Regular bowel movements are important to your child’s health.
Here are a few tips to help your tot have an easier time on the potty.
Young children are curious little ones and watching them explore their world can be a source of joy and hilarity. Even something as mundane as potty time can be fun. (Have you ever seen a toddler stare in fascination at his own poop?) Giggles aside, your toddler’s poop and bowel movements are important indicators of her or his health.
Some things to look out for are the size and colour of a child’s stool, and the frequency of bowel movements. These factors vary from child to child. For example, some have one bowel movement a day, some children may go three times a day, while some may even go once every three days. ‘Good’ poop should be soft and relatively easy to pass. If a child’s stool is hard and shaped like a log or pebbles, she or he may have constipation.
Thankfully, all it takes to prevent constipation are a few dietary and lifestyle habits. One of the most important factors in the equation is water. As food moves through the digestive system, water and nutrients are absorbed. When waste material passes through the large intestine (colon) and arrives at the rectum, most of the water has been soaked up and the stool becomes solid. If stool moves through the colon too slowly or remains in the body too long, the colon absorbs even more water back into the body and the stool becomes hard and dry. Increasing water intake and thereby increasing the water content of stools is important, along with a well-balanced diet, regular physical activities and good toilet habits.
A Regular Affair
How can parents train their toddlers to make potty time a regular, healthy habit? Some parents have revealed that they use praise or give small prizes every time their little one successfully heads to the potty for a bowel movement. It also helps to understand why some children may be reluctant to have a poop. Some children view their poop as a part of their body, therefore they get scared when they see it being flushed away. Other children are afraid of the loud sound of the flush, so wait until they have left the bathroom before flushing for them.
Of course, a healthy diet and regular physical activity are important to ensure your child has an easy time during a bowel movement. Give your child milk that will promote a smooth digestion process, adequate water and be sure to include 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
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