Dealing with a constipated toddler is not any parent’s idea of a good time, as it can be both a frustrating and scary experience. Your toddler mostly likely feels anxious because she can’t go, further perpetuating her discomfort, and you might feel equally as uneasy over her pain and distress.
Infrequent stools alone are not a sign of constipation; some kids just don’t poop as often as others do. But if your child’s bowel movements are hard and dry, difficult for her to pass, or accompanied by abdominal pain, it’s a sure sign she’s probably feeling a little backed up.
Here are five ways to help eliminate your toddler’s constipation:
Serve your toddler fiber-rich foods such as apples, pears and raisins. Likewise offer her whole-grain breads, cereals and pastas.
Give her plenty of liquids to drink. Toddlers should consume 1 to 1.5 quarts of fluids daily in the form of milk, 100% fruit juice and water. If your toddler is having trouble passing a stool, apple and pear juice are particularly effective in getting things to move along.
Make sure that your toddler is getting enough exercise. Most parents don’t have to worry that their toddler is too sedate; however, long periods of time spent in a car seat or stroller may contribute to constipation. Give your toddler plenty of opportunity to run around and play.
Apply a small amount of petroleum jelly on your toddler’s anal opening. Sometimes a toddler will withhold her poop out of fear that passing it will hurt. A little lubrication will soften the tissue of the anal opening and allow the stool to pass more easily.
Ease her abdominal discomfort with a gentle tummy massage and warm bath.
Visit your toddler’s pediatrician if none of the above home remedies work. He or she may recommend a stool softener, laxative or other medication to help your toddler eliminate the poop. It’s important that you never give your child medication without the advice of a healthcare professional.
Prepare this high-fiber snack for your toddler at anytime or whenever she is constipated:
Hot Apples and Oatmeal
You will need:
1 apple, any variety
cup quick-cooking oatmeal
cup apple juice
Wash and cut the apple into age-appropriate bites. Combine the apple bites, oatmeal and apple juice in a saucepan. Cook the mixture for five minutes, or until the apples are warm and tender.