. DanActive is a drink that gets the good bacteria back in their gut. Prune juice or baby food, and those fiber gummy bears. I am about to try milk of magnesia to get this flushed out. good luck!

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Kacy said...

I am 22 years old. My poo holding started in kindergarten when I got in trouble by the teacher for having to go potty. I had to go to the hospital a few times for enemas. Then I told my mom I hated her for at home enemas. Kids didn't really make fun of me at school but I hid it very well. lets see if I can help.... Um I remember eating 27 grams of fiber a day on top of 10 tbl spoons of milk of magnesia. It worked very well and I called myself the mean green pooping machine. But after my parents stopped supervising my milk of magnesia intake... I would only pretend to take it bc it was so yucky. I still have problems to this day. And this is the first time i've ever told anyone. I poo maybe once every two weeks now. I try not to hold it but it takes two weeks or so for my body to push it out... And my poo is very big and painful. If I have to go and my is not ready, I break into like a cold sweat and get very irritated. At times I can't even sleep. I'm about to go on a high fiber diet again and basically chug milk of magnesia. I'll let you know how that works after so much time has went by living like this. Oh, and I remember I used to love beanie weenies. They're high in fiber. But they didn't add fiber to everything then like they do now. Hope this helped a little.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Candi said...

I would love some feedback on this. My oldest daughter held herself for about 2 yrs. She is now 6 and has outgrown it; however I have a 2 yr old that has recently started holding herself. I would LOVE any advice on the subject. Thanks!

2:38 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

5 yr old son does this, load him up with prunes in the am, whole wheat, fruit and veggies.. keep away from things that back him up dairy, bananas, rule is if you don't BM on the potty by noon, after lunch you have to sit on the potty, read magazines, books and toy catalogs we have a 98% success rate within 10 mins.. i would even resort to the dvd player if the above mentioned did not work. my doctor said this is fine that the normal function is to have a bm after a meal, don't have to deal with poopy underware 4x a day. dr also said this is very common.

8:36 PM  
Blogger maddmom said...

ok my babies been holding her poo in since she was about 6 months she clinches her cheeks her legs stiffing up and she turns really red we tried different things to make her go but now her legs are to strong and its getting harder she doesnt have a proble with using it she just wont let it out and its driving me crazy

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't read all of the post, but the ones I have read are helpful. My daughter has been doing this several months now. She is 2 and a half and it is driving me insane. I think we go through 10-12 pair of panties per day, because she holds it in but there is enough on her bottom that it gets in her panties and i have to wipe her to prevent, rash! Last night I noticed while sitting on the floor in front of her, that she has a hemorrhoid. I have called the Dr. and am waiting on a call back, but just wanted to make it an FYI sort of thing. I use little tummy's on a daily basis, as well as glycerin suppositories, with no luck at all. Hopefully I can get some relief for her and myself from the Dr., but that is doubtfull at this point.

11:11 AM  
Blogger sroth said...

my daughter is 2 and a half and has been holding her poop in for a year now. i used miralax daily for 6 months, but stopped as it just seems to make her bottom more sore. my main concern now is her bloody bottom - she crosses her legs, screams in pain and beats the wall at least 10 times a day, and every time a little dime sized piece of poop comes out so i have to clean her up which has resulted in a bloody bottom. she has also lately started waking up due to poop starting to come out while she sleeps. apparently my husband and mother in law both remember doing this as children, but they were much older. pediatrician started her on prozac which made no difference. suggestions??

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my son who is 2 has been holding his poop for almost 2 weeks now...2enemas and still holding ,hes on laxatives and stillcan hold it...its consuming our lives and making me feel like a terrible mommy:( If anyone can help me please email me lindsay_macdonald@live.com

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I found these strategies help with little kids even though they may seem weird. Tummy massages, blowing balloons or bubbles while sitting on the toilet, singing poo songs, talking to the child tummy 'hello mr poo' and being silly, making sure they are comfortable and relaxed. I also try not to fuss too much and be really excited when they do go and praise them for it even if it isn't in the toilet. If they only like to go in their nappy or pants u can try putting a cloth nappy across the toilet or potty and then removing it when they get the knack of it.

4:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, my 7 year old son has this same problem. He went 7 years doing well pooping and then over the summer had some constipation. He started holding it in and we didn't realize how bad he was. To our knowlege he had been going potty as normal. Then we started seeing poop stained underwear. I started finding hard little poop balls and flakes that would fall out of his pants around the areas that he played and in the bathroom. I started getting suspicious and more involved in the process again and found out that he wasn't really pooping. He was just wiping out the little poop that accidentally escaped him. I found this out because he was forgetting to flush. No poop in the toilet just lots of toilet paper. He began stinking. Everywhere he sat would stink because he was accidentally releasing some poop into his pants. When he feels the poop coming he will not sit to go potty now. He stands next to the toilet and squeezes tight until he regains control. He wipes up what escaped. He changes his underwear and pants and then goes back to what he was doing. He'll go through 6 underwears in a day. This has become very embarrasing for him and us. He had accidents in public. Now we are carrying several underwears and pants wherever we go. He just woke up at 11pm crying because the poop was coming out in his sleep. We stayed up with him until 12:30 trying to help him poop. His poop is very soft right now but he clenches and starts to cry everytime he feels it start to come out. After an hour and a half he had poop plastered all over his butt and toilet seat but nothing landed in the toilet. He has school tomorrow. Yikes. I just wish we could find the combo to help him overcome his fears. I just finished scrubbing a bucket full of very poopy underwear. Poor kid. One time at a fun restaurant for kids his buddy kept saying something stinks and was sniffing around trying to figure it out. I knew it was my son. Anyway, it's becoming a nightmare. He has gotten to the point where he doesn't want to do anything but lie on the floor watching tv because if he doesn't move then he won't feel the urge to poop which scares him. Good luck to all of you out there trying to help your kids. We have hopes that he can remember how to poop again someday.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

It is such a relief to read the original poster's story. Yes, yes and yes... totally relate. My daughter just turned three and we have been struggled with this for two whole years. No, it's NOT a potty training issue. It's NOT a diet issue. It BEGAN as a simple constipation issue when I weaned her from breastmilk to whole milk after her 1st bday. She passed a very painful stool.... and decided to never poop again. Constipation isn't an issue anymore because she's on 3/4 cap of Miralax everyday. It's either that or a fleets enema, which are very traumatic on her and I. We've tried everything under the sun, and the Miralax is the only thing thats helped. If my daughter could, she'd hold it in. But the yogurt consistency stools come out on their own, even as she crosses her legs. Tenderness/raw skin from the frequent pull-up changes and the squeezed butt cheeks is a CONSTANT battle. The pediatric GI wants me to keep on with the Miralax for at least two more months and "let's see where we are then"... but I dont see her improving in her own EMOTIONAL struggle with needing to go poop. I worry she's been on Miralax so long she's forgets that pooping is supposed to be getting an urge to make a poop and then pushing it out. REGARDLESS of the potty-training status. The social implications from this are horizon, too. I'm anxious to put this behind us before is becomes a school-age problem!

Would love to hear what effective treatment plans out there treat the psychological/emotional side of stool holding. How do I get her to stop crossing those legs? It is just time? Are their any good psych Drs. specializing in this?

9:41 PM  
Blogger MLE said...

Attn: Kacy... start by going to see your doctor or a nurse practitioner, and drink down a cap of miralax in the waiting room (lol) You can buy it over the counter. It dissolves completely in any liquid. It works fast and is pretty safe. If you're stools are big and painful and you've had this problem your whole life... you could damage your colon permanently.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, our daughter has just turned 3 and we have been going through this for about 8 months now. She was quick to potty train and used to poo in the potty and toilet no problem. Now I have seen me go through 10-12 pairs of knickers a day because when she is trying to hold it in a little piece seems to squeeze its way out!! But to make it worse she then puts her fingers in it...it is gross!! I have seen me sobb because GP and Health Visitors just send you away saying she will grow out of it, not a lot of help!! I feel heart sorry for her because it can be so frustrating and I cannot help sometimes getting cross...I feel much more re-assured knowing others are going through the same thing!

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I have a 2 year old daughter named Abby. Since she was born she has always cried when she pooed. Just rescently, I have noticed her standing really stiff and holding it in. When that happends I take her in and sit her on the potty. It worked the first couple times, but now she won't go on the potty. Yesterday she cried for 45 minutes strait and my husband had to take her to the emergancy room and the doc had to "help" it out. I feel so bad for her and I'm absolutely lost at what to do......PLEASE HELP????

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter would go poop every night on the potty from 18 months until just recently. She turns 3 in a month. We potty trained her 3 months ago. She was fine and then she started holding it for like 3 days. I knew she had to go because her belly was big and he farts smelled terrible for a kid. We have to bribe her to go and she pushes so hard she shakes and her nose runs. I feel so bad. I feel even worse because when I was a kid I used to hold it in too. It would get so big that I never wanted to poop because it hurt and it always clogged the toilet and I was humiliated. One time I walked home from a birthday party with my butt clenched together because I didn't want to poop at the party. The party was a few streets away. I went home, pooped and went back. I finally stopped doing this in college. Living in a suite with 3 other girls, I had no choice but to go everyday so I wouldn't clog the toilet. I am so worried about my kid. Trying to nip this in the bud now. I am not sure of she likes the feeling like me. Or, she just doesn't want to take the time out to sit there. She is pretty hyper so getting her to stay still for anything is a project.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so glad to hear we are not alone! my daughter is now almost 7 and has been"withholding" for about 2 years on and off. like many of you, she would be ok for a while then for no reason would start holding it again. it is definitely hard. I worry about her being teased because of the smell coming from her underpants. anyway in the past we have let her soak in the tub until we see the signs of her holding it. it seems to relax her. i try to distract her by getting her to talk about different things. once she showed the signs, i'd put her on the toilet then wedge my knees between her legs so she couldn't squeeze them together. i know it sounds like torture but in the end she always said "thank you mommy". we also try to give her laxative everyday. so glad i found this site!

