How To Help A Constipated Baby/Toddler
How to Help A Constipated Baby/Toddler
Being a parent involves a lot of talk about poo! Before becoming a mama I never realised just how much timeI would spend discussing my sons poo with a whole range of people!
As parents, it's so worrying when our little ones are constipated and it is a really common problem for many young children; it can be painful, uncomfortable and make them feel quite miserable. ⠀
How do you know if your little one is constipated?
Some babies/toddlers won’t have a bowel motion every day and that is completely normal for some - others will go once or even a couple of times a day, every baby/toddler is so different! Generally, a little one is considered as constipated when the following are present:
- Their stool is hard, dry and pellet like
- They are excessively straining/pushing
- There is pain or blood when passing stool
What can help alleviate constipation?
Before we get into the food it’s so important to note the importance of HYDRATION when dealing with constipation! For toddlers and older kids, it’s important to ensure that they are drinking enough water.
For babies under 1 their fluid intake will primarily come from breastmilk or formula.
It’s also important to make sure that they are getting enough movement and every day. Get them outside, waking, running, kicking a ball- whatever they enjoy!
For babies, this can be in the form of a gentle tummy massage or using the bicycle legs method.
What foods should I serve if my baby/toddler is constipated?
Here are some foods which MAY help relieve constipation and get things moving! These won’t work for every little one and it may take some trial and error!
Focus on serving food high in fibre and try to incorporate a high fibre food at every meal/snack time.
Dates & Prunes - they have a good amount of fibre and act as a natural laxative. You can add them to smoothies, finely chop or purée and add to oatmeal or yoghurt. ⠀
Contains probiotics which are live bacteria known to help restore balance in the gut, thereby improving digestion and constipation.
Chia seeds and Flaxseed
Both are high in soluble fibre and can help soften stool. ⠀
Coconut oil can help to soften stool. You can use coconut oil in baked goods, for cooking oats or even add a tsp to smoothies!
Berries & Ripe Bananas
Berries are a rich source of nutrients, including dietary fibre, which can help alleviate and prevent constipation. Ripe bananas (not green!) can actually help constipation! ⠀
Think pears, plums and peaches - any “p” fruits are key to helping to get things moving. These should be steamed until soft if serving to babies.
Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, Carrots & Beets
These are all really good source of fibre. Always ensure that they are cooked until soft when serving to babies.
Beans and Lentils
These are high in fibre and really versatile. Think dahls, stews, hummus and dips!
Whole Grain Foods
Whole grain bread, quinoa and oats can all help with constipation.
This really is a super food! Mash onto toast, serve alongside a main meal or make a delicious guacamole dip!
Foods To Avoid:
- Refined grains such as cereal and rice.
- For some children dairy may cause constipation if they have a sensitivity/allergy. If you suspect this then speak to your paediatrician.
NOTE: If your baby or toddler has regular or chronic constipation seek professional medical advice from your paediatrician.
Constipation Relief Recipes
Here are 3 easy and delicious recipes that may help your little one if they are constipated.