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My son is 5(five) years old and I am having a hard time potty training him, number 2. He will sit on the toilet, but he holds it in. I don't know if it is pyschological or not. Diets don't work. I have tried everything. Can anyone give me advice on a child who is afraid to push out their poop?

I have taken him to specialists and his regular pediatrician, and they both say it is his diet. He does not get constipated. He is holding in his poop. I can see that he is so uncomfortable, I place him on the toilet and he will hold in the poop, when he has the feeling to go. Today, I had him on the toilet for three hours and he finally went. Please, any advice will help. I am willing to try almost anything at this point.

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Asked by AR1975 at 6:22 PM on Oct. 6, 2008 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (8)
  • My son didn't want to go on the toilet either for #2. We used colace syrup. It softens the stool so it is easier for him to go... Also... Give him a book or something to reed while he is on the potty. I know it sounds nuts... but... it worked. LOL

    Answer by AaronsMom79 at 6:43 PM on Oct. 6, 2008

  • I use a laxative syrup that tastes like root beer. Also, make sure he gets plenty of water. My daughter drinks it much better if it's in a bottle. If it's easier to go, then maybe he'll stop holding it in. Doing that only reinforces his fear that it will hurt.

    Answer by KidsHelper at 8:17 PM on Oct. 6, 2008

  • Both of these answers sound worth trying. Also, I think it depends on the child & when they feel comfortable w/ doing both on the potty. I know my son was potty trained by 3, but the problem was that he only did it when he wanted 2. He didn't actually have it down pat & all the x until he was 4. His dad & I were sooo frustrated bc if he can tell us that he needs changed, he can use the potty. And don't they say that boys move a little slower than girls? I tend 2 think so bc both our daughters had it down pat by & all the x by the x they turned 3!!!! Boys will b boys lol!!

    Answer by LovingParent08 at 12:07 AM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • My son also held his poop in. He would run around the house screaming after a while because after holding it so long, it hurt to go. We used Miralax. It was a prescription back then, but I am sure now that it is OTC. It is a stool softner.

    Answer by MissAlisabeth at 7:58 AM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • 5 years old seems kinda old to just start potty training.I know all kids learn at different ages,but that is way late to be wearing a diaper.most kids realize and long for the ability to go on the potty like mom or dad at 3 years of nephew is 3 and he is huge and still in diapers and I refuse to change him,his poop is nearly as big as mine at this point!

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:16 AM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • I had this problem with my daughter, from the time she was 2. I would disagree with the idea that he is not constipated. If he is holding the poop, he is making himself constipated. It is a cycle: he holds it and makes the poo hard and large, then it hurts when he goes, so he holds it again.... I broke the cycle by giving my daughter medication. First, we mixed mineral oil into her milk. It sounds gross, but she didn't even seem to notice! When the problem returned around age 6, her doctor told me to buy Miralax powder and give her a small dose once a day. The trick is to soften the poo until he cannot hold it. Be prepared for accidents! And keep dosing him for at least a month or two, to allow the stretched-out lower colon to return to normal size.

    Answer by yarnjunkie at 10:06 AM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • My son was potty trained very early but at age 4 he had a bad time with constipation and after that would not go poop. He would hold it for days and I was not going to give him a laxative. We gave him an enima his doctor prescriped. We did it every other day he hated them but once he saw it did not hurt to poop every time he started going again.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:25 PM on Oct. 7, 2008

  • My son did the same thing when he was younger. I think he was afraid to go, and of course, holding it in made it difficult and even scarier for him. I started mixing mineral oil into his drinks. He never noticed it. I also gave him prune juice. He loved it (still does!) When he had trouble going, I would put him in a tub full of warm water. It helped him to relax, although several times he relaxed so much he pooped in the tub!

    Answer by Philyra at 3:22 PM on Oct. 8, 2008

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