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey i'm 17 and i hold my poo in i have done this from till i can remember and my brother who is 13 does it to my mum and dad have tryed all kind of thing bribery punishment and even wiv my little brother saying if he stops he get to were big boy pants and all these worked for a wile but not for long once my parent wiv my little brother once got some mints and said that they were tablets from the doctor that would make him stop doing that and that worked untill the mints ran out so my guess is it something to do wiv the mind :/but then my mum and dad split up so it was kindda forgot about. anyway when we held it in we would end up wiv poo in ower pants i once herd my brothers class mates smelt it on him and called him all tho my class mate smelled it i would just play along and blame it and someone els (i know its wrong) but i was a shammed and i got away wiv it i think my parents never told may to as its a bit of a wired thing :/. and also when we did poo ower pants we both us to hide them from ower parents. now that we are both older we do it less but i know i still do it not sure about my brother cause he lives wiv my dad but my parents are unawear that i still do it as i hide everything when i do it i usally go hide somewere it may even be in the tolit so it would be just as easy to go to the loo. in the 1st place i have no idea why i do it but after a bit i feel scared that it will hurt when it comes out cause its built up to much and will be big i do not feel good or pleasure from it in fact i hate it it hurt as you're holding it in. but one time and this as only happend once i braved my self to go to the low and after holding on days like i normaly do but when it was over even tho it hurt like mad i was kinnda sad it was over but that as never happend again and everytime i do do it it hurts that bad i say to my self this is the last time but it never is i cant seem to help my self and somethimes don't relise im doing it,but when im already in the midlle of holding it i hae to wait even tho i judt want to get it out i have to wait till am brave to go to the loo cause it hurts when it comes out after holding it. but i still do it again and i hate it when its happens somethimes i hold it in for days maybe even a week. sorry about the spelling im dyslexic

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 9 yr old girl who has been holding it for 5 years on and off. She will do great for 6 months and then she suddenly stops. I have talked to drs about this and they say children have nothing in their life that they can control except their bathroom habits. This makes sense but it doesn't help. I am so scared she is going to do permanent damage to her self. I have tried lax enemias and fiber u nAme it I have tried it. She is getting to where she doesn't want to eat all she wAnts to do is sleep. Im desperate for help.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous andria said...

My daughter is 4 years old and has been holding in her poop for a year and 3 months. It started after she had a bout of constipation and even with laxatives, diet change, etc she still holds. She will hold for 2 weeks at a time and when she goes she feels horrible about herself. I try to reassure her but sometimes I get so frusterated because now she's holding her pee sometimes. She was diagnosed with the disorder today and have tried everything, keep posting suggestions I will try anything.
Andria

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. My daughter is now 4...and has been doing this for over a year and a half....she has a twin, who goes just fine. She went through a spell for about a month where she played in her poop when she was 3..so I know she's not afraid of it. Very healthy appetite...but this is very hard on my whole family ...the attitude changes that comes along with her pain...and tempered during the time of a huge movement...I don't know what else to do..as most ...

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Erini said...

My daughter is just over 2 and has been doing it for a year and a half we have tried everything to but so far no success,she will hold on for a week plus sometimes won't eat properly and just lies on the floor crossing her legs over constantly, we just want to help her get through this, has anyone gone through and come out of this successfully, if so would appreciate any tips you have, we are at our wits end with this

10:08 PM  
Anonymous Nora said...

I don't know if this is what I had, but I normally went every 1 1/2 - 2 weeks. No often. I asked my mom if it was always the problem. She told me since I stopped nursing I stopped pooping regularly. She was blaming it on the food, but I think it was more like missing the closeness with her. My father called me kangaroo because if I could I would sit in my mom's pocket to be as close to her as possible.
I did not have pain because of this and I did not get fat or unable to eat. One thing what I have to admit I was able to go for days without drink anything. That was part of the problem for sure.
It stopped like magic when I got pregnant. I started to go every day and it did not turn back even after my son was born. My husband said our son fixed me :)
Now that is a happy ending except my son has the same problem too.
He was potty trained when he was over 2. Normally he went every second day. Then we have no idea why he started to forget to go to the toilet sometimes in the last 3 months. We did not think too much about it until that became the normal way to do business.
Now he is 3 and I know what doctors would say so I don't bother to ask. Now he is able to hold it a week before let it go into his pants. If we try to take him to the toilet all we get for reward is fight and few more days of holding back.
We try to ignore it as much as possible. I also read somewhere it is might be all about control. So I am thinking what can I give him to be charge of. He doesn't want to choose his clothes or whatever as he loves to be served.
Please help us!

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Robyn Atkins said...

