Not going to bother with a witty title. Might as well be honest and you can read…or not. This post is about poop and relatively graphic.
Carter has had soft poo for at least a year. I was always so happy that he only poo’d on the potty because man I would’ve hated cleaning it off his bum. I kinda figured that’s what toddler poo was and didn’t think much of it. When he decided to be a potty user everything went fine. I know a lot of kids tend to have trouble with the pooling part of the potty transition but that was already out of the way for us.
About a month (maybe month and a half) ago Carter started pooling in his undies. It was like he didn’t even notice. I’d ask if he needed to use the potty and he would squeal at me that he had just gone pee and he didn’t need the potty. It was very clear he did. He didn’t do a full poo, it was more of a generous skid mark. Some days was more than other, some days was just the slightest hint. It was always sticky and pain to clean up. Generally it was gross. At first I went through the whole “accidents happen” and reassuring. I tried to talk to him about what was going on. I tried offering incentives if he would take a break and try to poo on the potty before an accident happen. I figured he was too excited to be playing with things and just didn’t want to take any time away.
I should also mention that around this time Carter started saying randomly that his belly hurt. I didn’t think too much of it because it never seemed to become anything. I assumed it was just something he was saying, as toddlers do. Obviously I feel pretty crummy about this dismissal. Hindsight is 20/20.
After a week of that I started being less of the parent I want to be and I got frustrated. I was sick of cleaning up his poop. I was annoyed that he wasn’t trying harder. I couldn’t understand why he suddenly wasn’t using the toilet for poo. Daniela told him that he had to keep his undies clean if he wanted to use Dylan’s new toy kitchen and this is where things spiralled down (for the record, she was just trying to try some other way of reaching him). He not only was pooping in his pants now but he was adamantly denying it and not letting us clean him up. He also had a couple pee accidents which were just so unlike him. We had a group meeting and realized we had to remove the shame and figure it out.
This is where I decided to consult moms.
My mom group suggested he was constipated. I thought this was ridiculous at first because he had soft poo. He eats alright but not a ton of veggies despite my efforts. They directed me to a few articles:
All of a sudden it started making sense.
He must have a blockage that is making it so his body doesn’t know he needs to go (also impacts knowing he has to pee). The softness of his stool is because the only poo coming out is that which can get around the blockage. His poor belly was visibly bloated (i don’t know why i didn’t notice this before). I decided to get him in to see our doctor as soon as possible. He of course would not let her touch his stomach so this was a bit pointless. She gave us a few options and we decided we would try a gentle stool softener to try and reset his body a bit and then be more proactive with diet and belly massage/stretching. I considered avoiding the stool softener and trying all natural options first but I think we let this go too far without addressing and I didn’t want to drag it on longer than necessary.
He is on a low dose once a day and it seems to be helping move thing through. We are giving it a few more days and then we will try to stop them and see if we’ve made any progress. He still looks bloated to me. He is finicky about eating and is saying his belly feels “no good”.
We might try to see a nutritionist next. I just feel terrible and I don’t know if this is a lack of balance in his diet, a reaction to some kind of food, stress, or something else.