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How To Help Your Kids Poop When They Can't or Won't Go

If someone asked me: “what is the most surprising part of being a parent?” I think I would have to respond: “how much time I spend trying to convince my kids to poop.” Seriously! Kids, on principal, do not like to poop and often need a little help moving things along. I think this is especially true when you start potty training. I’m potty training my youngest right now and he keeps doing the “holding it” thing. Since this is an issue all parents will experience eventually, I thought I would share some tips on keeping your kiddos regular and what to do when they aren’t.

How To Help Your Kids Poop When They Can't or Won't Go

Ways To Help Your Kiddos To Stay Regular 

  1. Encourage them to drink plenty of water. Water helps things move along and helps keep stools softer.
  2. Make some dietary changes. For example, you can try adding  prune juice to their diet. I dilute it with water and they drink it like juice. Or you can give them prunes if they will eat them or put some in apple sauce, milk or yogurt if you need to mask it for the pickier littles. Increase their fiber intake if possible. Hold off on foods that can constipate, like cheese and bananas.
  3. Help them relax with a warm bath prior to sitting on the potty (just keep an eye out that they don’t get too relaxed while in the bath)
  4. Establish a potty routine. Even if they don’t need to go, sitting them on the potty at regular intervals during the day (we usually do before nap time and before bath/bedtime) will help them mentally prepare and get used to the idea of going to the bathroom. Also, our bodies tend to have a natural reflex to have a bowel movement after a meal, so after lunch and after dinner works well.
  5. Reduce the pressure and increase the positive reinforcement. Don’t force your kid to sit on the potty or poop — this will just add stress and pressure to the situation. If your child is a holder (a kid who holds a bowel movement until they just can’t anymore) then they may associate pooping with a painful experience that often occurs after days of holding a poop. When they do finally go, celebrate it. Give lots of positive reinforcement.
  6. Distract them with a book, song, game, or even a tablet. My husband used a puppet with our oldest — his name was Mr. Seal, his voice was similar to that of Triumph the talking dog from the old Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and he only had one eye thanks to a laundry incident. We have invented a poop song. We play “I Spy.” We’ve pulled up videos on the iPad. Do whatever gets them relaxed and distracted enough to poop.
  7. Walk it off. Most of us have probably experienced the inevitable need to go as soon as we head out on a walk or a run, or while we are on a walk. Get your child moving: running, jumping, talking a walk, even a dance party can help.
  8. Give them privacy. Some kids are very private and might just need a little space to have some success. Ask them if they want to be alone for a few minutes or if they want you with them for support.

How To Help Your Kids Poop When They Can't or Won't Go

If all else fails and they still can’t poop, what should you do? Call your pediatrician. But if you can’t get in to your pediatrician or don’t want to wait any longer, I have had great luck with DocuSol® Kids. When preventative measures don’t work and your child ends up constipated you might be tempted to purchase over-the-counter medications that can take hours (or days) to bring relief. DocuSol® Kids is a mini-enema designed for general constipation relief and is safe and effective for children ages 2-12. It promises to provide relief within 15 minutes, but when I used it with a very constipated Quincy it took 5 minutes tops. I appreciate that you know when a bowel movement will be coming rather than having to wait for hours or even overnight and not knowing when it will happen. Because when it has been a while since your kid pooped you’d really like to be home for it when it finally happens. I also loved that I could help my son get some relief without using something with ingredients that can exacerbate digestive issues.

How To Help Your Kids Poop When They Can't or Won't GoHow To Help Your Kids Poop When They Can't or Won't Go


Constipation can lead to so many other issues. When my kids have dealt with constipation it affected their mood, their sleep and caused bedwetting. When Quincy was recently constipated, he woke up in the middle of the night vomiting. That’s when I realized it was time to try something else. DocuSol® Kids did the trick and he’s been all good since.

Always consult your pediatrician for any health concerns you are having with your kids. But also have your mom tool box stocked with some prune juice, distractions, rewards, and DocuSol® Kids.

Disclaimer: The material contained is for reference purposes only. Alliance Labs, LLC and Summit Pharmaceuticals do not assume responsibility for patient care. Consult a physician prior to use. Copyright 2019 Summit Pharmaceuticals and Alliance Labs LLC. (2.26.19)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DocuSol® Kids.