Keeping your child regular (not constipated!)

We’ve all been there as parents, your little one is fussy, maybe crying, complaining of stomach pain, and your checklist has narrowed it down…they’re CONSTIPATED!

Whether it be a few hours, a day or two, or a week of dry hard stools, constipation strikes and they are in pain. While most constipation shouldn’t be met with intense concern, your little one being comfortable, regular, and content is a top priority.

The 5 key signs your child may be constipated:

  • Dry, hard stools
  • Less than 3 bowel movements a week
  • Pain when going number two
  • Blood in stool
  • Stomach pain

Why do children become constipated? 

Children can become constipated when a new baby sibling arrives, when school starts up again, or maybe their diet shifts! Anytime change occurs, albeit sleep, vacation, or hydration, your child (& you!) may become backed up.

Children can become constipated because of the following reasons:

  • Withholding
  • Early potty training
  • Dehydration
  • Changes in diet/routines
  • Medical conditions
  • Allergic reactions to food

To treat their constipation, we like to look at the causes and think in opposites, or what would flip each cause toward a positive outcome. 

> With dehydration, we want our children to be hydrated and drink ample fluids. WATER!

> With early potty training, we want to ensure we are giving our littlest ones multiple long visits to the potty to help build familiarity and comfort to establish good practices. 

> With dietary changes, we want to see them eat colorful, natural foods that are rich in fiber and nutrients. (less crackers when constipated!)

Establishing routines for your child are essential to their body and behavior. A change to a child’s routine can disrupt their body’s natural rhythm. They may become stressed, or their new environment or schedule could disrupt their digestion.

But, there’s help! The tips and tricks below will help your child get back to having normal and healthy bowel movements. 

6 Ways to Help Treat Your Child’s Constipation:

  1. Bicycle legs: lying on their back, move your child’s bent knees, or guide them to, in circular motions up in the air elevated from their waist.
  2. Drink WATER! 
  3. Movement, increase their physical activity by adding it to their daily routine.
  4. Dried fruit, not super heavy in sugar, is full of fiber.
  5. Gentle tummy massage.
  6. Time on the toilet.
 

To help your little one with constipation you can consult your pediatrician for a referral to a pediatric physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor therapy. 

In the Phoenix area? We can help! Click here

I help women and children live their life to the fullest, without worrying about pelvic floor pain, peeing while sneezing, or difficulty pooping. When not at the office, I like to play board games with my kids, binge-watch Netflix with hubby, and travel outside of the AZ heat.

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