toddler is constipated

What To Do If Your Toddler Is Constipated?

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    Infants and young children frequently struggle with constipation. Don't freak out if your young child is having trouble eliminating. Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. Their dispositions and desires might shift on a whim.Sometimes even the simplest of tasks, like using the restroom, can be difficult.

    Some toddlers have regular bathroom visits every day, but others can spend two, three, maybe more days without defecating. Constipation in children isn't usually indicative of any serious sickness, although it might cause parents anxiety if they see an empty toilet every day.

    In most cases, dietary changes or suppression of the need to urinate can remedy the situation.

    How do you tell if your youngster is constipated or if he or she simply has a routine of irregular potty visits? Read on to learn the warning signs of toddler constipation and the best ways to alleviate this issue.

    The Causes of Constipation

    Constipation is a common problem, especially among children, and a common lesson learned the hard way is that poor eating habits can bring on the problem rapidly. Many toddler favourites have a constraining effect that causes bowel movements more challenging. Bananas, cheese, yoghurt, ice cream, and even cooked vegetables like carrots and squash are all examples of such foods. You can start relieving your baby's constipation by cutting out the foods listed above. Constipation in children can be brought on by everything from a poor diet to medication side effects. Some of the most frequent explanations include:

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    Too much processed food, dairy, and sugar, and not enough fibre, are often to blame for toddler constipation. Because lack of fluids causes the stools to become more solid, dehydration can also cause constipation. The bowel movements of your toddler may change if you introduce new items to his or her diet, or if you switch from milk to cow's milk.

    I have it contained for the time being

    Normal 2-year-olds will rather play with their toys than use the restroom. If it is a public restroom, it might be very embarrassing or frightening for some youngsters.

    When toddlers struggle to assert their independence, they may show it by refusing to use the bathroom.

    Aversion to Pain

    To prevent the pain of another bowel movement, some constipated children may resist going to the restroom. An unpleasant cycle can develop if you repeatedly put off going to the bathroom. The accumulation of stool in the lower colon makes passing faeces more difficult and uncomfortable.

    Substituted Activities

    Some toddlers may be reluctant to use the restroom while on vacation because they will be away from their familiar facility.

    The Effects of Not Exercising Enough

    Workouts aid digestion by stimulating the flow of digestive juices.


    Your youngster may become constipated if his or her appetite decreases because of an illness.


    High doses of iron supplements , narcotic pain medicine are two examples of medications and supplements that might cause constipation in a toddler. Babies won't get constipated from the iron in baby food.

    Real World Constraints

    Rarely, chronic constipation might be the result of an anatomical issue with the intestines, the anus, or the rectum. A child's bowel and bladder control may be affected by cerebral palsy or another condition of the neurological system.

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    Infant and child constipation symptoms

    Constipation in infants and young children presents with symptoms that are similar to those in adults. Since infants and some younger children have trouble expressing their emotions through words, parents must rely on observations of their bowel habits to detect any signs of discomfort.


    When introduced to solid meals, some babies who were previously breastfed or given formula have constipation. Constipation in a newborn or infant can manifest itself in a variety of ways.

    • stools that resemble pellets
    • Having a hard time defecating
    • shedding tears while defecating
    • Stools that are dry and firm
    • reduced frequency of defecation

    It's important to utilise your baby's typical routine as a reference point for determining his or her bowel movement frequency. Your infant may be constipated if he or she only has one bowel movement per day and it has been several days since the last bowel movement.


    It's possible that the above-mentioned symptoms in a baby could also be present in a toddler. Other concerns in toddlers may include:

    • signs of blood in the toilet paper, bloated, gas, and a hard, swollen stomach

    Older Kids

    In addition to the aforementioned signs and symptoms, older children and adolescents may also experience stomach pain and show signs of liquid leakage through their underwear due to a backed-up bowel movement in the rectum. You should also be aware that your older daughter may have discomfort or even avoid using the restroom as a result of bowel issues.

    Do I Need to Worry About Constipation for My Toddler?

    In general, toddlers have a digestion once every day. A youngster is considered constipated if he or she has faeces that are difficult to pass fewer than 4 to 5 hours a week. Children with large, hard, dry stools, pain during defecation, soiling in between defecations, or blood outside the toilet seat, as defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics, may be suffering from constipation.

    It is not unusual for children to experience occasional constipation, so please don't worry if this happens to your kid. However, you should visit your paediatrician if your toddler has experienced constipation for 2 weeks or more, as this is considered persistent constipation.

