Help your child avoid constipation by providing a diet high in fiber and encouraging your child to drink plenty of water.
Educate yourself on effective toilet training techniques. Avoid starting too early or being too forceful in your methods. Wait until your child is ready, and then use positive reinforcement and encouragement to help him or her progress.
Most children aren't ready for toilet training until after their second birthdays. Some guidelines for readiness include:
- Your child is able to pull pants down
- Your child can ask one-word questions
- Your child has an interest in stopping activities when body sensations indicate a bowel movement is needed
When your child seems ready, make sure your child's feet are firmly planted on a stool or the floor — not dangling — so that he or she feels secure and can push.
Jan. 02, 2014
- Ferry GD. Definition, clinical manifestations, and evaluation of functional fecal incontinence in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 5, 2013.
- Soiling (encopresis). American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/emotional-problems/Pages/Soiling-Encopresis.aspx. Accessed Aug. 6, 2013.
- Har AF, et al. Encopresis. Pediatrics in Review. 2010;31:368.
- Ferry GD. Treatment of chronic functional constipation and fecal incontinence in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 6, 2013.
- Coehlo DP. Encopresis: A medical and family approach. Pediatric Nursing. 2011;37:107.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 13, 2013.
- Granberg CF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 20, 2013.