My 5 year old son STILL won't poop on the potty! What to do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2011
My 5 year old son STILL won't poop on the potty! What to do?
9
Thu, 02-17-2011 - 1:57pm

My 5YO son has been pee potty trained for about a year and a half, but he's totally freaked out about pooping on the potty. He's been diagnosed with mild sensory/anxiety issues, so I'm sure this plays a role in it, but we're at the end of our rope. We've tried every kind of positive reinforcement we can think of: sticker charts, wrapped prizes, letting him pick out prizes, big prizes, little prizes, candy, special time with mom & dad, Chuck E Cheese... none of it works. We've also tried taking away toys, TV privileges, making him stay home from "dates" with mom and dad. It doesn't matter. Even if he knows he's going to get in trouble, he'd rather poop in his pants than go on the potty. Our pediatrician feels it may be related to mild constipation combined with his anxiety issues, but no one can say for sure. We took our son

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005

Hello and welcome!

I can certainly understand why you are frustrated.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005

It sounds like your ds has a combination of issues that have conspired to make poop toilet training more difficult.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2011

Thanks SO MUCH to both of you for replying. It's nice just to know that other people have sympathy for this problem. I sometimes feel like I must just be doing something wrong because I can't potty train my 5YO. Our doc has discussed encopressis with us, and he was the same way - not sure if the constipation is making it so difficult, or the anxiety/sensory issues, or both. We've been using Miralax on him for about a month now, which is helping with the constipation. And he will ask for a diaper (he wears underwear most of the time), so we've just been trying to take baby steps. First we got him to ask for a diaper. Then asked him to poop (in his diaper) in the bathroom. Just recently we finally convinced him to poop in a diaper while sitting on the potty. So hopefully we're getting closer. But I think we will set another appt w/our regular pediatrician and ask him about the abdominal x-ray. Then if it looks bad we'll have to consult a specialist. My ds will probably flip out, but he really needs some help. Anyway, I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again - it's VERY appreciated!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2011

We've had a breakthrough! I have no idea what the magic ingredient was, but for some reason last weekend my son decided to start going. My 2 1/2 year old has been potty trained for about 6 weeks, so I don't know if it helped my 5YO to see that nothing bad happened when his little brother went, or if keeping him on Miralax helped, or if it was a combination of things, but so far he's only had 1 accident in about 2 weeks. HALLELUJAH! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he keeps going. Hooray!

Avatar for cmkristy
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Woo Hoo! That is a fantastic update. I'm glad that things have been going so well and I hope it continues!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005

How truly exciting for both of you!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-13-2011

I have a 5yr old son who has been potty trained for quite some time now. Pooping on the potty was very difficult but, he did. About a yr ago I started noticing problems with him pooping his pants on a VERY regular basis. I'm not sure if this had something to do with bringing him to a new school or if he always had a constipation issue and we just didn't know because he hadn't started having accidents yet. I don't know if he was pooping at school or not.

I was punishing him thinking it was a defiance/control issue (which he has lots of). He told me several times it wasn't his fault & he didn't know what he had to go. I gave him the benefit of the doubt & looked it up online. I found out that it could be caused by a blockage. I took him to the doctor and had an x-ray and he was very blocked up. He has been on Mirilax for almost a yr now. It was helping and he stopped pooping his pants for a while but, it started getting really loose so I weaned him off. Not to long after the problems started up again and still continue. His dr wants he to bring him in

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-13-2011
ligerlover, I would try bringing your child to a different counselor one that only sees children. I don't know if this will have a direct impact on their bowel issues but, it will still probably have some impact. I brought my son to one not to long after my ex and I broke up he was 2 1/2 then everyone thought I was crazy but, I didn't know what to do anymore he was out of control. At first he was not very trusting of her but, he is now 5 and looks forward to his visits with her. She has helped me out so much it almost feels
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2011

That's so hard. I don't have much advice. I can tell you that with all the trouble we've had getting our son to go, getting angry with him or losing our temper with him never helped. It always made things worse. We wondered if our son's problem was a defiance issue, too (he's got a pretty nasty temper), but I don't think it was. And I know my niece has encopressis (sp?), so she truly can't feel when she has accidents. Liquid poop is pushed out around a blockage when she gets constipated, so she doesn't even know it's happening. And then she's too embarrassed to tell anyone, so she hides it and ends up getting bladder infections. Your son really might not feel it happening, and maybe he's so busy playing he doesn't really notice that he's messy. I don't know.

I know my son would rather sit in a mess all day than have to go sit on the potty. It was so frustrating. And I really have no idea why he recently started going. He also doesn't like wiping himself. I think the whole mess of it all just freaks him out. So I don't have much advice - just wanted to say I feel your pain. It is sooooo frustrating, and I was often embarrassed about it. I really just think this is super hard for some kids. Hang in there... hope it gets better.