    The frequency, size, and consistency of your toddler's bowel movements, as well as the presence or absence of blood, may all be questions your doctor asks you to answer.

    Constipation is a symptom that might be accompanied by others, so it's important to keep an eye out for them.

    • Stomachache
    • Bloating\sNausea
    • Appetite loss
    • Mood swings in general
    • Cry or scream when you have to go to the bathroom
    • Put off going to the bathroom
    • Circular stains of stool there in diaper or briefs

    Constipation in Toddlers: Possible Treatments

    In the event that your toddler is experiencing constipation, you can attempt one of the following:

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    Increase your child's daily intake of non-dairy fluids and fibre to help soften the stools that make them more easy to pass. Foods high in fibre content include those rich in sorbitol, such as fruits and fruit juices, as well as vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Avoid eating greasy, low-fiber foods that may cause or contribute to constipation. Cap daily milk consumption at 16 ounces.


    Allow your youngster at least half an hour to an hour of free time outdoors every day. When you keep moving around, you keep your bowels moving, too. Modify one's bowel routine for the better. Help your kid get in the habit of going to the restroom frequently each day, especially during meals and anytime they have to go. Encourage your child to sit for at for ten minutes in a row.

    You can help your kid push with some leverage if you put a little stool beneath their feet.

    When your toddler successfully uses the toilet, praise him or her and give him or her a special reward like a sticker or a special tale to read.


    Constipation in toddlers can be a real problem, and if it's chronic, your doctor may suggest trying medication. If your child's constipation is being caused by a medicine, you may want to talk to your doctor about discontinuing or switching dosages.

    Remedies for Constipation in Infants and Toddlers

    Constipation in infants and toddlers is distressing, but it usually indicates no serious health issue. It is possible to alleviate constipation and soften stools with a number of home remedies.

    Drink More Water

    A common cause of constipation is dry, firm stools. Water consumption has been linked to softer stools. Constipated infants who are at least 6 weeks old can have 2-3 ounces of water given to them at a time. Water should not be used in place of regular feedings.

    Drink Some Fruit Juice

    Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that is sometimes found in fruit juice, can act as a laxative and help alleviate constipation. Once your kid reaches the age of six months, you can give them two to four ounces of 100% fruit juice. This is in addition to the typical feedings, and can contain things like 100% fruit, elderberry syrup, or pear juice.

    Add More High Fiber Foods

    Introduce more high-fiber baby meals into your baby's diet if they have begun solids. For example:

    • apples\spears\speas\sprunes\sbananas

    Trim Down on the Rice Cereal

    Due to its lack of fibre, rice breakfast can also cause constipation. To ease constipation, try giving your kid a little less rice cereal. Your baby may also benefit from having a glycerine suppository placed in his or her anus. They can be purchased without a prescription and provide instant relief for infants.

    Infants under six months of age require just formula or breast milk as liquid intake.

    Do not continue feeding a baby less six months old rice cereal or rice cereal. Check to see if they feel better. Get them checked out by a paediatrician if their symptoms don't get better.

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    Age-Appropriate Treatments for Constipation

    The following are some helpful hints for encouraging bowel movements in older children.

    Make sure they drink plenty of water.

    In older kids, dehydration can cause bowel problems. To aid in bowel movement regularity, have your child consume at least 32 ounces of fluid daily.

    Use a Suppository on Your Kid

    Glycerin suppositories, like those used for infants, can make bowel movements more manageable by softening the faeces.

    Boost Your Fiber Intake

    When it comes to kids and constipation, a lack of fibre in the diet is a major factor. The diet should consist of more fiber-rich foods. Specifically, this means eating more fiber-rich foods including fruits, greens, and whole grains. Supplemental fibre can be given to kids, too. Just add 5 to your child's age to get an estimate of how much fibre they require each day. Therefore, your eight-year-old youngster requires 13 grammes of fibre each day.

    Improve Your Health Through Exercise

    There is some evidence that inactivity contributes to the development of constipation. Try doing some exercise to get those bowels moving and your colon contracting.

    Constipation-Relieving Foods

    First, make sure your small one is eating semi, low-fat foods that are abundant in fibre such potatoes, strawberries, whole-wheat pasta, guacamole and pears. Since fibre is not absorbed by the body, it increases stool volume and facilitates its transit through the digestive tract.

