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Although constipation is very easy to deal with, it needs to be done with so much care especially when it has to do with infants and toddlers! Always check with your doctor!
Once you are sure that your child is constipated, you might want to think twice before pumping him/her full of over-the-counter drugs and laxatives. Certain laxatives have been implicated in producing unexpected side effects, while others can lead to more severe constipation in the long run.
Identifying the cause of your child’s clogged plumbing will go a long way to choosing the remedy that best works for you. There is a multitude of organic, natural ways you can explore to get the pipes flowing again. I hope you find the one that works for you in the list below-
Drinking more water
While this can be simple, it is a direct counteraction to constipation. Is your child producing dry stool? Keep him/her hydrated, and the stool is no longer dry. It can then be voided easily. The science behind it is not so complicated. Studies show that sparkling water (carbonated water) is better for managing constipation. Do not mistake or substitute carbonated water for other carbonated drinks such as soda and the likes. They can exacerbate your child’s symptoms.
Include more fibers to the diet
Fibers have been found to both improve the bulk and frequency of bowel movements. Fibers are poorly digested, and they work by binding to water in the intestine, preventing it from being absorbed. Measured increments to the amount of fibers in your child’s diet are advised to avoid gas and bloating. You should also remember to increase water intake in proportion with fiber, or you could make it worse. High fiber foods include beans, fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread, etc.
Fruits such as white grapes, prunes, and pear contain the sugar, sorbitol, that is poorly digested by the body. It uses the same mechanism as mentioned above for dietary fibers.
Leg / Abdominal massage
Massage can be used to relieve many conditions and constipation is one of them. Doing this in combination with bicycle movements in the leg of your child can help too. Massage movement patterns can be done by:
* Making clockwise movement patterns on the belly.
* Walking the fingers around the umbilicus in a clockwise pattern.
* Stroke from the margins of the rib cage to just beyond the navel, using the edge of your finger.
* Gently massaging the anus
Frequent timed visits to the toilet
This practice will help your child avoid fecal retention. As we have learned, feces that stay unnecessarily longer get dry. So, timing frequent visits to the toilet helps prevent accumulation in the rectum. Toilet visits can also be incentivized so that your child can associate cleaning out his colon early with a prize.
Using natural laxatives
Natural laxatives such as castor oil and milk of magnesia can be used to improve bowel movement and soften stool. They work by retaining water in the intestine.
Studies have shown mixed results on the effects of exercise on bowel movement, but it is definitely worth giving a try. One sure thing, however, is that it reduces the symptoms of constipation.
Prunes contain a lot of fiber and are rich in vitamin A and potassium which is helpful for your digestive track.
Eat black licorice
Black licorice is a candy many people like, but it is also one of the most traditional home remedies for constipation. Eating too much licorice works like a laxative so you need to be careful and not eat too much of it per day. Licorice also contains a lot of sugar and is high in calories.
Increase your childs’ magnesium intake
A deficiency in magnesium can be a reason you get constipated. The mineral magnesium is found in nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables and in vitamin supplements.
Molasses is a by-product of processing sugar beets, grapes or sugar cane into normal sugar. Molasses is also a great remedy for constipation but it is very high in calories. Take one or two teaspoons of molasses in the evening before you go to bed.
Ginger is used as a spice, a delicacy or medicine. Ginger is used as a folk medicine for colic, Gastroparesis, constipation and a few other symptoms. You can make a ginger tea by adding 2 tablespoons of powered or freshly grated ginger root into a cup of boiling water. The dosage varies from person to person. I recommend consulting a doctor for more information. Ginger is spicy, a little goes a long, long, long way! For this particular item, I only trust Buddha Teas for my child! Yes, it’s hard to find, but Amazon usually has it, so I stock up a few boxes at a time! Buddha Teas has an organic ginger root tea that is Kosher, Caffeine-Free, GMO-Free, and has Bleach-Free Tea Bags!!! When I first found them on Amazon I was surprised at how cheap they were compared to my local co-op store! TWICE AS CHEAP!! Here’s the Buddha tea I get.
Most times, the remedies mentioned above are usually enough in combination with each other to manage the constipation episode your child has come up on. Constipation is usually not severe, and it gets resolved in less than two weeks. However, if it persists and is accompanied by symptoms such as fever, vomiting, blood in the stool, weight loss, painful tears around the anus (anal fissures), and protrusion of intestine from the anus (rectal prolapse), a visit to your doctor is in order. Let me also mention that you should never give your child laxatives without first consulting your pediatrician.
From a mom to another, I hope you find something that works for you young one here.