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Holding on: is your child afraid to do a poo?

Some toddlers can go through a stage where they refuse to pass a bowel motion. Initially, it can be due to a fear of making a mess but it can get worse as constipation sets in and the bowel motion becomes painful to pass which causes the child to hold in their poo even more. The good news is that this toileting problem can be treated with homeopathy.

The first time I came across this problem was when my son was 3 years old and he would scream and become distraught whenever he felt he needed to pass a bowel motion. His bowels motions then became so hard and large which made the problem worse because going to the toilet was excruciating for him. Like most parents with this problem I tried increasing the fibre in his diet, laxatives and reward charts to no avail. The only thing that worked for him was homeopathic treatment. The first remedy prescribed for him acted like a laxative which would expel the poo even though he resisted it. It wasn’t until we tried him on a higher strength of the same remedy that the fear of passing a bowel motion resolved. He is now 12 years old and has never had a toileting problem since.

The reason why homeopathic treatment works for this issue is because it can calm the emotions and allow the toddler to pass a bowel motion without fear.

I recently treated a 4 year old girl who had developed a fear of passing a bowel motion for the past year. Her mother said the problem had progressively got worse and she is now holding on and refuses to pass a bowel motion to due intense fear. Over the past year they have tried suppositories, reward charts and increasing dietary fibre without success. She was even hospitalised after being constipated for a week and refusing to go to the toilet. As you can imagine, this problem was a great source of worry for her parents who had been trying everything to help their little girl for over a year.

Fortunately, within a month of homeopathic treatment she was able to go to the toilet with no problem and had become less fearful about things in general. Her father said he wished they had tried homeopathy in the first place.

So if your child has this problem, find a registered homeopath and give it a try. And don’t give up if the first remedy doesn’t help as it could take a couple of consultations to find a homeopathic remedy that will be effective for your child.


  1. Can you recommend any remedies for this? Our son is on a constitutional which has helped in many areas but not with this.

    Thanks so much, this has been such a challenge! He's 4 (almost 5 now) and has been holding since 2 or before.

    • Inez Hanson says:

      Hi P&J,there are quite a few remedies that have been effective for this issue, common remedies that I have had success with include Sulphur, Lycopodium, Phosphorus. However, they needed to be individually prescribed to get the best results.