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My 5yr. old DD is having almost daily poop accidents--Is something wrong?

886 Views 14 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  JaneS
Hey ladies! My DD has been potty-trained ever since she was 18 months old, but she has always had issues with poop accidents. Her BM's have always been very soft and she says that as soon as she knows she has to poop, a little bit comes out. It is never much, just a little squirt, but is this normal and O.K. or is it something I should be worried about? My mom thinks I should take her to the Dr., but I don't do that unless all else has failed and all my research and information gathering has failed to provide me with an answer I am comfortable with handling on my own. I am thinking that maybe her sphincter muscles are just not fully developed, but I really just don't know. Has anyone else had this experience? I want to help my DD, as this issue is hurting her self-esteem a little. Her grandma tells her she should be potty-trained by now.
: TIA!
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If her bm's are soft then her problem is not all behavioral or muscle related. This indicates digestion problems (intestinal flora imbalance) in our house.

Normal stool should be firm.
You say she was potty trained at 18 mo. Did she always have loose stools or were her bowel movements 'normal and firm' up to a certain age?

Did she have the same b. movements as a let's say, 6 - 9 mo. old?

At what age did the loose stools start?

In meantime you may want to tell your mom to hold off on making any comments about it. It may make your dd feel even worse than she already feels about this issue. No child wants to mess her panties at that age. I am sure she is very troubled by it.
This could be due to a food allergy/intolerance. I'd say start by looking at dairy first...eliminate all dairy products for 2-3 weeks and put her on a good, non-dairy probiotic (Jarrow is a good brand). If after 2-3 weeks, it hasn't changed, look into other food allergies.

Good Luck!
No, this isn't a new thing. Her bm's have ALWAYS been soft. I thought it was just one of those 'individual difference' things.

She was allergic to dairy as a newborn. She projectile vomited when I drank cow's milk (organic) and nursed her. Obviously I stopped drinking it and never took it back up. We drink soy or rice milk.

I have had her on a totally vegan diet for months before with no change in her bm's.

She had heart surgery last summer and they gave her lots of stuff at the hospital that she had never had in her system before (like antibiotics), but I did give her probiotics for 6 wks. afterward and I don't remember a change in her bm's.

She does eat some dairy now, never cow's milk, but cheese (organic and raw at home and nasty commercial elsewhere--thanks grandma!
: ). I give her yogurt, also. Seven Stars Farms organic/biodynamic, but still pasteurized a little. She does not have dairy every day. I'd say maybe 3 or 4 times a week.

Thank you all for your insight and information. I am open to trying anything, I just want to narrow it down.
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Newborns b. movements are soft. Especially when bf. But they usually firm up a bit within a few months but not really firm. My grandson is two and his is not really firm and he is weaned - self weaned at 16 mo.
just to clarify.

But this is a different matter. Your dd has trouble holding the poop until she is on the toilet. I am sure it is not because she doesn't want to. Every child wants to be potty trained. That is not the issue here.

A few questions about vaccines: did she have the Hep B vaccine or any other? At birth? Did you have MMR after delivery? Did you have rhogam? I have never heard that sort of reaction to rhogam but it could be from the MMR or Hep B.

Of course antibiotics could have a lot to do with it. Many moms think that giving the child probiotics afterwards takes care of it. It does NOT. The body can never replace the natural flora. Probiotics help but they don't even come close to replacing what is lost.

But you can't change that now. I would still continue to give her probiotics though. I think I would give her baby jarrow for a few years and then switch to a different type.

To be truthful, soy is not a good milk. It is gene manipulated and not worth drinking. She does not need milk if she is no longer bf. She can actually get everything out of food and drink water only. (That's what my grandchildren do and they are very healthy.) I would take her off soy milk, too. I am not familiar with rice milk.

How is her diet overall?
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From what I've read, Baby Jarrow which is bifidus dominent, is not for any child who is not exclusively breastfeeding... the only time in our lives which we are bifidus dominent. Overgrowth of bifidus has been correlated with celiac disease.

Go with acidophilus or other adult probiotic.

Soft bm's are definately not individual in an older child who is eating mostly solids. My DS's problem is not food allergy but leaky gut/digestion problems, a functional issue which is much more difficult to address than just removing one or 2 offending foods. And probably much more common.
She was homebirthed and has never had ANY vax at all.

Her diet is awesome when she is at home. We eat almost all organic everything and like I mentioned earlier, dairy is always organic and raw (at home). Unfortunately, when she is at her grandparents, they feed her junk; white bread, velveeta, nasty everything. But, she only goes there maybe once a week or once every two weeks.

So are you saying that her intestinal flora is destroyed forever because she had antibiotics? I guess that's true for our whole family then because we've all had them at least once in our lives. That's discouraging.

