By the time my boys reached the toddler years, our newborn worries were gone. Both boys were sleeping through the night and the crying fits of colic were a memory. We were no longer obsessed with constantly washing our “magical” swaddle blanket.
I remember playing with my son one morning when he was about 16 months old. He was walking and laughing and all of the sudden he screamed out in pain. He just stood there crying and shrieking. This continued for about 20 minutes and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Did he injure himself? It was such a sharp piercing cry, we knew he was in pain. We were frantic!
Then I noticed that he looked like he was straining. My mommy brain started functioning and I realized he was constipated. Oh no! This hasn’t happened before. What’s up with that?
We discovered that my son’s favorite foods at that time were all binding foods. He loved everything low in fiber like cheese, rice cereal, bananas and cooked carrots. Enter prune juice!
It’s totally normal for toddlers to suffer with bouts of diarrhea and/or constipation once in a while. If you can strike a balance in their diet with the right amount of binding and non-binding foods, you can ease and possibly avoid these tummy woes.
You can be proactive against painful bouts with constipation by upping your baby’s intake of water and adding things like pureed prunes, pears, prune juice, diluted fruit juice, peas or beans to your baby’s diet. Why? Because fiber softens the stools by drawing water into them, making them bulkier and easier to pass.
Over time, what worked the best for us was adding 16oz of apple prune juice. This was the “easiest” fix because he wasn’t too fond of fibrous veggies, but he loved the juice and would happily drink it. When my next son came along and was old enough to drink juice, we introduced him to it as well.
A temporary diet of binding foods are recommended for recovering from upset tummies and or diarrhea. This is when the old tried-and-true B.R.A.T. diet is a good rule of thumb. B.R.A.T. stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Bland foods give your baby’s digestive tract a chance to rest and recover because it produces less stool.
Obviously, talk to your pediatrician about these issues if you have concerns. As a first-time parent, both of these tummy issues can be scary, so don’t feel silly for worrying.
Have a parenting tip to share about how you find balance in your baby's diet? Let us know in the comments section on Facebook!