WEANING: Often times during weaning the texture of baby’s stool will change . The colon and rectum must adapt to this change and expel the firmer, sometimes drier stools efficiently. Many toddlers will undergo transient constipation with FIRM DRY stools and INFREQUENT passage of stools (less than once every 3 days) during this adjustment phase.
WITHHOLDING STOOL: Subsequently a few children, boys more than girls, may develop a tear “FISSURE” because of the hard dry stool. This will cause blood on the tissue or on the stool, and PAIN on the passage of stools and consciously or unconsciously avoiding stooling thereafter.
POTTY TRAINING: After potty training, most children are keen to sit on the toilet like a “big kid”! Many children do just fine on the toilet, but there is a large number of children who struggle to pass stool in that position… feet a dangling.
Dangling vs Potty Squats
WE ARE OBSESSED WITH SQUATTING
SQUATTING IS GOOD!
Squatting is the bending of the hip and knee joints simultaneously
It results in a straightening of the rectum and enhances natural relaxation of the anal sphincters.
The Perfect Squat!
Numerous articles have been published about the importance of the squatting position for ease of passing stools. We at Caribbean Tots to Teens do NOT support any particular brand commercial product, but we do like this video explanation of the benefits of squatting seen here.
It is important to note that you do NOT need a commercial device, toddlers can be held in the squatting position with their backs towards the adults chest and a steadying hold just below the bended knees. They may also squat naturally when using a potty placed on the floor. Older children (up to about 20 kilograms) can stand on the toilet seat … be sure its sturdy… and squat down OR pull up a drink crate / stepping stool to allow little feet to rest comfortably with the hip and knees bent while sitting.
Does your little one need to be set in position to pass stool? Have you tried and of these techniques? Do you use a technique we haven’t mentioned here? Share with our readers, contact us! We want to know.
How do you Doo? is a series that addresses common infant and child stooling issues.
Many parents marvel and panic over the colour of the stool their child passes. Stool colour is DIRECTLY affected by what a child eats and the health of the intestinal tract. Once the first sticky (dark green and very gooey) meconium of the newborn is passed your child’s stools will take on a range of colours from green to gold to brown, varying with food intake, illness and antibiotics. Almost any colour in the green-gold-brown range is normal and no cause for alarm once the consistency of the stool is normal (see How do you Doo?: Part 1). Below is a picture of the acceptable colour ranges for stools of a normal BSF type 3 and 4 consistency.
Normal Variations in Colour
(photo taken from facebook.com/EnzymaticTherapy)
A stool that is greener in appearance indicates that the bile was released into the intestine but not “processed” but the lining bacteria. This may be because of rapid emptying (including diarrhoea, high fruit or fibre intake and laxatives) or because of a disruption to the bacterial population of the large intestine (colon) such as with antibiotic medication. As bile is processed it goes from gold to green to brown. The colour alone is NO reason to be alarmed in this situation.
GET A SAMPLE
Any drift from this safe ring of colour may be an indication that something is awry in the intestines. Although guilty foods can often be identified as the culprits, the safest thing to do is to GET A SAMPLE of the oddly coloured stool and make a trip to your doctor as quickly as possible. Stool may be collected and stored in a small air-tight plastic container, preferably in a cool environment. The sample should be delivered within 24 hours for best representation.
TAKE A PICTURE
When in doubt TAKE A PICTURE also. Any information you can preserve is always helpful!! STOP and consider what to do before you flush any concerning specimen away.
Abnormal Stool Colouration
A picture is worth a thousand words, and many pictures are not for the faint of heart. Would you like to upload your pictures anonymously for help classifying what you are seeing at home? Let us know!
For children under 7 years, it is good for parents to observe the stools consistency, frequency and colour. We will continue to address these issues in this blog. Please post or email your specific questions, we would love to help unravel the mysteries you may be facing.
Many parents are disturbed, confused and even frightened by changes in children’s stool texture. Below is a Caribbean modification of the Bristol Stool Form Chart which enables parents to describe and discuss the little ones “productions” with better understanding from the health care professionals. Types 1-2 are TOO DRY, usually due to staying in the colon for an extended period. Types 5-6 still contain a lot of the fluid from the digestive process and are TOO WET. BSF types 3-4 are ideal stool consistency.
Occasional fluctuation in consistency may occur due to change in diet. High fibre foods usually result in bulky soft to watery stools. Some fruits (eg. prunes) and other foods contain sugars /sugar alcohol such as sucralose, sorbitol and lactulose which pull fluid into the intestinal lumen and result is soft – loose stools.
Any illness associated with a fever may result in increased fluid loss (sweat/ mouth breathing) and decreased fluid intact (with loss of appetite) This is a common cause of acutely dry, hard and painful stools. Foods like RICE; APPLE SAUCE and WHITE FLOUR promote hard dry stools. WHITE FLOUR SNACKS include: white bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers, dumplings and “cheese snacks” (such as Big Foot, Doritos, Cheese Trix etc)
Of course, a real picture is worth a thousand words, and many pictures are not for the faint of heart. Would you like to upload your pictures anonymously for help classifying what you are seeing at home?
For children under 7 years, it is good for parents to observe the stools consistency, frequency and colour. We will continue to address these issues in this blog. Please post or email your specific questions.