Is My Toddler Constipated
The average toddler makes a bowel movement once a day. Usually, a child who has a bowel movement fewer than three times a week , and whose stools are hard and difficult to pass, is constipated. Also, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, any child with stools that are large, hard, dry, and accompanied by painful bowel movements, soiling between bowel movements, or blood on the outside of the stool may have constipation.
Don’t be worried if your child has a bout of constipation — it’s perfectly normal once in awhile. But if your toddler’s constipation lasts for two weeks or more it’s called chronic constipation, and you should see your pediatrician.
Your doctor may ask you to keep track of your child’s bowel movements — how often they occur, how big and hard they are, and if there is any blood in your toddler’s stool. You should also look for other symptoms that can occur along with constipation, such as:
- General crankiness
- Crying or screaming during bowel movements
- Avoiding the toilet
- Smears or bits of liquid stool in the diaper or underwear
Warning: Senna Tea For Kids
Herbal preparations of senna such as senna tea are not regulated by the FDA or proven safe for children. They could be contaminated and harmful for your child.
Senna is found in tablets or syrup form, such as Ex-Lax or Senekot, and may be used with children who have encopresis.
ONLY use this under the guidance of your doctor.
Six Toddler Smoothies To Get Things Moving
Ive shared some pretty tasty toddler smoothies here How to Make Smoothies for Toddlers Weight Gain.
However, now were on a quest for the ultimate smoothie for constipation in toddler tummies.
Many are high-fiber smoothies, with a focus on fruits that encourage healthier stools.
They also dont taste like vegetables, and contribute to adequate hydration.
1. Berry Probiotic Smoothie
For this triple berry treat, youll need:
- 1/3 cup blueberries
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender click for price and blend until smooth.
Berries can be a little less sweet than other fruits.
Therefore, you might need to tempt your toddler to drink this by adding a little honey or turbinado sugar click for price.
It all depends how ripe the fruit is see if you can get away without adding any sugar!
2. Grape Goodness Smoothie
A good source of insoluble fiber, grapes are one of the very best foods for constipation.
Like most other fruits, they work best when you leave the skin on.
This smoothie is really easy to make. All you need is:
- 1 ½ cups frozen grapes
- 1/3 cup yogurt
- ½ cup water
All ingredients can be added at once to blend. Its also worth keeping frozen grapes around as a snack theyre a great treat for every day.
3. Awesome Avocado Green Smoothie
Despite their creamy texture, avocados are also high in fiber.
Here is what youll need for this smoothie, :
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Medical Treatment For Constipation In Babies Toddlers And Children
If home treatments dont improve constipation, your pediatrician may administer a gentle enema to release impacted feces.
Before treatment, your pediatrician will complete a physical examination and check your babys anus for impacted stool. They may ask questions about your childs diet and physical activity to help diagnose constipation.
Medical tests arent usually necessary. In cases of severe or long-term constipation, your pediatrician may order tests to check for problems in your childs abdomen or rectum.
These tests include:
Here are a few tips to help prevent constipation in babies, toddlers, and children:
- Dont give solid foods until your baby is at least 6 months old.
- Aim to serve more high fiber foods, such as beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- Increase your childs water intake to at least 1 liter a day.
- Encourage physical activity, such as riding a bike, kicking a ball, or walking the dog.
- Teach your child not to ignore the urge to have a bowel movement.
- Help your child develop a pattern of using the bathroom after meals. Have them sit on the toilet for about 10 minutes after eating so that bowel movements become a regular part of their routine.
What Causes Constipation In Toddlers
Intolerance to cow’s milk is the most common cause of baby constipation. If digestive issues continue into toddlerhood, experts might blame insufficient dietary fiber, exercise, or water intake. Indeed, any change in dietincluding the introduction to dairy products or other new foodscan cause a toddler to get backed up. Too much processed foods may also be to blame.
Constipation in toddlers can also be caused by a refusal to use the bathroom. Kids might hold in poop if they can’t be bothered to stop playing , if they’re wary of public restrooms, or if they’re scared of the toilet. The journal Pediatrics once reported that a 3-year-old boy became terribly constipated after seeing a single television commercial, in which the toilet bowl turned into a monster and the toilet seat was a chomping mouth. Along those lines, some kids are so constipated that every poop is painfuland as a result they avoid going at all, which makes the situation worse.
Bouts of constipation can be triggered by other stressful events in a child’s life, like the birth of a sibling, parental conflict, or toilet training too soon. Toddlers might also get backed up from uncommon conditions like spinal-cord defects, celiac disease , lead poisoning, or thyroid trouble. Finally, certain illnesses or medications can also trigger constipation in toddlers.
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The 17 Best Foods To Relieve Constipation
About 14% of people experience chronic constipation at some point .
