I love my DIY Squatty Potty.
Are you there, blog? It’s me, Carrie.
I’ve missed you. And I thought I would re-enter the conversation by talking about a potentially TMI topic.
Let’s talk poop, shall we?
First, a bit of history. I spent most of the first 30 years of my life constipated. (A statement which brings horror to my mother’s face. “Why didn’t you tell me?” “Because it was so common for me, I thought it was normal mom.”)
Thanks to a couple of lifestyle changes, namely 1) giving up sugar 2) avoiding gluten (I’ve actually tested positive for allergy) and 3) squatting to “go”.
For years I’ve kept a step stool in the bathroom to put my feet up on while having a B.M. Step stools tend to be either too short or too tall or too narrow, however. (You want to be able to get your feet nice and wide apart.)
So, when I heard about the Squatty Potty, I was intrigued. This is a product especially designed for this use. The height is just right and it’s nice and wide, and it wraps around the commode and out of the way when you don’t need it.
Another nice thing about having teenage sons is that they can build stuff for you. I figured this would be a pretty simple DIY project. So I offered my oldest $20 to create a squatty potty. Here’s the finished product, modeled by 9 year old Sadie.
Pretty neat, huh?
(I know, I need to strip and re-apply the caulk around the commode. Don’t judge.)
A bit about the science behind the health benefits of squatting versus sitting to poop. In a nutshell, you have a nerve that wraps around your rectum, keeping you from pooping all over yourself (thank goodness for that!). When you sit, however, the nerve isn’t relaxed, and your rectum is still kinked up. When you squat, the nerve relaxes fully (sending the message to your brain to GO!) and your rectum straightens straight up and down into a perfect… well, poop chute.
In addition, squatting (which we don’t do nearly enough of in our chair-obsessed culture), helps prevent and improve pelvic floor issues.
P.S. My Mom didn’t know about my bowel troubles when I was a kid. But because of my experience, I talk with my children about poop regularly. I’ve familiarized them with the Bristol Stool Scale and told them to tell me if their poop isn’t ideal.
Recently I was hanging with a friend when I heard her young daughter crying and fussing in the toilet. I asked what was wrong, and she explained that for her daughter, pooping was a once a WEEK ordeal involving much coaxing and comforting on the part of the mom and tears and anguish on the part of the daughter. I asked her if she had spoken to the Pediatrician about this or considered food allergies.
She said she never had.
Please, please, talk to your kids about what normal pooping is like (daily, pain free, easy and NO straining or excessive stink). If their poop regimen isn’t like that PLEASE investigate and don’t stop until you find the source of the problem!!
To learn more about movement, form following function, pelvic floor health and all things biomechanics, I can’t recommend Katy Bowman‘s books enough. They’re required reading for anyone who has a body.
Note: several people have contacted me to ask if my son could give them his plans for the DIY Squatty Potty, but sadly he didn’t keep them. You can buy Squatty Potty and similar products online however, very reasonably.