Wondering how to get at home relief for toddler poop problems? Today I'm sharing all my best toddler constipation home remedies, exercises, and supplements for relief at home.
Plus separate tips for troubleshooting toddler constipation after potty training and what the hidden cause may be!
- WATCH TIPS FOR TODDLER CONSTIPATION RELIEF AT HOME:
- Potential Cause #1: Diet
- Potential Cause #2: Trauma
- Noninvasive Poop Suggestions:
- More invasive/heavy hitting constipation supports:
- Final Thoughts On Toddler Constipation:
Okay so when it comes to toddler constipation there are two things I want to address first – aside from the fact that I'm just a mom and you should totally double check all of this with your healthcare provider. First…
Potential Cause #1: Diet
I'm a big proponent of starting with a chld's diet before supplements. Constipation can happen if your child isn't getting enough fat soluble vitamins in their diet – so vitamins A D E and K – and eats a diet that's heavily processed.
On that same note of diet consider avoiding foods that back things up like bananas, rice and applesauce. Opt for peas, pears, and dates in my experience.
Now if your child's diet is full of whole foods, quality meats, and fat soluble vitamins, then the second thing that often causes toddler constipation in my experience – and according to our pediatrician – is simply them having a bad experience.
Potential Cause #2: Trauma
Our pediatrician told us that it really only takes one bad poop to scare toddler's into not wanting to poop again.
So basically if you're child has severely strained, experienced a hard poop, or there was a little tinge of blood when you wiped even one time, that could mean they are simply scared to poop and will suck it back in or try to hold it as long as possible.
These kiddos typically get anxious when they need to poop and it's really hard on everyone because they will even say “no no no” as you sometimes run and put them on the toilet and what they are referring to is “no no no poop” not so much you ensuring they get on the toilet because they don't want to poop their pants ultimately.
Sometimes those kiddos need some extra support for consistent easy, comfortable poops to get over the fear.
Noninvasive Poop Suggestions:
Prunce juice is a natural laxative for children and adults and our pediatricians first recommendation.
It worked for us initially when given after a meal or within 20 min after a meal, but then stopped.
NOTE: If prune juice stops working, it could mean there's something deeper going on, talk with your healthcare provider!
Juice tip #1: A little trick we learned eventually was to warm the prune juice and give it in the morning which can help most often times too. (This is our FAVORITE juice brand!)
Tip #2: Mix prune juice or their regular juice with aloe juice which is great for digestion. We use aloe juice instead of water to “water down” her juice. Add a splash of salt to help retain water in the colon so poops don't get too hard.
Basically mix coconut oil and peanut butter – and you can even throw some chocolate chips or sprinkles for picky eaters – and have your child eat it. This ups their fat soluble vitamins so poop is soft and not hard
A variation of the poop fudge (you can use that recipe too).
- Melt 1 cup coconut oil
- Add a 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice (e.g. honey, maple syrup, sugar, chocolate chips),
- Add a healthy pinch of salt,
- Whisk it together then pour into candy molds.
- Optional: Add sprinkles for picky eaters.
- Freeze and enjoy!
Try to get them to eat 4-10 a day for regular bowel movements.
Teaching your child to make an SSSSS sound like a snake can help the poop come out more easily as it opens the pelvic floor, you can try smell the roses blow out the candles while pooping too. We also love this meditation mouse to encourage breathing and as a comfort “lovey” on the toilet or at bedtime.
On the note of the meditation mouse, a lot of people suggest having a “special basket” of toys that only comes out when a child sits on the potty. We do this with certain books instead.
If you've ever wondered “How do you get a stuck poop out of a child?” then this massage will quickly become your BFF!
Have your toddler lay down, and gentle rub in a circular motion by the left abdominal to start and clear the descending intestine/colon. This allows you to clear space at the bottom, before pushing more into the “exit” if you will.
You can then go into the “I love you massage.” Where you draw an I on the left side, top to bottom, (again moving with the descending intestine). Then an upside down L. So starting at the upper right, across to the left, and down the left. Then the upside down U, starting in the low right, just by the hip bone, make a circular motion, then go up to the top right, across to the top left, and down to the bottom left.
