How to help your child pass a large stool
If your child is struggling to pass a large bowel movement, one of the quickest ways to help them to go is using a suppository or an enema.
Using a suppository or enema isn’t fun for you or for your child but it may be what needs to happen to break up a hard ball of stool. There are things that you can do to make it stress-free for yourself and for your child.
The suppository or enema will soften and lubricate the stool, making it easier to pass. Enemas go further up into the colon so they are more effective for more severe backups.
If you are stressed about doing an enema or inserting a suppository, your child will sense this and it will make them stressed as well. Act as matter of fact as you can. If it makes you feel better, you can wear latex or nitrile gloves. If your child is older, ask them if they have any suggestions on how they would like the process to go. Including them in the process will make it easier for both of you.
Warm everything to just above body temperature so it doesn’t jolt them when you put it in, give your child electronics to distract them or turn on the TV and if you think it will help them, explain to them the steps you will be doing so they aren’t worried about what is coming next. Explain to your child how much better they will feel once the old poop comes out. If they are fearful, it can help them to show them the steps of the procedure on a doll.
Older children might be interested in giving the suppository or enema to themselves. Having this control might make them feel better about the process. If so, then talk them through what needs to happen and stand by to give direction.
If your child is a teen and embarrassed to have you help them with the enema, sit down and discuss the process, ask them to explain it back to you so you know they understand what needs to happen so they can do it on their own. If they don’t want you in the room, you can offer to have them put you on speaker phone on their phone so they can ask you questions but still maintain privacy.
For more information on enemas and suppositories with more detailed directions on how to administer them, please read my article Stress-Free Enema and Suppository Use for Your Constipated Child
If the stool is very hard and very large, it can be difficult to insert a suppository or the tip of the enema. The stool at the entrance to your child’s anus may need to be broken up manually.
Wear a pair of latex gloves. Have your child lay on their side on a bed or even on the floor. Lubricate your finger with coconut oil, castor oil, or even olive oil. Separate their butt cheeks by lifting up on the top cheek with one hand. Using your gloved finger on your other hand, insert it into the rectum and gently break up the hardened stool using a scissoring motion. The finger is then moved in a circular manner, bent slightly and removed, extracting stool with it. This maneuver is repeated until the rectum is cleared of hardened stool. (source)
After dosing with Natural Calm, use suppositories and enemas to help soften the hard stool at the entrance to the anus.
Lubricating the stool from the top down also can help your child to pass their poop. Having your child ingest coconut oil is a very effective way to lubricate the stool. If your child is willing, they can eat coconut oil directly off of a spoon. Not all children are willing to eat it by itself. I have a recipe for coconut oil “Poop Candy” that is a tasty way to get your child to eat coconut oil.
What size should your child’s poop be and how often should they go
Your child should be passing 1-3 bowel movements each day. Ideally, one after each meal. The poop should be a 2, 3 or 4 on the Bristol Stool Chart.
Your goal is to help your child poop after each meal every day to avoid reaching a place where your child can’t pass their stool because it is so large and hard. It may take weeks or even months of intervention to get their colon to shrink down enough that they can pass ideal bowel movements easily. It also takes finding out why your child was constipated in the first place to help them have normal bowel movements.
The causes of large, hard to pass poop
It is not normal for a child to pass bowel movements that clog the toilet. A normal poop for a child should be a long smooth, snake-like bowel movement that is easy to pass. If your child is passing large thick stools that hurt them and clog the toilet, they are constipated.
If their poop is so large that they are struggling to get the poop out or if it is causing tears in their anus when they push it out, then they might have Megacolon. Megacolon can be genetic or can be caused by chronic constipation.
Megacolon as a cause of large poops
My son had congenital Megacolon. During the first trimester of my pregnancy with him, the nerves did not properly travel down his intestines and colon. This caused chronic constipation because he didn’t feel the urge to pass a bowel movement. His pediatric Gastroenterologist put my son on Miralax and told me that my son would need to be on it for life. My son had horrible side effects from Miralax. Tics, anxiety, panic attacks, night terrors, slurred speech and other issues. If you want to learn more about Miralax and my son’s story, please read my article Is Miralax Safe to Give My Child.
Megacolon can also be caused by chronic constipation. The large, hard stool in the colon can stretch out the colon and cause your child to lose sensation. They lose the urge to push out the stool. This causes more constipation and a vicious cycle of increased constipation. If your child is struggling with chronic constipation, please read my article How do I solve my Child’s Chronic Constipation.
Diet Can Cause Large Stools
Celiac disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, diary intolerance or other food intolerances can all lead to having large, hard to pass stools. In addition to my son having Megacolon, he also has Celiac disease and was diagnosed at 18 months. His struggle with constipation was aggravated by eating gluten before his diagnosis. If you are wondering if gluten or dairy can be contributing to your child’s large bowel movements, please read my articles, Is Gluten Causing Your Child’s Constipation or Is Dairy the Cause of Constipation.
My children’s book, Dash’s Belly Ache, is a book for children who can’t or won’t poop. The star of the book is Dash, a border collie pup who won’t poop. His doctor gives him a special treat in the book that helps him to have a bowel movement. The recipe for the treat is in the book and in
Tracking Your Child’s Bowel Movements
Tracking your child’s bowel movements can help you to develop a regiment that helps you to find the natural remedy for their constipation. To get a free bowel movement tracker please click the link below.
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*DISCLAIMER, I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR MEDICAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL. ALL IDEAS DISCUSSED AND DESCRIBED IN THIS POST ARE MY OWN AND ARE NOT MEANT TO TREAT OR DIAGNOSE. IF YOU HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR DOCTOR.