Octopus Mom

Life as a mom who has her hands full

Potty Training and Constipation

In hindsight, I guess we might have tried to push Aidan to potty train before he was ready, but 3 1/2 years old seemed plenty old enough! Actually, he potty trained rather well, except for pooping. Maybe he would’ve had trouble with constipation no matter when he potty trained, maybe not. I guess for now we will never really know. Our doctor has us on Miralax which is working well, and she said that he will need to take it for about 6 months to a year so that he can break the cycle his body has gotten into.

Basically, he remembers that pooping hurts and so he tries to procrastinate going sit on the potty by holding it in. The longer he holds it in, the more impacted he gets and the more it will hurt when he does inevitably go to the bathroom. The trick is getting him to FORGET that pooping ever really hurt. Well now he is almost 5 years old and so keeping track of how when he goes to the bathroom isn’t that easy. He no longer feels the need to tell me when he goes, nor what he goes when he does. Things have improved though over the last few months and I do believe that if we stay the course, we will tackle this thing.

But I wonder if he will always struggle with bowel troubles as he gets older, will he always have a form of constipation, and will he always require medications to help it. Diet can be a great way to regulate the bowels by adding more fiber and more fluids. BUT getting a busy 4 year old to actually sit still long enough to drink enough fluids is challenging. He doesn’t seem to require as much to drink as his sister or I do. I have been sneaking more liquids in his day by making homemade fruit juice popsicles and making lemonade and other fun drinks. For more fun ways to get your kids to drink more water, try this article on my website. Here’s hoping things continue to improve. I just want them to get better before they start to affect his self esteem. Right now, it doesn’t seem to affect him too much, but I know as he gets older he might start to become embarrassed by his bowel troubles.

If you are the parent of a young boy (or girl) that has bowel troubles, drop me a comment and let me know how you are dealing with it. If you are just starting out potty training your child…try these articles:

1.Potty Training the Stubborn Child

2. Potty Training Problems

3. Potty Training and Constipation

And as always…if you like my blog check out my parenting website at www.octopusmom.com

If you like my blog, check out my website at http://www.octopusmom.com

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4 comments on “Potty Training and Constipation

  1. riddlej
    July 28, 2008

    This is a great post. I have three boys who went through constipation/toileting/pooping problems at 2, 3, and 4. Only one of them still cries, I suppose because it hurts when they go!

    In my own humble opinion, a regular dosing of the “magic food” is the only way to prevent this… and a suitable replacement for laxatives. Every one’s magic food is slightly different but blueberries, watermelon, and grapes seem to be high on my boys’ list. I think raisins and apple juice are pretty effective too but they are more likely to cause gas or stomach pain.

  2. Brandi Foster
    October 1, 2008

    I have a 2 1/2 year old boy and we are going through a hard time with pooping in the potty. He is holding it in and cries when i put him on the potty. We starting potty training about 6 months ago and he pees all the time at home and daycare in the potty but we still have accidents here and there but he knows when he needs to go. I still put a pull up on at nap and night time but try and keep him on underware during the day. He will poop in his underware if he actually goes and somethimes he will come up to me and tell me he has to poop but will not push it out. He is getting so constipated i’ve to give him liquid suppository and a baby enema before and it’s hard with watching what he eats cause they are at school alot cause i work 12 hour shifts at the hospital. He loves fruit, no veggies, and i give him apple juice and try and tried to start him on soy milk and limit his dairy. i did take him to the doc and they said to do the miralax and to keep him on it for 6 months to 1 year. How much and how many times a day do i give the miralax to him? And how do i make him not scared to poop in the potty? i hate seeing him in pain please give me some advise!!

  3. octopusmom
    October 1, 2008

    Brandi,
    Believe me…I feel your pain..I know how hard and frustrating it is to watch your little one in pain when they try to Poop on the potty. We still have good days and bad days…but it is getting better overall. As far as the Miralax goes..we give him a half a capful once a day, but at first we gave him a half a capful twice a day. What happens is that it basically makes his poops very very soft and so when he goes to the bathroom, it doesn’t hurt. The problem is that he is in a bad cycle..he thinks that pooping hurts…. so he holds it in, the more he holds it in, the worse it hurts when he does go and the cycle continues. The Miralax breaks that cycle. After his poops don’t hurt for 6 months or so, he basically forgets that it ever did…if you don’t keep him on it long enough, then the cycle returns.
    In addition to that…you need to make sure that his daycare knows that he needs to drink ALOT of liquids throughout the day..juice is great, soymilk, regular milk, and especially WATER. The more he drinks, the softer his poops will naturally be.
    When we decided to potty train Aidan, we accidentally began limiting his fluid intake so that he would have fewer accidents. That way he could get a handle on potty training…but what happened was that he got constipated and the “cycle” began. Make sure that while you were potty training him, you didn’t accidentally start giving him less to drink throughout the day..(your daycare might have as well).

    The Miralax will make his poops come out on their own, so you shouldn’t have to convince him to. You might have some messy accidents for a week or so, but your little boy will catch on quickly. If you have to put him in pull ups during this week, then it is worth it.

    It is a long journey..but you will make it through.

  4. Ian Matthews
    January 10, 2010

    Thanks for this information.

    We have always used the more traditional ways of trying to relieve baby constipation and colic symptoms:

    I have found the following useful when trying to ease constipation.

    Exercise is very helpful in eliminating constipation. If your baby is mobile, get him to crawl or walk more. If she is too small to crawl, lay her on her back and rotate her legs yourself. Bend and straighten her legs and tickle them to get those legs kicking.

    Massage the baby’s belly. Using a natural oil or cream, rub your baby’s tummy in the belly button area in small circles.

    Give the baby a warm bath. A warm bath will help to loosen the stools and allow your baby to go to the bathroom. Do not let the water get too warm however so as not to burn the baby.

    Hope that helps…

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This entry was posted on July 25, 2008 by in Pediatric Health, potty training and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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