As a parent, when your child is constipated it can be tough for you because you don’t want to see your child in discomfort or pain. Children often aren’t aware of why they can’t go; they just know that they can’t go. Constipation is an awful aliment for anyone and it’s something everyone wants a cure for quick. Knowing the right foods to eat can help ease the burden but there are also over the counter medicines that can help. For children, the first line of defense is through their diet!
Babies and Constipation:
For babies, changes in the number, color, or consistency in stool is not a cause for concern as long as baby is eating. All babies have stool that vary in color -gray, green, or brown- and can vary in number each day. Some newborns can have between six to eight poops a day to one every other day. Also, a newborn will often grunt or strain while going. None of these are indications of constipation. The best way to identify if your newborn is constipated is if their stool is dry or hard. Some causes for constipation in newborns is illness, dehydration, or change in diet.
Breast fed babies often have more liquid, runny, mustard color stools. Most breast fed newborns rarely get constipated but may start once new foods are added to the diet. Since everything mom eats gets passed to baby, it’s important for mom to watch their diet. Exclusive breast feeding moms should be sure they are drinking plenty of water a day and are ingesting foods high in fiber.
Formula fed babies tend to get constipated more because some ingredients in formula might be hard for baby to digest. Finding the right formula is important and your pediatrician can help you find one that sits well with baby’s gut. Also, when making formula for little one, it is important to follow the directions. Too much formula and not enough water will make it more concentrated, which lead to constipation.
With breast fed or formula fed babies, easing tummy troubles is very important. If your little one is constipated there are a few ways to ease discomfort and move the stool along. Moving baby’s legs in a cycle motion and rubbing the tummy clockwise can provide comfort for baby while trying to go. A warm bath will relax abdominal and bowel muscles, which make it easier for baby to go.
Toddlers and Constipation:
Constipation in toddlers is a little different considering most toddlers one year and over are generally eating solid foods. For a toddler, an infrequent and hard or dry stool is an indication that they may be constipated. Some other signs that may indicate your little one is constipated would be pain while having a bowel movement, abdominal pain, blood on the surface of hard stool, and/or large diameter stools that block the toilet. If constipation continues for more than two weeks, talking to your doctor is important because there may be other underlying problems.
There can be many reasons, along with diet, that may be causes for constipation in your little one. During toilet training, some children may ignore the urge to go because they are scared of the toilet or don’t want to stop playing. Some allergies, like cow’s milk allergy, can lead to constipation if toddler has consumed too much. Also, some medications can lead to constipation.
Diet is really important when battling constipation in toddlers. Fiber rich fruits and vegetables, beans, and whole grains are first defense when easing constipation problems. Water is VERY important when adding more fiber into the diet, especially if your toddler isn’t use to a high fiber diet. Water will make sure everything is moving well and help prevent bloating, gas, or diarrhea.
Foods High in Fiber:
- Fiber rich cereals and breads
- Whole wheat pasta
- Brown rice
- Garbanzo beans
- Kidney beans
- Black beans
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
With my daughter, she withheld going so she could play. So creating a toilet routine with regular set times can help remind your toddler it’s important to take breaks and use the potty. Constipation can be troubling but with the right diet and a little physical activity, you can be sure your little one will stay regular.
While searching for a fun recipe packed with fiber, I landed on these cookies. I wasn’t sure they would taste good but ended up loving them! These cookies are filled with healthy alternatives!
Link to the cookies pictured above!