How To Teach Child A Bowel And Bladder Control
If possible, plan to devote at least three days in a row to begin bladder control training and give your child your complete concentration. During those days you must be able to drop everything when a child has to go.
Some parents prefer to begin potty training in the winter or rainy months when it’s hard to get out of the house, but it might be easiest to begin potty training in the summer, if this fits your schedule. Summer clothes are light and can be removed quickly. And when accidents do occur, you’ll have fewer layers of clothes to launder.
Tell your child that you expect to be told if there is a need to go. The idea behind this is to let your child be in charge of as much of the training process as possible.
Put your child on the potty first thing in the morning, before naps, after naps, after meals, after being dry for two hours, and before bedtime. Initially a regular schedule can help with this process.
Keep them company while they’re trying to do their business. You can use this time for reading or just talking. Books about potties are appropriate selections to keep in the bathroom! But I’ve already said that, right?
Praise all progress. For some, sitting more than 10 seconds may be progress. Try turning the water on and letting it run for inspiration. Have you ever really had to go to the bathroom and heard running water making it difficult to hold your urine in? The same concept can apply when it comes to your child.
Running water can be a great way to inspire your child’s bowels to let go. Just don’t let it run forever. If they’re gonna go, they’re gonna go. If they’re not, they’re not. Know when to stop; otherwise, it becomes a game!
Offer more fluids when you are actively involved in training. The more a child drinks, the more a child will need to urinate and respond to body signals. Occasionally say to your child, “It’s time to try now.”
Set a timer to remind your child when it’s time to go potty rather than doing all the reminding yourself. Use the reminder as a “before” condition: “After you use the potty, we will …”
Consolidate success by maintaining the same routine for several weeks. Keep in mind that even children who have mastered the bathroom procedure may wet their pants during the day for several weeks or months.
If you have followed all reasonable steps for some time without success, stop! Try again in a few weeks or months.
Bowel and Bladder Control Is Part Of Your Child’s Toilet Training
Bowel control is often achieved before bladder control. Parents can usually tell when a bowel movement, or BM, is about to happen. When they suspect a BM is imminent, they can bring their child to the potty to see if the child is able to relieve themselves there. However, toilet training is a very individual process, and some children may achieve bladder control before bowel control. Ultimately, you’ll find what works best for your child.
At some point your child will no longer have bowel movements during the night. They become a daytime process for most children. The more regular your child is, the easier it will be to start bowel-control training. Children often stop playing when they are having a BM. Some even hide in a favorite spot. Others just grunt or get red in the face. Saying, “I see you’re having a BM” helps a child identify what is occurring and associate those sensations with the process.
Constipation, if part of your child’s history, may actually delay toilet training for your child. This is not anything to be worried about, but just one more variable you can be sensitive to.
Explain to your child that you will be taking him or her to the toilet or the potty chair and that you expect the bowel movement to go there rather than in diapers. “This is what Mommy and Daddy do, what grown-ups do and now what you should do because you’re getting so big and grown up” is the kind of language to use.
Give advance notice as to when this procedure will start. Children need to hear what you expect in pleasant tones and words. They can’t read your mind. Your attitude, your anticipation, your relaxed tones will also convey much of the message.
If your child has a regular time for a bowel movement, choose that time to go to the bathroom. If they have no regular time, try within 30 minutes after a meal. When the stomach is full, the colon is often stimulated to empty.
As I’ve said before, be prepared to sit with your child to keep him or her company. Don’t insist your child sit for more than a few minutes but only as long as he or she is comfortable.
At the same time, know that some children need to be alone to have a bowel movement. Bright bathroom lights and too much conversation may inhibit them from relaxing their sphincter muscles.
Praise your child for every bowel movement made in the potty or toilet. Also praise a child for even sitting and trying to go.
If your child will still be wearing disposable diapers at this point, you will be involved in getting them on and off. Keep masking tape on hand to refasten clean ones. In general, I don’t advocate keeping diapers on children who are learning to use the toilet. This just sends a mixed message, but in the event that is the route you chose, there you go!
It is not uncommon for boys to achieve bladder control before — sometimes long before — bowel control. Parents sometimes feel that a child with belated bowel control is unwilling, uncooperative, or just plain stubborn but that’s rarely the case. Again, patience is called for.
A reluctant-relaxer may require different approaches until you find one that works. Consider breaking the task into small, slow steps. Encourage a child to sit on and use the potty (or toilet) with clothes and a disposable diaper on to begin with. After a child is comfortable with this procedure, progress to going with only a disposable diaper sides ripped open.
