There is not doubt that scrubbing number 2's out of underwear is one of my least favourite jobs!
To me, getting my kids to poo in the loo is absolutely essential. But it is really common for kids to not poo in the toilet because:
1. They prefer to poo standing up or in a relaxing place around the house which is not the bathroom
2. They are used to having a padded, warm nappy close to their bottom.
3. They are not sure how to push down and use the muscles to catch their first poo on the loo.
4. They get nervous or unsettled because they have been having accidents so would prefer to keep playing or hold on rather than face going to the toilet.
5. Their feet are not grounded on a flat surface when they sit on the toilet.
6. They find the big chasm AKA the toilet a big daunting and new.
7. They don't always know how to read their body signals when they first start toilet learning and this can be part of the learning process.
To prevent your child having ongoing issues with catching a poo on the loo I have some great ideas to help make it easier to encourage them to use the loo rather than their pants. Here are my top tips:
1. It's all about optimal body position
The hilarious video below shows the importance of body position when it comes to catching a poo. The potty is by far the greatest tool to use when it comes to catching a child's first couple of poos as it puts the body in a squatting position.
2. Feet grounded
The second best tool is using a step stool as this video points out. The key to remember when shopping for a step stool to get one that is tall enough that your son/daughter can sit on the toilet with their feet grounded.
3. Keep it soft
Stools that is...Having soft bowel movements to pass is key. By increasing fluid and fibre in your child's diet you will find that the toilet learning process will not be a painful one. If your child has poo the consistency of sheep pellets or hard log then they could be constipated. If their stools change consistency during the time when they are learning to use the loo then try to increase fluid and fibre, if you are concerned then see your doctor.
Getting your child to keep hydrated with water is really important. Fresh fruit and vegetables are sometimes a challenge for some children who are a bit reluctant. One creative way to over come this is to make smoothies.
Here is a recipe that nutritionist Dr Julie Bhosale put together for us here at Looloo to give us some great tips about the power of particular fruit to keep your child's stools soft. Smoothies are a great way to aid in creating optimal stools. CLICK HERE to find the recipe
4. Keep it relaxed
If you are feeling anxious or frustrated about your child's accidents then try your best not to say anything about it to your child. They need to feel really relaxed to do a poo on the loo and if they are nervous or anxious this can be counter productive.
Singing a song, reading a story, giving them some privacy, keeping calm and positive are all great strategies to try. If they are great at doing a wee but not a poo then build on from what they can already do. When they have done a wee on the toilet ask them to push down like they are passing wind to see if they can 'catch a poo on the loo'.
Here's today's take away
+ Keep a record in your diary the times when your child does a poo. Have a look and see if there is a pattern.
Is there a certain time each day that they go?
Observe do they take themselves off to a quiet spot?
Do they prefer to stand up or squat to poo?
A good thing to remember that often kids will poo 20-30 minutes after a meal. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that if you can find the time when your child normally poos and put them on the loo at that time you may have some "action"
Avoiding and overcoming constipation during toilet training is one of the main things that parents can do to help their children.
Simply defined constipation is poo left in your child's body. A kid can poo everyday but not empty their full bowel which means that poo can build up over time. Sometimes it can be hard and difficult to pass.
Kids who experience constipation while toilet training have a physical barrier. They will be more than likely to have wee accidents or experience pain while pooing.
Kids who have had years of a warm padded nappy close to their bottom and who like standing up to poo or taking themselves off to a quiet spot; may show resistance initially at having to poo in the loo.
This can also lead to them holding on and either doing a poo in their sleep or holding on for days until they become bloated and in pain.
It is important to consult your doctor to rule out physical barriers such as constipation when toilet training.
The great thing is that constipation is treatable and preventable. Having a high fibre diet with water drunk at regular intervals throughout the day will mean your child's stools are the consistency of toothpaste; and are therefore easy to pass.
It is about being strategic with increasing fibre by adding more fruit and vegetables into their diet. A great way to do this is through smoothies. You can also use the smoothie mixture to create delicious ice blocks.
I love using these moulds at home because the kids don't have sticks, they are really easy to wash and they don't drip everywhere. Simply fill, pop on the lid and leave them to freeze. They fit any way in the freezer so you are not worried about them tipping over and spilling like traditional moulds. When ready to eat, run under warm water and push up from the bottom.
Here's my favourite high fibre smoothie recipe to help ensure constipation does not happen for your child.
Grab a 4 pack of icepop moulds HERE