If your toddler is suffering from constipation, it can be challenging to relieve their pain because many kids are picky about what they eat. In most cases, constipation in toddlers is a result of an improper diet. Make sure to include nutritious food and drink in their diet to prevent constipation.
It may also be that your child does not like the healthy foods you give them. You might even have to cut down on, or completely avoid, certain foods. It will take time, effort, and patience to gradually modify your child’s diet. Bringing in small changes step by step, can make a diet change more acceptable and easier to handle.
The struggle and pain associated with constipation can be hard to see in your child and providing immediate relief is a priority. Along with working on diet changes, there are some simple measures you can take to help your child out.
Increase the water intake of your child. This shouldn’t be difficult compared to achieving other diet changes. More fluid in the system allows the stool to soften and become easier to pass.
Toddlers are generally fond of playing with their parents. Try giving some gentle exercise to their abdominal muscles while playing. This will help them pass the motion by putting gentle pressure on the intestine and your little one probably won’t even realize it. Encourage games like cycling, crawling like an animal and sit ups.
Give your toddler a stool to put their feet on when using the bathroom. This will lift their legs and bring their body into a squat-like position that puts pressure on the excretory passage for better and easier elimination of waste.
Give your toddler a warm bath followed by a tummy massage starting from the navel and moving downwards. This will help relieve pain and put gentle pressure on the intestine to ease passing of solid waste and break it up. You can use an oil or moisturizer to lubricate your fingers.
If your toddler’s constipation is extreme, it could be that they have punctured the delicate skin around the anus while trying to poop. Apply a lubricant such as petroleum jelly or natural coconut/almond oil to soothe the tear and prevent further damage. Do not use any products that may inflame or irritate your toddler’s skin.
If these measures do not work or if passing stool becomes extremely painful for the child, consider using glycerin suppositories. These are available over the counter and help stimulate bowel movements. Though glycerin suppositories are widely used and known to be harmless, you should talk to your pediatrician before using one. Never try any over the counter laxatives or enema for children. These might have side effects and adversely affect their internal systems.
Kids are delicate and even a small problem can become severe if not handled properly. You must be very watchful and keep trying to develop healthy eating and toilet habits in your child to prevent problems like constipation.