Poop is Stressing Me Out

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!

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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?

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7 Responses to Poop is Stressing Me Out

  1. Jessica December 10, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    Oh boy, I am so glad I’m not the only one! My daughter (also three) has always struggled with the exact same thing. With my two older boys this was never a problem so I never understood why it was a problem with her. She eats the same healthy food and drinks lots of water just like her brothers. We tried everything and decided to do daily Miralax when she was in tears screaming while trying to go. This helped a lot.

    She has been potty tried for the last few months and that has actually helped somewhat. When she wore diapers you could tell she had tried to go a bit but then would stop since it was probably painful. Once she started going on the potty the Miralax would make her go too quickly and she could not make it to the bathroom in time. So we stopped the Miralax, and while she still only goes every few days and she struggles some, she will sit on the potty and go all at one time.

    I wish I had magic advice for you! The one thing for some reason that worked a bit for us was dates. (Be sure to remove the pits and cut them up) She used to eat them all by themselves and they worked better than anything else for us. Now that she is older she won’t always eat them but I still try to bake with them whenever I can.

    Good luck and know that you are not alone!

  2. Laura December 10, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    My son has been struggling with this since he started solids at 6 mos. He’s almost 6 years old now. I felt so guilty, as most moms do, I’m sure. Fortunately, we have an awesome pediatrician whose on daughter had the same issues. And I know she feeds her daughter all the right food. She helped me understand that some kids just struggle with constipation, no matter how well they eat. It’s nice to have company on this crazy motherhood journey!

  3. Megan December 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm #

    Amen sister! You described my daughter to a T! We’ve been dealing with it for a few years now-Miralax has been our best friend!

  4. Shelley December 11, 2014 at 12:20 am #

    My son struggled with severe constipation issues as a baby. My biggest recommendation is to see a chiropractor! After taking my son to a chiropractor for a week and a half he was off daily miralax and pooping on his own. It was the best decision I have ever made.

  5. Heather December 11, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    When my son was little I would give him prunes instead of prune juice. Prunes have even more of the good stuff that helps you poop. Just ask, “Do you want a GIANT raisin?”. It’s all about the marketing. What kid would say no to that? 😉

  6. Melissa
    Melissa December 11, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    Thank you all for relating to my life. It somehow makes going through the difficult “stuff” easier, when you know that you aren’t alone. 🙂 Thank you also for the advice. I will definitely try the dates/prunes, and possibly a chiropractor!

  7. Julie
    Julie January 6, 2015 at 11:39 am #

    We used to do the Miralax route and then we also tried so hard to keep water and diet but daily it can be hard to keep up. Magnesium is something that has been a huge help for me (yes adults have issues too) and my younger two boys. If you research Magnesium and how many of us do not get enough of it in our diets it can make sense. We started supplementing with something called “Calm” which can be purchased at many health food stores and the internet but you can also use capsules. Of all of the things we’ve tried this is something I’m going to be sticking with.

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