Relaxing about laxatives

Relaxing about laxatives
When your child is suffering from constipation the use of laxatives is a must. I know that many parents are fearing this step. That’s because of persisting myths and a lack of explanation about the working and administering of the laxatives. This also applies to tell parents how to start, to continue and to taper off the laxatives. That’s why some parents don’t start or decide to stop too soon.

Using laxatives

Of course, as a parent you would rather not give your child any medication. But sometimes you need to. With constipation – piled up poo – laxatives are necessary to turn your child into a super pooper. There are several laxatives. The preferred laxative – according to the Dutch Guideline Constipation for Children 0-18 years – is macrogol that only works on the faeces itself (makes the poo soft and gives volume) and does not stimulate the bowels. Macrogol is in the Netherlands available over the counter and is reimbursed by health insurance on prescription after 6 months of use. 


Sometimes other laxatives are needed – such as an enema, tablets or suppositories – that have a stimulating effect on the bowels and make the stool soft. It’s okay to use this every now and then, but preferably not for a longer period of time, because habituation may occur. Then habituation could occur.

Natural laxatives

Some parents don’t want to give their child a chemical drug and look for a natural laxative which do exist. The disadvantage may be that there is no reimbursement and if your child needs a laxative for a longer period of time, this can be quite expensive. It’s also possible that the effect and result have not been scientifically tested or approved. 


A persisting myth is (even among some GP’s), that prunes, fiber-rich food, olive oil, lemonade lax and so on would help with constipation. Of course, certain fiber-rich foods contribute to healthy bowel movements, but this is certainly not enough once there is a problem such as long-term constipation. This requires the use of laxatives for some period. 


You can find the dosage of the different laxatives in the Dutch Guideline of Constipation. Please pay attention; this is about indications. In other words every child is a unique person with a unique situation. Therefor the use of laxatives may be more or less, or shorter or longer, than you will find in this guideline. Unfortunately is age indicated at some leaflets of laxatives containing macrogol. This is not true. Dosage of laxatives as macrogol, always are calculated following the body weight!

Okay, I get it and now?

In my SuperPooper Plan I tell you exactly how to find the best way in using laxatives. Step by step I explain to you how to start, when to continue with the maintenance dosage, how often to administer and how and when to taper off. I provide you with tips and tricks so that you know what to expect. 

When not treated…

Untreated constipation will lead to chronic constipation and may give physical consequences and symptoms. Think about losing control, soiling pants, pee accidents and bedwetting. But a poo problem may also give your child problems in a social aspect, like being laughed at or teased. 

“When starting the use of laxatives, diarrhea may occur. Don’t stop, this is not due to the dosage of the laxatives. It only means that the bowels are being emptied.”


Drinking enough as in a good fluid intake is always important, but certainly when using laxatives. Laxatives are needed with constipation, but can turn into symptom control when not finding out which causes are playing a part in the poo problem of your child. I help you in using laxatives in my SuperPooper Plan ánd in discovering the causes of the poo problem. Obviously, you’ll learn in the roadmap of the plan, what to do with these causes.

Poo in the pants

Poop in the pants
Are you convinced that your child is pooping in its pants on purpose? I get you, because it may look like your child is doing this. But this is not the matter; poop in the pants – also known as soiling or encopresis – is not a behaviour problem. That’s why trying to adapt your child’s behaviour is not working. It’s all about your child having lost control and not being able anymore recognizing the urge to poo. What can you do?

Poo behaviour…?

Some examples. Fred is withholding the urge to poo during school time; she doesn’t want to miss any explanation of the teacher. Only the thought off missing information and as a result a low score frightens her, so withholding is her solution. And what about Marc? He is trying to postpone the urge to poo because he is in the middle of gaming. Pausing the game may lead to loosing the game with a lot of frustration; so withholding is his solution. And Hazel? She experienced on early age pain with pooping and is now fearing this pain so much, that daily withholding the poo is her solution. All these children are withholding for good reasons, at least for them.

Poop in the pants!

The result of withholding is piling up of poo in the belly. When not recognized or treated on time, poo accidents may occur; daily soiling pants. I bet that you – as a frustrated parent -have tried at your utmost to change this poop behaviour. For example by threatening, begging, rewarding, punishing, being angry and staying calm or patient. But most probably no result and much frustration? That’s because poop in the pants isn’t conscious (poop) behaviour; it has all to do with the loss of control caused by withholding behaviour and constipation. You need to understand and to give attention to the causes of the withholding behaviour.