Hi, My six year old son is autistic and he has been witholding ever since i started potty training.. I know its a result of trying to change his routine but he can go over a week now before he finally cant fight it off anymore... I know this is not healthy but his autism doesnt help things.. I like to see what other parents do to try to help... I have let the potty training for for now in hopes that he will begin to go back to normal.. but no luck so far.. I do miralax, water, fiber every other day... it is just him not wanting to go.. he also doesnt communicate very much at the moment so Im not sure what he understands and what he doesnt.. just that he doesnt wanna go so he thinks he wont have to if he holds it

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hv a son who is 6yrs old who hs been holding his poop for the past 2yrs or more we hv done the enemas and laxitives and he hates enemes hates pull ups and will even hold on the toilet. Im even thinking of the hospital tm cuz i soo over it We hv done therapy for over a year nd it would be good then bad rolercoster but never great he also soils his underwear ,yes he cleans them but he could care less if he had a dirty butt. In Colorado there is this building unit who specialize in this as well as peeing in bed ect. Clled PEEP CLINIC ANYTHING ELSE WOULD HELP!!!!

8:02 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

my son corben is a little over 3 years old, and we have been having this holding poop in problem scene he was about 9 months old to now. i have done everything doctors and friends and family has suggested but nothing works well, some days he will be fine and others he wont. this problem has made it almost impossible to potty train him. he has no interest in it at all. its really affecting the way i parent ( because i am at my wits end ) im also expecting my second child so my emotions and low patience are making mine and corbens relationship rocky!! i could use some major help!! please what can i do to save him from his pain and my heartake??

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello I'm in need of help I'm going crazy. My son is 9 1/2 and he has been holding his poo in so he wont miss out on any thing, like ( a TV show, PS3 game, or a game on the computer etc.) I have took him off the PS3 & computer because I thought that was why hes doing that. He has held his poo in for 6 years on and off and I have gave him everything you can think of and also took him to see the Dr. I even told him just a few days ago, I am not washing any more underwear and once hes all out he is going to have to ware "good nights" (they are like a pull up but for older kids.) I have stoped washing his underwear and I just throw them out now. I also took more things from him that mean alot to him, thinking that he will stop holding his poo so he can start getting his stuff back, but I don't think its working,. I know hes not constipated because he can go poo with no problems when he wants to.
PLEASE HELP ME , I don't know what to do. And it is killing me to make him ware "good nights" and also to take away the things I know he likes. Every time I see another pair of dirty underwear I start to cry. PLEASE HELP ME.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Freelance Lady said...

I thought I was alone.

I just wrote a blog post about this and decided to do some research on the subject and to find others that might be going through the same thing.

My son will be 5 this year, and attend kindergarten in the fall. I'm not sure how that will go over, considering that he is holding his poop again.

It wasn't always this way. When he turned 3, he was pooping and peeing in the potty. When we moved into our new home, he started holding it in. After "re-potty training" him, he did well for awhile, but recently, started doing it again.

It's SO frustrating. I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. It really does make me feel like a failure sometimes. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

I'm going to implement some of the tips I've learned (like starting him on Miralax and just waiting) and hopefully that works.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is 12 and Aspergers also, as well as ODD. We did not notice "a problem" until last summer when we would see soiled underwear : ( The stomach dr we saw said it seems to be a behavioral issue. His therapist said "stomach disease" is common of children with Aspergers.

What is PEG 3350, if u don't mind me asking? And is it over the counter or prescription?

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I myself actually did this for years. Up until I was about 13? Yeah. Very long time. At first I just didn't want to go but then since I would eventually have to let it out I started holding it because it hurt so bad to go. When I was little my mom used laxatives, fiber drink powder, even an enama. Eventually I just gradually stopped. Though I was doing some research and I think I have an enlarged colon now.. The left side of my abdomen is a little bigger than the other and I can only go about once a week..

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a two year old daughter that can go for weeks without pooping, which to me can't be normal, she doesn't hold her legs together or squeeze her butcheaks together, she eats normallyand drinks alot, she pees alot but this fustrates me because i know it can't be normal she doesn't complain about belly ackes and hasno gas we are trying to potty train her now but i don't know what to do because she hasn't pooped in a while since we started training on the 5th of august, should i take her to the doctor? I've tried giveing her beans,juice, pedalite, i've tried petrolium jelly as well and got no results. does anyone have any ideas to help me get her to poop? it freaks me out that she can go weeks without pooping but when she does it's massive. Help me please i'm so despreate

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm emailing... This is too much! My 4 yr old twin B was just in the hospital the week of the 4th of July. Yes he is a holder and has been since he was 18 months. In the hospital they put a tube in his nose and filled his belly with golitely. He still held it in! The Nurses were shocked! Three days later he went and was sent home with the same old formulas. He has keyed into all my tricks of sneaking in laxitves and stool softener. He will only drink juice from a bag or a box and has refused his hot coco or chocolet milk this is where i put the sena. I'm resorted back to giving him Magnisium rich foods and drinks... Still I can not understand why he has gone back to holding. The Gastro said he is scared... ? And just let it drip out...ha? I have twins and now twin A is holding! These doc's know 0 about this and I'm scared this could be a larger problem. Im going back to the Protocol of sitting for three min every 12min two times and then a suppositorie and sit two times for three and then enima. We were good last winter and he was going in school and then I stoped and it was back to this... He now holds so much more! He has sooo much lax and softener and suppositories up there! It's never ending and my husband blames ME!

