Your toddler’s digestion is nothing to joke about. There is just so much going on in the toddler years that could make your toddler constipated, from changes in nutrition (oh, how picky they can get!) to potty training (aka one of your biggest parenting nightmares). Luckily, there are a few tried-and-true toddler constipation remedies to help your little one.
That is, assuming your toddler is indeed constipated. While it can sometimes feel alarming, it’s actually pretty normal for your toddler to not poop for a day or two, as long as they don’t seem uncomfortable. So how do you know if your toddler is constipated? What are some remedies for constipation? And when should you see a pediatrician? Let us break it down.
How do I know my toddler is constipated?
According to the Mayo Clinic, these are the symptoms of constipation in a toddler:
- Time — They haven’t passed stool in three days or more.
- Discomfort — They seem uncomfortable and in pain when they’re having a bowel movement.
- Consistency/Texture — Their bowel movements are hard, dry, and difficult to pass.
- Bleeding — Blood presents when they’re passing stools.
What could cause toddler constipation?
- Withholding — This especially happens during and after toilet training. Your toddler can be playing or in the middle of another activity, so they’re reluctant to stop and go to the bathroom. The pain related to constipation could also keep them from trying to go to the bathroom again.
- Too Much Milk — Toddlers love milk (and they can also be cheese fiends!), but all that dairy may be contributing to constipation.
- Not Enough Water — Hard and hard-to-pass stools can be caused by not enough liquids.
- Not Enough Fiber — All those bran commercials have it right; fiber does help you stay regular, and that applies to your kids as well.
- Too Sedentary — Movement helps bowel movements. If your kid isn’t getting enough exercise and activity, that could affect their ability to poop regularly.
What are some toddler constipation remedies?
Less milk and more high-fiber foods may help your toddler finally get back to a regular pooping routine. Prune juice is actually a great solution for kids with constipation, as it’s high in fiber and tastes sweet. You can also search-and-find easy recipes for constipation that you can add to your kids’ diet, like greek yogurt and fruit, smoothies, and snacks that are full of fiber. No matter how old you are, constipation sucks. Here are some natural ways to give your baby relief and loosen those bowels.
- Don’t you just love avocado? This superfood is also a natural laxative and its oils help get things moving in the digestive tract.
- A spoonful of coconut oil can go a long way. You can cook with it or even add a teaspoon to a smoothie.
- Chia seeds are rich in fiber and are sure to loosen your baby’s bowels.
- Fruits are also a great and healthy way to get things going. Melon, berries, anything with citrus, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, and grapes are especially helpful.
Gently remind and encourage your little one to drink water. Sure, toddlers don’t always love drinking water — but it really can help! Make sure they have a cup or bottle that they love (you can even go buy a special bottle with them). You can even motivate them by showing them that you’re drinking water, too. If your child doesn’t like water to the point of refusing to drink more, you can try cutting it with prune juice or opting for another healthy beverage.
You don’t need to take your toddler jogging! Just take them on a regular outing to the playground or some other space to encourage them to run around and play. You can also go on walks to run fun errands together.
A Toilet Routine
You might need to start reminding your child to go to the bathroom regularly. How? Try establishing a routine: first thing in the morning, before and after daycare, and after dinner, for example. Make sure to remind them that whatever they are doing and playing with will be waiting for them after they’re done with the bathroom. You can even “tell” the toy and activity to wait for them.
For toddler constipation remedies, is Miralax OK?
You may be tempted to just help solve constipation with medication. We get it — we all want to find a way to make our toddler or baby poop instantly so they won’t be uncomfortable anymore. But while Miralax may work wonders when you’re backed up, it isn’t recommended for toddlers. For that matter, Boston Children’s Hospital advises that you really only want to use medication to treat your child’s constipation if their doctor recommends it. So, if your toddler’s constipation isn’t aided by more natural methods or seems serious, go ahead and schedule a consult with their pediatrician.