Potty Training Problems

Dear Sara,

I have a six-year-old son who can’t poop on the toilet. He poops in his underwear all day long. He is going into first grade this year and he can’t go through another year having accidents at school. I am sure the other kids have said something to him. His doctor gave him a laxative but that only works for a couple of days. He says he can’t feel it when it happens. His stomach gets so constipated that he has lumps that you can see. He was born three and a half months premature and has learning difficulties and anxiety issues. So please see if you can suggest what I can do to get him to go poop on the toilet. I would greatly appreciate any help. I have tried bribing him with treats if he goes but nothing works. HELP!

Dear Christa,

It does sound like your little guy needs help. Premature babies sometimes have bowel problems caused by an immature intestinal tract, so he could still be experiencing some problems because of this. Some things to think about are his diet and having a regular toilet time. You might try having a regular toilet time before he goes to school in the morning. Some kids are picky eaters and don’t get the fiber they need to move their food through their intestines. See if you can increase his intake of fruits and vegetables and add some over the counter fiber to his diet (one brand comes in chocolate). You will also need to encourage him to drink lots of water. Talk to your pediatrician about putting him on some regular medication so that his bowel movements can more regular and comfortable for him.

I hope you can get this under control before school starts but if your son is still having problems you could consider using a small pad to line his underwear that he could change if his pants get messy.

Good luck,


  1. You may want to try some sugar-free chocolate candy. A doctor suggested this to my sister for her son’s constipation and it helped. You never know. it might work. Good luck

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