She can't swallow pills, so is there another good probiotic choice for her? I gave her Bio-K after her surgery and organic pure yogurt when she got back to her normal diet. Is yogurt with active acidophilus cultures enough, or does she need a separate probiotic supplement? Some are kind of pricey. I can make my own yogurt with raw milk if that would be sufficient.

Thanks again to everyone for all your help.
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What you describe sounds a little bit like encopresis, although I don't know a whole lot about it. I used to babysit a 6-year-old boy who had this. There is a lot of information on the web about it that may help you in determining if that is really your DD's problem.

The probiotics certainly can't hurt, regardless. You can buy them in powder form and mix it into water or juice or other foods, so not being able to swallow pills shouldn't matter. You can also make your own yogurt as you mentioned, but commercial yogurt is fine too. The organic brands can generally be relied upon to genuinely contain active cultures (I have personally started my own yogurt form many commercial brands, which would not be possible if they did not contain live cultures).
I lived through this too. Problem in my child's case was the "too busy" to go syndrome. The urge to defecate was suppressed, because of occupation and involvement with something interesting, but not successfully.
It took about six months to resolve, mostly by my child realising that nothing important would be missed if the time to do business when the urge hit was taken. Constant reminders by me asking every hour, if the potty was needed helped and encouraging immediate action to go now!
No other action we tried helped in our case, not talking, not natural consequence, not taking away privileges.
Homemade yogurt and/or kefir is the best probiotic there is... I do 24 hr. culturing which eliminates all the lactose in yogurt and the bacterial count is 15 billion per teaspoon. Way higher than Bio-K or any capsule on the market. I took tons of capsules, which didn't do anything til I started making yogurt consistently.
I'd cut out the dairy, increase the probiotics and food with iron.
She might just be too soft, and if she has issues like lactose intolerance then the time between urge and go can be small. Also if her diet is high in juice, fruits vitamin c is a laxative...big time!

I have colitis and have found the only thing to really help, probiotics, no dairy, high fibre, high iron and sitting down twice a day to poo. But when I go and eat dairy, have veggies, fruit with no real substance....its loose city.
It's the weirdest thing, but since I posted this, she hasn't had a single accident. The day before the OP, we went out for pizza and she had 2 accidents that day. Maybe it is the dairy, at least the schwag commercial dairy.

Jane S, how does organic/biodynamic yogurt from the health food store rate as far as cultures go? Does it still contain lactose? I have read a little about culturing your own and I was under the impression that the longer you culture it, the less lactose it has. Maybe the brand I use is not cultured as long as needed to remove the lactose?? I bought a yogurt maker from the thrift store and I can get raw milk from a local HFS, but I have not made any yogurt yet. Can you give me a link to some foolproof instructions? TIA!

Anyone have advice for getting the grandma that hates me and does whatever she can to undermine our family values to comply with the "No dairy" rule? BTW, she is DH's mom, not mine. My mom is a kindergarten teacher who knows better than to shame a child for having an accident.
And getting DH to talk to her has been fruitless. She hates my guts, so nothing I say will matter and he refuses to keep her from seeing the kids until she 'gets it'. He says that's an unacceptable way to get our point across. So I have been biting the bullet while my kids eat junk food and sugar free candy--UGH!
: Sorry this has turned into a MIL rant!

Thanks again to everyone, of course!
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RE: store bought yogurt

Not as much as homemade and definately contains lactose. Only yogurt that has been cultured for 24 hrs does not contain lactose. But usually dairy allergies are to the proteins. But the lactose can feed intestinal flora imbalances.

See instructions here:

RE: cow dairy

Not that some people don't have issues with dairy (my DS is one of them, he can only do goat yogurt and butter)... but I think it's a big mistake to just think "allergy" rather than "her entire digestive system is not functioning properly".

I'd be more concerned about the white flour in the pizza and other junky foods and what it does to intestinal flora and immune system... which regulates allergies!

The diet we are on, the SCD, allows dairy (yogurt cheese and butter w/o lactose) to heal leaky gut. But again, some do have issues b/c the gut has leaked improperly digested proteins for so long the immune systems starts reacting to them as invaders... ergo dairy allergy. And since I've done a lot of research, it's the pasteurized stuff that creates more of a problem rather than raw b/c it's harder to digest. But I'm probably digressing as usual!

Personally, if my MIL (or my mother for that matter) didn't comply with our strict diet rules, they wouldn't be allowed to see my DS. Period. This could literally last their entire lives, or get worse, if someting is not done about it. I'm thinking Crohn's, colitis, late onset autism (which certainly may not happen in your DD's case, but I know it would in my DS's case so that is where I'm coming from.)
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24 hr. yogurt is also super strong... 15 billion probiotics in a teaspoon, go slow with it if you try it on her.
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