How can I encourage pooping more often? - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > How can I encourage pooping more often?
AJHCFamily's Avatar AJHCFamily 12:44 AM 11-11-2008
I bet this sounds a little strange.

Background: DD, 20 months, poops once every 3 - 5 days for the last year. Her doc says as long as it is soft, not to worry. She goes on the toilet - we EC'd since she was a baby. She has no toilet phobia, doesn't mind sitting there, etc.

Worry: She is increasingly super grumpy for the day to day and a half before pooping with a really rough night of sleep the night before she eventually goes. She also seems to have gas during the night and trouble passing it. When she does in the morning, she seems so much happier. During the day or so before she has to go she will barely eat and nurses much more frequently.

Solutions?: She eats lots of fruit, nice balanced diet (no restrictions except for junk) although not a huge eater, breastfed with an occasional sip of cow's milk. She will even eat prunes. I'm looking for food and/or behavior suggestions (cues? ways to encourage pushing on the potty? etc.) to get her to go more often. She won't sit on the potty and push unless she really has to go.

TIA

jjawm's Avatar jjawm 12:47 AM 11-11-2008
We had severe constipation with my dd. She'd hold it in for 5-7 days before going, and she'd get so upset she'd cry. Added fiber didn't work, and diet change didn't work. Our ped had us use Miralax for 6 months. Miralax isn't a 'true' laxative, so it doesn't irritate the digestive system. It worked super well, and my daughter learned that pooping doesn't have to hurt. She had been holding it in because it was uncomfortable. Now, 7 months later, she's not on any medicine and poops soft BM's every other day or so with no fear, no pain.

I think that sometimes kids just get it into their heads that pooping hurts, and that fear keeps them from going. Of course, the more they hold it in, the worse it gets. Something needs to break the cycle. If it can be done with food, great. But that didn't work for us. (Neither did saying "yay, poopy!" when she'd go :/
jldumm's Avatar jldumm 12:59 AM 11-11-2008
we use juice... she gets about 2 ounces when fresh fruit is limited, like this time of year. it seems to help. but then she does drink a lot of water otherwise, which i think helps it move on.
AJHCFamily's Avatar AJHCFamily 01:02 AM 11-11-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjawm View Post

I think that sometimes kids just get it into their heads that pooping hurts, and that fear keeps them from going. Of course, the more they hold it in, the worse it gets. Something needs to break the cycle. If it can be done with food, great. But that didn't work for us. (Neither did saying "yay, poopy!" when she'd go :/
I'm not sure she is constipated. She does have to push a bit to go, but not that hard and doesn't indicate that she is in pain. I keep thinking she has a really slow system. Is there a rule for how often kids should go?
aprilushka's Avatar aprilushka 01:15 AM 11-11-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjawm View Post
We had severe constipation with my dd. She'd hold it in for 5-7 days before going, and she'd get so upset she'd cry. Added fiber didn't work, and diet change didn't work. Our ped had us use Miralax for 6 months. Miralax isn't a 'true' laxative, so it doesn't irritate the digestive system. It worked super well, and my daughter learned that pooping doesn't have to hurt. She had been holding it in because it was uncomfortable. Now, 7 months later, she's not on any medicine and poops soft BM's every other day or so with no fear, no pain.

I think that sometimes kids just get it into their heads that pooping hurts, and that fear keeps them from going. Of course, the more they hold it in, the worse it gets. Something needs to break the cycle. If it can be done with food, great. But that didn't work for us. (Neither did saying "yay, poopy!" when she'd go :/
We have had the same problem for a while -- I'm finally getting cooperation on the diet from my milk loving DH and MIL and also trying fish oil. Some sources say try mineral oil, but the bottle says don't give it to kids under 6 -- does anyone know if there are issues with mineral oil?

Is Mirlax over the counter?
LuckyMommaToo's Avatar LuckyMommaToo 01:35 AM 11-11-2008
Dr. Sears has a good article here:
http://askdrsears.com/html/8/T081100.asp

He really recommends flax seed oil over mineral oil:
(Although you may hear that mineral oil is a good oil to relieve constipation, because it is a mixture of hydrocarbons dried from petroleum products, I have never been convinced of its safety. And, unlike flax oil, it certainly has no nutritional benefits.)

DD has been avoiding pooping lately, and I fear we're headed down this road...

-e
sugarlumpkin's Avatar sugarlumpkin 02:10 AM 11-11-2008
Uhm, not to be weird, but does your child know that you poop on a daily basis? I always tell my ds that I am going to poop on the potty. He hates it when I shut the door, so ever since we started potty learning, I've been leaving the door open, figuring it is an educational tool. I let him see me sit and push a little (I do not suffer from constipation, but usually a bowel movement does need a bit of encouragement to leave the body...phrased that as gently as I could!). My son always wants to sit on the potty to "poop" when I poop on the toilet. Most of those times he just pees. However, when he poops, he also wants me to sit on the toilet (he's on the potty). He will then also push when encouraged and always gets the job done, with the minimal encouragement I mentioned above. He does not find pooping painful, but it does need some pushing.
Contrariety's Avatar Contrariety 02:13 AM 11-11-2008
If DS goes more than 2 days, I feed him a big old bowl of applesauce. I have also used juice... it's usually effective within a few hours.
eepster's Avatar eepster 04:19 AM 11-11-2008
Walking might help, especially with the gassy part. You could also try stewed prunes, with DS they have a much greater effect than regular prunes.
BellaClaudia's Avatar BellaClaudia 07:31 AM 11-11-2008
RAW grated carrot is our answer.

it is funny because it is not as fast as or does not work as directly as
prunes but it simply pushes out the poop and there is no way around it :-)

so we take couple of long raw!!! carots, organic perff.
pill, grate on the finesht side into a mush and put a tspon of sugar in it
and voila...

it is so delish that it works in lieu of candies :-)

my dd asks for it by name :-)

and it works like a charm.

you can serve couple times a day or every day till she poops,
at longest works in two days.

if you coupple it with boiled prunes or apple sauce then it should be faster
but we usually don't.

italian prunes boiled freshly are also charming.


btw.. sitting on cold surfaces like floor or car seat directly and or
cold toilet seat will promote holding stool because cold bottom results usually in
stoping and or slow bowel movements.

also..massaging belly does miralces.. done as a fun game..
just make sure which direction. I always need to check.. :-)

there is clockwise and couterclock.. one works the other is not good.
AJHCFamily's Avatar AJHCFamily 11:30 AM 11-11-2008
Thanks for all the suggestions!

Quite a few websites say CLOCKWISE for constipation, in case any one else wants to know.

DD definitely knows we both go every day as nothing is personal with a toddler. I never tried putting her on the potty just after us though. Last night she did eat a big bowl of applesauce and then went...I didn't make the connection.
pazerific's Avatar pazerific 12:54 PM 11-11-2008
i know this might be against popular opinion with some ppl here, but i'll be brave and put it out there. what about some sort of reward for pooping on the potty? doesn't have to be anything big--a sticker, a fruit strip (the all fruit kind), something like that. i'm not usually into that sort of thing, but we started giving dd1 a small reward when she'd poop on the potty b/c she was holding it in once we stopped using diapers. it's great b/c now she WANTS to poop on the potty, and gets super excited about it. we started doing it as a last resort, and it's worked like a charm. hth!
lurve's Avatar lurve 01:37 PM 11-11-2008
probiotics!! primal defense used here
deditus's Avatar deditus 03:19 PM 11-11-2008
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