Have you ever wonder why your child is having constipation over and over again? Before feeding them with the foods you are preparing, do you know or are you making sure these won’t upset your child’s stomach? At a very young age, children don’t know the foods that need to be avoided for them not to experience having constipation. This is something you shouldn’t take for granted because it’s for your child’s health and happiness. That is why you should be aware mommies and daddies about the reasons why your child is experiencing this.
Symptoms of Constipation
There is no big difference in the symptoms of constipation in children and adults. But the only thing you have to take note of is that children or your little ones cannot communicate what they feel. That is why you have to be observant of your child’s bowel movements and how often they poop. Here are the symptoms of constipation on your children:
1. Touches of blood on your child’s anus and poop – This is a common indication that your child is having constipation. The blood is caused by the difficulty in the passing of bowel movements on your child, so better watch out for it.
2. Less than the normal bowel movements of your child in a week – If your child doesn’t poop every day and is just having around three or fewer bowel movements in a week, there is a greater possibility that he/she is constipated. Track the number of days they poop mommies.
3. Crying while having bowel movements – When your child cries while he/she is having bowel movements, that simply means he is in pain. Call your doctor on what should be done mommies and remember not to panic because that won’t help.
4. Irritability or stomach pain – You will notice when your child is having a stomachache and did not have bowel movements for a few days plus is often irritated, these are concrete signs that your child is having constipation.
5. Loss of appetite – If your child doesn’t show much interest in eating or when you give them their favorite food and tend to reject it, it is one of the signs that your child is constipated.
Common Causes of Constipation to Toddlers
1. Trying to hold their poop – This is very common to toddlers because of their playful characteristics. The moment they started playing and their attention are focused on that too much, they tend to ignore their bowel movement.
2. Food they eat – We all know that children under this age group are fond of eating sweets and processed foods. Moreover, they are not very much into fiber-rich foods which help in the proper and easy digestion of foods we eat. That is why constipation is often experienced by toddlers.
3. Dehydration – When your child is not drinking enough water or is taking less fluid each day, the tendency of him being constipated is very high. This is because when someone is dehydrated, it’s causing the stool to be harder than usual.
4. Medicines they take – Children who are taking food supplements especially those containing high dose if iron or narcotic pain suppository has a high tendency that causes your child’s constipation.
5. Fear of using the toilet – Some children are not comfortable using the toilet or had a past painful experience. That is why when it is already time for a bowel movement, this fear hinders the urge of going to the toilet.
6. Illness – Very few children suffer from medical and health conditions that cause their constipation. For example, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Hirschsprung’s disease is a condition that happens when your child’s intestinal nerve cells didn’t develop properly affecting the movement of food and poop on your child’s intestines.
7. Inherited from their parents – Several children who have a history of constipation in their families tend to acquire it as well. It can be because of the way their parents eat or their diets and also some of their habits.
Home Remedies for Constipation
Before it even gets worst and causes your child’s pain to be longer, you have to take note of these home remedies to remove your little one’s constipation.
Give your child more Water or Fluids
Remember mommies and daddies that one of the causes, why your child is having constipation, is that they may be dehydrated. That is why assisting them to remove the discomfort they are feeling is one of your priorities right now. And one of the easiest solutions is to help them stay hydrated by increasing their water intake every day. However, carbonated drinks just like soda are not the kind of fluids you should provide them because they will worsen their situation.
Inspire them to have physical activities
Having regular movements helps our body to stimulate bowel movements. Some children, especially toddlers, once started playing with their blocks or stuffed toys or are watching television or on their gadgets in the corner they tend to stay there as long as they want. Therefore, encouraging them to engage in activities wherein as if they were exercising like adults helps a lot in avoiding constipation. Examples of these are outdoor activities like playing soccer or car toys.
Give your child Fiber-Rich Foods
We all know the benefits that fibers bring to our body specifically to the digestion of foods we eat. It is very much helpful if you are going to let your child eat fiber-rich foods to aid their digestion and avoid having constipation. You can include as part of their meal or snack foods just like bananas, nuts, beans, peas, whole grains, oatmeal, bread, etc. Explain to them the benefits that this will provide them to encourage them more to eat it.
Include Foods with Probiotics to their Snacks or Meals
Another home remedy for your child’s constipation is by providing them foods with probiotics. This includes yogurt, yogurt snacks, kefir, pickles, etc. Probiotics that have Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus are helpful bacteria because they aid in digestion and avoids constipation. You can also ask a piece of advice from your pediatrician about probiotics supplement which you can give your child and aid in the proper digestion of foods he/she eats.
