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how to potty train a 4 year old that holds his poop in?

I have a four year old that refuses to poop in the toilet and in his pull ups. We have tried everything from rewards to sitting with him in the bathroom. It is to the point now where he holds the poop in so much that he is constipated all of the time. I have taken him to the doctor twice about it. I have given him enemas and laxitave medicine which is what the doctor told me to do. He is still holding it in what do I do?

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Asked by rileyrye_2004 at 5:50 AM on Jul. 30, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • My daughter was the exact same way at this age.. She did however poop in a pull-up.. I did the enema's too. I did the children's laxative (Fletcher's Castoria) and anything else I could find.. Eventually, I can't remember how long it took it but she finally realized enema's were not fun .. I know it's very frustrating but it will pass.. Have you made a potty poster yet ? Each time the goes poop he gets a sticker.. At the end of a successful poop week he gets to pick any kind of prize.. I know we shouldn't bribe our kids but it's better than the alternative..
    Good Luck with this..

    Answer by kerrysmom at 7:12 AM on Jul. 30, 2008

  • My daughter was the same way, I used 1/2 Tablespoons of mineral oil in her juice everyday as per the MD and it just comes out, they can't really hold it. ask your MD

    Answer by mariabella at 8:09 AM on Jul. 30, 2008

  • I use to teach preschool and you would be surprised how many kids have no problem peeing on the pot, but when it comes to pooping its a whole new story, Alot of the Moms would use ememas, or some would put a pull-up on. In the long run, it was really a waiting game to see who lasted longer the Mom or the Kid. I feel bad for you this is so tough. And I'm sure that you are really fed up with cleaning poop out of his pants. I won't last long and he'll give up sooner or later. Good Luck

    Answer by heatmac4 at 8:47 AM on Jul. 30, 2008

  • I remember when I got my 3 1/2 yr old to do it. He told me he had to poop and needed a pull up. I told him to go sit on the potty till I could find one (w/out pants on). I took my sweet time! And he pooped cause he couldn't hold it in any more! After that we never had a problem again! Also Not sure what kind of toilet lid you have but I'll tell u the one I love u can buy at Target for around 20. Combination adult and hidden-in-the-lid child toilet seat for easy dual use
    here is a link

    Answer by Lynette at 11:25 AM on Jul. 30, 2008

  • I worked with an 8 year old child that has Autism and had the same problem. We started out by requiring him to sit on the potty for 10 minutes about 30 minutes after every meal. We used a reward chart, made up a silly potty song (and dance) gave him books to read, rubbed him tummy and encourage him to push by grunting. It took about 3 months, but worked.

    Answer by Kimebs at 2:56 PM on Jul. 30, 2008

  • I'm battling this with my 2 year old now.
    The constipation has made her afraid to poop - which makes her hold it in - which makes her more constipated...
    The doctor has us giving her a 1/2 dose of Miralax everyday. Unlike other laxatives, it doesn't cause problems with long term use. This helps keep her poop soft so it doesn't hurt to go and so she can't hold it in as easily.
    We are also giving her a couple of M&Ms every time she goes. When we see her fighting to hold it in, we talk to her about which color M&Ms she'll get once she goes. This is helping to overcome the fear.
    As her fear goes away, I'll start lowering her dose but I've been told she may need it for a year or more just to make sure the constipation problem (and fear) don't come back.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 4:56 PM on Jul. 30, 2008

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