Parenting Toddlers (1-5) Community
pooping phobia
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pooping phobia

My son is almost 4 and refuses to poop in the toilet. He holds it for days until it is painful for him then is terrified to go we have tried stool softeners, high fiber diet he still doesn't go. W e have recently taken a trip to the ER because it had been 5 days since he pooped causing fever and severe constipation. Don't know what else to do. Any suggestions?
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Consider consulting a specialist (pediatric gastroenterologist). It sounds as though you've tried the more traditional approaches. He can definitely be helped, but may need a more aggressive approach.
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If he refuses in a toilet try a potty chair. It may be that he is terrified that he will get sucked down too. My brother had this problem for a while when trying to transfer him to a potty chair to the toilet. When he pee'd it was liquid and didnt really see the disappearance as much but when he did other business and had toilet paper in there and it disappeared into the great unknown... well there was a serious issue with a fear of disappearing too. I dont know that it will work but it is worth a try. Also talk to him about what happens when you flush a toilet. and maybe get an old ball (with a back up new ball) and show him that large things can not be flushed (hence throwing away the old ball). This helped with my brother around this time.
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I read somewhere that some kids think of it as getting rid of a part of themselves.  If I remember right.  I think they suggested that like danni said use the potty chair but instead of right away dumping it in the toilet leave it.  I know stinky.  

Or let him help you transfer it to the toilet still leave it.  Let him check on it.  Let him decide when to flush.  They seem to think that after it is outside the body for a while and they see it then it's not as big a deal.  But that before when it was inside it's almost like asking them to give up a finger and to throw it away.

Others believe it's a control thing.  It's the one thing that he has total control over even if it causes pain.  You cannot make him do it.  You can decide his bedtime, dinner time, what he is going to wear.  But he decides when he is going to poop.

This was just my 2 cents worth,  Didn't mean to offend anyone or sound preachy, just telling what I had heard and who knows it could have been ol' wives tales...lol.   Glad I didn't have this problem to deal with.  Good Luck.
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I am wondering what happened with your 4 year old who was scared to poop. My daughter is 3 1/2 and has the same issue now. It is not because she is scared she will get sucked down she is afraid of the pain. We have also tried laxitives, high fiber, bought children's books on pooping, etc. I am hoping you will say it is a phase and it passed.
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