10 Safe and Effective Home Remedies for Constipation in Kids

Constipation is characterized by painful, infrequent, and difficult bowel movements. This is a common condition, and getting the right advice will help you avoid long-term issues. Medical causes of constipation are uncommon (5%), but should be considered in infants under 2 months old or children who are resistant to appropriate treatment. This guide debunks the myths surrounding constipation and educates parents on how to manage it.

In children, the frequency of bowel movements varies greatly. Some people have several bowel movements per day, while others only have one every few days. During the first week, infants have an average of four stools per day. Following this, they will generally lessen, and some healthy infants will pass a bowel movement once a week! This is considered normal as long as it is not painful or difficult. By two years, the average is one to two stools per day, but this is variable.

If your child is suffering from the once-common condition of constipation, you're probably wondering what home remedies can help. Fortunately, there are many safe and effective home remedies for constipation in children that are quick and simple solutions that anyone can use if their child is suffering from the unpleasant side effect of having a small stomach pouch following gastric surgery.

What is constipation in children?
  • Constipation is the condition that occurs when your child has fewer bowel movements than they normally would. When your child is constipated, they will be passing fewer and harder stools than they should be. If your child is constipated, they will likely be feeling bloated or uncomfortable, and they may also be experiencing abdominal discomfort, cramping, pain or even headaches. 
  • Constipation is a common problem, especially in children. It affects kids of all ages and is especially common in children with developmental disabilities or other medical conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract.

How do you know if your child is constipated?
  • If your child is constipated, you will likely notice that they have fewer bowel movements than they normally would – fewer than three times a week is considered constipation. You can also look for other signs and symptoms of constipation, such as abdominal pain, cramping or bloating, or headaches. You may also notice that your child’s stool is hard and difficult to pass. 
  • You can also check for constipation by doing a “soft bend test”. Place your child’s hand on their belly, palm-side down. Then, gently press your child’s abdomen, applying enough force to make the soft bend in their hand. If you can press your child’s abdominal wall down a few inches (about 5 cm) or more, they are likely constipated.

Natural laxatives for kids
  • There are several safe and effective natural laxatives for kids. 
  1. Castor oil: This common home remedy has been used for many years to relieve constipation. However, it is not an ideal laxative for kids, as it can occasionally cause nausea, vomiting, cramping, and diarrhea. 
  2. Prune juice: Prune juice is another common home remedy for constipation. While it is safe for children, it can cause excessive gas; therefore, it is best administered before bedtime. 
  3. Ginger: You can add ginger to a variety of dishes or drinks to help relieve constipation. The maximum dose is 1.5 grams (1.5 g) of ginger per day, divided into three doses. 
  4. Fennel seeds: Fennel seeds are another natural remedy for constipation, particularly in kids. You can add them to tea, oatmeal or other dishes or drinks.

Rich and fibrous diet for Constipation in kids
  • If your child is constipated, you may be able to relieve their symptoms by increasing the amount of fiber in their diet and switching to a more rich diet. In addition to being rich in fiber, such a diet should also be high in fluids and include foods that promote peristaltic movement of the bowels. Peristaltic movement is the rhythmic contractions of the intestinal muscles that squeeze the food and water through the small and large intestines. 
  • The following are examples of a rich and fibrous diet for constipation in kids. 
  1. Rice: Rice is a rich, fibrous food that is commonly used in the treatment of constipation. It contains large amounts of fiber, which may help relieve your child’s constipation. 
  2. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is another common remedy for childhood constipation due to its high fiber content. It is also a good source of iron and B vitamins. 
  3. Whole-wheat bread: Whole-wheat bread is another rich, fiber-rich food that may help relieve constipation.

A warm bath for constipation in kids
  • A warm bath may not seem like a cure for constipation, but adding Epsom salts to the water can help your child’s body relax, which can help the body move things along. This can be a great way to help your child relax while they are experiencing some cramping. Adding Epsom salts to a warm bath can also be helpful if your child has other aches and pains like a headache or joint pain. 
  • You can add 3 to 4 cups of Epsom salts to your child’s warm bath, or you can mix it with some bath oil to make it easier to get your child in and out of the water. One of the best things about Epsom salts is that they have no smell or color, so they won’t change the color or smell of the water. Epsom salts are also very inexpensive and can be used for more than just baths. You can also use them to make a foot soak for your child’s aches and pains.

Fruit for Constipation in Kids
  • Fruit is a great way to help your child get relief from constipation. You should include it as part of your child’s daily diet even before surgery, but it is extra important when a child is experiencing constipation. One of the best things about fruit is that it is fairly easy to add to any diet. You can give your child fresh, canned, or frozen fruit. You can also add fruit to other foods. This makes it easy to get the amount your child needs each day. 
  • Eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables is important for overall health. It can also help prevent constipation by adding more fiber to your child’s diet. A high-fiber diet can help with constipation in a few different ways. First, it increases the amount of water in your child’s stools. This makes them easier to pass. Fiber also helps your child’s body break down food into nutrients more slowly. This helps keep his system moving because food stays in his system for a shorter period of time.

Stomach Massage for Constipation in Kids
  • A stomach massage is a great way to help your child’s body break down any food that has been sitting in his system for too long. This is usually done after a meal, so you will want to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before you massage your child’s stomach. One way to massage your child’s stomach is to put him on his back and use your knees to support his tummy. 
  • Alternatively, you can have your child lie on his stomach, with a pillow under his chest or a small ball placed under his chin. A ball or small stuffed animal can be helpful to get a young child to stay still. 
  • You may also want to put a warm washcloth wrapped in a towel under your child’s stomach to help him relax. Gently massage the area below your child’s navel in a clockwise motion. Try to massage for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until your child stops squirming.

Milk and Lentils for Constipation in Kids
  • Milk and lentils have been used for centuries to help relieve constipation in people of all ages, including children. This is an easy home remedy that your child can take with almost no effort on their part. You can mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of dry lentils with 8 ounces of whole milk or whole yogurt. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for a few hours. This will make a thick, paste-like substance that your child can eat with a spoon. This mixture can also be used as a laxative. You can add a little more milk to make it thinner. You can also add a little honey to make it more palatable for your child.

Activities to Help Your Child with Constipation
  • Another way to help your child with constipation is by engaging in activities that get their bodies moving. Some good options include going for a walk, playing outside, or even swimming. Even things like playing a game or doing puzzles can be helpful. 
  • For kids who are indoors a lot, going to the library or playroom can be a fun and relaxing way to get them moving, while still being indoors. Talk with your child’s doctor about any sports or activities they should avoid while they are constipated.

Constipation is a common problem that many children experience at least once. This can be triggered by many factors, including diet and lifestyle. Since it is a very common issue, most caregivers have dealt with it at some point. If your child is suffering from constipation, there are many safe and effective home remedies that you can try.
If your child is constipated, make sure they drink plenty of fluids, eat enough fiber, and get plenty of exercises. You can try any of these home remedies for constipation in kids to see if they help.

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