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This post is all about poop. If you do not currently have a toddler and therefore the accompanying worrying obsession with poop, I highly recommend that you skip this post in it's entirety. Here, go look at this nice picture instead. (Although, ew. The only thing I find more distasteful on a man than chest hair is a necklace. And then again, I saw a picture of someone or other with chest hair recently and found myself thinking hey, that isn't so bad, so I might be coming around on that. I'm giving no ground on the necklace though.) Or, if you have a penis and/or happen to swing that way, you can go admire this picture. (My husband thinks she's hot, but I dunno. I think she would look a lot better if she had some snacks.)

Now, let's talk poop. And I wasn't planning to go into this in the least, but I've gotten a whole pile of emails from people asking me about it so I figured what the hell. When Mia is being a petulant teenager someday I can tell her I told the entire internet about her poop issues and give her something to really hate me for, which I am sure she will appreciate as it will save her the trouble of coming up with reasons on her own.

Let's see.... several weeks ago, Mia got a little constipated. She was obviously uncomfortable with the whole pooping process and in order to do it needed to be clinging to my neck with a death grip and moaning quietly. Applying the inimitable logic of two-year-olds, Mia decided that she would just solve this problem by refusing to poop in the future. Apparently, this is a common thought-process among the toddler set. The flaw in Mia's plan was that as a living organism she is required by biology to excrete sooner or later and by doing everything in her power to make sure it was always later she was making the problem much worse.

I made her drink so much liquid that she had a three gallon diaper every couple of hours. I pushed fiber. I tried to make her eat prunes and peaches and anything else that might possibly help. I tried everything listed in my baby books and everything I could find on the internet and let me tell you, my kid has one stubborn sphincter because nothing worked. She would spend two days dancing around the house grabbing at her cute little bottom telling me she was not, no way, no how, going to poop and then finally succumb to the forces of nature. This began to involve crying, then screaming, and then early this week two instances of gagging such that I really believed she was going to make herself throw up.

We went to the doctor. I'd been avoiding it because I don't like to medicate Mia when it is not absolutely necessary, but I decided that stopping my baby from being in pain made it absolutely necessary. The Hotty Pediatrician put her on Miralax (which is over the counter, but dudes, so do not give it to your kid without at least calling your doctor, you know?). He said to do three days of two doses a day and then a week of one dose a day. The idea was that it would first of all get her pooping and clear out anything that is backed up in there making it hard to poop, and second of all make the poop stop hurting so that she would decide pooping was an ok thing to do after all and stop causing herself problems.

We started on Wednesday afternoon. It's a powder that you just mix in their juice or water. I've been telling Mia when I am giving it to her and explaining that it is medicine to make the poop stop hurting her bottom. It kicked in this morning. And if you want to know what I mean by "kicked in," I refer you back to the title of this post. I'll just say that on top of the diaper changes I've had to change her entire outfit three times and my own once.

It has not been a pleasant day for me, to be sure. Mia however, while a bit disconcerted that she keeps pooping, is very, very happy that it does not hurt. She even explained to me quite carefully that her bottom didn't hurt anymore and that it made her smile. And that, I hope, will be pretty much the end of this particular poop saga. And also I hope that by this point she's shot her wad and we are done for the day, because I only have but so many pairs of maternity pants and I don't know how many more blow-outs I can survive before I run out entirely.

And I fully expect to get at least one comment on this post about how I am a stupid waste of space mommyblogger and that nobody in the whole damned world cares about my kid's poop and I should just shut the hell up already and stop polluting the world with the contents of my head. (Hurry! If you act now, maybe you can be first!) But the fact is that there really are people who want to hear about this because they are having the same problem themselves and it's one of those things that isn't cut and dry. Should you do X? Should you do Y? Should you just go get yourself another bottle of wine and worry about it tomorrow? (That last thing is a definite yes.) So yeah, I'll talk about poop. You may never have had to worry about it, but I'm willing to bet that your mom did.

Comments (52)

I for one can totally relate. This was one of the many many issues I faced with my daughter. She would hold it (I kid you not) for weeks at a time until she would finally, in tears, pass something the size & firmness of a softball and she ended up at the Gastroenterology department at the local Children's Hospital. She's been on Miralax since July, and we are currently in the weaning down process because things are looking good.