    There's also the option of drinking prune juice. My husband and I used to give our two sons a mixture of organic prune juice and apple juice that we jokingly nicknamed "apple juice" at the first sign of constipation. Nonetheless, it served its purpose.

    Water them down

    Constipation in an infant makes water intake seem like a no-brainer, but it's actually crucial. When a newborn is well hydrated, her internal organs, especially her digestive tract, work more efficiently. When introducing solid foods to your baby, breast - feeding and formula are helpful as well. Constipation and stomach pain can be triggered by her delicate digestive system reacting to new foods.

    Issues with the Restroom

    Constipation is a common issue for potty-training children since they often avoid going #2 in the toilet. This is a widespread issue. Things can back up if they "store it" for too long. If you think this is the case, you'll need to try something else until the constipation goes away. Don't force her if she doesn't seem eager; her bowels will signal when they're full. She needs to learn to use the potty whenever she has to go and to get off of it when the need is no longer there.

    When a toddler has constipation, here are some things you should and should not do

    It's a familiar problem in potty training: kids have no problem doing number one, but bowel movements present a different challenge. Because of their aversion to using the toilet, some children end up with persistent and occasionally severe constipation. Hemorrhoids and small rips in the anus are long-term complications of having a stool that is too hard to pass.

    Because of this, the youngster develops an even greater aversion to using the bathroom, which in turn causes even more pain and frustration, perpetuating the vicious cycle. Kids rarely have trouble holding their poop, so if this sounds like your household, take comfort.

    Instead, they are afraid to use the restroom because they are accustomed to relieving themselves quickly while on the go, or because the idea of relieving themselves in a toilet is too foreign to them.

    Whatever the case may be, following these simple rules for doing one's business will help:


    • Make sure your kid stays hydrated. Drink only water or water with a little fruit juice added. For certain children, milk might cause a bowel obstruction.
    • Get your kid out and around. Constipation can be avoided and digestion is helped by regular exercise.
    • Get plenty of foods with fibre. Fibre- and whole grain-rich diets promote regular bowel movements, which is essential for digestive health. Make a point of rewarding your kid when they eat foods high in fibre, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Stickers or the promises of a fun outing are two examples of non-food rewards that have been shown to be highly effective in encouraging bathroom use. Whatever you decide to do in the way of a material reward, be sure to lavish praise on your child once he or she has completed the task. Get in touch with the grandparents. You can reach out to any parent at the office. Highlight the significance of the event to encourage him to do it again.
    • To use petroleum jelly. Constipated kids may benefit from a thin layer of petroleum jelly or Vaseline around the anus. In addition to easing the process, the added stimulation might even prompt a bowel movement when you least expect it. Also, if you have splits due to constipation, a dab of diaper cream will help them heal faster.


    • Start fuming. A power battle will ensue if you scold or disgrace your child, and the child will likely emerge victorious. He isn't purposefully holding it in because he wants to provoke you. They're attempting to conceptualise a difficult procedure. If your child has an accident while wearing underwear, you should take him to the bathroom, flush the mess down the toilet, and explain to him that he needs to use the potty instead.
    • Insist that your kid uses the toilet until he or she poop. The body regulates when bowel movements occur. Rather than putting your child in an uncomfortable position on the toilet and telling them to "try," watch for the telltale indicators she'll make before she goes. Does she stop what she's doing, pull a strange face, or go to a new location? These signs can help you get your kid to the bathroom in time to catch them before they have a bowel movement.
    • Make your kid work for it. There's no harm in exerting some pressure during a bowel movement, but grunting and forcing something out could be dangerous . Try again in around 30 minutes after your child has had a large glass of water and eaten a piece of bowel-friendly fruit.
    • Give your kid a lot of foods that can make them constipated. Constipation in toddlers is often caused by sugar and refined carbs. Dairy and bananas have also been linked to gastrointestinal distress.
    • Fret. Every every kid eventually gets the hang of defecating in the toilet. Take little, gradual actions with your youngster if he or she is taking their time. Allow him to defecate in his diaper, but take him with you when you go to the restroom. Have your child sit on the potty with a diaper that can be easily removed once he or she is used to defecating in the toilet. Then, when he starts letting his diaper down, celebrate by doing a little dance in the bathroom.

    When Should You See a Pediatrician?

    If your child's constipation persists for more than one week or if other symptoms appear, like:

    • Symptoms include a loss of appetite, enlargement in the abdomen, weight gain, and fever during bowel movements.

