Seeing an empty diaper day after day may send any parent into panic mode. So to help mothers understand a bit better about overcoming constipation in their toddlers, Danone Dumex Malaysia recently hosted a workshop in Johor Bahru called Mamil MomMe Saturdays, led by paediatrician Dr Lim Kia Suan.
Is my toddler constipated?
The average toddler experiences bowel movement once a day, according to WebMD. So how do you know you have a constipated toddler? “The signs and symptoms may include children having less than two bowel movements a week; bowel movements that are hard, difficult and painful to pass as well as traces of stool on the underwear,” said Dr. Lim.
Toddlers who experience constipation often feel stomach discomfort or pain, feel irritable and with poor appetite. Straining while trying to pass hard, dry stools is painful and it can cause toddlers to fear going to the toilet, explained Dr. Lim.
What causes constipation in toddlers?
Dr. Lim says a variety of things can cause constipation, such as:
- Not getting enough fibre and fluid
- Lack of physical activity
- A change in routine
- Behavioural issues related to negative potty-training experiences
What can I do to avoid constipation in my toddler?
A healthy digestive system helps in preventing constipation from happening. Dr. Lim advises mothers to:
- Boost their child’s intake of fruits, veggies and water
- Not pressure your child to toilet train before he or she is ready. Forcing a toddler to use the potty can make them afraid or resentful, and they could wind up withholding bowel movements
- Include prebiotics in their child’s diet to stimulate the growth of good bacteria in the intestine, which supports good digestive health and helps with softer stools