Is your child lying and denying? 

Are you worried about your child lying about and denying of the soiling pants? I’ll try to explain it; your child is frustrated and desperate – like you – and feelings of guilt and shame make your child lie about or deny its soiling pants. It’s also a matter of surviving this situation. Because your child don’t want to see you sad or angry.

When your child is pretending if no poop accidents occur. Or your child is trying to hide the dirty pants or is lying about or denying them. Please understand this behaviour is helping your child to survive these difficult times. Moreover, that way your child doesn’t have to fear angry or sad moods from its parents.”

What is helping?

First of all you need to understand the exact poo problem for knowing how to deal with it and treat this. Most of the times a laxative plan is essential and at the same time realizing that your child isn’t doing this on purpose. Your child needs your recognition and adequate help. And I can support you with my SuperPooper Plan. I explain to you how to change negative behaviour into positive behaviour, in order to give your child space for being honest about the soiling pants. That way your child will be able to learn to its belly in time in stead of denying the urge to poo.  

For parents…

Your child isn’t able to get out of the vicious poo circle by its own. It needs you as its parent urgently. You are the safe haven and example for your child. And you know – being the parent – your child the best. Better than any care taker. Therefor my attention is for you as the parent; to support you in turning your child into a superpooper. You are the expert who can help its child ‘out of the shit’.

Toddler refuses toilet!

My toddler refuses to poop on the potty!
Some toddlers refuse to poop on the potty and are withholding their poo for days on a row, when no nappy is offered. Do you recognize this behaviour of your toddler or older child? Are you in despair and have all your efforts had no positive result up to now? Keep on reading.

My child was a real superpooper…in the nappy 

Does this sound familiar? Your child a superpooper as a baby and beginning toddler. No problems at all. But suddenly you’ve noticed a change in the poop behaviour. It started with your child hiding behind the couch or under the table when it needed to poo. And after that period your child is suddenly trying to deny the urge to poo and withholding it. Probably you’ve tried to put your child without the diaper on the potty, but since your child showed such a big panic and resistance, you gave up.

Your toddler refuses to poop at all

It seems to you that your child has decided to give up pooping. Withholding is the new word for your child. Your toddler doesn’t show this behaviour out of power struggle, but do have difficulties in letting go. This could be related to the age of your child; the world is becoming bigger and bigger and this can be challenging for your child. Kindergarten, elementary school, daycare, play-garden, hairdresser, dentist; more and more stimuli to process. Some kids are feeling lost and try to find some grip in withholding behaviour. But it may be that your child experienced pain during pooping by having a big hard turd.

Really awful seeing your child in total panic!

Children who are withholding their poo and don’t have a poo for a few days in a row, may be acting grumpy and most probably are suffering from tummy ache. They are panicking and often are crying and yelling “no poo” or “go away poo”. Out in panic they can be running around or crawling on the ground. When the poo is coming out and your child is aware of this, you mostly notice fear in the eyes of your toddler before having to let go. Does this mean that your child is not potty trained?

So, is my child not potty trained?

When your child feels the urge to poo, but refuses to go and is withholding until he gets a nappy, the poo problem has nothing to do with being potty trained. This is a real poo problem. Your child is potty trained if the body works fine, if your child recognizes the urge, if it is able to withhold up to the potty or the loo and if your child is willing to go to the loo. So kids who only want to poo in the nappy are potty trained and ready for the potty, but show acquired undesirable poo behaviour. You as the parent, are capable in reversing this process and I am happy to support you. 

It’s time to help your child, otherwise both of you will be in a shitty situation;
literally and figuratively

Where to start in reversing this poop behaviour? 

In order to get rid of the nappy, choose a period which suits you the best. My recommendation is to choose a quiet period without challenging happenings or big changes for you and yourself. Since some children will be really pertinacious and are showing a lot of resistance, a structured and clear plan of action is required and helping. My SuperPooper Plan is giving you this. Of course I understand that it is challenging for you as a parent and possibly you are afraid that your child is going to withhold with constipation as a result. That’s why I explain all to your step-by-step. The SuperPooper Book and the SuperPooper App will help you in making clear to your child, the need to go in time to the potty to your child.

