As a mother of three under the age of six, my life is consumed by poop and pee in ways I never knew possible. On a daily basis, I probably change at least 10 dirty diapers. I wipe three different butts, at differing points in the day. I take smelly diaper champ bags out to the garbage. I clean urine off of the toilet seat and, on some unfortunate occasions, remove urine soiled clothing from a child. I discuss it, I joke about it, and I obsess over it ("Are you sure you don't have to go to the bathroom before we go out? ARE YOU SURE????").
I also mentally record it, or at least I try to. Just last night, I said to my husband, "I don't think Colin has pooped in a few days. Come to think of it, has Casey?" I then sat and pondered when I last cleaned a poopy butt. There are so many poopy butts, they all blend together. Then I feel like a bad mom because I cannot recall the last time and date of my childrens' bowel movements.
Because there's nothing worse than when a child is constipated. I imagine all of the excess waste stuffed into their little tummies. I will it to come out. As they sit grunting on the potty, like a stage mom, I grunt too. But alas, it's one thing as a mother, I cannot control. The first of many. (There's a reason Freud created an entire developmental stage in its honor - the anal stage, in case you were wondering.)
This issue is pretty common in kids. According to an OTC Safety article, constipation accounts for 3-5% of all pediatrician visits. I am guilty here - way back when, when I was potty training Braden, and he was withholding poop, I dragged his butt (no pun intended) into the pediatrician's office. "Make him poop!" I demanded.
Unsurprisingly, they couldn't do that.
But, I have learned there are over the counter medicines that can be used, such as:
1) Stool softeners - The active ingredient is docusate.
2) Laxatives - There are four (osmotic, lubricant, stimulant, and bulk formers).
3) Enemas and suppositories.
(For all of the above, be sure to ask a doctor for advice about treatment in children.)
Tummy problems aren't restricted to constipation of course. There's also heartburn, reflux, indigestion, etc. - all of which children can experience. We have luckily avoided most of these, but in case you or your child are suffering, below are some tips from OTC Safety, (also click on this helpful article here - and be sure to always read the medication labels!).
Disclosure: I received compensation for this post as part of the CHPA OTC Safety Ambassador Program. All of the opinions reflected here are my own.