Symptoms include passing stools less than three times per week, straining, lumpy or hard stools, a sensation of incomplete evacuation, feeling blocked, or being unable to pass a stool.
The type and severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people experience constipation only rarely, while its a chronic condition for others.
Constipation has a variety of causes, but its often the result of the slow movement of food through the digestive system.
This may be due to dehydration, a poor diet, medications, illness, diseases affecting the nervous system, or mental disorders.
Fortunately, certain foods can help relieve constipation by adding bulk, softening stool, decreasing gut transit time, and increasing stool frequency.
Here are 17 foods that can help relieve constipation and keep you regular.
Natural Constipation Relief For Kids Using Real Foods
The goal of constipation treatment is to relieve it and re-establish normal stooling patterns. There are several ways to treat constipation naturally. The method used will depend on your childs age and how serious the problem is.
First and foremost, I suggest you try using natural laxatives coming from food. Establishing a healthy diet and lifestyle will support your childs regularity. In fact, this will help every child with constipation.
In severe cases of chronic constipation, medications may be prescribed to clean out your childs intestinal tract.
Some medications soften the stool. These are known as stool softeners . Other medications help clear out the stool .
You should always consult with your pediatrician before giving over-the-counter stool softeners or enemas to your child.
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Foods To Help With Constipation In Toddlers
Ohhhh poop. Constipation in toddlers what to do? The foods you serve them is a good place to start!
We pretty much all know that prune juice helps, but there are other foods you can add throughout the day as well.
Before we get to the food make sure that your little one is also drinking water throughout the day, and getting enough physical activity. Not enough water, and not enough movement can lead to constipation too. Its not always about the food.
Why Do Babies Get Constipated
To understand the reasons of constipation in babies, you have to understand that disturbed bowel movements depend upon many factors like
- Type of milk you are feeding to your baby
- The introduction of solid foods.
- Is any specific food you have introduced to your baby recently.
- Low water level: If your baby is suffering from cold, cough, throat infection, teething like problems then the water level in the body reduces drastically which can cause constipation.
- If your baby is under medication then intake of few medicines can cause constipation.
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Should My Child Use A Fiber Supplement
Many parents ask if fiber supplements would be helpful for their child. And for some kids, they can be.
BeneFiber and Metamucil are examples. However, its important to know that any fiber supplement can make constipation worse. They may be dehydrating, potentially encouraging constipation.
Check with your doctor before using them.
How To Treat Your Childs Constipation
If you think your child may be constipated, take them to a GP. The treatment for constipation depends on your childs age.
The longer your child is constipated, the more difficult it can be for them to get back to normal, so make sure you get help early.
Laxatives are often recommended for children who are eating solid foods, alongside diet and lifestyle changes.
It may take several months for the treatments to work, but keep trying until they do. Remember that laxative treatment may make your childs overflow soiling worse before it gets better.
Once your childs constipation has been dealt with, its important to stop it coming back. A GP may advise that your child keeps taking laxatives for a while to make sure their poo stays soft enough to push out regularly.
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Constipation Symptoms In Toddlers
On average, toddlers have bowel movements at least once per day. A child who fears pain often tries to hold back their bowel movement. Often times youll see them holding on to their buttocks while crossing their legs. Additionally, they make faces as they try to hold the stool.
The following constipation symptoms in toddlers should make you alarmed:
- Having fewer than three bowel movements a week
- Hard, dry, and difficult to pass bowel movements
- Large unusual stools
- Bowel movements that cause pain
- Pain in the stomach and hard feeling in the stomach when touched
- The presence of liquid or pasty stool in your childs underwear a sign that stool is backed up in the rectum
- Hard stool with blood on the surface
Let Him Exercise And Take A Warm Bath
An absence of physical activity results in digestion problem and reduced metabolism, which furthers the symptoms of constipation. Keeping your toddler busy in some kind of physical activity every day will stimulate his bowel movements. Make sure your child plays outdoors for at least an hour every day. To provide him relief from constipation, you can also give him a warm bath. Add a few spoons of baking soda in his bathwater and let your child relax in it for ten to fifteen minutes.
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Does Applesauce Help Constipation
You might think that eating applesauce would help constipation, but thats not the case. Applesauce contains a higher level of pectin than apple juice. Pectin is a substance that will add bulk to your stool. It becomes firmer and more difficult to pass, making it a better choice after episodes of diarrhea.
How Will You Know That Your Toddler Is Constipated
If your child has a bowel movement fewer than three times a week, then it is a sign of constipation. Some other symptoms of constipation include stomach ache, nausea, loss of appetite, and bloating. If your child cries or screams while pooping, then he might be having a hard time pooping, and no doubt, it is a sign that he is constipated.