Then you can move from sitting with a disposable diaper across the seat to just using toilet paper across it. Other children may be able to relax and void (just remove feces quickly with little fuss) while in a warm bath before making the transition to the potty chair or toilet. Or insist, that even using a diaper, a child stay in the bathroom when having a BM and then empty diaper into the toilet and flush.
Constipation is most often a factor in belated bowel control. A child who cries, screams, or kicks when urged to use the potty may be doing so because of the discomfort or pain experienced due to constipation. In this case, it is not stubbornness, but fear (real or imagined), that is keeping the child from doing what you ask and holding back. Some even believe there can be an inherited tendency towards constipation.
Constipation is NOT diagnosed by infrequency of bowel movements, but by the hardness and character of the stool. Dry BMs that don’t stick to the diaper can be a description of constipation. And what may be considered hard to pass by adult standards is not the same for children.
Whatever makes passing stool difficult or painful for a child will inhibit a child from wishing to repeat the procedure thus compounding the problem. Avoid suppositories and enemas as they will be seen as an “assault” by the child.
If your child cannot gain effective control of his or her bowels, there might be a medical reason. Consult your doctor if there seems to be a really huge problem with your child’s BM.
Encopresis is the term used for lack of control of bowel movements for anyone over the age of 4. It is NOT uncommon. In fact it is reported that 1%-2% of children over age 4 are known as “fecally incontinent.” For unknown reasons it is more common for boys than girls.
It has incorrectly been assumed that this is the result of emotional disorders (which are more often the result-not the cause-of it) or by lax toilet training. A child can also be born with poor muscle tone in the bowel or anal sphincter.
It seems, however, the majority of cases are the result of chronic constipation, though, of course, it can be complicated by other stresses in either toilet training or life situations. With chronic constipation, colon tissue can be stretched to the point that nerves fail to receive proper signals and the muscles no longer contract properly so that a child no longer feels the urge to go.
A child may even have no awareness of when stool pushes out into the underwear. Watery stools can also seep past harder stool, soiling pants without a child being aware of it until after the fact. Regardless of the basis of the problem, both parents and children need to know they are not alone here and no one is to blame for this problem.
Not all doctors are trained in successful therapy for this problem so look for one who is, as this problem needs to be approached medically as well as psychologically. If your county medical association can’t help, seek out a children’s hospital or university teaching hospital. Encopresis is treated by a gradual retraining of the bowel which includes dietary changes, supplements, and behavior modification. There is not an overnight cure for this condition.
The first step toward treating constipation should be changing your child’s diet. What do you need to know?
What You Need To Know About Diet Changes For Bowel Control
Lear the diet changes for bowel control. Sometimes, your child is simply not able to gain control of his or her bowels. Much of this might have a lot to do with his or diet. If you alter the diet, you may have a better chance of helping your child be able to poop effectively on the potty.
Here are some dietary changes that you may want to look at:
- Decrease milk products (milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.).1f a doctor recommends eliminating milk products for any length of time, a calcium supplement will probably be recommended.
- Decrease or eliminate apples, bananas, rice, and gelatin. These are binders. Opt for peaches, instead.
- Chocolate is a constipating food especially when consumed in quantity. Some medications are, too.
- Increase whole-grain breads, cereals, muffins, and any other bran foods. Try adding bran to other foods. If your child will only eat bran cereal with milk, and you’re trying to cut down on milk, dilute the milk with water first. Offer graham crackers rather than soda crackers. Roughage, such as lettuce and carbs helps.
- Possibly decrease fluid intake (milk, juices, sodas) to increase a child’s appetite for bulkier foods. However, remember that fluids are important if you are dealing with constipation and shouldn’t be drastically reduced. Encourage your child to drink water.
- Try prunes — the old stand-by, and dried fruits (if you can get your child to eat them!). Prune juice can be mixed with a small amount of milk. Encourage your child to eat fruits and vegetables with skins on, seeds, and berries for the fiber value. Fruit nectars are good, too.
- Expect to wait two weeks or so before seeing a noticeable change in bowel movements after starting a new diet. Don’t resume bowel training until such a change occurs.
- Very loose stools can also inhibit bowel control but are often a sign of other problems (infection, milk allergy, etc.) indicating that a physician should be consulted. Food allergies causing chronic diarrhea can also cause “wear and tear” making it difficult to have bowel movements.
A diet change may be recommended, but it should be done in conjunction with medical advice. But first just try eliminating apple juice–and other sweet juices — especially if your child drinks a lot, to see if that helps firm them up.
For some children, they can naturally have problems letting go of their feces. They can often feel like it is something they have made and they don’t want to see it go down the drain – so to speak. Take heart and listen to what your child is telling you and how they are telling you what they need to express.
Often, your child can benefit from a routine when it comes to potty training.