Frequent Bowel Movements

Archived Q&A and Reviews

2 yr old poopin' machine! averaging 6 poops a day

Jan 2009

My son hit a record 11 poops the other day, and has averaged 6 per day for the past 4-5 months. Our doc says ''there's a wide range of how frequently people poop'' but this seems ridiculous. It's not diarreah, consistency is normal. Each day some are large, some medium, some tiny (my husband calls these ''nuggets''-- though their not hard) and sometimes just a smear, but we still need to change it-- we change his diapers constantly or he gets a rash. We've tried cutting way down on fruit and that didn't seem to make a difference. More rice and bannanas and that didn't change frequency. Any advice? mc

Well that sounds like a record to me, but surely there is a normal range. My question is, why not potty train him. No more diapers, no more diaper rash. Try the book ''Diaper Free Before Three'' for the why and how. Also it sounds like he is constipated. My girl had the yucky 'smears' in her underwear when she was constipated and trying to avoid a really productive bowel movement. (Well, you did ask!) Ask your pediatrician about laxatives. I think between that and potty training, you will see this change a lot in the next few months. Know too much about ''poop''!
You might want to consider introducing your son to the potty. Your son may not like the feeling of poop in his diaper so he releases as little poop as possible (which may sometimes still be a large amount) each time to reduce the ''icky'' feeling. Our 2.5yo son would poop 3-4 times a day. We let him know that the potty was an option and he basically self potty trained in a few weeks. Now he goes once a day like clockwork...and sometimes my husband and I cannot believe just how much can come out of such a little guy! If your son starts sitting on the potty he may be like our son and although he is on the potty a bit longer than you expect, he may relax a little more and ultimately get more out than he would have if he was pausing momentarily to poop on the run. Just a possibility...

17 month old poops 5-6, even 7 times per day

For the past couple of months my 17 mo. old has been pooping 5-6, even 7 times per day - basically every time he eats. The pattern is for the first 3 or 4 to be little, building up to a pretty good one later in the day. Is this normal? My pediatrician seems unconcerned but I would love to hear that other people's babies did this (and promptly grew out of it).
If your child is eating more, his through-put would increase. But depending upon the consistency of your toddler's poop, you might look at the foods he is eating and try to correlate that with his changed pooping patterns. Often a food that is poorly digested/malabsorbed passes through quickly.
sometimes this can be caused by excess juice consumption; the sugar acts as a laxative. For a child under 2 years old, I think as little as 8 oz can cause a problem.