A Little More Wisdom
Infants have to work hard to have a poop, so some grunting and crying is normal. Remember, they have to poop lying on their backs, which isn’t easy.
Every mom has those mommy moments they’ll never forget. One of mine happens to be when my son got constipated for the very first time. He was an active toddler, enjoying all sorts of solid foods, one of which was cheese quesadillas. You can guess what happened next.
We were at home and he was cheerfully walking around. All of the sudden his giggling stopped and he cried out in pain. It was a loud, high-pitched scream. He stood still in discomfort and then when he took another step, he cried out again. My mommy instincts weren’t fine-tuned, so I thought he had somehow hurt his leg. It seemed like he cried out every time he put pressure on it.
Fast-forward to me making a frantic call to our pediatrician – on a Sunday, no less. After a quick chat on the phone, he asked me when was the last time my son had pooped. I thought about it and realized I didn’t know. Hmm, that’s weird. Then the pediatrician politely informed me that my son was probably constipated. A momentary relief until it quickly dawned on me that I had no idea how to help my son pass a hard, painful poop. Uh-oh.
What causes constipation
Most of us find out the hard way – no pun intended – that diet can quickly trigger constipation, especially in toddlers. Many foods toddlers love have a binding effect that can make stools hard to pass. Some of these foods include bananas, cheese, yogurt, ice cream and even veggies like cooked carrots and squash. The first thing you can do to help ease symptoms of constipation is to eliminate these foods from your baby’s diet.
Foods that ease constipation
First, make sure your little one is eating non-binding, low-fat foods that are high in fiber like potatoes, raspberries, whole-wheat pasta, avocado and pears. Because fiber is ingested, but not digested, it adds bulk to the stool that makes it pass through the digestive system more easily. And, of course, there’s always prune juice. At the first hint of constipation, we would give my boys organic prune juice/apple juice, which we jokingly called “crapple juice.” But, hey, it did the trick!
Keep ‘em hydrated
Drinking water sounds like an obvious need, but it’s especially important if your baby is constipated. The more hydrated baby’s body is, the better her organs function, including her intestines and bowels. Breast milk and formula help too, especially if you’re incorporating solid foods into her diet. The introduction of new foods to her sensitive system can trigger constipation and belly pain.
A potty problem
Sometimes toddlers who are potty training get constipated, because they just don’t want to do “number two” on the toilet. It’s actually a common problem. If they “hold it” for too long, things can get backed up. If you think that’s the case, try a different approach until the constipation resolves. Her bowels will let her know when she needs to go, so don’t force it. She should sit on the potty when she feels the urge, and get off the potty when the urge passes.
Pedia-Lax® for the poop
If you can’t ease constipation symptoms fast enough, try Pedia-Lax® products to move things along safely and gently. Pedia-Lax is designed for children, so it won’t further irritate an already un-comfy digestive system. From laxatives to stool softeners to suppositories, Pedia-Lax can remedy every type of constipation-related poop situation. As they say, things will be “toot-ally pooptastic” once again.
Ease it out...manually...
If your toddler is working on the go, but the stool is just too painful to pass, try petroleum jelly. A small amount can help lubricate sensitive skin and make the situation much more comfortable physically. If she doesn’t feel that painful “ouchy” sensation, she’ll relax. Plus, not clenching the sphincter muscle is a good thing.
Want to share your tried & true tips for helping a constipated toddler go? Let us know in the comments section on our Facebook page.