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Old 02-21-2004, 02:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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5 year old boy still pooping in underwear?

My five year old has recently started sort of pooping in his underwear again. He had been doing great for a long time (6 months to a year) and within the past few weeks has reverted to "not making it to the bathroom on time". He usually ends up with "marks" (as he calls them) in his undies.

We have been getting him to handle the mess himself (he rinses the underwear out and puts them in the hamper) thinking that the job might be unpleasant enough to help him make it next time. No go.

We haven't been punishing him and we haven't been getting angry with him. He has tried to hide it a couple of times but for the most part he has been upfront about it.

I have tried to talk to him about it - to try to figure out *why* the sudden change. He says that sometimes he doesn't want to miss all the fun (playing, movie, whatever). The odd thing is that it doesn't seem to happen at all when he's at kindergarten (5 mornings/week).

Earlier this evening we decided to try a sticker chart. Each day he goes without getting poop in his underwear, he will get a sticker on the calendar. He seemed gung-ho for that idea.

So, now he's upstairs changing his underwear for the 3rd time this evening and I'm at my wits end. I'm thinking that I should make an appointment with our family doctor in order to rule out any physical reason for this and then proceed from there. Any ideas?
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Old 02-21-2004, 02:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My best friends son would do the exact same thing while playing video games. He didn't want to pause to go to the bathroom.

It drove her mad trying to get past that phase.

In her case she knew it was the games and she took them away from a few months and then let him try again. It was a hit or miss thing for a while with him though.

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Old 02-21-2004, 07:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think he's probably dead on with his explanation. You might try interrupting his play every 60 to 90 minutes for a bathroom break.

My ds went through that for awhile. He was older than your ds, though, so I was able to bargain with him that he had to stop whatever he was doing when he felt the need to go, or he would start losing those things that caused that much distraction.
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Old 02-22-2004, 03:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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maybe

It can be the reasons your son suggested (most likely because he suggested them).

But it can also be constipation. They get constipated and then some leaks out (something like that).

Other thing is anxiety. Boys suffer from encupresis (sp?) more then girls. Its often due to anxiety about something in their lives. My little boy had this problem for a while. Mainly due to anger he felt at the break up between me and his father.

Good idea to take him to the doctor and just check. An xray can check for that kind of constipation.

Good luck.
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Old 02-23-2004, 08:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That is a really common issue in that age group. Trust me.


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Old 02-29-2004, 10:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Zoiks! I wouldn't punish him at all. I would have him sit on the toilet at scheduled times. This is very common for children his age and it isn't always as willful as it may seem. Sometimes their attention really is that fixated. Now the problem will only get worse because as they hold BM in, it causes the nerve endings in that area to kind of shut down because of the constant stimulation. You need to get him to void regularly before this turns into a bigger problem with constipation and large painful stools.
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Old 03-01-2004, 05:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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hank just stopped doing the same thing. He has been completely toilet trained for over a year and a half and out of the blue, he just started pooping a bit in his underpants. It lasted about two weeks, i started making him sit down and try to poop , especially before we left the house to go out and then it just stopped.
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Old 03-03-2004, 10:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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We had the same thing that described. It lasted less than a month, and didn't come back....this was when ds was 5. It did happen during a stressful time in our lives, too, though not exactly when stuff was happening, kwim?

Teaching him to wipe effectively took a bit longer. Yeck.

Anyway, I know it is frustrating when you thought you were well past all of that, but chances are it will soon pass...
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Old 03-03-2004, 11:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: maybe

Quote:
Originally posted by shauna4


But it can also be constipation. They get constipated and then some leaks out (something like that).
That's exactly what happened to my friend's ds. All of a sudden, he started pooping his pants, but just a little. Turned out that he was totally impacted and the part leaking into his pants was just the little bit that was able to get around the impaction. He got an enema and all was well.
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Old 03-07-2004, 03:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the advice. We started doing stickers on the calendar about 2 weeks ago and he's only had one accident since. He is very, very proud of himself.
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Old 03-15-2004, 06:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The constipation is a big issue.

How were his bowels as an infant? My ds had trouble with BM all of the time.
Now at 9 he is on colace, metamucil caplets and high fiber diet. Eevn with these meds he still gets impacted.