FYI - just in case your doctor didn't pass this info along but actually you want to cut back on the fiber when they're constipated. Sure, that sounds weird because fiber is famous for keeping you 'regular', but according to the Gastro Docs (because I had been doing the same thing) it makes the constipation issue worse. Large doses of fiber will make the poop harder, which makes it hurt more, which only perpetuates them holding it in.

So, if it helps, I'm glad you talked about poop because it's nice to know I'm not the only one who's chased a daughter through a shitstorm.

oooh- the first to comment on poop! Miralex is a wonder when it comes to easing the poop situation. Both of my girls went through this same thing and Miralex solved it both times.

My son needed a surgical butthole embiggening (it's true), so I know from poop issues. Glad to hear things are going smoothly now (laundry issues notwithstanding). I recommend oxyclean for the shit stains.

It's funny how poop is an acceptable topic of conversation for moms. It's how you know you've really arrived... ; )

As the mom of a 2 year old just a wee few days older than Mia, I'd like to thank you (ahead of the naysayers) for writing about this. We've never had full blown (punny!) constipation issues, but we do talk about his poop a lot.

Good to know about the OTC stuff and I'm glad it's helping Mia.

Of course she'd look better with snacks. Who wouldn't?

Being pooped on builds character; poop which doesn't kill you makes you stronger; it's always darker before the poop; etc. It all ended happily with no more butt-pain, and that's all that matters.

First, I'm not sure why you would think such negative thougths about yoruself like being a waste. And if you get those, just delete them.

Second, we went through this with my daughter. did the whole route like you did, but she was older. She eventually pooped and it was so big and hard she bled a little. Not bad, but you get the idea.

I have colon problems and I have learned some things about what will and won't make you go. Miralax is good. But Dr.s always Rx too much of everything.

I learned chicken broth has enough magnesium ( think salt ) in it to make you squirt for a few days and tastes better. Prunes ... ya ... oatmeal ... etc. Water is always the best to keep you regular.

Glad it all ended well ...

And other possible last lines ...

Glad everything came out ok

In the end ...

Well, it's good to know it all came out in the end.

and on and on ...

And Keira Knightly is kind of hot, but needs boobs.


Poor Mia. Poor Beth! Explosive Miralax poop *sucks*. I'm glad she's getting relief.

Maddy has issues with holding it, too, and sometimes, Miralax is all that stands between her and a lengthy surgical procedure. So, YAY Miralax! And double-yay that it's OTC now. :D

Maddy will be 11 on the 22nd, and I never dreamed I would still be this interested in another person's poop habits, but there ya go. ;) Motherhood. lol

Miralax is magic.

This will probably happen again when you're teaching her to use the potty. Kiddo would pee in the potty, but there was no way- no how- no thank you she was dropping the kids off at the she held it in. Ouch.

Miralax saved us and I really believe it made potty training possible.

Miralax is magic.

Oh, Beth. I have been there - oh yes I have. I have memories of my now 5 year old when he was 3 or 4 holding his poop so long we had to give him a suppository that made him make a poop the size of an enormous burrito. Then we used Miralax. It was a big help, but I can give you a few hints that hindsight taught me: (and maybe your Hotty Pediatrician already told you, but too bad.)

1.) You can adjust the amount and times a day you give the miralax without a problem.

2.) It's not addictive.

3.) Just the smallest amount of a change in dose can make a difference. So if she's pooping on overtime after she's all cleaned out - you can let up on the dose.

4.) They often have more poop hiding inside them than we realize, so make sure she is totally cleaned out before you change anything.

5.) Err on the side of keeping her UNconstipated. I hate giving medicine to my son, but he was on it for about a year (Small doses, every other day) that kept pooping a "pleasurable experience" because it only gets worse when they potty train. Or I can say that it was easier for him to poop because instead of the gigantic poops trying to squeeze into the space in a diaper - the giant poops have free reign of the toilet.

Anyway, feel free to email me with poop related comments or questions. It's an agnst I felt and can relate.

Oh, how I needed that. I've been living in the sh*t-snot house all week! :)

My son (age 7) has major stomach issues and I have blogged about poop quite often lately. I can't help it because that is ALL I am doing certain days. You should see some of the disturbing search hits I get right after those posts though...check your own, I bet you are getting them now too.

