4 Ways to Relieve Your Child’s ConstipationMonday Nov 7, 2022
If your child becomes constipated, you’ll notice changes in their trips to the bathroom. They might not be going as much as they normally do. Or once they actually do sit down, they’re straining, fighting with everything they have, and experiencing real trouble pooping and getting everything out. As a parent, it can be nerve-wracking watching your child struggle on the toilet. And you’d do anything to be able to give them some relief.
We’re here to help! We have four strategies for your child’s backed up colon, including why kids' probiotics for constipation may be the ace card you need up your sleeve.
What Is Constipation?
If any of the following apply to your child, it’s probably safe to say they’re experiencing constipation:
- Less frequent bowel movements than normal (i.e. less than 3 per week). Keep in mind this number is individual to each child and if yours is still experiencing fewer bowel movements than they normally do, there might still be an issue.
- Difficulty or strain to poop.
- A stool that is hard, dry, and larger than normal.
When your child is constipated, the colon absorbs excess water resulting in a stool that’s hard and dried out. This issue only gets exacerbated once it comes time for your child to poop.
Stools that are hard and dry hurt to pass and are extremely uncomfortable. Eventually, your child might avoid using the bathroom in fear of the looming and painful bowel movement that awaits (aka withholding).
Causes of Constipation in Kids
There are a variety of situations that can cause constipation in your child, including:
- A diet that lacks fiber: Fiber keeps the digestive tract running smoothly and in optimal order. Your child may not be getting enough fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains.
- Not drinking enough water: Without adequate water intake, your child’s stool can dry out and become hard, which makes it difficult for them to poop.
- Withholding: If your child anticipates that pooping hurts, they’re naturally going to avoid it. Other reasons your child may be withholding going to the bathroom include difficulties with potty training and not feeling comfortable in the bathroom that’s accessible to them. For example, if you’re out and about running errands, your child may just want to hold it instead of using a public bathroom.
How to Treat and Prevent Kids' Constipation
Fortunately, just a few simple changes to your child’s diet and lifestyle can help alleviate constipation and prevent recurring episodes.
1. Changes to your child’s diet
Fiber is the ultimate prebiotic that’s not only key to managing and preventing constipation but also improving your child’s gut health. It softens the stool and makes it easier to pass. Introduce more fruits and vegetables to your child’s diet and also add in some healthy grains for a fiber boost.
Limit fatty foods while instead opting for more nutritious snacks and meals. Make sure your child is drinking plenty of water to help soften their stool while cutting back on caffeine-heavy drinks like soda or tea. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are also extremely important, as they feed beneficial Bacteroides bacteria that soften stool and help improve regularity.
2. Physical activity
Having your child get up, play, and just move their body around can help with constipation. Physical activity enhances digestion and keeps food moving through your colon on a normal schedule.
Encourage your child to play outside, set up a trip to the park, or set up other activities that require movement, as opposed to sitting on the couch indoors and watching TV.
3. A routine bathroom schedule
Practice “toilet time” with your child. Pretend it’s like a game and have them sit on the toilet for regularly scheduled times throughout the day. Doing this after a meal is probably best. It’ll get them into a routine of trying to use the bathroom at a regular time after meals.
Keep in mind that it’s totally okay if your child doesn’t poop every single time you try this. One thing that might help is making “bathroom time” a game. Give your child a prize or other small rewards for their effort. Another thing you can do is make a poster so your child can see how they’re progressing.
4. Take probiotics
Probiotics have a ton of benefits for gut and digestive health, including kids’ constipation relief.
So just how exactly do probiotics help with constipation?
There’s a plethora of research out there that demonstrates kids’ probiotics for constipation to be invaluable in providing relief for your children, particularly probiotic supplements containing bacteria strains from the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium families. One study found that children who took a probiotic supplement had more regular bowel movements, and their stools were less hard and less dry, making it easier to poop.
Some of the best and most kid-friendly probiotic foods to help with your child’s constipation include yogurt (just make sure it has active or live cultures in it), cheese, kefir, pickles, and olives.
But as a parent or caretaker, you know how difficult it can be sometimes just to get your child to eat even the most basic foods or get anything down really. One day they want to eat something and then the next day they’re over it.
This is where taking a probiotic supplement can help. With Floré Kids and Floré Tots Custom Probiotics, there’s only one scoop of probiotic powder a day for your child to take, which gets shipped right to your door. Our probiotics are designed to boost overall gut health and help with a variety of children’s digestive issues (such as constipation), food allergies, and a lot more!
Wrapping Things Up
No longer does your child have to be backed up and straining themselves dealing with constipation!
To provide some relief for your child’s constipation, try the following:
- Cut back on junk food in your child’s diet and incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and grains while focusing on fiber.
- Encourage your child to get up and get some movement or physical activity in.
- Try getting your child on a regular bathroom schedule.
- Get your child a probiotic supplement, which has been a proven method for constipation relief.
About the Author
Chad Richardson is a freelance writer from Cincinnati, OH who also enjoys going to the gym and doing his best Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation, scrolling through Netflix trying to find a new binge-worthy show, and catching a game to root on his hometown sports teams.