When your 5 year old is holding his poop it could be that the 5 year old is having hard poop that is hurting when coming out.
Or the 5 year old may just not want to go to the toilet to poop because they don't want to stop doing something they are doing.
Or the 5 year old could actually be constipated and need a laxative to help them poop.
Most encopresis cases are due to constipation. Stool (poop) is hard, dry, and difficult to pass when a person is constipated.
Many kids "hold" their BMs to avoid the pain they feel when they go to the bathroom, which sets the stage for having a poop accident.
Make the child's poop very soft so that the child can no longer hold in their poop.
Keep the child's poop very soft so that the child passes one or two soft bowel movements daily.
With this, the child will slowly regain the confidence that it does not hurt to pass stool and they will stop withholding.
Have your child sit on the toilet for five to 10 minutes about 30 minutes after a meal, when bowel movements are most likely to occur.
Propping their feet up on a stool or a device like the Squatty Potty can also help put them in prime pooping position.
How often should children poop?
Children should pass some soft poop every day, or at least every other day.
Pooping fewer than 4 times a week means that poop is in a traffic jam.
Pooping more than 3 times a day however can also be a sign that the bowel is full, and is leaking out a bit at a time.