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4 year old wont poo Lock Rss

My four year old daughter spends her whole life holding onto her poo. When she toilet trained at just over 2 years, she got the hang of weeing on the toilet straight away but would ask for a nappy on to do poo. This was fine for a while but then she'd ask for a nappy on cos she could feel poo coming but she wouldn't do it once the nappy was on. We're at the stage now where she holds on for usually 4 or 5 days but sometimes up to 7 days. As the days go on she gets more & more grumpy & sooky and she just wants to sit down as this helps to hold the poo in. We give her Parachoc & prune juice & lots of fruit & water and we eventually have to hold her on the toilet kicking and screaming. She sometimes does her poo this way or the other way it comes out is that when she's asleep, we will hear her groaning and kicking her legs in bed so we run in, pick her up and race her to the toilet, sit her on and it may come out then if she's still half asleep. We've been to GPs, paediatricians, maternal health nurse but nobody can help us. They've suggested star charts, incentives, punishments, etc but nothing has worked. Our lives revolve around this problem and she is not enjoying her life to the full. The day after she finally does a poo, she is so happy and full of energy, but then the next day the stressful cycle begins again. Does anyone have any suggestions/ advice / ideas as my husband and I are really desperate!!
Looks like your in a bind and nobody has any suggestions. I feel for you as my son, now 4 in Feb would never poo on the toilet until 3 and 9 months. Sometimes he would also hold on for 4 or 5 days. He would poo everywhere else though - round the side of the house in his undies was his fav place.

The way we got through it after trying all the things you have tried is to completely ignore it. When he had an accident - just took him to the toilet and told him "next time you might make it", make sure you don't pressure (I know how difficult this is!!!) and you will find she doesn't mind having accidents - at least she is becoming regular again. Every time put the poo in the toilet with her watching - and everytime say "maybe next time" this has no pressure attached - and hopefully when she is sitting on the toilet weeing, she might think to push her poo out.

Star charts just don't work for some kids - so If you've tried it and failed don't keep going back to it.

I really hope this works - my son is an angel - but this was the only thing he was stubborn about! so I know your anguish



Hi Emelt,

Wow, i think you have a tough one on your hands!

I just hope i am not going down the same path. My daughter has been day trained for about 2 months, she is 2 and 9 months. She also seems to hold onto everything, only weeing once a morning and once an afternoon. Put that nappy on, and it comes out!

I realise this isn't your problem, but i am thinking of you and i hope it gets better soon,


DD5, DS3, DS lost to SIDS at 6mths & DD6m

Hi Leisa and Tepe,
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my problem. I know lots of kids don't like pooing on the loo when they first learn to toilet train and lots of them wait till they've got a nappy back on...or do their poo elsewhere. But it seems that everyone elses children eventually get over it and my daughter never got over it and if anything the problem is getting worse. I actually wouldn't care if she did poo in her pants or round the side of the house cos at least it would be out of her poor little body and she would then feel better!!!

I found a list of phobias on the net and there's an actual phobia for someone who has a fear of emptying their bowels. I can't remember what the phobia is's got some long silly name. Anyway I'm sure Ellie has this phobia. And how does someone get over a phobia??

Leisa, thanks for the advice about ignoring the problem....we have already tried doing this and all we achieve is Ellie being relieved that we're not harrassing her...she can hold onto her poo in peace if mum and dad aren't bugging her about it. In fact, when we tried the ignoring tactic, she ended up holding on for ten days, then pooed herself in bed on the tenth night!! This is the only time she has ever actually pooed herself. She is such an expert at holding her poo in that she can do it for up to a week (ten days in extreme cases). Even with laxatives, she can still hold it in. (Her bum muscles must be made of steel).

Most of the issues on this forum are dealing with babies and toddlers. I'm wondering if I'd come across more parents with similar experiences on a forum dealing with older children. Does anybody know of any parenting websites with forums like this that deal with older childrens issues (preferably Australian).
I just got a brochure about
It was specifically set up by an Australian for Australians, and supposedly deals with information for up to 16 years. I havn't had much of a look yet, but thought you might find it useful.

Good luck.

mum to 2 girls

My little girl trained pretty easily, but poos were still the hardest. I started reading to her on the toilet when it was obvious she needed to do a poo. Sometimes I would read the same story 10 times, so often she would get distracted, but when she did that poo I would make the biggest fuss!! She has been trained for ages now, but every now and then she will yell out to me to ask for a I don't anymore, far too smelly!!!
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