Friday, 1 March 2013

My advice for helping a child who suffers constipation and soiling

As I have told you my little girl has had a huge trouble doing her poo's.  It has been going on since June and a couple of months ago I decided that the problem was getting worse.  I did a lot of research as the doctor was beyond useless.  Annabelle is so much better and has gone from soiling 10+ times a day to telling me she needs a poo.  We have done this on our own.  We are not there yet but she has come leaps and bounds and I am so very proud of her.

This is how we turned a corner......

How did we combat Constipation?

  • I researched why she was soiling.  It is because of a blockage and as the big poo is stuck the runny poo seeps round the blockage and they have no control over this.  
  • I then had to find out how to get rid of the blockage... we used movicol.
  • I then had to research how movicol works and the effects after the blockage as I needed to know what was normal.  
  •   I got told by a lady in the continence office at the doctors via phone that as she is 3 and a small 3 year old in size I gave her 1 sachet with approx 60mls of juice and gave it her in the morning. We then had to stick to 1 sachet at the same time and wait for it to soften the poo. When the blockage was there we could feel it in her tummy and so we gave her a good long tummy massage.  We could feel lots of popping/wind in her tummy and she was able to release some gas which thinking about it she never did.  We waited 4 long days and she couldn't hold it any longer.  I have to let you know it was large and very painful for her.  We talked about a present she will get once it is out and it really helped her.
  • You have to know that once the blockage is out a LOT of rubbish poo will follow and we kept a nappy on as it was so sludgy.  This happened for a couple of days as there was a lot of backlog.  
  • Keep taking the sachet/s even though there will probably be lots of accidents and if like Annabelle she was probably so impacted. We have been naive before and thought the movicol was making her worse but just stick to it and eventually she/he will stop soiling.
  • Next look into food and drinks.  The usual lots of fibre and water/juice.  Lots of fruits like raisins   We had to stop giving her bananas and bread other that a bit of wholemeal.  The whole household stopped with her and we love wholemeal now.  Do search for more.
  • We then realised she wasn't constipated exactly.  She was withholding causing the blockages.   I then had to research how to help with this problem.
  •  I found out about a charity called ERIC which has lots of information and has a fantastic facebook page with links to downloads as well as a helpline.
How we helped combat Soiling?
  • First I reseached Soiling and found it is very common and usual is behavioural which explained why my daughter who development was fine was withholding.  It started when moving from nappy to potty.  I should have sorted her slight constipation issue first.
  • We then used a Reward Chart HERE
  • Lots of talking about poo and pooland- I found a story on youtube
  • lots of praise and encouragement
  • having a potty nearby
  • Do not let your child sit on potty or toilet for too long.  If possible let them play at home pantless as if like my daughter will not want to poo on the floor and tells me but if she had pants on would be happy to poo in there.
  • Realise that you need to find the right dose of movicol for his or her system. Also not you will have sloppy poo's for a while.
  • I found out about a charity called ERIC which has lots of information and has a fantastic facebook page with links to downloads aswell as a helpline.
  • Also ask at your local doctors for a referral.  Even if you need guidance for when to stop movicol.
 I really hope I have helped and please comment or send me an email if you found it helpful as I would love to know I have helped another parent and child x


  1. Hi Victoria,

    Thank you for writing such honest posts about your daughter's poo problems. I also had constipation and soiling problems as a child, which I recently wrote about on my blog:

    Reading your previous posts I sound just like your daughter. From the age of 3 I also clenched my muscles and held my poo in when I did not feel like going to the toilet, until the need passed. I usually then soiled my pants some time later. In my case, however, it went largely untreated (I just got told off) and I often had soiling accidents up to the age of 7, and occasional ones until I was 11.

    I would really like to see more coverage of childhood poo problems which I why I am so pleased that you have written these posts and that ERIC has run it's 'Let's Talk About Poo' campaign. For my part I have written a novel, 'Adventures in Potty Training', which includes a subplot about a boy who soils, based on my own experiences:

    Best wishes and best of luck in encouraging your daughter to become clean.

  2. Hi James! Sorry I have taken a bit longer than I usually would to reply. We are currently trying to get the balance of movicol for her and as I gave her too much a couple of days ago its sent her system to pot :( Hopefully we will be back on track tomorrow.
    Its great to hear from an adult that had it as a child and that you remember how it felt like being that child as that is what I don't have so its taken some getting used to to understand.
    I agree there needs to be more coverage as a lot of parents keep it to themselves. As I am a blogger I am happy to share my experiences and I hope that others will read and help them. I have heard about your novel and must get it when I can.
    We are getting there she just needs a bit more confidence.

    Thank you again for your comment.


  3. Hi Victoria
    Excellent advice which I am sure would be helpful to lots of parents - I will feature this in a forthcoming TIPS e-newsletter!
    Great blog btw and I must look up the book mentioned above or maybe you would like to review it for me?
    Sharon Trotter
    Founder of TIPS Ltd

  4. Hi Sharon
    Thank you so much! I would love it to be featured!I would also love to review the book!

  5. Great tips here - went through similar problem with soiling and like you really struggled to find information.

    Thanks so much for sharing at the Friday Baby Shower - Alice x


We Love comments and always reply! If you leave a blog link or twitter name I will come and say hello.
Victoria xx

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