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Fear Or Other Emotional Causes
Ah, potty training isnt it a delight? In addition to the not-so-joyous elements of poo accidents and setting up camp for hours in the bathroom, potty training comes with difficult emotional aspects for some children.
Toddlers may feel fearful, skeptical, or even embarrassed about using the toilet. Then theres the possibility of feelings of resentment at having to give up the familiarity and convenience of diapers. Any of these negative emotions can lead to minimal output.
Finally, distracted play can make some kids less likely to stop what theyre doing and answer the call of nature because who wouldnt rather stack blocks than visit the boring old potty?
Fortunately, getting your child to better bowel movements doesnt always have to involve major intervention. In many cases, some simple changes can help.
For mild, temporary constipation, try these at-home steps:
Symptoms Of Constipation In Children
Your child may be constipated if:
- they have not done a poo at least 3 times in the last week
- their poo is large and hard
- their poo looks like “rabbit droppings” or little pellets
- they are straining or in pain when they poo
- they have some bleeding during or after having a poo, because their poo is large and hard
- they have a poor appetite or stomach pain that improves after they poo
If your child is over 1 year old, soiled pants can be another sign of constipation, as runny poo may leak out around the hard, constipated poo. This is called overflow soiling.
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Constipation Treatments For Babies
Younger infants and newborns with constipation should be carefully evaluated by their pediatrician. Poor feeding can lead to dehydration and constipation, so an evaluation of your infant’s feeding habits and weight is important. Infants who are exclusively breastfed rarely become constipated.
Remember, infrequent bowel movements do not mean constipation if your child’s stools are soft when they finally pass. It’s possible that your little one is using every bit of what they ingest to support growth, and they simply don’t have anything left over to produce waste.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests giving babies a small amount of apple or pear juice to loosen the stool and relieve constipation. They advise parents to offer 1 ounce for every month of life up to 4 months of age. Some pediatricians also suggest giving 1 to 2 teaspoons of corn syrup per day.
Always talk to your child’s pediatrician before taking any action to treat constipation, especially in young babies. Once your baby has progressed to solids, giving them more vegetables and fruits may help with constipation.
Ginger And Honey Solution
Ginger is really helpful to treat the digestion problems.
Recipe of Making Ginger Honey Solution
This remedy is helpful for 1 years older children.
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Check If Its Constipation
It may be constipation if your child:
- lacks energy
- is irritable, angry or unhappy
- soils their clothes
- has poo like ‘rabbit droppings’ or little pellets
- strains or has pain when they poo
- bleeds during or after having a poo, because their poo is large and hard
- has stomach pain that improves after they poo
If you are breastfeeding your baby, they may go a week without having a poo.
Is It Diarrhea Or Encopresis
Sometimes constipated kids have diarrhea, which can be very confusing for parents. Often this is what is called encopresis.
Encopresis happens when stool is withheld in the intestinal tract and grows very large, stretching the rectum.
Over time, the feeling of having to go may become dulled and your child may not realize he needs to pass a bowel movement.
Sometimes, liquid stool makes its way around the large, hard stool in the rectum and leaks out into the underwear. It often looks like diarrhea, but is really a side effect of significant chronic constipation.
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Tips To Prevent Constipation
Here are some tips to prevent toddlers, babies, and children from getting constipated:
- Toddlers under 6 months should not be given solid food.
- Maintain a diet high in fiber
- Drink plenty of water every day.
- Be sure your child is engaging in physical activities and not sitting around the house all day.
- Ensure that the child has bowel movements and encourage him to do so.
Remedies To Try At Home
There are several remedies you can try at home to manage your childâs constipation:
- Make sure your child is getting enough fluids. Most kids need about 3 to 4 glasses of water every day.
- Add more fiber into your childâs diet. Make sure they’re eating enough fruits, grains and vegetables. Fiber keeps things moving.
- Make sure your child isnât overdoing fast food and junk food. They slow down digestion.
- Limit sodas and tea. They have lots of caffeine in them.
- Get your child into the habit of regular bowel movements. Have them try for at least 10 minutes two times a day. After a meal is a good time.
If these things donât seem to do the trick, talk to your childâs doctor about using a mild, child-friendly laxative or stool softener.
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Is There Any Instant Relief For Constipated Toddlers
There may not always be instant relief available as toddler constipation can take time to sort itself out, but there are a handful of things you can try. Instead of immediately reaching for more fiber-rich foods, start with water.
If your toddler doesnt like to drink plain water, try:
- Making flavored waters
- Offering blended watermelonjust put cubes of seedless water into the blender, blitz, and strain out the yummy juice!
- Offering water with a fun straw or taking them outside if its warm with a bottle and an open cup. Let them play with the water and they will likely start drinking some!
- Constipation Smoothies can be really helpful too.
TIP: Good hydration is key to regularity, both in babies and in toddlers.