ARG: she is pooping everywhere

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2008
ARG: she is pooping everywhere
8
Wed, 08-19-2009 - 12:16pm

my very smart 3 year old is suddenly pooping in her underpants, in the bathtub, you name it when she has pooped in the potty in the past.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Thu, 08-20-2009 - 6:11pm

Although it sounds like it could be manipulative on your dd part, you might want to rule out any medical causes just to be sure that's all it is (for instance, overfull bowels can cause loss of muscles tone which causes unpredictable bowel movements; an abdominal x-ray would be the best way to make sure her bowels are not overfull).

If your dd really is intentionally pooping in inappropriate places, then I would increase both the positive and negative consequences for her behavior since the current level isn't bothering her.

If necessary, you can also begin using pediatric enemas. Any day dd poops in an inappropriate location, she gets an enema the next day before her usual pooping time, so you can control when/where dd poops. It's her choice. If she chooses well, she gets rewarded. If she makes a poor choice, she gets the enema to make sure she doesn't poop in the wrong spot next time.

As far as wetting at nap/bedtime goes, that's a different matter. Her body must first develop the hormone that signals the kidneys to slow urine production when her body is asleep. Without that hormone, her body produces too much urine to stay dry. Some children develop the hormone at a young age, others when they're older.

Most doctors don't consider bedwetting a problem until a child is 7-8yo, and even then there's not much a doctor can do except perhaps a physical exam to make sure there's not a medical reason for the problem or offer a prescription for a synthetic version of the hormone. Once your dd shows sign of having developed the hormone (less wet in the mornings and maybe occasional dry nights), you can begin limiting fluids before bed and taking her to the toilet once during the night to help her learn to awaken to the sensations of a full bladder.

Best wishes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2008
Thu, 08-20-2009 - 7:08pm
thanks, she was really constipated prior to this bout of "accidents."
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Thu, 08-20-2009 - 8:36pm

You might look up "encopresis" to see if that sounds like what could be going on with your dd (the overfull bowels causing soiling). Many pediatricians are not as familiar with encopresis. This does not mean that your dd DOES have encopresis, but with her history of constipation, it would be a good idea to get it checked out.

Also, many doctors will want to feel/palpate the belly to check for stool in the intestinal tract. Although the doctors can sometimes feel stool by feeling the belly, many times they think there is no stool when in fact the intestinal tract is tremendously backed up full of stool. The only way to be SURE is to get an abdominal x-ray.

Another thing you can try with your dd is letting her ask for a diaper or pull-up when she needs to poop. If the reason she is soiling is because she is afraid of pooping in the toilet (a common fear when toilet training), then give her an alternative acceptable location to poop (diaper). Later, when she is well in the habit of asking for a diaper/pull-up, then you can choose a day to try poop training again. On that day when she asks for a diaper, take her to the toilet instead.

Additionally, have your dd sit on the toilet for 10-15 minutes about 20-30 minutes after mealtimes, esp breakfast and dinner. Eating is supposed to provide the body with a natural laxative effect (like when babies poop right after eating). You may want to have some special books or toys she can only use while sitting on the toilet. You can let dd blow on balloons or blow-out party favors while sitting on the toilet since those use the same muscles as needed to poop.

Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2008
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 6:46am

thanks, I appreciate the time you took to respond.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 10:05am

Most kids who are afraid of pooping on the toilet aren't afraid of peeing on the toilet. It's a fear unique to pooping. But, you know your child the best. If there's no medical cause, and if you think it's stubbornness, then you're probably right. That's a much harder challenge to overcome.

Best wishes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2008
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 2:17pm
I just don't know why she would have been going number 2 on the potty for awhile and suddenly be afraid of it...I think there is something else going on, but I honestly don't know what.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Fri, 08-21-2009 - 5:54pm
LOL!!! I've never tried that, but it might just do the trick! Please do let me know how it works!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2008
Tue, 08-25-2009 - 6:28am
well I don't know what happened, but she came up to me in the kitchen and said, "Do you want to see the perfect poop" and led me into the bathroom to show me she had hopped up and gone on her own without telling me.