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May 2014

Children's Books about Poop and Potties

I recently had the opportunity to read a number of books about poop and potties to children at a local children’s book store. I was surprised at how well the toddlers and pre-toddlers (and their parents!) paid attention. I credit this to each book’s unique story and eye catching illustrations. If you are looking for books to help with toilet training, these are three that I would highly recommend.

Mo Willems book Time to Pee is great for toddlers and even includes a “success chart” with peel-off stickers.

I especially like The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch.  How often do you see a mole in children’s books, let alone one with poop on its head?!

But the book that most captivated my audience is Mary McQuillan’s Have you Seen my Potty? It’s a story about Suzy Sue who lost her potty and needed to find it because she had something “very important to do”.

Added January 2015:  Of course I now highly recommend my new book for kids, Softy the Poop, Helping Families Talk About Poop available for for purchase here or at Amazon. This is an educational book designed to teach children (and parents) healthy poop talk and behavior.  For more information about the book, click here.

Painful constipation, soiling and daytime wetting: Q&A with Dr Tom

A parent recently asked me if soiling at home but not at school and frequent daytime wetting might be related to "painful constipation":

Question: My daughter had some painful constipation several months back which seemed to be the beginning of her soiling issues. After that time she started soiling frequently, as many as 4 or 5 times a day. She is soiling less now but there are two questions I have about the soiling. The first is that she rarely soils at daycare, she typically only soils at home. The second is that she is now wetting her pants frequently, something she didn't do when she started soiling. I think that all of her soiling issues point back to those constipation issues but I don't know if these two behaviors are in line with that idea.

Answer: Painful bowel movements will often lead to withholding followed by soiling (encopresis). Since your daughter continues to soil, albeit less than at first, she is still constipated.That she tends not to soil at school is also typical in the early stages of functional constipation. Ongoing withholding and soiling are often associated with day and night wetting. This is because a distended or stretched rectum will press on the bladder causing occasional leaking during the day and/or bedwetting at night. This is all covered in my book.