Advice from Dr. B
When it comes to constipation in children, you’ve got questions. Whether or not you are a first-time parent, if your child hasn’t been pooping, questions about your child’s constipation and bowel movement patterns are probably top of mind.
It’s not always easy to tell if your infant is constipated. If you think your newborn is constipated, see a doctor before trying anything else including home remedies.
Some pediatricians may recommend a few drops of prune or pear juice, one time only, for babies less than 3 months old. Older babies can be given juice more freely.
If juice doesn’t work, the doctor may suggest a suppository laxative cut into smaller pieces to help move the poop along and out.
Always consult your child’s doctor before trying any medicines or home remedies if your child is under 2 years old.
Toddlers with occasional constipation are a little easier to manage than babies. They eat more types of food and can tell the parent what is bothering them.
If you think your toddler is constipated because they have not pooped in 24-36 hours and there is no sign of a fever or severe vomiting, try these steps first:
If these steps don’t help your toddler’s constipation, try a medicated laxative made for young children. Pedia-Lax products such as glycerin suppositories or Pedia-Lax liquid stool softeners can be used as directed to relieve your child’s occasional constipation.
Always talk to your child’s doctor to learn how to properly treat your child’s constipation.
There are many probiotics available today. Not all are suited for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics says a probiotic is “an oral supplement or a food product that contains a sufficient number of viable microorganisms to alter the microflora of the host and has the potential for beneficial health effects.” That means probiotics use good bacteria to help maintain a healthy gut and ease digestion. There is still much research to be done on probiotics and which are the best ones for kids. Some research has shown that probiotics with Lactobacillus and Saccharomyces species can benefit children.
Most children are ready for potty training between the ages of 2 and 3. Keep in mind though, this is different for every child. There are a few signs to look for to know that your child is ready. One sign is when the child lets you know they have a dirty diaper. As a child progresses, he or she may tell you they want or need to go to the bathroom. This shows that they can recognize the urge to go to the bathroom and are able to start potty training.
Like with any health condition, a parent or caregiver should talk to the child’s doctor if diarrhea occurs and persists, especially if the child also has a fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, or is tired, weak and not active, crying a lot and inconsolable. If the child has diarrhea and does not have any of these symptoms, you could give them binding foods such as crackers and bananas. Know that the child must keep hydrated but too much water can make diarrhea worse. Excessive diarrhea can be very serious in infants, babies and toddlers. It is always best to talk to your child’s pediatrician when any of these symptoms arise.
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.