Constipation – it really is the worst feeling for a little one and can lead to many grumpy days and disturbed nights. It’s not fun at all.
With this topic in mind I thought I’d share with you the reasons behind constipation and my ‘poop budging’ foods that can help things get back to normal.
Why is my child constipated?
There are a number of reasons for your little one to be constipated and these include:
- Not eating enough fiber
- Not drinking enough fluids during the day
- Too much milk and not enough water
- Lack of mobility or not enough activity during the day
- Worries or fears of doing a poo on the toilet.
Signs of constipation
There are small marks of poo stains on underwear or nappy
Your child has a right or hard tummy
Your little one is sluggish or low in energy
Your child is grumpy or upset.
A sudden dislike of using the toilet:
If your child is constipated, it will be very uncomfortable or even painful for them to go to the toilet for a poo. In turn, this means with little ones who have started toilet training they may hold onto their poo through the fear of the pain it causes to poop.
In extreme cases – your little one may lose all feelings of wanting to go which can cause lots of upset and accidents.
How can I help my constipated child?
Constipation is often caused by a lack of fibre in the diet, so by boosting your little ones fibre intake it will make poop softer and bowel movements will become easier.
Poop budging foods include:
Wholemeal bread and cereal
My special ‘Poop budging smoothy©’ recipe is here.
Increase the fluids:
Give your child plenty of drinks during the day – water is preferable but if they won’t take it, try a spot of diluted fruit juice. It’s important to mention here to avoid giving your little one too much milk. Although milk is essential to a baby and their main source of nutrition for the first six months, a growing toddler, and older child do not need as much milk. Try and encourage drinking other fluids from 6 months once weaning is established. My tips on how to encourage using a sippy cup are here.
Walking, dancing – anything that gets your little one moving is great for easing constipation.
Massage is also a great way of relieving the discomfort of constipation – you can watch my ‘how to’ tutorial below. (The video tutorial is short and sweet and easy to follow!)
1. Using baby oil or lotion, massage your little ones abdomen in a clockwise motion with your thumb, fingers or hand depending on the size of your child.
2. Lie your little one on their back (this is especially great for constipated babies!)
sitting near the bottom of their feet, gently hold their legs and rotate them gently in a peddaling/cycling motion.
3. Repeat the two above steps three times
Notes: Do not apply too much pressure and only apply these techniques if your little one is happy for you to do so.
I’m worried about my child’s constipation!
If your child’s constipation doesn’t improve after using the tips above or if you are really worried, it’s advisable to go along to your GP. Your doctor may prescribe a mild laxative to help things move along and offer more advice on treating constipation.