The Poop: What is it with toddlers and bowel movements?

This is one of those topics that makes me think I’ll never make it as a SAHM. I’ll end up being one of those mothers who locks her kids in a room with a tray of food and a single toy. In my case, my kid will be in the bathroom.

Sweet Pea potty-trained months ago, and for months, she was having bowel movements every 3-5 days. It was often hard, and it troubled her, but we could see it coming, help her get to the potty, and she was so happy afterward. Then all of a sudden, a month or two ago, things started going downhill. She went 10 days twice in a row between BMs. We put her on Miralax, and things got explosive and she started having crazy, yucky accidents. She had one last week that spilled out her diaper (we put her in a diaper after the first yuck happened) and she was SO distressed by it that I vowed not to give her the medicine anymore. But after another five days, I started giving it to her again. Three-days in a row, half an adult dose, and she still hasn’t had a BM. (Maybe she just has a slow digestive system?)

When she goes this long, she gets cranky. And I get cranky. And tonight we were both so frustrated, and I wound up telling her she could go poop or go to bed. And I put her to bed an hour early, in part just so I wouldn’t do anything worse than that. Eventually, after she heard the message 5 times after she’d gotten out of bed, she sat on the potty and tried. Or at least, appeared to try. After that, the evening got better, and she went to sleep.

I was so angry and frustrated, and I got online. It is obvious from a simple Google search that this is tremendously common. And not a dang thing that I read made me feel any better.

It is dilemmas like this that make me think a few things:

  1. Parents deserve research grants for attempting to navigate the barrage of information about kids and their health, what’s normal, and what’s not.
  2. I’m too uptight. (I said I am a control freak.)  Maybe I should just let my kid be and not worry so much that she hasn’t pooped in 10 days. Maybe that’s just NORMAL for her. (Of course, then we’ll find out she has something really wrong, and then I’ll be an awful parent for not doing anything about it…). I have been totally laid back during both my pregnancies about the pregnancy. Perhaps I should carry that over to their childhoods. Or just keep them in the womb.
  3. Some situations just don’t have happy answers. You just try to hold your tongue, grit your teeth and get through it.

Someday, moving her bowels won’t seem like moving the pyramids. Until then…


4 thoughts on “The Poop: What is it with toddlers and bowel movements?

  1. Have you ever tried suppositories? I bought some for Blake when he went a week without going. Of course he pooped before I used any (just planning on a very small piece of one of course). I have no idea how quickly they work and if it would have an explosive effect like the Miralax did. Obviously you aren’t going to cut out the dairy, but perhaps cut back? I read somewhere that the intestinal muscles will actually weaken when a child/person holds it, so it becomes a yucky cycle of not wanting to poop and having a difficult time doing it when it must be done. I’m sure you’ve found the same answers over and over.

    Maybe they make pediatric probiotics? Or since she loves dairy so much, work in an Activia every day. It’s gotten good review from friends on working well, and it’s good tasting yogurt too!

  2. I mentioned the probiotics because I took them for the pregnancy constipation… seemed to help. Prune juice also did the trick. Drank about a cup before bed and I definitely went in the morning.

    • Hi Sara! Yep, I’ve been trying the probiotics for a couple weeks now (the kids’ kind that I found). I’ve only been giving it to her about every other day, but we’ve gone from 10 days between BMs to 3-5 days. SOOO much better.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s