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am now thirty years old and I've been dealing with holding my bowl movements since I was four or five. Now I have a three year old who is also dealing with it. For me, it is physically uncomfortable to go. I don't know if I'm just 'blessed'with extra nerves in my colon or what, but I hate how it feels. Even now I have to fight the urge to hold it, telling myself it will be worse if I do. Unfortunately it hasn't helped me in dealing with my own daughter. She says she doesn't want to talk about it, so it's a constant struggle. I just hope we can with through it with her before it becomes a constant problem.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son (almost 4) holds his poop in. He is developmentally delayed, so potty training has been a challenge. What's terrible is that he has extremely sensitive skin, so holding it in, just crapping out tiny little poops multiple times a day absolutely tears his butt up. We did Miralax per doctor's instruction, but he STILL holds it. Multiple tiny poops per day, then a massive poop after several days. God, this is frustrating.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 5 year old is holding in her poop and she goes and its runny in her underwear.. its awful especially when shes in school. She was on miralax which helpd until my husband quit giving it to her and now im back to square 1 i dont know what to do... drs dont help i dont know what to do with school tommarow... some one have advice

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You aren't alone! I went through the same thing until I was 15. I'm 24 now. I never understood why I was like that. I thought I was the only one. Can't believe there is a name for it!

Just know you can get past it.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 5 yr old has been holding it in for a long time! Has been constipated since a baby. He also still wets the bed at night! My doctor is great she says they are working together and in this case not working together. I have been given instructions to get him to regulate going to the toliet. He is on stool softners and I have a reward system like a sticker chart for when he goes. He has to sit in toliet for 5 mins after each main meal of the day. He has an egg timer. He gets a star for sitting and a planet for pooing! 5 planets and we get a big reward. The aim is go once a day! I believe the system works. He goes a lot more. My only problem is keeping the consistentcy of it. He seems to be going ok, I work and have a new baby so get sidetracked and stop staying on top of it! Kids are hard work!

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My child is nearly 8 years (boy) and has had problems with bowel movements since birth....

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a 18 year old boy who had the same problem. (Holding it in). It started when i was a 1 year old. I was in my play seat and i was making wierd grunting noises and my face was red, then finally it came out but i pushed so hard i fell asleep, (my mom told me this). And then i kept holding all the way until i was 15. I found out i held it becuase i was scared that it would hurt again. I did murilax and everything else and then i was back to normal. and then back to holding. It got so bad that i used to be able to hold it for a month and not poop. But then i got over it by just going to the bathroom, it always interfeared with bieng able to do stuff with my friends, and i didnt want to be stuck in the bathroom all day holding it in pain. I used to call it Jail Time becuase i wasnt able to leave the bathroom with out going back in there to hold it. I made big messes in the bathroom too, I eventually stopped becuase i didnt want to have to relive those bad moments, i eventually reduced it to holding it once and then the 2nd time i would poop. SOmetimes i would hold it in so hard that it pushed its self out(cross legged holding). But Parents when you know your child is holding it in the bathroom go in the bathroom while there holding it. It will make them embarresed or scared and they will sit on the toilet and get it out. The reason you do it why there holding it is becuase its already almost coming out and if you walk in on them they will sit and it will slide out becuase there not blocking it from coming out.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 5 year old boy , since he was born it has always been an issue with so much pain and tears. He till this day has to take mralax so he doesn't get constipated , but at times it still happens and when it does he instantly goes back to FBI king about tbe pain, holding it, legs crossed, buttcherks tightened but as of last he won't even sit on tbe toilet he stands and then diarrah swamp all over himself and floor. I'm going nuts, he's suppos to start kindergarten this comi g year and I'm supper stressed I just recently kept him home from preschool. Please someone help me or give me some really good adive I'm really stressed out but yet feel so bad for my little guy :(

10:59 AM  
Blogger funnyfemale said...

