Toddlers develop constipation due to problems with their diet, anxiety over potty training, attempting to hold in their stool for extended periods of time and changes to their routine. The lack of a daily bowel movement is not necessarily a sign of constipation. If your child goes several days without a bowel movement, his stool is hard or dry, he loses his appetite or experiences bloating or abdominal pain, he may be experiencing constipation.
Increase Fluid Intake
Not being well hydrated can lead to constipation. Water is the best choice, although providing a variety of clear liquids may encourage your toddler to drink more. If your child is suffering from constipation, ensure she always has a cup of water available and remind her to drink regularly. One easy way to tell if your child is getting enough liquid is to check the color of her urine. It should be light yellow.
Make Changes to the Diet
Adequate fiber is important to keep the digestive tract moving. Whole fruits such as strawberries, plums and apples, as well as whole-grain breads, crackers and cereals all boost fiber intake. While adding these foods, you may want to cut back foods that can cause constipation such as bananas, cheese and rice. If your child drinks more than three glasses of milk a day, replace some of the milk with water.
Get Your Child Moving
It is hard to believe that your toddler may not be getting enough exercise, but if he spends a lotl of time in front of the TV or other screens, it may be a problem. Spend time every day walking, running, jumping and playing with your child. Physical activity is necessary to keep his digestive system moving. When weather keeps you indoors, jumping jacks, dancing to music or a game of hide and seek can provide the needed activity.
Schedule In Regular Potty Time
Your toddler may be so involved in what she is doing that she doesn't want to stop to visit the bathroom. If she is away from home, she may feel uncomfortable going to a strange restroom. Whatever the reason, if your child gets out of the habit of making regular trips to the bathroom, help her re-establish the habit. After each meal, go into the bathroom with your child. Have her sit on the potty and look at books or talk with you. She isn't being punished, and don't expect her to stay there for longer than 10 minutes. You just want to establish the habit of going into the bathroom in a relaxed, unhurried state of mind.