Constipation in toddlers is quite a normal occurrence. It is an ailment causing kids to experience an often painful and difficult passage of dry, hard stools. A constipated toddler normally experiences irregular bowel movement and so tries to control it in order to prevent it from hurting him /her. This, inturn, makes his constipation not only continue but also turn worse. As such, it is important that parents take adequate care when their child is suffering from constipation.
Causes of Constipation in Toddlers
There could be many causes behind why a toddler is having constipation. However, the crucial reason behind toddler constipation is consumption of food that is low in fiber like milk products and peanut butter. Toddler constipation can also be the fallout of drinking too much of milk, especially cow’s.
A lot of toddlers also become constipated when they begin to have solid food. And this takes place mainly because the kid’s intestine is tuning itself to an altogether new type of food. Constipation in toddler may also happen due to less drinking of water or going to the loo after long intervals. Lack of any form of physical exercise is another cause for toddler constipation.
Signs that your Toddler is Having Constipation
Indications that your toddler is constipated could be varied. For instance, the bowel movements of the toddler may slow down from what is normal for him/her. He/she may not have a bowel movement for a number of days at a stretch. The toddler could also be experiencing uneasy bowel movements and showing discomfort and pain when passing a stool. Other indications comprise an inflamed or hardened stomach, hard and pebble-like stools. At times, the infant’s belly turns swollen due to gas.
Natural Remedy / Treatment for Toddler Constipation
There are a number of remedies to provide relieve to a toddler from constipation. Read on -
Increase Fluid Intake
Since constipation is mainly related to what a child eats or drinks, it is important that you make some changes in his / her diet. For instance increase the child’s day-to-day fluid intake like juice, milk, soup and water. Apple juice is considered very effective treatment for a constipated toddler.
Increase Fiber Intake
Encourage your toddler to eat more fruits and vegetables because they have rich fiber content. The role of fiber is significant as it masses up and softens the stool making them easier to pass. Next, the fiber’s rough edges stimulate nerves of the bowel lining and therefore, assist in the easy passing of the stool. Raw, unpeeled fruits and vegetables such as spinach, beans, sweet potatoes, peas, turnip greens, raw tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, etc. are rich in fiber.
Lessen Intake of Constipating Food
Food items like milk, yogurt, cheese, cooked carrots, and bananas cause constipation and therefore, should be avoided. It is true that too much of milk consumption causes constipation in some kids, so it’s better to not let them have too much of it. In such a case, it’s better to switch to soy milk.
Make your Child Sit on the Toilet
Kids who've been suffering from constipation for a considerable time may have lost the capability to make out that their rectum is full, whereas those who have experienced painful bowel movements are generally unwilling to sit on the toilet. But this will only worsen the condition further. As such, ask your child to go to the loo (toilet) after he / she has had breakfast or dinner daily because the intestinal reflexes at this time will make bowel movements and therefore, passing of stool easier.
Massage Your Toddler’s Stomach
A massage of the belly can relax a toddler’s constipation to some extent. Apply regular and gentle pressure for few minutes on the region a couple of inches below the navel. Also move the child’s legs in a cycling motion while he / she is lying on the back. This movement can cause the baby’s stomach muscles to relax, which inturn encourage the intestines to move.