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Constipation is a common problem in children. If you have just introduced solid food to your child, then it will take his tummy some time to adjust to that food. Your little tot may not poop for days and if he does, his poop might be too hard. He may even lose his appetite. All these signs indicate constipation. If your child is constipated, you will obviously try to figure out what you can do to make him feel better. If you are considering giving over-the-counter medicines then don’t, because doctors don’t recommend over-the-counter medicines to toddlers. You can always opt for home remedies – home remedies are safe and will provide your child with immediate relief.
9 Natural Remedies for Constipation in Toddlers
Using natural remedies as a first-line treatment is often recommended. So try these home remedies to relieve constipation in toddlers.
1. Give him lemon juice.
Lemon juice works as a great remedy for constipation in babies and toddlers. Lemons are high in Vitamin C, which helps pull water into the gut. When the water content increases in the gut, it helps soften the stools and stimulate bowel movements. Mix the juice of half a lemon in a glass of warm water, add honey to it and give it to your child. Ideally, it should be consumed early in the morning on an empty stomach. Drinking it in the morning will stimulate your child’s bowel movement and help ease constipation. Apart from lemon juice, you can also give prune juice and apple juice to your toddler if he is suffering from constipation.
2. Try triphala.
Triphala, as the name suggests, is a combination of three medicinal herbs. These are amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki. Triphala has multiple benefits and it is usually consumed with milk. Add a spoonful of triphala to warm milk and give it to your child before bedtime. It is the best herbal remedy for constipation. This is one of the most popular Indian home remedies for constipation in toddlers.
3. Water is always the best choice!
This may seem like a no-brainer but sometimes parents fail to track whether their children are drinking enough water or not. Water is extremely important for ensuring proper digestion and passage of food through the intestinal tract. Drinking adequate water also prevents stool from being dry. So make sure that your child stays hydrated.
4. How about some honey and flax seeds?
Honey helps strengthen the immune system and aids the digestive system as well. Add 1-2 spoonfuls of honey to a glass of milk and give it to your child on an empty stomach. Flax seeds too can help treat constipation. Boil some flax seeds in water for some time, then strain and give this water to your child. This will prevent constipation.
5. Let him exercise and take a warm bath.
An absence of physical activity results in digestion problem and reduced metabolism, which furthers the symptoms of constipation. Keeping your toddler busy in some kind of physical activity every day will stimulate his bowel movements. Make sure your child plays outdoors for at least an hour every day. To provide him relief from constipation, you can also give him a warm bath. Add a few spoons of baking soda in his bathwater and let your child relax in it for ten to fifteen minutes.
6. Include fibrous foods in his diet.
Consuming fruits and vegetables that have a substantial amount of fibre in them aids bowel movements. If rice cereal is a part of your child’s diet, replace it with barley cereal. Along with barley cereal, you can also give a fruit juice to your tot, this will provide him relief from constipation. You should also include vegetables like beans, spinach, sweet potato, and broccoli, and fruits like oranges and apricots in your child’s diet to keep constipation at bay. You can also give corn syrup to your child as it contains sugar-based proteins. These proteins also play a key role in stimulating the bowel movements in a child.
7. Give him blackberries.
Blackberry is highly useful in the stimulation of peristaltic movement. These are involuntary movements in the digestive tract that occur in waves and help in pushing the food forward. This helps reset the bowel movement to a regular routine and aid in the passing of poop. Consuming blackberry by diluting it with water on an empty stomach helps in getting the desired result.
8. Give a mixture of banana and hot water.
This is quite a popular remedy for constipation. Combining banana with hot water, and consuming it first thing in the morning, is known to aid digestion, which in turn, helps relieve the problem of constipation.
9. Milk of magnesia works too!
Many people also use milk of magnesia to treat constipation as it a form of laxative. It primarily functions by pushing water into the intestines, which triggers the bowel movements. But this is used for a short duration only. You can mix a spoonful of the powder with milk and feed it to your child. But try this remedy only after consulting with your child’s paediatrician.
When to Consult a Doctor
If you try a natural remedy for a day or two and it does not show desired results then consult your doctor immediately. Furthermore, if your child is constipated for more than two weeks, seek medical help.
1. How Will You Know That Your Toddler is Constipated?
If your child has a bowel movement fewer than three times a week, then it is a sign of constipation. Some other symptoms of constipation include stomach ache, nausea, loss of appetite, and bloating. If your child cries or screams while pooping, then he might be having a hard time pooping, and no doubt, it is a sign that he is constipated.
2. Should You Administer Enema for Constipation?
If your child has failed to have bowel movements for many days, he must be in pain. In such a situation, you might want to resort to artificial medicines to stimulate his bowel movements. You can administer enema but only after consulting with a doctor. The enema should be administered at night so that it ends up lubricating the area around the rectum and makes the process of passing stools easier. Ideally, coconut oil should be used for enema as it triggers the intestines and stimulates the bowel movement. But enema should be used as a last resort and only after consulting with a doctor. Do NOT try to administer enema to your child on your own and without supervision.
Natural remedies provide relief from constipation and aid digestion. So try these remedies for your child – he will be fine in a couple of days. However, if these remedies fail to work, do consult a doctor. But prevention is always better than cure. So try to prevent constipation by including healthy and fibrous foods in your child’s diet. Also, make sure that he indulges in some kind of physical activity daily and stays hydrated! Take preventive measures and your little one won’t complain of constipation at all!