Child holds up poop

My child is withholding poo
More than 100.000 children a year are suffering from a poo problem. Poo problems like constipation and soiling pants. Just like withholding behaviour caused by stress, distraction and sensitivity for stimuli. The effect? Accumulation in the head, which could be translated into accumulation in the belly. Or vice versa.  


Being sensitive for stimuli, like remarking all that’s happening around you, being sensitive to all reactions from your surroundings or being affected by strong stimuli like gaming or watching tv, may create stress. Stress lead to increasing of the muscle tension and withholding behaviour. This happens consciously and unconsciously. But, to poo, you need to let go, literally and figuratively. 

Relax and let it go

Letting go of poo can only happen when you are relaxed. To be able in letting go completely and pooping all out in time, it is necessary that the body is working properly. It is a must that you recognize the urge to poo and can respond in listening to this urge. Stimuli and stress can interfere in this process, which may lead to accumulation in the belly and other signals. It may be a search in discovering what your sensitive child needs in being able to relax in time for letting go and poop. 

Autism and ADHD

Children who are familiar with (symptoms looking like) autism disorders and/or ADHD, are more likely to suffer from stimuli and stress than other children. For this children is it hard to put resistance on hold, to cooperate and to react in time. Just like changes and handling and processing emotions give some struggle to them. Providing structure, boundaries and clearness will be helpful to them. In my SuperPooper Plan I explain to you how you can deal with this sensitivity and how to respond to it.

“Accumulation in your head , may lead to accumulation in your belly…and vice versa!”


Do you have a bedwetter in the house?
Bedwetting is occurring at 5-10% of pupils of the elementary school and the big culprit is constipation! Difficult to recognize, especially when your child is having a daily poo. But what matters is what your child is pooping and not that your child is pooping. Poo which varies of consistency and size may be a sign of constipation.

Why are constipation and bedwetting related?

When the bowels are full of poo this may cause dilatation of the last part of the large intestine (the rectum) and resulting in irritation or entrapment of the bladder. That way there will be less space in the bladder causing malfunctioning. Due to this your child is losing control of the bladder and will have difficulties in recognizing the urge to pee in time. 

Medical problem?

In 1% of the bedwetters an underlying medical/anatomic problem is playing a part. Think of sleep apnea, snoring, neurological problems like epilepsy or reduced bladder capacity during night time. Also a urinary infection may be a culprit. Medication in order to diminish the bedwetting may be described, but a side effect is constipation. So it is important to rule out constipation as cause for the bedwetting in case you want to administer this medication.

Sensitive children…

Children familiar with a sensitivity for stimuli, just like you can see with autism disorders or ADHD, may find more trouble in staying dry during the night. These children show in daytime withholding behaviour and are sensitive to situations of stress (positive and negative). Also fear for failure and a lack of structure and boundaries at home and at school, may cause stress and withholding behaviour. The withholding behaviour can give constipation and a dilated rectum. This in combination with complete relaxation during night time after a busy day, may lead to bedwetting. 

Bedwetting is not a behaviour problem!

Bedwetting has nothing to do with defiant behaviour or being lazy. Punishments and rewards won’t help, because bedwetting is not a behaviour problem. Sleeping to deep which could cause not passing the signal to pee is not true; what about all those children who are deep sleeping and are no bedwetters? Neither an immature bladder is a cause; at a healthy child in the age of four years the bladder is matured. Let your child sleep in its wet bed or just ignoring the bedwetting, won’t help your child in outgrowing the bedwetting. On the contrary it may give your child an extreme unhappy feeling; the feeling that its parents are indifferent to him or her. No parent wants this.

Do you want to know more about bedwetting and discover how to solve a bedwetting problem by treating a poo problem? Follow my SuperPooper Plan containing an online video training and a digital workbook. For your child you’ll get the SuperPooper Book and the SuperPooper App. 


#1 Check for medical causes, even if this occurs only in 1% of the bedwetters.

#2 Check for one week the poo of your child; any hesitation of possible constipation? Go and see your GP for examination. If this is the case, start a treatment with laxatives. Constipation has seldom a medical cause. 

#3 Tell your child it is not to blame; explain that bedwetting mostly has a physical cause and that constipation may play a part in the bedwetting and that using laxatives is helpful.

#4 Talk to your child about possible stress (situations); show your child your understanding and tell your child that you will manage together; give recognition.