For many mothers it is NOT funny when their constipated toddler quips, “mummy, my bum-bum is hurting” when they want to make a poo, rather it calls for some apprehension especially when it occurs frequently.
You should not be anxious if your child has the occasional bout of constipation as this is perfectly normal. However, when your toddler’s constipation lasts for more than a week it and becomes what is termed chronic constipation, then it’s time to for your baby to see the doctor.
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The American Academy of Paediatricians says “any child with stools that are large, hard, dry, and accompanied by painful bowel movements, soiling between bowel movements, or blood on the outside of the stool may have constipation.”
The following are reasons why a child gets constipated;
1. Not Drinking Enough Water: getting a high-energy toddler to drink water can be a struggle. However, not drinking enough water could lead to constipation.
2. Food Sensitivity: If your toddler is intolerant to any of her weaning foods she might have some difficulty in fully digesting such foods.
3. One Bad Experience: Having had one bowel movement which was agonizing, your toddler might be unwilling to use her potty and would rather hold it in. Even though a previous bowel movement leading to anal tear was painful, holding in imminent bowel movement would only end up in the hardening and storing up of stools in the lower part of the bowels making it more difficult to pass.
4. Lack of Exercise: Exercise helps in the digestive process, so engage your toddler in some rigorous physical activity for at thirty minutes each day.
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5. Change of Environment: A change from a child’s accustomed toilet might make some children averse to using the bathroom in a new setting.
6. Ill health and medication: While ill health might affect a toddler’s diet and lead to constipation, some medicines or supplements also cause constipation in the child.
From the above, it follows that constipation may be remedied by doing the under-listed;
Hydration: Increase the amount of water your toddler drinks in order to soften stools and make them easier to pass. In addition, include high fibre foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grain cereals in your child’s daily meals. Limit low fibre foods which may constipation.
Check for food intolerance: You should watch what your child eats and if she is sensitive to a particular food, you might want to take it off her menu.
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Exercise: Get your toddler to move her body as exercising the body also gets the bowels moving.
Good experience: Make potty time a good time by getting a comfortable potty for your child and encourage your toddler to use the potty regularly; reward her with a hug and a sticker.
Listen to the paediatrician: Your child’s doctor may recommend some medicine for your child’s constipation please listen to the doctor. Also, discuss current supplements and medication your toddler uses with the doctor in order to ascertain if these is the cause of the chronic constipation your baby is experiencing.
Tags: constipation, Toddlers
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