In breast-fed infants, green stool
is a normal occurrence, especially right after delivery. In older children, the reason could be food-related or even from non-food items. Eating or sucking on colored non-food items such as crayons might also turn stools different colors.
Most children show signs of physical readiness to begin using the toilet as toddlers, usually between 18 months and 3 years of age, not all children have the intellectual and/or psychological readiness to be potty trained at this age.
The common causes of stool soiling include:
* Need for more toilet training
* Toilet "phobia" (scared of using the bathroom)
* Irritable bowel syndrome
In very few children stool soiling is caused by disease or birth defects.
may cause painful or incomplete bowel movements. If bowel movements are painful, a child may try to "hold" his or her stools, making constipation worse. In children who have constipation, formed, soft or liquid stools can leak from the anus (the opening to the rectum
) around a mass of stool stuck in the lower bowel and cause soiling. This happens because the amount of stool can become so large that it leaks out of the anus causing soiling. Often, these stools have a very bad smell.
Constipation may occur if your child is not eating enough high-fiber foods, drinking enough fluids or getting enough exercise. In many children, a cause for constipation cannot be found. Painful bowel movements may cause a child to begin resisting the urge to have a bowel movement. Not having a bowel movement when the urge occurs can lead to constipation. Your child could be scared of being alone in the bathroom or scared of the toilet.