Do massage to relieve Constipation
Massage has many benefits to the body. It is not exclusive to body aches but also includes stomachache. When your little one is having constipation, it surely hurts him/her. That’s why giving him a massage soothes the pain he’s feeling. One way to massage your constipated child is by doing the bicycle movement on his feet. In here, you just have to push it up a little bit closer to his stomach. Another one is by just running your fingers slowly around your child’s belly in a circular motion.
Give your child Milk of Magnesia
People say that adding a spoonful of milk of magnesia to your child’s drink during their mealtime will help their constipation. This pushes water to the intestine which helps in initiating bowel movements. It takes around 30 minutes to 6 hours before initiating a bowel movement. You don’t have to worry mommies and daddies because the milk of magnesia is safe for your child. However, in case this method still won’t work, you have to seek your pediatrician’s advice as soon as possible.
Prepare Fruit juices High in Vitamin C
They say that higher doses of vitamin C give a laxative effect. That is why if your child is taking vitamin C supplement each day, you can also prepare them fruit juices which are high in Vitamin C to help ease their constipation. Some of the best fruit juices which are high in vitamin C are lemon juice, guava juice, prune juice, orange juice, and apple juice. You can incorporate it as their breakfast drink, so better prepare it as a warm juice mommy. This natural remedy will help soften your child’s stool and initiate his/her bowel movement.
Encourage them to eat vegetable High in Vitamin C
Just like the benefits that fruits give your child who is experiencing constipation, you can also give as part of their meal certain vegetables which are high in Vitamin C. Some of these vegetables are broccoli, spinach, peppers, cauliflower, etc. by providing them foods that will initiate their bowel movements, your child will be able to feel better and will also avoid experiencing constipation again.
Offer Water-rich Fruits to your child
This is specifically made for children who are not fond of drinking water. Giving them fruits like watermelon, cucumbers, grapes, pear, etc. will help them to stay hydrated and will ease their constipation. It is best to practice them eating these kinds of products to avoid experiencing constipation over and over again.
Motivate your child to poop when he needs to
Above all the techniques and home remedies that a parent could provide their child who is having constipation is to have a routine about their bowel movements. Motivate them that every time they feel like they need to poop, they should immediately do it or if they have fear in using the toilet, give them an alternative place to do it, for example, is a toddler potty. In that way, they will get used to the urge they are feeling and will have a regular bowel movement.
Foods that will help your child avoid being constipated
As mentioned above on the home remedies for your child’s constipation, foods with probiotics, fiber-rich foods, and water-rich foods are helpful for your child’s digestion which will then ease the pain that your child is experiencing due to constipation. Therefore, here’s a quick list of the healthy and beneficial foods that you can give your toddlers to avoid being constipated and help them have regular bowel movements.
- Bananas – Be careful what to give your child when talking about bananas. The best to give them that will be beneficial for the proper digestion of foods they eat is a ripe banana. Ripe bananas can also relieve constipation and in every small banana, you will also get 2.6 g of fiber.
- Apples – We all know how good an apple is especially when you hear its crunchiness whenever you bite it. The same goodness is there for it when you give it to your child as part of their snack to help with their metabolism. With 2.6 g of fiber in every cup of sliced apples, your child’s tummy is at its best.
- Carrots – Another crunchy fiber-rich food that is best for your child’s snack is carrots. With 3.6 g of fiber in every cup of chopped carrots, your child’s tummy will surely function well.
- Pears – Children love this juicy and nutritious fruit in which in every cup of a sliced one, you can get up to 4.3 g of fiber. A very good snack to introduce to your child which they will surely love and will help them avoid constipation.
- Sweet potatoes – This high fiber food is not only helpful in reducing the food intake of your children but can also avoid the chance of having high blood sugar. And in every cup of sweet potatoes cut into cubes, your child can get up to 4 g of fiber.
- Prunes – These dried plums are not just rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, but also give vitamin A and potassium. Its sorbitol component makes it a natural laxative for constipation. In every cup of pitted prunes, you can provide about 7 g of fiber to your child.
- Beans – Just like prunes, beans are also rich in soluble and insoluble fiber which eases constipation and helps in the digestion of food intake. There are various kinds of beans, for example, navy beans which contain 19 g of fiber in each cup. A very good source of fiber mommies and daddies.
