Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Poop Problems

Potty training can be hard for some kids. From my conversations with parents, I can tell that they are doing a great job at helping their kids get ready and excited for potty training. However, sometimes there are setbacks or problems come up that you were not expecting. Hopefully these tips will help with some of those problems your child may be having. Warning: this blog will be talking about POOP.

Sometimes kids have a hard time letting others know they need to poop or they are embarrassed that they need to poop so instead they hold it in. If this is happening, it can cause constipation. Here are some tips on how to tell if it is constipation:
·         Hardened, dried-out bowel movements, sometimes with fresh blood around them.
·         Passing stools causes pain in the anal and rectal region but makes a stomach ache go away.
·         Your child might also lose interest in eating.

Here are some ways to treat constipation:
·         Let up on pressure to be potty trained.
·         Increase fluid intake, fibrous food or fruit and vegetables can help. Foods like whole grain pasta or bread, raisin bran, oats or prune juice.
·         More daily physical activity will help get the body moving as well.

Bet most of you did not know this might be an issue. It is common for kids to not understand that poop has to leave your body. They will start to wonder, “where is my poop going?’ “What if I fall in?” “Why is it so loud?” It is important for parents to talk to their children about how poop is formed, how it will leave their body, it will not come back, and how that is all normal. Talk about where it goes when they flush and that there is no way for them to be flushed. In addition, if noise is the issue you might want to look into earplugs or talk to your doctor about what options there are for that. You might also try having him tell someone else when he is done and they can flush once he is out of the bathroom.

That is right! Having a new baby can definitely cause a setback. Let’s pretend that you have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. The 1 year old is getting a lot of attention for standing on his own and learning how to crawl. The 4 year old might start to think, “I can do that too, why are they getting all the attention”. All of a sudden, he starts to act like a baby and might want to go back to using pull-ups or diapers; he might even start having accidents. Remember to be patient during this time and do not punish for having accidents. We do not want children to feel guilt or shame for wanting some attention. As adults, we do things to get attention as well.

Understand that this type of regression is normal. Let your child know that you understand why he wants attention just like the baby. Reassure him that he will be able to stop when he is ready and you will be there to help him. He might have to go back to pull ups, but if this is avoidable then it would be better. We do not want him to get used to not worrying about going to the bathroom. Spend some special one on one time with him every day. Let him pick the activity and play with him for 10-15 min to show that there is still time for him even with another sibling.

Overall, we know that potty training can be tough for some kids, but parents are really the only ones who can help them. Remember to be patient if there are setbacks and try to figure out why there is a setback. There usually is an underlying reason. If it seems like it could be a medical issue definitely call your pediatrician.

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