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Potty Training Support Potty Training Support

Potty training an 8 year old!!

Posted by on Feb. 2, 2012 at 7:50 PM
  • 11 Replies
My son is 8 years old. W have been potty training for 6 years. We go through stages where he does a great job and the it is like we are starting over again. It has recently gone from bad to worse. For the last 3 weeks or so he has pooped in his pants almost everyday. We have him on a schedule were he must sit on the potty every morning and evening to go potty. Sometimes he goes and sometimes he doesn't. He will have an accident almost everyday at school. He claims he does not know he needs to go. He is also peeing I his pants, but it is not as obvious, because the pooping is covering it up. I am thinking about calling the doctor, but I don't know what they aree going to be able to do.

Any ideas? I am lost and frustrated. We are loosing out patience and I know that is the last thing we need to do. HELP
by on Feb. 2, 2012 at 7:50 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MrsNocke
by on Feb. 3, 2012 at 4:45 AM
I have no idea but heres a bump. I would be taking him to the Dr.
arkansasmama08
by on Feb. 3, 2012 at 4:49 AM
Talk to his dr. If he honestly can't tell he needs to go by 8 years old, there's a problem somewhere.
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hwifeandmom
by on Feb. 3, 2012 at 7:32 AM

It sounds like your son may have Encopresis.  Ask your pediatrician to order an abdominal x-ray to check (many times doctors want to feel the belly to feel for stool, but that is NOT an accurate indicator and has almost always been wrong wtih my kids).

When the bowels get overfull, they get stretched out, and you lose muscle tone.  Without good muscle tone, there is loss of bowel control.  Sometimes it's just soiling splats, and sometimes it's complete uncontrolled bowel movements.  This is encopresis.  If your son has encopresis, then he is telling the truth that he doesn't know when he needs to poop.  He has no control over it.  And, if his bowels are overfull, then it puts pressure on his bladder and causes bladder accidents as well.  Sometimes with encopresis, the poop in the bowels can get so hard that it creates a blockage, which only loose stool can seep around.  It may even appear that your child has diarrhea when they actually have severe constipation.

If your son has encopresis, then the doctors will typically have you clean out the bowels by using stimulant laxatives.  Stimulant laxatives force bowel contractions to eliminate stool.  Stimulant laxatives can be habit forming (the body can grow dependent on them), so they are typically for occasional use only.  You'll probably need multiple doses to get fully impacted bowels completely cleaned out.  Stimulant laxatives are often senna-based (Senekot, Ex-lax, etc), though there are other types as well.  My kids preferred the chewable chocolate ex-lax squares.  This is generally best done over a weekend when you can stay close to the toilet for a couple of days.

Then a doctor would typically recommend that your son begin a daily regimen of non-stimulant, stool-softening laxatives.  Non-stimulant laxatives are not habit-forming (the body does not grow dependent on them for a bowel movement), so they are safe for long-term, daily use.  Some good ones are Miralax, Benefiber, Milk of Magnesia, Fiber Choice with Inulin, and Metamucil's new "Free and Clear" blue bottle that is Inulin-based.  Non-stimulant, stool-softening laxatives help hold water in the stool to keep it soft and easier to pass.  You need to use enough laxative to keep the poop very soft, pudding-like in consistency.  For some kids, that's a 1/2 dose of laxative, while other kids need multiple doses. 

In order for the bowels to heal, shrink back to normal size, and regain muscle tone, it generally takes approx six months of keeping the bowels completely emptied daily.  Any time the bowels get overfull again, then the time frame for healing starts over again.  It can be a bit challenging initially to keep the bowels emptied, especially when there is such low muscle tone.  Some people find success at keeping the bowels cleaned out from the start, but it is very common for it to take several weeks or months to establish a balance of meds to keep the bowels emptied routinely enough that the bowels can even begin the healing process.

Having your son sit on the toilet in the morning and evening after mealtime, like you're already doing, is a good idea.  It works with the body's natural rhythms of pooping after eating.  Your son may not necessarily produce any poop at those times, but having him sit for 15-minutes to try is a good thing.  You can also have him try blowing on balloons or blow-out party favors because blowing on those requires you to bear down on the same muscles needed for pooping.

If your regular pediatrician isn't able to help you, then you might need to see a pediatric gastroenterologist (GI doc).  

Good luck to you both.


JanieJo
by on Feb. 3, 2012 at 8:45 AM

My son will be 6 in March and I am dealing with the same stuff. We also have accidents every day. Love to chat

jenniferlee_12
by on Feb. 3, 2012 at 8:55 AM

I would call the Dr and talk to him or her about it. At 8 he should know when he has to go unless there is a medical reason that he doesn't. Does he lie about other things that would make you think that he is lying about not knowing he has to go? I hope your Dr can shed some light on this.

abra
by on Feb. 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM
I agree with the other ladies. I would definitely see a doctor about it.
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Godspitgrl
by on Feb. 3, 2012 at 8:12 PM
Hope you figure it out.
AmieCav
by on Feb. 4, 2012 at 8:11 AM
Thanks for the replies. My son definitely lies about things if he thinks it is going to het him in trouble. Last night I finally had him admit me that he does feel it, but it takes too long and he does not want to miss out on fun. Him expressing that to me was a step. Moe just need to figure that out
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hwifeandmom
by on Feb. 4, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Personally, I would still recommend getting an abdominal x-ray to double check.  Two of my kids had encopresis.  I'd never heard of it and couldn't fathom any reason that they'd be soiling themselves except that it was deliberate.  They didn't have any good answers for it, either (I'm sure it never occured to them that it wasn't their fault, esp since I was telling them it was their fault), but they provided me answers they thought I wanted to hear.  I felt very, very badly later when I discovered that it was actually completely out of their control and that I'd been punishing them for something that wasn't within their control.

I'd really strongly recommend the x-ray.  If it shows that it's NOT encopresis, then you'll know you need to proceed with this behaviorally.  However, if your proceed behaviorally, and it's actually a physical problem, then you will not be able to fix the problem and may actually make it worse.

Quoting AmieCav:

My son is 8 years old. W have been potty training for 6 years. We go through stages where he does a great job and the it is like we are starting over again. It has recently gone from bad to worse. For the last 3 weeks or so he has pooped in his pants almost everyday. We have him on a schedule were he must sit on the potty every morning and evening to go potty. Sometimes he goes and sometimes he doesn't. He will have an accident almost everyday at school. He claims he does not know he needs to go. He is also peeing I his pants, but it is not as obvious, because the pooping is covering it up. I am thinking about calling the doctor, but I don't know what they aree going to be able to do.

Any ideas? I am lost and frustrated. We are loosing out patience and I know that is the last thing we need to do. HELP


ClaribelC
by on Feb. 4, 2012 at 4:42 PM

is it take too long because he is constipated? if he is not. then at this point.. he knows what he has to do... have u tryed a bribe??

 

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