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Old 02-19-2013, 09:37 PM   #1
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feeling hopeless about my 4 year old

My daughter just turned 4.

The first time we tried potty training her, she was about 17 months old, but she didn't catch on quickly, seemed resistant and I was very pregnant so I decided to let it go until after the baby was born. When she was 19 months old, her sister was born.

After that, I left it alone for several months until she turned 2. Then I started again. I just let her go naked, and took her to the potty each time she had an accident and then took her to try to get her to go if it had been a while. There was no success. Every single time she went on the floor. Every time.

I decided after a few months of this and getting nowhere to let it go for a while. I put her back in diapers for a couple of months. Then I started again. Again, I would leave her naked at home and just take her frequently to go. Eventually she started to get more and more consistent about peeing. But never, ever poop. Around the time she turned 3 I took her to the doctor just to rule out any physical issues, like food sensitivities or constipation. He felt that there was no reason to suspect that there was any physical reason that she wouldn't poop on the potty, and perhaps she had just been delayed by having a younger sister so close in age. He suggested miralax just to make it easier on her.

There was no improvement for months after this. She would have disastrous poop accidents everywhere we went. When I could tell she was going, I would take her to the potty, she would stop mid-poop, I'd wait a while, then clean her up, then she would continue the moment I put her pants on and we left the restroom.

Finally her sister was about 18 mos, I was pregnant with my 4th baby and I bought the Oh Crap potty training book. I stayed at home with both of them for the last month of the summer, kept them naked and centered our whole world around potty training. I didn't take my son anywhere (my oldest who was 6 at this time), I didn't visit with friends, I didn't take them swimming in the middle of the summer in Texas, we just stayed home.

My youngest made rapid progress and was peeing and pooping for the most part within a couple of weeks. No success with my 3 1/2 year old. She would hold it all day, and go at night in her diaper. We tried not putting a diaper on her until she fell asleep and when we went in to put a diaper on found an absurd mess. We never tried that again. After a while we simply could not stay home anymore. We went to pools a couple of times and she would have accidents in the pool!!!

Here we are many months later. I can count on 2 hands the total number of times she has pooped in the potty in her entire life. She turned 4 in January. I do not know what else to do.

Here is what I have tried:
1. Miralax
2. Naked (she just holds it until night)
3. talking to her about what she might be feeling about it
4. sitting with her in the bathroom reading books for hours
5. leaving it alone completely (thinking maybe she felt too much pressure)
6. talking to her about the physical sensation and describing the muscular action of bearing down
7. bribery (sorry, was desperate) said i would give her chocolate cake for every poop in the potty
8. making focused efforts to spend time with her doing special things (giving her positive attention that isn't linked to potty time)
9. tried a suppository once but she was really upset and I felt horrible about it
10. eliminating grains
11. daily yogurt, green smoothies and coconut oil
12. telling her it is her responsibility to clean it up (, only tried that once)

I have tried to be patient. I can't say I have never gotten frustrated or that she hasn't been aware of my frustration from time to time but I have never shamed her, I have never punished her. But I feel like it is a huge issue in my life. She poops every single night. Then all day, every time she goes pee, she has smudges so I know she needs to go. I resent her in a way, even though I know she isn't trying to be malicious. In the morning, when my newborn is crying and my 2 year old is hungry, I get so angry that I have to make them wait while I clean her up.

Anyway...sorry for such a long post, but I am desperate!!! I will do anything to resolve this for her. I feel worried about her future, and I am totally unable to handle the stress of this with a 2 year old and a newborn and a older one in school.

Any additional ideas would be awesome!!
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