Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ease Your Child's Constipation

Let's face it, constipation isn't fun for anyone, including your child. BabyCenter offers some tips for helping ease your child's constipation. (FYI: some of these tips can help adults, too!)

  • Avoid giving your child too many foods that have a binding effect. These include bananas, cooked carrots or squash, and large quantities of dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Two to three servings of dairy per day are adequate for a toddler. (One serving equals 1/2 cup milk, for example.)
  • Boost your child's fiber intake. Give him/her plenty of whole wheat crackers, cereal, or bread, and fruits and vegetables such as prunes, apricots, plums, peas, beans, and broccoli.
  • To help keep your toddler's stools soft, increase the amount of fluid she drinks. Water is your best choice, but a little prune or apple juice might also help. However, you'll want to limit your toddler's juice consumption to about 4 ounces per day, to prevent tooth decay and a ruined appetite. She should wet four or five diapers a day or, if she's toilet-trained, pee at least once every five to six hours.
  • Encourage him/her to crawl, cruise, or walk every day, to get the blood flowing to all of her organs.
  • Massage your toddler's belly. Measure three finger-widths below her navel and apply gentle but firm pressure there with your fingertips. Press until you feel a firmness or mass. Maintain gentle but constant pressure for about three minutes.
  • Don't pressure your toddler to potty train before she's ready. Pushing her to use the potty can make her afraid or resentful, and she could wind up withholding bowel movements.
  • Encourage your child to use the potty as soon as she feels ready to poop. If she says she never feels ready, try having her spend five to 10 minutes on the toilet after breakfast and dinner.
  • Talk to your toddler's doctor about treatment options. She may suggest an over-the-counter stool softener, a lubricant such as mineral oil, a suppository, or laxatives if your toddler is very constipated.

For more details on how to ease your child's constipation, click here.

1 comment:

Lesley said...

thanks for the help. I think I can use these tips more than my toddler now that I am pregnant for the second time.

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