It’s the four-letter word that no one mentions pre-kids, but holy smokes; it rules your life once you have them. Before my husband and I had our girls, we NEVER talked about poop. These days, especially the last week or so, it’s been all that we talk and think about. So, I apologize for those of you who think this is gross, or maybe decide that you want to read this after you eat your breakfast, but as a contributor for this blog, I have learned to write about what’s real in my life, because chances are, it’s real in many of your lives too. So here it goes…
I have two, healthy, three-year-old girls, who struggle with constipation frequently. They eat healthy food, are active, drink water, and yet it continues to be a problem. The past week or two however, it’s become a serious problem for both of them… like I’m talking a week plus without pooping. It is becoming a horrible cycle where they won’t go and they hold it, and it gets hard, and therefore, is very painful. I’ve been on the Internet and texting friends constantly this week for advice. For something that I hardly talked about for the first 26 years of my life, it’s something that has thoroughly stressed me out lately. I’ve cried, lost sleep, and struggled to know what to do to help my girls.
Luckily, I have some great friends, and while we are still on a path of getting this figured out for them, I’ve gotten some great advice that I wanted to share. These tips by no means replace the advice of a medical professional, but are things that have helped me deal with this issue!
- You are not alone! In the few weeks that I’ve been dealing with this, I have learned that this is very common. I stress out, thinking that it’s me and that I’m doing something wrong as a mom, but in fact, it is actually common for toddlers and with a slight diet change, things are likely to get on the right track.
- Seek support: Although most people don’t talk about poop, moms definitely do! Reach out to another mom if you are struggling. Chances are, they have dealt with a similar issue and can be there for moral support and practical advice.
- Pedia-Lax (liquid suppositories): These have really helped us get things moving after the 7-day mark. The box says 2-5 years, and they are fairly easy to use. My girls definitely don’t like having them, but for us, they have worked within 45 minutes.
- Healthy (fiber-filled) food: We have started regular “doses” of prune/apple juice mixture. I know it’s not ideal to give kids very much juice, but it’s also not ideal for them to be constipated. So I weighed my options, and prune juice it is! Pears and apples are also high in fiber. Fresh fruits and vegetables are ideal.
- Mira-Lax: Before starting this, I would definitely consult a nurse or doctor. I typically avoid medicine until it’s my last option, but I’ve also started the girls on this daily, until we can get them going more frequently and comfortably. Once they do, I will try taking them off of this and only do the prune juice.
- WATER! I have started limiting milk to, at the most, once per day, and only have water as an option. Water helps the body eliminate toxins, and helps everything run more smoothly.
- Digestive health: This article, by our contributor, Katie, is a great read and has wonderful tips to improve your child’s digestive health. Be proactive!
I would love to know if poop is stressing you out lately. How have you dealt with it? Do you have any other tips or advice that have worked for you?