so while i try not to talk on the internet much about my children's elimination habits, that is going to be what this post is about (sort of). if you are uncomfortable with the topic, feel free to sit this one out. there are no hard feelings. and just to make certain you are aware, i will NOT be (nor will i ever) posting pictures of my children's eliminations, nor of them in the process of eliminating. fair enough. here we go.
children with low muscle tone are more likely to be constipated. low muscle tone happens throughout the body, including, take a guess, the g.i. tract. therefore things moving through are slowed down. when this happens more water is pulled out in the intestines, and causes stools to become larger, harder, and hard to pass.
lots of kids with low tone take some form of a stool softener. miralax is the drug of choice for most of shilo's doctors. but i fought long and hard against her taking anything. there are a variety of reasons, and i won't go into all of them. however, this fight also meant that i worked hard at doing natural things to make certain everything stayed regular.
most of what i do is through food. high fiber (flax seed), coconut or olive oil, fish oil (although this is also for brain development), probiotic, and lots of p fruits in her blends that i make. on top of that i do something a little less 'normal' and a little more on the 'out there' realm of thing.
if you have ever read anything about potty training, you may be familiar with the elimination communication method of training. the basics of it are, that in early infancy you watch for small signs or cues that your child needs to use the potty, and you take them. some people make a noise with it so that they can take them and when they make the noise they go. there's lots of variances.
the other half of my explanation for what i'm about to tell you is that all over the world, people often squat to go to the bathroom. studies have shown that people who squat to have bowel movements are less likely to be constipated, don't have the hemorrhoid issues experienced here, and have over all less bowel issues. squatty potties have become a sort of rage here in the u.s. as a result. you can buy tons of different things to make this your reality, a stool to put around your toilet, a different toilet, and so on.
so here's more of my crazy, out here on the web, for all to read. on top of making certain shilo's diet is one that helps things along, we also hold her in the squatty potty position about fifteen minutes after each meal. we have been doing this since november, i think. as a result, she no longer poops in her diapers. at all. two to three times a day she goes on the toilet. she also regularly pees when we take her. we show her the sign when we take her as well, just so she knows what we are doing. i don't know that it will or won't mean that she'll be potty trained any earlier than other kiddos with Down syndrome. i do know that we will keep doing it if it prevents us from having to use any other medicines, and double bonus, change a poopy diaper.
so this big long explanation leads into this one excited thing i wanted to share. today, during lunch, shilo was babbling in a sort of animated angry voice at me. and then she did a sign. and again. and i signed back to her 'you need to go potty?' and she got very excited. i took her, and she pooped. my not quite fifteen month old, with low muscle tone, and cognitive delays, told me she needed to poop today. i'm constantly blown away by things that she does. i think my little might just be showing me, like her big sister did, that she'll do what she wants, and not what doctors and books say about her. i'm raising rock stars here.