    When and How to Get Your Kid to Stop Becoming Constipated

    Here are some things you can do to keep your child from becoming constipated:

    • Until your kid is at least 60 days old, you shouldn't feed him or her solid meals.
    • Increase the amount of beans, whole grains, vegetables, and vegetables on the table.
    • Try to get your kid to drink at least 1 litre of water every day.
    • Active pursuits like riding bikes, kicking a ball, and taking the dog for a walk should be encouraged.
    • Instruct your kid to never hold in a bowel movement, even if they feel like they don't have to.
    • Teach your kid to make it a habit to use the restroom after eating. Encourage regular bowel movements by having them wait on the toilet for 10 minutes after eating.


    Some children need to use the restroom multiple times per day, while others can go for several days without doing so. Many different things, including nutrition and pharmaceutical side effects, can cause constipation in children. Keep reading to find out the red flags and effective remedies for this problem. Some kids who are constipated could even refuse to use the bathroom. Stool buildup in the lower colon can make defecating a painful and unpleasant experience.

    It's possible that some young children won't feel comfortable using the restroom if they aren't at home. The symptoms of constipation in a newborn or infant can take several forms. Constipation might be a sign of anything more serious, so it's crucial to keep an eye out for any other symptoms that may appear. Soiling in between bowel movements, pain when defecating, blood on the toilet seat, and dry stools are all symptoms. Constipation is stressful for infants and toddlers, but it typically does not indicate a significant health problem.

    Numerous home remedies exist for relieving constipation and softening faeces. To relieve constipation, try switching to high-fiber baby foods or eating less rice cereal. Potty-training children frequently have constipation because they resist doing their #2s in the toilet. Suppositories containing glycerine, like those given to newborns, help ease diarrhoea. Constipation may be a symptom of a lifestyle that discourages movement, and there is some evidence to support this hypothesis.

    A fear of the toilet can cause constipation in children. Prolonged straining to pass a firm stool can cause haemorrhoids and tears in the anus. Keeping active is an excellent way to aid digestion and prevent constipation. Each and every child masters the art of bowel control on the toilet. Take baby steps with your kid if he or she is hesitant to make a decision. Let him poop in his diaper, but bring him with you when you have to use the restroom.

    Content Summary

    • Constipation is a common problem for infants and toddlers.
    • Some youngsters who are constipated may avoid using the restroom as often as possible to avoid the discomfort of having another bowel movement.
    • Constipation in toddlers is common, but if it lasts for more than two weeks, it's considered persistent, and you should see a paediatrician.
    • If you suspect that your child's constipation is the result of a medication, you should discuss the possibility of quitting or adjusting the dosage with your child's doctor.
    • Numerous home remedies exist for relieving constipation and softening faeces.
    • If your kid is younger than six months old, you should stop giving them rice cereal.
    • Increase Your Fiber IntakeA lack of fibre in the diet is a major component in children's constipation.
    • Fiber-rich foods should make up a larger portion of the diet.
    • Some kids develop severe and long-lasting constipation because they refuse to use the restroom regularly. If you know what to look for, you can get your child to the restroom in time to prevent an untimely bowel movement.
    • Your child should earn his or her rewards.
    • You should provide your child a diet high in foods that cause constipation.
    • Take baby steps with your kid if he or she is hesitant to make a decision.
    • Let him poop in his diaper, but bring him with you when you have to use the restroom.
    • Encourage your kid to consume at least one litre of water daily.
    • Instill in your child the habit of going to the bathroom after eating.

    FAQs About Toddlers

    Your toddler's basic needs are the same as yours – food, sleep, clothing, shelter, and health – they just need more help getting these met, of course! For your child to be able to devote energy to learning and growing, they need to be well fed.

    The word is derived from "to toddle", which means to walk unsteadily, like a child of this age.

    The good news is that tantrums, meltdowns, aggressions like hitting and biting, and lying are “normal” behavior for most 2- and 3-year-olds.

    Between the ages of 1 and 3, toddlers are literally scooting away from babyhood in search of new adventures. They're learning to talk, to walk and run, and to assert their independence. For many in this age group, "outside" and "play" are becoming common requests.

    By the age of three years, most toddlers start to feel emotions like guilt and shame. Listening to your child when they want to talk and giving them plenty of reassurance and support can help your child understand these new feelings.

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