My 5 year old son started going to the toilet for doing number twos last Friday but that's it he has hit a brick wall on everything. I was so happy that he had finally done a number two in the toilet and not in his nappies but now he is holding on, he hasn't been since last Friday and he knows he needs to do a number two and is refusing to put a nappy on or even go in the big toilet now. He is in so much pain and I have tried to bribe him with favourite toys that he would like to buy but that isn't even working. Can anyone help me??
At five years of age it’s reasonable that he’s toilet trained for wees and poos. There are a few reasons why kids of this age “hold on”. They’re frightened of the sensation of letting go and relaxing, they may have been constipated in the past and learned that pooing can be painful and/or they get more attention if they hold on.
What’s important is that he learns that pooing is normal. Make sure he’s not constipated and offer him lots of water to drink and a high fibre diet.
You may need to take him to your GP. Kids who hold on can need a stool softener prescribed for a few weeks. This helps them to develop a better and more regular toileting routine and the tone in their lower bowel to return to normal.
Be relaxed yourself. Encourage him to sit with a book on the toilet after meals and make sure he can access the toilet easily.
Some parents actually work towards supporting their child to poo on the toilet. Letting him wear the nappy when he’s sitting may help. And then gradually removing it once he’s used to the sitting on the toilet process.
It may be useful for you to chat with your GP about him getting a referral to an OT who specialises in continence.