Oh trust me, we are all interested.

First I have to say that for some reason, Clive is rocking that chest hair and chain. I hate chains too but he makes it work somehow.

My oldest niece had similar poop issues at age 5, and would hold it so long she'd eventually go in her pants. Once that issue was solved though, they discovered that she had given herself a hemmoroid (did you know there are about twelve different spellings of that word?) that eventually burst and was quite traumatic. Now she just eats Fiber One bars every day for a snack and that seems to keep her going. Pun intended.

Oh yeah, poop.

Daya gets backed up too, but we've never had any trauma associated with it like Mia has. For her at least.

If Daya doesn't poop for 2 days I give her dried seedless prunes and Milk of Magnesia...the mint one, which she actually likes. Bleh. That ususally clears the matter up before it gets out of hand.

She is waaayyy too skinny. She *is* rather pretty though, and an accent. Gee, Cat, lesbian much? Not that there's anything wrong with that....
ennnyway. Never had a poop issue with Mag. She's my once-a-day-girl. Nice, firm, little turtles that roll right out of the diaper into the potty to be carried a way by little doves....
Now, Will on the other hand, is his father's son.
3 sometimes 4 a day, stinky, mushy, 5 wipe-job poop. I give him lots of cheese & potatoes but nothing seems to work.

Glad Mia is feeling better.

Are you crazy? Any parent cares about poop. It's this crazy magical thing that happens when you have a kid - instantly, you are concerned about the pooping. Thomas didn't poop one day - and he has always pooped, always always - and I was sorely vexed.

I'm glad everything is, ahem, cleaned out of sweet little Mia. And really, thanks for posting this, because there are some of us who still learning the ropes out here in parentland. :)

thankfully this was never a concern with my two but with my SIL she had to use suppositories with her then 18 month old, the little girl is now 3 and potty trained but still really fights the pooping.

for any future needs - a friend of mine recommended apples and bananas to keep you regular....

Hey, you're a great mom! I totally intend on bugging you for advice whenever I become one. :)

You know what? I AM glad you talked about it because my little girl has had similar problems in the past and it is good to know there is something out there over the counter. I certainly would consult our doctor, but I am glad to know that a late night drug store run could solve things.

Harley's had an irregularity problem since he was a baby. He's on medication for it, otherwise he would never be regular.

All kids have constipation issues at one time or another. Glad Mia is all better.

At least you didn't have to give her an enema. We had to do a few of those and the results were mind boggling and massive.

Oh, AS IF. I mean, poop is one of the MAIN ISSUES of parenting. This is not just a blog post, it is an IMPORTANT REFERENCE.

Poop is a very important index of toddler health, so you're just giving it the attention it deserves.

Shadowboy hasn't had that particular poop issue (fortunately! counting my blessings! knocking on wood!) but my best friend's daughter got so upset the first time pooping hurt that she refused to go again for eight straight days. Drama was involved. So was wine, as I recall.

I feel so very lucky to have a boy who poops about 3 times a day, and mostly at daycare (heehee!!). We haven't had a problem YET. YET.

I have major digestive issues and, just so that you have it in the back of your mind in the future, sometimes, for some people, fiber actually hurts. It is an irritant and can cause constipation (I know- weird, but it happens to me).

Now my boring comment is done. I hope you don't think I'm a waste of space!

Ok, so the frequency of poop isn't an issue in our house, but the frequency of diaper rash and the infrequency with which Lady let's us change her diaper without a nuclear meltdown IS. Anyone have a chronic problem with diaper rash? Lady has no issues with actually getting the poop out, but once she does you'd swear the Earth is about to stop spinning on account of the heartbreak that follows. What to do?

And Keira? Really Chris? I don't get it.

My best friend's daughter went through the same thing. When she finally pooped, I thought someone put a yam in the toilet! It was enormous! I can't believe I'm delurking to talk about poop. I'm classy like that.

I have to believe that anyone who reads you regularly does indeed care because they've either been there/are there/will be there soon. Plus, we all love Mia (in a totally non-creepy or stalkerish since we're strangers) so we want to know she's okay. As for me, I'm filing this away for future reference because you never know when you need good poop advice.

