Toddler Constipation Relief
Toddler constipation is different then constipation in infants and needs to be addressed differently. Most often diet is the culprit and simple changes can remedy the situation. The problem is toddlers are famous for being picky eaters and balancing diet changes with toddler food choices can be tricky.
Here are 10 great tips to help cure the toddler constipation blues.
1) Make sure your toddler is drinking enough clear liquids. This is especially important in the hot weather months. Many toddlers do not slow down long enough to take the proper amount of clear liquids in. Have water or juices available and remind your toddler to drink. Another problem that toddler parents encounter is that their toddler will not drink water. Offer juices to your toddler in hot weather if water is refused. If you’re a parent that cringes at the thought of a lot of sugar then slowly water the juice until your toddler is drinking mostly water. Avoid drinks with a lot of caffeine and sweeteners. Ask your pediatrician about sports drinks. Some say they are fine at this age while others prefer that you avoid giving them to toddlers.
2) It is also important to add more fruits and vegetables to your toddler’s daily diet. The daily recommended of servings for fruits and vegetables for children between the ages of 2-6 years is 2 servings of fruits and 3 of vegetables. Prunes, raisins, apples and peas are good choices. Fiber supplements such as Metamucil and Citrucel can also help.
3) Try giving your child a warm bath right after eating or when you see him straining to go. This will sometimes relax your toddler enough so that he is able to pass the stool more comfortably. This works well on children that have chronic constipation and resist passing stools due to past pain.
4) Make sure your toddler is getting enough exercise. Exercise actually helps the body to move fecal matters more efficiently through the body. If your toddler spends his days sitting watching the T.V. try more physical activity to help relieve toddler constipation.
5) After each meal have your toddler to try to sit on the potty for 10-15 minutes. This is important if your toddler is resistant to pass the stool due to past painful experiences. The intestines are stimulated right after food intake and this can make passing stools easier.
6) You can also try the old timer’s remedy of giving your toddler mineral oil to help relieve constipation. My grandmother swears by this. It tastes awful so you are going to have to hide it in food or drink but 1-2 teaspoons a day may make the differences for your toddler's constipation.
7)Reduce the amount of wheat based products your toddler eats. Even if he eats wheat grain cereal and breads remove it from his diet for 14 days to see if you notice a change. Many times processed foods have wheat based ingredients so read packages too. I have seen this first hand stop chronic toddler constipation problems.
8) Dairy can also be a reason for chronic constipation. If you have tried adding and removing various foods from your toddlers diet with no success then speak to your pediatrician about a dairy allergy or lactose intolerance. This might be what is causing your toddler's chronic constipation.
9) An over growth of yeast in the intestinal tract can cause a toddler to have chronic constipation. A stool cultural can determine if this is the reason for your toddler’s constipation. If it is, it can be treated my medication.
10) When all else fails then resort to prescription medications. I would try all of the other tips first before placing your toddler on constipation medications. They do work and you need them when nothing else does. They can also cause the body to become dependent on the medicine to facilitate a bowl movement and make weaning off of them a long process.
Toddler Constipation Resources