If you are just joining this thrilling party, be sure to get yourself caught up (click here, here and here). Consider yourself warned, there will be a lot of poop talk. No way around it. :-/
Still no change with our little man. I swear his stomach is concave at this point. :( The stupid lab hasn't provided our Pediatrician with any results from the stool samples so we still don't know for sure what we are dealing with. I finally got our doctor on the phone yesterday evening and she is now leaning toward Toddler's Diarrhea.
Here's what I've been able to find online:
Toddler’s diarrhea is also known as chronic nonspecific diarrhea of childhood, and it affects children from 6 months to 5 years of age. Children with toddler’s diarrhea will have 3-10 loose stools per day. These stools typically occur during the day when the child is awake and sometimes immediately after eating. The stool is frequently watery or loose and may have food particles in it although the stools should not contain blood. The child may have days when stools are more formed. Despite the diarrhea, the child continues to grow and gain weight appropriately as long as the diet contains enough calories. The child is active and has a normal appetite. Abdominal pain is atypical and could suggest other causes such as infection. Toddler’s diarrhea is not considered a disease, and children with this condition will get better on their own by school age.
What Causes Toddler's Diarrhea?
The cause isn’t exactly known but intestinal contents probably move more quickly through the colon of children with toddler’s diarrhea which decreases the amount of fluid that can be absorbed. Also, some toddlers drink excessive amounts of sweetened beverages, such as juice or sports drinks, which are likely to cause loose stools. Sweeteners such as sorbitol or high-fructose corn syrup can act as laxatives if enough is consumed.
How to Treat Toddler's Diarrhea
1) Avoid drinks with sorbitol or fructose. Your child should not receive more than 4-6 ounces a day.
2) Avoid other sweetened clear liquids. Give your child the recommended amount of milk for age, and water as requested.
3) Fiber supplements can sometimes add bulk to the stool.
4) Increased dietary fat can decrease diarrhea. For example, switching to whole milk may be the only dietary change necessary.
5) Other changes in the diet are usually unnecessary and can interfere with growth.
6) Medications are only rarely recommended and should be only used under a physician’s guidance.
We are beyond relieved to know this is something that can get better with a few simple dietary changes. We're also relieved it isn't something overly "scary" we are dealing with here. Of course, all of this could change if we ever get the darn results back from the lab and they indicate there is something else going on but based on the descriptions of Toddler's Diarrhea, I think we've found our culprit.
The Pediatrician recommended we focus on feeding C more healthy fats (things like fish and avocados, for example) and to start all dairy back in this diet. Well, we didn't have fish on had last night and our picky eater will not even look at an avocado let alone try tasting one so we had to go the dairy route. The Pediatrician also gave us the green light on his beloved blueberries! So you can imagine how happy we were to give Little C some milk, some blueberries and a whole wheat quesadilla with a little bit of cheese (we didn't want to go too crazy, too fast), brown rice and chicken. We made sure he ate slowly and he seriously LOVED every bite. We didn't even have a diaper change right after he ate which was a good sign.
We are all still exhausted since he is waking up at least twice in the night for diaper changes and can take some time to get back to sleep. But we are feeling better now that we have a plan of attack and we are keeping our fingers crossed that we start to see improvement quickly and hopefully we can start tackling that awful diaper rash as soon as possible.
Throughout all of this I am so impressed with how resilient and wonderful our son is. It has not been easy on him but even after screaming through multiple daily diaper changes, getting bathed almost daily, and eating nothing but saltines and applesauce, he is still able to smile, giggle and play. He's not 100% by any means but he still manages to stay in such good spirits which really brightens our day! Gotta love that kid!