Well, I, for one, have no problem with the subject of poop. Name your blog Poopiekins, for all I care. All I know is that constipation, having a kid who is constipated and miserable and exploding diapers suck! I think I've had more problems with constipation after my 3rd pregnancy, than my kids have ever had, combined. I thought I was gonna die before it was all over with. Poor little Miabean. I'm sorry she had to endure that. Hope she's feeling better.

So glad the Miralax worked for Mia. I did go to the store yesterday to find something for Zoe. I actually found that Little Tummies (same brand as Little Noses) made a laxative. It's a chocolate flavored liquid with a dropper. For 2 year olds you just give them .5ml. Let me just say it worked wonders for getting Zoe started. Slightly messy... but no blow outs.

The things we go through for these toddlers. Yeesh.

I just like that "it made her bottom smile". That's the cutest thing I've heard all week.

At least your kid has an excuse...she's 2...mine is 11 and he hates to poop...he will go for days without pooping and then end up spending an hour in the bathroom...usually at a really inconvenient time or when we are ready to walk out the door in the morning for school.

Glad you had some luck with Mia! Hopefully that will be the end of your poop problems!

Why would anyone who's had kids have a problem with talking about poop?

I'm glad she's feeling better. That constipation can be a vicious cycle.

Enjoy your hopefully poop free weekend.

Been there, done that, with more than one generation. Glad it's working out for Miss M. Popcorn is a two-year old friendly source of fiber.

I have been going through the same exact thing with my daughter. I had to do an enema (horrible thing)...but the miralax has really seemed to work well. Keep talking poop...I didn't feel so alone reading this.

oh beth, i've been there. i'm trying to remember if i was pregnant when i went through it, and yes, i think i was.

my girl went ELEVEN days with out pooping. even held it for 2 after a glycerin suppository. after the 11 day fiasco it was so hard and so big oh she bled. and she cried and she bled. and i cried.

and then she would hold it and squeeze her little butt cheeks together and refuse to go. and i'd try the suppository again and she'd say 'don't put anything in my bum mommy!" and i'd cry and do it anyway because child, you have to poop!

just thinking about it makes me so sad. it was a miserable time. I remember the 'shitstorm' days thinking how as much as i didn't feel like changing the eighth poopy diaper of the day, i was in some way, glad i was doing it.

now, my son. My son. He's a true man. He has a big old blowout every morning at the same time.

so many moms go through this. i talk to SO MANY of them at work. it happens. and then, well, the shit happens.

glad things are moving along for miss mia

Next can we talk about what pregnancy and birth does to the bowels? Oh, wait. Maybe that was just me.

Hahahahahaha, oh, maaaaan... it's only funny because it's not me going through it.

It's amazing how much of your day comes down to poo, when you have kids, huh.

I'm so glad you got her problem sorted out, Beth. You obviously did the right thing for Mia and her poor little butt. Sucks that it has to be so messy, of course.

Are you like me? Do you love your kid but wonder jealously what the f*cking f*ck you did with all that SPARE TIME you had when you were childless?!

Trust me. I totally relate to poop obsession. My little guy started having problems with food sensitivity when he was 6 weeks old. I won't go into the details of what that does to poop, but let's just say it's not pretty. I was breastfeeding and cut any dairy and soy-containing foods from my diet, then had to see if that helped him. I was literally examining every dirty diaper to check for evidence of whether things were getting better or worse. It was not fun. We eventually go that all worked out but he recently started getting constipated. Let me just say that a whole jar of baby food prunes plus 2 ounces of pear juice had a very similar effect on Buckeye Baby that the Miralax did on Mia.

I don't have kids, but I am glad that Mia is feeling better. She's far too adorable for all of that.

This made me laugh... heartily. My friend who also has a toddler said to me 'I will be glad when the day comes that I no longer have to look my daughter in her eye as she grunts out her poop' and I could not agree with my friend more. I love my son but dude the poop thing that part sucks my rear!

Feeling for you! But it's soooo importnant to get these things figured out! When I was a kid my sis had serious constipation issues that have now turned into Irritible Bowel Syndrome, and belive me, that is not fun for her at ALL! If my parents had recognized the constipation and dealt with it earlier, she might not have so many problems today. I'll keep my fingers crossed there are no more blow outs today!