A warm bath or dip in a warm poop often relaxes everything and can help move things along. Definitely keep a potty nearby if dunking in a pool!
Pre or probiotics:
People typically recommend pre/probiotics, but I personally caution parents on for a few reasons…
First, I believe in as few supplements as possible and diet/whole foods first. This means opting for feremented foods before a probiotic.
Second, if you child has a history of histamine reaction, skin issues, or food sensitivities, many of the common probiotics have strains that can further irritate these issues and ultimately make things worse
Strains you want to avoid:
- Lactobacillus reuteri,
- Lactobacillus casei,
- Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus,
- Lactobacillus brevis
While we know skin/constipation is clearly related to gut issues, I strongly urge you to work with a knowledgeable health care professional to opt for the right strains for your situation.
While you figure that out, consider adding foods with DAO enzymes to break down histamines in the body like grass fed meats (especially liver and other organ meats like kidney or spleen), wild caught salmon, high quality olive oil.
Now those are your least invasive approaches and definitely where I suggest starting. If poop problems persist you may want to consider supplements or more invasive approaches:
More invasive/heavy hitting constipation supports:
I guess the first thing to start with is simply occasional gas pains the Windi is a little tool that you dip in coconut oil or something like that and just stick it in the rectum. While it sounds odd, the way the applicator is constructed prevents you from going in too deep. You can use it on babies and it can work for occasional issues as a generally gentle approach with quick relief but doesn't help with true constipation.
This is by far my favorite supplement to start with. It's basically just a prune juice concentrate and prebiotic chicory root fiber. My toddler says it tastes good. It's good for keeping things going regularly and very gentle. You can start using it at 6+ months and use it daily until things regulate.
Organic Olivia has a few kids products I love, and two specifically for toddler constipation.
First is her Digestive Juice which you use 15 minutes before meals if you suspect low stomach acid is an issue. If your kids don't eat a lot of fermented foods or meats or things that promote healthy stomach acid OR if your kid is a mouth breather then this can really help. It's essentially a digestive bitter that will help break down foods, support the liver, and keep things moving.
Second is her “Easy Go” which is a kids constipation support tincture. It's not for daily use, but if your toddler starts complaining of stomach pain and you want to help move the poop along, I'd reach for this.
Bioray is another really good kids supplement brand and they do have the NDF pooper supplement which can be taken for 7 to 10 days, and if you go beyond that they suggest adding in their NDF calm to balance it. We haven't tried that one since Wellements has been working well for us, but one of the ingredients in the Bioray pooper is chlorella which my daughter does ask for often, so that's something to consider having on hand too. Chlorella helps with detoxing and is rich in Vitamin A.
Is another brand we generally like in our house. They offer cleaner versions of typical cold/cough stuff as well as other supplements for kids and families.
Their Kids' Senna Laxative is more of a natural kids laxative compared to a Miralax. It's supposed to be extremely gentle where a bowel movement generally occurs 6 to 12 hours after taking it. We never had to use this since the Wellements and Easy Go have worked for us.
A last resort but will get the job done quickly. Basically a child enema, with a prefilled/lubricated applicator you place in the rectum and squeeze. Expect only half the liquid to make it in.
While I would NOT recommend this regularly, if you are going on weeks without a bowel movement and need relief fast, it does work. It's definitely the most invasive approach, if you're going on weeks without a bowel movement and you can't wait for Genexa's to work, then this is an option.
Pedia-lax has a few other oral constipation medications that I do not like the ingredients of, and would go with the anything mentioned above.
Final Thoughts On Toddler Constipation:
In short: nothing beats a quality diet of properly prepared grains, high quality meats, and fat soluble vitamins. Get those constipation candies in the freezer is definitely my first step! Be sure to check with a healthcare providers before starting a probiotic or any supplements too!
If you need something stronger than Wellements I'd probably go with Bioray's NDF pooper or Organic Olivia's Easy Go if a few days have gone by without a bowel movement, or your child is complaining of stomach pain and you want to move it along.
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