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Some children go through phases where they are afraid to poop. This fear usually starts when they put down the diaper and start using the toilet or urinal.
But the fear of pooping can occur in other stages of development, beyond 3-4 years, causing great concern among parents who see how their children retain their stools until they sometimes end up overflowing or need laxatives to your evacuation.
The main causes why children are afraid to poop are usually 2 and they depend on the age. Generally, in the youngest, fear has to do with an evolutionary issue and in the oldest, constipation is usually the most common and frequent factor.
1. Fear of losing part of oneself
This is the main cause in children between 24 and 30 months. At the stage where we remove the diaper and start putting the child on the potty. Moment in which he begins to be aware that when he poops something comes out of him. This is when some children begin to be afraid, they are scared because, when they defecate, they consider the stool they eliminate as a loss of something of their own.
At this age, children are still not able to think that this residual material removed is something separate from their own body. Fortunately, it is a transitory phase that eventually subsides with high doses of patience and understanding. Some children's books can help you get through this stage.
2. Constipation and pain when having a bowel movement
This is the case of slightly older children or children who already had the habit of going to the bathroom without difficulty. On this occasion, the fear begins with a previous process of constipation in which the child has had difficulties when evacuating, producing small wounds that cause pain. If this is your case, you should go to the pediatrician because you may need to take some type of laxative that softens the stool and prevents pain.
When a child hurts himself by pooping, he may end up in a vicious cycle. As it hurts, he does not want to do it and he retains the stool, which causes it to become harder and more painful when he tries again. So the sooner we go to the pediatrician, the sooner we will stop this process.
In most children the fear of pooping Is a passenger, a transitory stage that subsides over time without the need for medical or psychological treatment. We should only be concerned if the attitude persists, turning into a kind of phobia.
- Our calm and relaxed attitude to the situation is the first step to help our son with fear of pooping. Children need us to convey confidence and security and nothing to worry about, otherwise they think that something bad is happening to them so the fear persists and intensifies.
- If the fear is due to the fear of losing part of himself we must make the child see that defecating is normalThat mom and dad also go to the bathroom and nothing happens to them. We must also promote their autonomy, that they go to the bathroom alone and that they participate in their hygiene and daily care, avoiding being all day pending whether or not they poop.
- In case the problem is due to constipation, the best help is a change in the child's diet. More laxative meals must be prepared, rich in water and fiber, so that your stools are softer and have less difficulty when defecating. In case the constipation persists we must visit our pediatrician without fail.
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