I come to you for all my poop discussions. It is what you do best. ;)

I don't get a lot of "face time" (ugh!) with my son's poops, so I have to live vicariously through you. :D

First, I have to ask...Do people really say that sort of stuff to you, about polluting the e-air and stuff? Seriously? You want I should go mess'm up a bit? I'm really scrappy.

And then, I have to add, that though I haven't had this problem yet, my mother in law did. My husband refused to poop as a child. He refused to poop for so long, and was so good at it, that my mother in law eventually had to have his bowels pumped because he was poisoning himself and landed in the ER.

Thank heavens we have that powder stuff these days.

This topic is very dear to my heart...Not only did I read every word carefully, once I am done with the comments, i have to read all the replies word to word as well.
My son has the same issues every now and then, and has even gotten a few external cuts due to it, i had to use suppository on him once since it was hurting so bad.

anyways, the last week, when it happened again,he was clinging to my neck and i actually made him balance at the edge of the grown-up potty seat, while he held me and sobbed and pushed, and whoa...his very first shit in the potty!we were sooo excited. yea, he was standing, not technically sitting, and too much in pain to even relaise, but we rewarded him with a kit kat bite anyways (the only thing i had in my house).

anyways, repeat performace did not happen, but i am wondering if that position will work for him the next time he is constipated as well. (also raisins help him some).

hi. i posted on your other site without reading this first - and i suggested miralax! i am also uncomfortable with medicating my daughter and she has now been on the miralax for 9 months, but every attempt at weaning her off it has failed. as soon as we reduce the dose, she has trouble again. so for now, miralax it is. and i keep hoping that potty training is in our near future (altho there is no sign that it is) so i want to make sure she is comfortable and not traumatize her further on the issue. ugh.

You know, one of my friends had the same problem with her little boy. She spent months trying to get him to poop normally without it being a huge production involving him hiding and crying and freaking out and not pooping for days. At the time I thought it was unusal, but I've since heard of several other kids doing it too. I had no idea it was so common. He's fine now, by the way, so it does get better.

My baby brother had the same problem. Our doctor told us to give a sepository, which was started calling "bum medicine". At the very mention of it, my bro would run screaming from the room. It was a harrowing experience, to say the least. Hope Miabean's feeling better.

Apples help too from my experience.

And yes, for some reason I got pooped on a lot with my daughter but not at all with my son. There's still time though. Plenty of time.

Thank you. I never thought about giving Miss G Miralax but I must say that stuff is heaven sent. I myself tinker in the constipation category quite often and there is NO better lax than that stuff. I can tell you she was not in pain like she would be with other laxes that make you cramp and stuff. That stuff is just pure miracle. Really. I sound like a total freak but let me tell you this is something I have dealt with my whole life and it has saved me. Now my daughter has the same issues and I am totally going right no to put a small amount in her juice. We all need to poop a little sometimes.:) I am so glad she feels better and I totally care about your kids poop.

I went through this for two years! It wasn't till the end that I figured out that 1/2 to 1 tsp of Benefiber a day was enough to keep her regular without the Miralax. Benefiber is more natural and I felt better than giving her Miralax for months and months. I cringe when I see the Baby-lax ememas in the store these days because that was one long ride I don't care to revisit ever!

Good luck, it will get better!

I am wildly impressed by your daughter's bowel control. SERIOUSLY. Once she uses to harness that power for good and not evil, that'll be a pretty darn useful life skill in case of some sort of emergency.

I am having the opposite problem with my 29 month girl. She has been trying to hide the fact that she has pooped. Its like she saves a bit after she has had a bm, that I have changed. Then, I find "artwork" all over her room, her 16m. sister, and so forth. I am tired of santitizing her room from top to bottom everyday. And I do mean top to bottom. The windows, the closet door, the crib, her toddler bed, and toy box????? What is up with that? Any idea? She stopped potty training about 1 month ago. Just refused to try. I am not pushing the issue b/c I don't want any problems. When she is ready, she's ready, right? I dunno. We have an appointment next week with the pedes. I will ask them, but if you or any of your readers have any suggestions for us, please send them to

I got called to pre-k this week because my daughter had diarrhea. When I walked through the door, I could hear her describing such said from the bathroom. I so love poop,(please note my sarcasm, please) it is a favorite topic round here.

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So the Fish Said...

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