My 10 year old son does this same thing, and has been holding his poop for roughly 6 years.....and counting. In his case, it IS a behavioral thing. He's got oppositional defiant disorder (ODD is the technical term) and I've read several blogs, articles, and actually asking several doctors of his, and i guess its pretty common in children with psychological and behavior problems. Control issue? Probably. Is he constipated? NO! Countless xrays have been done over the years and every one comes back that he is NOT CONSTIPATED. There's just a lot of poop in his intestines and he leaves thick, long skidmarks in his underwear because there's so much. I call it "prairie dogging" or "turtle head". He holds his poop for so long, it scares me to think he might have to wear pull ups for the rest of his life if he does not work on becoming a "regular pooper". This may or may not shock some people who are reading my comment, but, my son can hold his poop for over 2 weeks at a time. Sometimes 3 weeks. That is insane! Just tonight, he did end up going in the toilet, which was a huge relief (no pun intended lol), and boy oh boy was it ever MASSIVE! I kid you not, it was the circumference of a tennis ball......maybe slightly bigger, and about 10 inches long. Every suggestion or attempted remedy has failed. Miralax, strong laxatives, high fiber, drinking lots of water or juice, fruits, enemas, suppositories, etc. You name it, I've tried it. I really don't know what to do for him as it cannot be good or healthy for his body. And he also has very poor hygiene and he smells awful. I feel bad saying that, but he does. He stinks to high heaven. But of course he can't smell it because he's become accustomed to the smell. He sits on his heels, walks funny, clinches his butt cheeks. I'm a single mom and i just can't afford to keep buying him new underwear. What am i supposed to do? He is not my only child. I have a 3 year old as well so it makes things harder to do. Its like I'm potty training two 3 year Olds instead of just one. We are all miserable. I gather it is affecting my 10 year old the most. He has little self esteem, he cries because he is dubbed the psycho smelly kid in class. That makes me so sad. He doesn't deserve that, but he just won't go poop! He refuses. He gets mad when i try to talk to him about it and because he has ODD, he often attacks me physically and verbally and will not even acknowledge the fact that I'm even talking to him. He just attacks. His psychiatrist and therapist have asked me to stop bringing it up to him, and i did for a long time, but that just made things worse. Doctors say "he will go when he is ready. He will go eventually". Um, excuse me? ! They think they know everything, when in all actuality, they do not. I'm not a doctor, but I'm not an idiot. Is my Childs health not important to them? Apparently not. Rude rude rude!

9:26 PM  
Blogger Dana Brand said...

I'm not sure if my son is holding his poop. He used to go daily and suddenly started going every four days. The only thing is that when he goes it is loose like paste. Could this be just him holding it? He is almost three and does not like the potty or being changed. Has anyone else experienced soft poop after holding for days?

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi my son has been doing this for 3 years now no idea why and I wss wondering what has worked for othrrs because I have been at my wits end with this poopy p as nts and painfull bowel movements when he finally does go doctors hsd little advice and all my family is clueless as to what to do. Help please any suggestions welcomed.

12:03 PM  
Anonymous honest diaper reviews said...

I tried many many different diapers before I decided on these. I like them because (1) they are the only ones out of all the others that I tried that held everything in and were super-absorbant for nighttime and (2) fit my big baby better than their same size competitors. If you have a large baby, these fit well. My baby also used to poop right out of other diapers and these actually contain it!

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im 11 and i hold in my poop and i dont think it feels good i just feel like when i gotta go i have to hold it in i usually hold it in for a 1-4 days but lately ive been holding it in for 1 week and even 2 and a half weeks and im afraid i might have got a diesease or some thing but i dont feel like any thing is wrong. Can someone please tell me a way to go without any medication or stool softner or even change my diet

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need help please! My daughter is nine andshe keep making pooin her pants. Today it when we where at home with one of her close friends,then we went out with another or her school friend andit happened again... what can I do , please help

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need help please! My daughter is nine and she keep making poo in her pants. Today it when we where at home with one of her close friends,then we went out with another or her school friend and it happened again... what can I do , please help

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am now 36 years old when I was young far as I can remember 6-10. I would hide stiff legged and hold it when I had to go. Because it hurt so bad to go! . I'd get in trouble when I would shut in my underwear. It was a horrible part of my life. I finally decided that I had to force myself to go because it hurt worse when I held it. Mom tried laxatives doctors bran cereal, nothing worked. It hurt to go for years, it would tear and bless.but I went. It wasn't until I was about 25 when I had my second child and learned she was allergic to milk I figured it out. She screamed because her belly hurt, so did mine, she couldn't go. Neither could I. I cut out milk and dairy, I'm good now! I was glad I could help my kids deal with this. I hope this helps some one!

8:14 PM  
Blogger Dizzy Lizi said...

Hi there, Sounds weird but Im really pleased to find a place where everyone is going through a similar thing. My son is almost 5 , and about to start school. He has had this for 2 years now. All of the same symptoms as everyone is mentioning holding for up to a wk, though in the past 14 days is his max, pain in his stomach.But he will also be sick of he holds too long has anyone else experienced this? We have seen drs, specialists all of the above, but all that they do is prescribe movicol a laxative. It does work but the trouble with it is that it causes him to leak severely and this is worse then when he holds as the mess is aweful. Im at my whits end as he will go for a few wks on the loo, but then he will revert back to holding. I really dont know what else I can try as tried all of the techniques (star charts, rewarding, ignoring ) nothing works. It Wud just be lovely to have a friend going through the same thing as no one seems to understand. If anyone wants a mate they can vent too about this, as I know I Wud my email address is lillybo.prior@email.com. Thank you for reading and any advice Wud be appreciated as we are starting a new stage school and Im dreading it now. Cheers, Lizi, UK.x

12:48 AM  
Anonymous lexie said...

im a 17 year old girl and ive been holding my poop in for soo long I really cant even remember how or why I started but im soo afraid to go because every time I do it hurts soo much, I wish there was someone I would talk to about it, I mean my family knows about it but they think that I don't do it anymore and I recently have told my bf because I love him and I trust him and I know he supports me, he is always telling me how important it is to go poop and not hold it bit idk, he doesn't understand you know?? I often just cry soo much because now its like a terrible habbit that I cant control and I wish I never started doinbg this, email me at lovekills951@yahoo.com if you are my age and also have the same problem

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Kelly UK said...

