Saturday, July 12, 2008

End of poop calendar

This is a bit late coming, but last month we got away with noting when Sonja poops in a calendar. She now goes regularly every day, by herself. Not once a week. We are so glad. (This is a post more for us than for anyone else - skip unless you want to know about children and constipation.)

It started when in her first year, when she would regularly poop only every fifth day. No problem there, breastfed children often do that. However, after she stopped nursing, she would still not go every day. It was every two or three days. And the priod slowly increased. By the time we reached the holidays 2007, she was only going once a week. She was grumpy most of the time, and needless to say, since it took such a force on her part to get that amount out, she really did not want to do it.

We had tried to use suppositories to help her, but after the first time they somehow did not work.

Part of the reason for the near constant constipation was that she is a bit picky, she did not want to push, she ignored the signals when her body wanted to empty itself, and who knows what else.

In January or so, we went with her to the doctor. The doctor emptied Sonja, and prescribed Transipeg to help keep the stool soft. So that Sonja would learn that it does not hurt to go do #2. Even with that, we ended up having to force her to sit on the toilet every second or third day to get the stool out, because she still did not go by herself. Involved a lot of tears, a lot of crying. But what else were we supposed to do? Without that, she would not have gone.

We did change our food habits to a degree. We sometimes give her "stars", a cereal high in fiber (thanks Hil for the info). She initially didn't want that cereal but somehow started liking it. I sneak in some bran on top of bread before I spread butter and soft cheese on it. I started making pizza dough out of a variety of flours, including the "whole" ones, and include flax seeds in it. When we make spaghetti, I mix it half-white and half-whole wheat spaghetti. When we go on travels, I buy some cans of mandarins and corn (bot of which she likes) and bring them along to give to her. We try to do some veggies before each main meal, though there is not that much variety in that yet - zucchinis (fried in butter), or peas, corn, beets (almost surprisingly). If veggies are chopped fine enough, like in a risotto or a soup, she will likely eat them. At home, we periodically do "try something new" - she has to eat one bite of something she has not tried before (e.g. pears this past week, which she claimed she did not like without even trying them) before she gets the stuff she likes (e.g. strawberries, or now peaches). This way, we are slowly introducing new foods. Peer pressure also helps, to a point. She has been in a group of children, all of them chewing on raw carrots, and wanted a carrot herself.

In addition, we did a bit of bribing: if you poop, we told Sonja, you will get some ice cream.

Even after doing all of those things, it was still a physical and mental struggle to get Sonja to poop. And then, one day, as she was sitting on the toilet, and I was sitting there in front of her to keep her from getting off, she asked, what are you doing? And I told her, I am waiting for you to poop or to pop, like the balloon. And she replied, ok, I will poop. And she pooped. And after that, it has been no problem. Within a couple days, she started trying to go do #2 several times (five was the max) a day in order to get the ice cream. (We now changed the policy to ice cream once, or max twice a day.)

We took her off the transipeg. No problems.

It is so good to be past this issue. Like some other people have told us, it just went away. Just like that. It just took Sonja deciding to push. Sure was a chore to get her to that point, but now it does seem to be in the past. Way to go Sonja!

Somewhat related to that, Sonja is daytime potty trained, though we still give her diapers at night. I stupidly thought that I wouldn't push the diaper issue until the pooping problem is solved (thinking that she might be more willing to poop into diapers than into a toilet or potty). But the pooping problem took such a long time, we ended up potty training before it was solved, and I almost wish we had done it earlier. She does still pee into her pants sometimes: if she is hard at play with something or someone, and simply forgets about it; or to spite us (I think). But overall, she has been without diapers for two months or so, and pooping regularly for six weeks or so, and we are very happy about both of those things.

1 comment:

Matt Heavner said...

poop or pop! That's awesome. And glad that kid challenge is over!