Every child differs in regularity. If you notice your toddler is having less frequent bowel movements than usual or expresses discomfort when passing stool, she might be constipated. Flaxseed meal and oil are natural treatments for constipation that many toddlers tolerate well. Check with your physician before administering any treatment, however.
A toddler who has not had a bowel movement in four or more days or has difficulty eliminating and passes dry, hard stools may be constipated. Some children with very liquid stools may also be constipated as the liquid passes around a blockage of harder stool in the intestine. Constipation can be very uncomfortable and even cause pain in your toddler.
Flax oil, made from pressed flax seeds, is a natural laxative that acts similarly to mineral oil. Flax oil loosens the stool and also provides heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids to support brain health. Flax oil can also enhance the absorption of vitamins, notes AskDrSears.com. Toddlers with constipation should consume 2 teaspoons per day until the symptoms resolve.
Flaxseed meal is ground flaxseed. Unlike the oil, it retains all of the seeds' fiber, making it an even more effective laxative. You can purchase the meal already ground or you could grind your own in a clean coffee or spice grinder. Toddlers should consume 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal daily until constipation symptoms resolve.
Flax products are prone to spoiling, so store them in a dark container in the refrigerator. To make the process of taking flax oil more pleasant, try blending it into a smoothie. Flaxseed meal also blends well into smoothies or you could stir it into hot cereal. To help prevent future bouts of constipation, encourage your child to consume two to three extra glasses of water daily and consume more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.