Constipation in children is difficult because they don’t know what’s really happening. Here is some constipation relief for kids that are effective Natural Home Remedies.
Constipation Relief for Kids
Even for an adult, constipation can be very uncomfortable. Now imagine if it’s happening to a baby, toddler, or a young child. Kids don’t know what’s really happening, and most of them can’t communicate their symptoms. That makes it even more difficult for parents to detect it early enough when their kids are constipated.
However, before you start to panic, you should know that constipation in toddlers is usually not a sign of any serious disease. Most times, it is caused by a problem that’s easy to solve, such as diet or lack of exercise.
In this post, we will be taking a look at some constipation relief tips for kids. So, prepare to learn a few things you can do to help relieve constipation and encourage bowel movement in your kids. But before that, how do you even know if your kid is constipated. Let’s first take a look at that.
How Do You Know If Your Kid Is Constipated?
Constipation in children is a common problem. An average toddler makes a bowel movement once a day. But a child who has a bowel movement fewer than three times a week may be constipated. Sometimes, it could also mean a child having a bowel movement less often than the child typically does. Apart from an infrequent bowel movement, there are also some signs to look out for in constipated kids:
- Hard, dry stool often accompanied by painful bowel movements
- Stomach ache
- Blood on the outside of the stool
- Loss of appetite
- Avoiding toilets or crying during bowel movement
- Bits of liquid stool in the diaper or underwear
While it is normal for a kid to have constipation once in a while, if your kid’s constipation lasts for two weeks, you should see your doctor – it is called chronic constipation.
Common Causes of Constipation in Kids
Constipation in kids can be caused by a variety of things. These include changes in diet, early toilet training, excessive consumption of processed food, kids trying to hold it in when pressed, lack of physical activity, and consuming too many dairy products.
Don’t Give Laxatives to Kids under Age 4
While laxatives and enemas offer quick constipation relief in adults, you shouldn’t give them to your infant or toddler unless your doctor recommends it. However, if your kid is above the age of four, you can safely administer them to soften stools and relieve constipation.
But you still need to speak to your doctor before taking that step to help you decide the right dosage for the kid.
How to Help Relief Constipation in Your Kids
- Give them plenty of water to drink
The major cause of constipation is lack of fluids. Making your kids drink plenty of water will help soften their stools and hence, makes them easier to pass. If your baby is at least 6 months old, give him or her 2 to 3 ounces of water at a time to relieve constipation.
For your older kids, give them at least 32 ounces of water daily to help relieve and prevent constipation. However, for no reason should you replace regular feedings with water.
2. Give them some fruit juice
Thanks to the sorbitol content of fruit juice, which can function as a laxative, fruit juice can help relieve constipation in kids. For kids older than 6 months, give them 2 to 4 ounces of fruit juice. Some fruit juice you can reach for kids includes 100% apple juice, pear juice, or prune juice.
3. Increase physical activity
Another thing that causes constipation in kids is a lack of exercise. Stop your kids from leaving a sedentary lifestyle and encourage them to participate in some physical activities. This will help stimulate intestinal contractions and bowel movements.
4. Reduce rice cereal and dairy product consumption
Because of the low fiber content of rice cereal, it can trigger constipation. At the same time, allergy to cow’s milk or excessive consumption of dairy products can aid constipation. So cut down the consumption of rice cereal and dairy products so you can both help them relieve constipation and also avoid it.
5. Include more fiber foods in their diet
Fiber-rich foods keep constipation at bay – both in children and adults. So if your kids have started eating solid foods, add more fiber-rich foods to their diet to relieve constipation. Some of such foods include apples, peas, bananas, pears, and prunes.
6. Give them a stool softener
Stool softeners will help clear the bowels. Plus, they are generally safe for children. But make sure you administer the right dosage and give it for the required length of time. Some kids will have to use a stool softener for up to a week before they can stop using it. Quitting too early can set your kid up for another bout of constipation.
7. Practice regular toilet time
This may not do so much in relieving constipation, but it will go a long way to help prevent it from happening in the future. Encourage your kid to use the toilet, probably every morning after waking up or after every meal or snack. This has been a very potent strategy to keep off constipation from kids.
When Should You See Your Pediatrician?
Although constipation in children is usually not a sign of any serious disease, you should speak to your pediatrician if you think your kid is having chronic constipation. That is if constipation lasts longer than 2 weeks. You should also speak to your pediatrician if other symptoms set in. Some of such symptoms include weight loss, abdominal swelling, refusal to eat, and fever.