Gross! My Toddler Plays With His Poop!
Earlier this week, Christy shared ideas for helping our little ones and their constipation. I thought I’d follow that up with my child’s polar-opposite issue: plentiful poop and the yearning to play with it!
My son is two, and the discovery of his feces is nothing out of the ordinary for a child his age. About 3 months ago, it happened for the first time: I’d go into his room to get him up from his afternoon nap only to find him sitting there, somewhat happily, in the middle of a poop-smeared crib. Poop everywhere: on the sheets, the pillows, the stuffed animals, the railings, his hands, feet, legs, and fingernails. Mm, mmm, and it smelled good, too.
My daughter had gone through this fecal-phase briefly as well; hers lasted for two or three days. I expected my son’s fascination to pass just as quickly (no pun intended). However, it soon became a routine for him. There was one week wherein I had to disinfect every inch of his room three consecutive days. Don’t forget the baths and scrubbing of the tub each time as well.
Our solution then was to put pajama pants on our boy every time he goes to bed, even when it’s hot. (The a/c has to be turned down a little more every afternoon at naptime as a result.) We still do this on a daily basis. The pants deter him from digging. Occasionally, I forget to put the pants on, or I think he might not need them anymore. And those are the same occasions when I realize PANTS ARE NECESSARY. FOR THE LOVE OF LYSOL, PUT THE BOY’S PANTS ON!! Will I never learn?
What To Expect the Toddler Years was my first stop for information. Many of their suggestions were things we’d already instituted, including
- fastening diapers securely so access to the goods is limited or impossible
- recognizing patterns in bowel movements in order to predict and circumvent future occurrences
- providing the child with healthy and better-smelling tactile play activities (like dough, finger paint, sand, etc.)
Out of curiosity, I Googled this topic, and started with the words “kids who play…” All kinds of responses were listed in the drop-down window, and I was amused to find that “kids who play with poop” is just sixth on the list. The search led me to Babycenter.com’s Q & A on toddler poop-playing, and the solution with the highest success rate is to give the toddler a brief cold shower after the poop-cident. Although it seems a bit extreme, I can see how a desperate parent would want to find an effective consequence for a child who is passionate about playing with his or her BM’s.
What do you think, Mom Crowd? Have you faced this issue? What worked for you and your child? And do any of you have coupons for Febreeze? I sure go through a lot of it!
photo courtesy mrsmecomber