He is going to see a specialist this month to see what can be done.

The dr said his "accidents" were just he is so full it is pushing itself out.

Angie
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Old 03-15-2004, 08:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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My son is eight and has been doing this for quite awhile. We took him to Dr to see what the hey was wrong.

He was constipated and had the leakage problem. The bowels had to be "retrained". He was on a lax for about two months. That seems to have fixed the problem.

They also suggested that he clean his own mess. This included rinsing in the pot, and doing his load of laundry.

I thought it was a little mean, but it worked. Doing his own laundry was less embarrassing than pooping his pants at the football game.
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Old 03-24-2004, 08:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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same problem

I'm having the same problem with my four year old. I've been having him sit on the potty for a short period of time, regularly, but nothing ever comes out.
He's been pooping in the bathtub instead, which is really, really gross...but I don't know what to do, because I don't want to freak him out over it and cause him to become constipated.
When he feels he has to go, he starts pushing on his stomach, and then I put him on the potty, and we read a few stories, but he just doesn't do it. He hasn't had any trauma in his life, I just don't know why this would be.
Does anyone know of any safe fiber supp. or laxative for a child? I thought maybe if I could give him something to make it come out easily and quickly, then he'd be more likely to get it out in the toilet.
I don't think he's impacted, but maybe it's time to visit the doctor anyway.
Good luck with your son! At least we know it's common!
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Old 04-07-2004, 06:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I never saw the value or advantage in 'rewarding' children for behavior that's expected of them. At age 5, he should have had his bathroom skills down pat (and for much more than 6 months or so). This child isn't being challenged at all to live up to reasonable expectations of him - as long as you treat a child like a baby, you're going to have nothing but a baby on your hands. This is all assuming this child does not have an organic/medical reason why he'd not be able to function like a normal 5 year old in this regard....
Just impose reasonable rules - like 5 year olds don't 'forget' or don't 'not make it' to the bathroom. 5 year olds are MORE than capable of, smart enough to consistently make it to the bathroom and to have the necessary skills to manage their own bathroom functions. Period.
And, once the rules are established, then establish consequences that will incur if the rules are - denial of privileges, isolation, some other meaningful and relatively painful result. Then, when he inevitably breaks the rule to test your resolve and assert his control, you totall surprise him by following through with the consequences and sticking to your guns until you get a result you want. And the next time he breaks the rule, you totally shock him by again being consistent - actually, merely by being the parent, not the buddy, not the friend, no the 'peer', but the parent, whose ultimate responsibility is to raise a child who can function up to his potential and beyond.
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Be careful

I just wanted to say to be careful before being too harsh with him. I had a very similiar problem with my son when he was little and he turned out to have IBS. He is now 14 and still has it. He was completely potty trained when he was 3 and was very easy to train which is unusual for a boy ( or so I hear anyway ). Then about 6 months to a year later he started pooping in his pants. I just couldn't understand why. It seemed so willful to me because he had already been perfectly trained with no problem. After talking to him, trying to remind him, taking him to the potty at the most likely times, etc I moved on to harsher punishments like denying privileges and making him wash out his own underwear by hand and then washing them in the washing machine. Finally, when nothing I did helped, I took him to the doctor and they eventually diagnosed him with IBS when he was 6 or 7.

Good luck!!
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Old 04-09-2004, 09:24 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I did this as a kid. Kudos to you for not getting angry, bc my mom did.

I remember it being as simple as your ds said- I'd wait until it was almost too late to make it at all. I'd be too busy with whatever to go. I think what ended it was when my mom sent my friend home bc I'd done it. I was so embarrassed.
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Old 04-10-2004, 08:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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He's been great lately. We've all but stopped with the stickers (we ran out of the green stars he liked ) but have kept up with the reminders. He has had a couple of accidents but has handled it himself (rinsing his underwear, getting a clean pair on, etc).

Did we establish that VIC is a troll or should I bother responding to her/his drivel?
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hi Daisy!

Glad to hear of your success with your son and glad that it appears there is nothing medically wrong with him. HOORAY for you for helping him work his way through it. What a good mom!

HAPPY EASTER!!
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