My daughter (4) has been holding her poo for 2yrs now. She can hold her poo for up to 9 days. It is very frustrating knowing she needs a poo but holds it. She says she is tired, she lays down or wants to go to bed, she sits with her heel blocking her bottom, she jumps around, cries and holds her bottom. She has even been sick because of holding it for 9 days. I have done all the research, bought books, done star charts & bribery. We were referred to a paediatrician 3ish weeks ago. We knew it was a mental thing, scared to go because it would be spikey and hurt and we were worried she had stretched bowel. She was on lactulose but that didn’t seem to work and she got tummy cramps. We are now on Movicol. The paediatrician said she had to go on day 3 so to give 1 sachet on day 1, 2 sachets on day 2 and 4 sachets on day 3. We only give 3 sachets. From reading tips from other parents on here and following the paediatricians instructions we have SUCCESS!!! My daughter has poo’d 6 times in 5 days with NO FUSS. YAY!!!! It’s taken us about 2 weeks from starting the Movicol to get to this point.

The things I have found that have helped my daughter is having a beaker of V8 juice for breakfast, have actimel for good bacteria in the tummy, I make sure she drinks plenty of water during the day, I have increased her vegetables and made her eat plenty of peas, spinach & broccoli. I put olive oil on her bottom or magic cream we sometimes call it. I found a reflexology constipation video on you tube and massage her feet which she loves. I make her eat 2 prunes a day and we sing songs whilst on the loo. (we are not great singers but she loves her nursery rhymes) We got to this point of sitting on the loo with no fuss by setting a timer for 5 mins and she knew after 5mins she could get off. She now poo’s within those 5mins and we say you’ve beaten the clock! Oh and going to the loo 30 mins (MAX) after a meal has worked.

How about setting up a facebook group as well as yahoo group?

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI, i probs shoudnt say my name but i dont care. Im Daegan (Day-gan) and i am 15 years old, i know this started around when i was 3 months old. I got constipated and started to hold it. Im in high school know and only one kid knows about my problem. I don't get teased because i hide it like a boss, but i hate it. Infact i shat my bed two days ago and i am missing school today because im scared. I have tried enemas, prune juice, fiber, miralax, you name it, it doesn't help much. I keep thinking about my future and what it will hold. Please help, it wakes me up at night now. I only had a one year relief time, but now its back for MORE! I have gone through 6 pairs of underware this week and two unconscious soilings. Im scared, someone help.

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is 12 he'll be 13 in march he was hospitalized and the have him Miramax ,2instead, and citric all he did is fart out the intense and loose stuff after they have him the citric it caused a lot of cramping and he went to the bathroom passed fads water and chip look poop was green then they sent him home on 3times a say laxatives since his last one he has not pooped even on the stool softeners this has been going on all his life .. Always laxatives instead of searching for an awnser

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi kelly like you my daughter has been holding her poo for a year. She is now 2 1/2. She was on movicol originally but her hair fell out. No joke. Took her off that after about 5 months and tried the natural route, flaxseed in her cereals, flaxseed oil in her drinks, prune juice, smoothies you name it ive tried it. She can comfortably hold for 7 days now without an urge. Im so afraid she has destroyed her bowel. Im seeing an incontinence nurse at the moment but really need to gi back to my doctor. Im at my wits end.

2:51 PM  
Blogger j.c. delgaudio said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear mums
I have the same problem with my daughter 2 years old. I got only one syrup from doctor which is making soft her stool. When she started having that problem i believe it was because of bad food. She never wanted to eat soups, veggies, and so on. her favorite food were sausages, spicy meat, eggs, cheese. She was eating very little during the day , so i gave her to eat whatever she wants , just to eat something. WRONG! She got constipated. She had blood , pain and it was one -two months of horror. I changed her food completely. It is working and I would like to suggest to all of you and not only for children. Plums - dry and compote, BRAN -each meal 1 soup spoon, not more can cause diarrhea, Peach - puree,Yogurt - with plum or kiwi, kiwi - fresh. Reduce: eggs, cheese, meat, spicy food. A lot of soups veggies, fruits, everyday yogurt one or two. not tee, but chamomile yes. I hope it will work for you like for me. My daughter is much better and if she doesn't make poop one day , i use glycerin suppositories but it is very rarely. Good luck! Zoi

