For some children going from diaper to potty is an easy transition but for most, potty training can be quite challenging.
Every day I hear stories of children that don’t want to poop, have poop accidents, have painful poops or just don’t poop enough.
I recently had the opportunity to meet Dr. William Sears, yes, THE Dr. Sears, and his lovely wife, Martha. We sat down and had a chat about several topics that concern most mothers; naturally, we talked about poop and potty training.
Find out what Dr. Sears has to say about potty training and poop:
This post contains referral links.
As he mentioned in the video, the secret to successful potty training and not dealing with constipation and painful poop is to keep the poop comfortable.
But, what does that really mean?
It means your child needs to have a healthy diet and eat enough fiber so when he or she feels like pooping, the poop just comes out.
If your child is having to sit a long time in the toilet, is pushing too hard or has an odd poop consistency, then you know the poop is not comfortable.
What does healthy poop in children look like?
Your child poop should look like #3 or #4 but if it doesn’t, find out what the other poop types mean:
Types one and two cause the most wear and tear on the rectal lining, and require the most uncomfortable straining Pellet poop can enlarge into golf-ball size or “plugged poop,” which is the hardest to pass.
Types three and four are usually the most comfortable poop. This soft poop is slippery and slides out naturally without much pushing, and tapers to a tail.
Types five and six, if persistent, can signal that something is going on in your gut that needs medical attention. Or, it could be caused by some dietary intolerance causing microbiome imbalance.
If you have more questions about what your child’s pooping habits, click here to see the full chart.
Dr. Sears advice for healthy poop in children:
- Eat twice as often.
- Eat half as much.
- Chew twice as long.
How to avoid constipation in children:
The most important thing you can do is feed your child poo-friendly foods. A healthy diet will produce healthy poop that comes out easily.
Here are essential tips on avoiding constipation children:
- Make sure your child eats foods with plenty of fiber.
- Give your child a diet high in vegetables and greens. Try this recipe of homemade healthy popsicles to sneak in veggies, fruits, fiber and superfoods (this recipe also works for smoothies).
- Give your child a good prebiotic + probiotic blend. We use the one Dr. Sears recommends, which is Regular Girl. You can mix it in your child’s water and they won’t even know it’s there since it’s a flavorless powder.
- Avoid too many processed foods and sugary foods.
- Have your child drink plenty of water – around an ounce of fluids per pound of body weight.
How much fiber does a child need per day?
General guidelines for fiber intake:
- Children 1-3 years: 14 grams of fiber per day
- Children 4-8 years: 20 grams of fiber per day
- Children 9-13 years: 25 grams of fiber per day
- Teens 14-19: 25-32 grams of fiber per day
- Adults 20 and over: 25-35 grams of fiber per day
Some foods high in fiber are:
- Green beans
Fiber supplements for children and adults:
The reality is that most of us, including children, don’t consume enough fiber a day and this is why so many of us have poop related issues, from runny stools to constipation.
A great way to fill in the gap is to take a fiber supplement. However, not all fibers are created equally. Plus, fiber and probiotics work together to maintain your gut health so you either need to take both supplements or one that contains both.
In our home we take Regular Girl, which is recommended by Dr. Sears. Regular Girl is a prebiotic fiber with probiotics. It contains 5 grams of fiber and 8 billion probiotics. What I love about Regular Girl is that they use Sunfiber, which has over 120 clinical studies showing that this fiber actually works to regulate your digestive health. Plus it’s highly soluble, flavorless and don’t change the consistency of your water. You can learn more about the benefits of Sunfiber here and see how Regular Girl compares to other fibers here.
Regular Girl is also:
- USDA Organic
- Low FODMAD certified
- Non-GMO certified
- Doesn’t contain ANY fillers – it’s just fiber and probiotics
I just mix the powder in my children’s water and they drink it throughout the day – without knowing because it’s flavorless. On mornings that we drink smoothies, I mix in the powder in our smoothie.
Regular Girl was kind enough to give our readers a special discount code: click here and use code “MAMAINSTINCTS10” at checkout. You can also get Regular Girl on Amazon but the discount code is only valid if you get directly on their site.
All you need to know about your child’s poop (free e-book):
Your poop is a window to your health and can tell you so much about what’s going on inside your body. Look at your child’s poop on a regular basis and adjust their fiber intake to make sure they’re having easy poops.
Dr. Sears and his wife, Martha Sears, have written a very detailed book all about poop – called Dr. Poo. It covers what’s in your poop, how to have healthy poop, how to treat constipation, and answers lots of poop related questions from children to adults.
I recommend you reading this guide since it will give you great insights on your overall health, just by looking at your poop.
Child-led potty training tips:
There two ways to approach potty training: the most common one is where you guide your child and the other one is where you led your child take the lead. In our home we did child-led potty training. You can learn all about it here.
Have any poop questions? Leave a comment down below and I’ll do my best to have someone from Dr. Sears or the Regular Girl team answer it.