- Kefir – This is fermented milk that contains probiotics and is a good source of fiber which relieves constipation of your child.
- Figs – This food contains prebiotics which supports the digestion of food inside your body and also a good source of fiber. Other than that, it is also an excellent source of potassium and magnesium.
- Avocados – Another high in fiber food that contains about 10 g of fiber in every cup of sliced one. This is another source of soluble and insoluble fiber which are both helpful in relieving constipation and digestion of food. Your child will surely love this when added to toast and other snack recipes you can make.
- Yogurt – The probiotics, with live bacteria present in yogurt drinks, help relieve constipation. This is a very good snack for your child to avoid experiencing constipation.
- Whole grain bread – In every slice of large whole grain bread, you can take as much as 3 g of fiber. That is why having bread as part of their breakfast can be a good practice for your child’s fiber-rich diet to avoid having constipation.
- Berries – These juicy and colorful fruits are not just full of nutrients but are also helpful as they are considered natural laxatives for your child’s constipation. There is a whopping 3.6 g in every cup of blueberries while in raspberries, about 8 g in every cup.
- Oatmeal – About 4 grams of fiber is present in each cup of cooked oatmeal that is why it is good to give your child oatmeal as their breakfast each day.
Foods to avoid when your child is having Constipation
If there are foods that aid your child’s constipation, there are also foods that make it worst. These foods are either high in fats, low in fiber, or caffeinated. Let’s take note of some of these foods to avoid mommies and daddies.
- Junk foods
- Fast foods
- Soft drinks or carbonated drinks
- Milk tea or teas
- Whole milk
- Hotdogs or any processed foods
- Too much meat
- White rice
- White bread
When to seek Doctor’s help
Each time your child experience constipation, your primary solution is to give them food or drinks that will help them poop. This isn’t a serious condition, however, when your child suffers from continuing constipation, there is a need for an immediate doctor’s appointment. Listed below are the things you have to watch over and are needed to be consulted with your pediatrician when your child is having constipation.
- A portion of your child’s anus is coming out or what is commonly known as rectal prolapse
- When your child is having a fever
- When your child is in severe pain during the passing of stool
- When your child is barely eating
- If there is a decrease in your child’s weight
- If there is blood in your child’s poop
- When there is an enlargement on his abdomen
- When part of the opening of his anus is torn
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is massage a good remedy to ease constipation?
Gentle massage on your child’s tummy in a circular motion will be very helpful for his/her constipation. After doing it on his/her tummy, move down to his/her legs by doing the bicycle movement folding his legs up on his stomach. It will not just relax him/her but will also eliminate the pain he/she is feeling.
Does constipation affect my Toddlers’ Behavior?
In most cases, constipation affects your child’s behavior by being worried, irritated, and seem to be aggressive. Their withholding of poop is also another indication that constipation is badly affecting them. Most children having constipation are observed to have higher chances of interrupted sleep and grumpiness.
What to do to help my child ease bowel movement?
Supporting your child is the very first thing that you have to do in helping him/her ease bowel movement. Then, natural home remedies will be your next priority. Encourage your child to drink more water or fluids that will keep them hydrated and their digestion better. Another is to give them foods that are rich in fiber, water-rich fruits, and those foods with probiotics, live bacteria for better digestion. And last but not the least is to help them engage in physical or outdoor activities more often. Through these ways, your child will avoid having constipation.
How do I help my child if they are afraid to poop at the toilet?
The presence of an alternative toilet bowl makes it easier for new parents to help their children to conquer their fear of using the toilet. Toddler potty training seat is a more convenient place for children to have their bowel movements. By using this they can find the most comfortable place for them to poop without any fear and they’ll surely avoid constipation.
Why is my child Constipated?
Most of the time, children suffer from constipation because of their habits and picky eating style. Some children experience it because of their fear and uncomfortableness in using the toilet. The innate playful character of the toddlers also contributes a lot when we talk about constipation. That is why a lot of very playful children often ignore the urge to poop once they started playing.
Constipation in children particularly toddlers has various reasons. This can be because of the food they are eating, their habits, fears, etc. But there is one thing that we are sure of mommies and daddies, which is the fact that our toddlers are not yet completely aware of the foods they are eating and the effects that their actions will give them. That is why proper guidance and support should always be given to them all the time. In that way, having constipation will be avoided and less pain will your child experience.
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