11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I found this blog because I was looking for anal retention but surprisingly that didn't apply to me. After reading many of the entries I see that for many of you, bowel movements hurt. I started holding my bowels as a child and as far as I'm able to tell, it's just because I don't like to go poop. This hasn't caused me any trouble in my life and what I've read makes me feel sorry for them. I'm 57 years old and I'm holding it now.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter is four, she's had enemas and movicol prescribed when she was baby and always has problems facing the toilet for a poo but she seems Okies having a wee. She has been in immense pain in the past and still thinks evey time I wipe her bum I'm going to give her an enema poor kid, she has recently started to hold her poos in and reenact what she did as a small baby, standing ridged and hiding in the corner scared anybody to come near her. This is heart breaking to see her like this again, her diet is better drinking pure fruit juices not concentrated! And eating wheat bread n fibre, but complains of poorly tummy and leaves skids in her knickers and refuses to go to toliet and doesn't even poo in her pull ups on a night any more! Help I'm really concerned of what to do next the doctors are unsympathetic and keep saying she will grow it of this just to continue movicol n plenty of fluids which she already gets thanks from a frustrated helpless mammy.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm fixing to be 21 in few month an I use you withhold my poop since I was around 3 till age 15 it caused alot of problems for me in life idk why I held it in really but it caused me to have social issues an really hard to make friends it would make me I guess a very moody person always getting in trouble at school getting up walking around my desk or chair to try an hold it in longer an the teacher would yell at me alot an made teachers think I had or issues that caused them to put me special classes but I have no problem learning but caused me to always need help an have to have someone to fallow I didn't know how to make friends an always had to be with someone I knew all because I held in my poop it made me act different cause I was in pain an concentrating on hold it in I would hold it in for so long I couldn't eat at times it was like I was always full an I couldn't do stuff a normal kid does but I got over it one day an still don't know how I did but I did but it still left me with social problems in dealing with an many fears my girl friend don't even know about this an I hope my daughter don't do the same as I did and I seriously thought I was the only one an now I have a fear of holding it in now lol but I'm scared ill go back to the way I was an it was really painful to poop after holding it in for a week or two which made me not wanna poop even more an that like I said caused really bad social problems growing up I even droped out of school but I learned alot from my experience but my advice to help yall little ones don't help them it makes it worse as it did for me something they have to do one there own for the most part an I think I have stomach problems now an stuff but I'm fine I don't get sick at all maybe every other year but I hope this helps I know talking about it on her helped me get over another fear an found out I wasn't alone it feels good

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ATENTION please, just saying i have 27 and i still got this problem, it really hurt to know what was the original cause, it started when i was 3 and please just want you to know this and hope you understand.. ask your child if someone has touched them innaproperly, or sexually. Ive been treated by a psychologist once and i couldnt remember til the age of 12, then suddenly became less hard. so please just ask your kids! its terrible i suffered of all of this things you wrote and it was horrible! still is.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 13 month old son has been constipated since about 5 months... He sees a pediatrician who has him on laxitives, flax seed, prune juice, even brown sugar in his milk. We have done X-rays (which look normal) and even gone to emerg. We've done suppositories and enemas (which barely work). He goes to the chiropractor( which does help a bit).... It all started with a hard poo that caused him to tear. Hen he needs to go, he will sit cross legged on the floor and turn red.... Every half hour.... All day.... And there will be a little smear in his diaper. It takes over our life some days and I am so frustrated. I used to be able to hold his knees up and it would come out but he is getting too strong...
Until I read all of these stories I thought he was having a hard time pushing the poo out but now I am thinking he is holding it in! I don't know what to do! So stressful. And he is so little still so I can't even try to discuss it with him. Poor little guy

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Daughter is 5 now and has been having a very hard few years pooping she even had to have the decompaction done at children's hospital she has nw held her poop for 11 days that after 4 days of milk of magnesia per doctors orders and mirilax everyday when she had to be decompacted which is just awful to have your child go through she held the berium enema for 1 week which all doctors said theres no way she will hold it 5 minutes. We have tried everything and it is just so awful to not be able to do it for your child any advice would help no doctor seems to really speak to her and help just tell us the usual take this take that well when your kid can literally hold it in for 11 days thats a big problem. any help would be much appreciated! I hate to see her like this or any child suffer!

Thank you
Andrew Perry

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My son is Autistic and 24 years old. He was born constipated. It turned into something very traumatic for him because of all the testing they did when he was little. Then he got to where he would hold it all through scholol. Sometimes soiling in his underwear. He would freak out if you mentioned his pooping at all. Now he is 24 and deals with it himself bit he only goes about every 10 days. The poops are huge and involves cutting them up to get down the toilet. They must hurt him terribly. He still refuses to talk about going g to the doctor and I worry it is going to hurt him some day. What am I to do? At this point I think his colon is so stretched out he can hold it longer. Ugh.

9:51 PM  
Blogger i'Serren said...

Try probiotics. They will make things easier, more even, and less painful.

5:13 AM  

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