26 Jun Tips on Helping Your Child to Have Regular Bowel Movements
If you have a child who is suffering from constipation, then as a parent, you likely want to do whatever you can in order to help your child become more regular with their bowel movements. The good news is, there are several things that you can do as a parent to help your child and their bowel movements moving forward.
Determining if Your Child is Constipated
The first thing you need to do is to determine whether or not your child is actually constipated. Here are the most common signs of constipation in children:
- If your child has fewer than three bowel movements in a week.
- If your child has trouble having a bowel movement or having trouble when going to the bathroom.
- If your child’s stool is hard, dry and unusually large.
- If your child is going less than usual.
- If your child is feeling full or bloated for no reason.
- If your child is straining to poop or if they are seeing blood on their toilet paper.
These are all signs that your child may be constipated. The thing to remember is that every child has different bowel habits, so while one child may go three times per day, other children may only go every other day. Constipation is quite common among children. However, while it can be uncomfortable and should be addressed—it typically isn’t a cause for concern.
Tips on Preventing and Treating Constipation
Most cases of constipation don’t require a great deal of medical intervention. However, there are things that you can do as a parent to help prevent and treat constipation in children, including the following:
- Give your child more liquids. For infants transitioning to solid foods at 6 months of age, a few ounces of prune juice or infant prune puree can help. If your child is school-aged, they need at least 3-4 glasses of water per day. Soda and caffeinated beverages should be avoided.
- Add more fiber to your child’s diet. Fiber-rich foods such as fruits, veggies and whole grain bread can all help with constipation. Simple tricks like leaving the thin edible peels om certain fruits and vegetables (like potatoes, apples, cucumbers, and zucchini) can help too.
- Keep your child’s eating schedule as regular as possible. Eating is a natural stimulant for the bowels, so make sure that your child is eating at the same time every day to help them get on a more regular schedule.
- Help your child get enough exercise. A little exercise and getting out and staying active can really help your child’s bowels.
If constipation lasts or is upsetting your child, then it is time to contact your doctor. If you have questions about your child’s bowel movements and what you can do in order to help your child have more regular bowel movements—the team here at Continuum Pediatrics can help. Give us a call at 817-617-8600 to schedule an appointment today.