“Potty training was my favorite part of parenting,” said no parent EVER!
Seriously, potty training can be challenging, and then add constipation, and you have a recipe for disaster or at least a very frustrating situation for both parent and child.
A happy tummy is a happy kid! There are options to help bring some relief to everyone! Let’s dive into this a little deeper to understand better how important gut health is and how digestive issues can impact various aspects of a child’s life.
What Causes Constipation
Constipation is a prevalent problem in children and is defined as having infrequent bowel movements (less than three a week) or dry, hard stools. An upset tummy is no fun for anyone, especially for little ones in the throes of potty training.
A combination of different factors can cause constipation. One of the main culprits is a low fiber diet and/or possible dehydration. Other factors include stress, genetics, and/or medical conditions and medications.
Diet is Key
Do you know what is in the food you feed your child(ren)? Are they getting enough fiber in whole foods like fruits and vegetables, protein, healthy fats, and grains?
Eliminating or cutting back on junk foods, processed meats, and sugary drinks, as daunting of a task as it may be, is key to a balanced diet for kids and adults. When available, replacing them with healthier options like fresh or organic treats such as sliced apples, pears, or veggies is proven to help keep bowels flowing regularly.
Also, including foods rich in magnesium greatly relieves constipation and aids in muscle contraction to avoid straining, which can lead to hemorrhoids and other unpleasantries. Think nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, leafy greens, and whole grains to prevent this.
Here are some great choices that are high in fiber and easy to make. These are yummy and kid-approved!
Smoothies can be another option to add more fiber to your child’s diet. Check out these recipes and involve your child while letting them create their own!
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
What about water? The colon needs sufficient water to keep things moving.
Encouraging your child to drink plenty of fresh, clean water is essential. If they aren’t lovers of plain water, try adding fruits, such as sliced cucumbers or strawberries, to liven up the taste.
Ants In Their Pants? Get Moving and Groovin’!
Another contributing factor is a lack of exercise, like too much tablet time or video games. Help ensure they are getting enough exercise. Get outside, play, go for walks, or dance with your kids! While it may seem easier to shove an electronic device in their faces to keep them quiet (if only for a moment), kids need physical activity.
Simply moving your body is a great way to aid in proper digestion and prevent constipation.
Did you know yoga poses can help your child? Activities like yoga are family-friendly. They will enjoy these fun moves with funny names like “downward facing dog!” Check out a few exercises here.
Stress and Constipation
Many contributing factors can cause stress in your child and affect bowel function. Let’s examine a few of the most common.
Changes in Routine: Changes in routine, such as travel or going to school and having bathroom routines disrupted, can be a significant stressor. Children are more likely to experience constipation when they start school outside of the home.
An even bigger misnomer is that children are stress-free (because they are bill free, lol). However, that is not always so. Environmental stressors can also lead to upset stomachs. For example, fear of public restrooms, transitional anxieties, or having hard bowel movements in the past can cause children to avoid pooping, thus exacerbating digestive issues leading to constipation and inflammatory gut problems.
Painful Stools: Painful bowel movements brought on by large, hard stools can lead to your child holding in their poop. If it hurts to poop, they will try to avoid that experience, causing an even bigger problem.
Potty Training: If you’re potting training too soon, your child may rebel and refuse to go #2. No parent wants to engage in this battle because no one wins! It’s best to move at your child’s pace and follow their lead.
What to do if you have tried all these things and nothing seems to work? Many parents take to the internet, talk with fellow moms, and resort to calling the pediatrician. A lot of websites for over-the-counter medications like Miralax will pop up. Miralax is not recommended for use longer than 7 days but is often prescribed as an ongoing treatment.
Many pediatricians still recommend Miralax, yet there are many concerns possibly linking behavioral issues in children. Facebook groups such as Parents Against Miralax Restoralax Morival discuss topics like this one.
The bottom line is to do your research, and before you give your child any OTC medication or supplement, you should ALWAYS consult with your health care professional.
There’s Hope, And Then There’s Little Sh!ts?
Excuse me? That is what you're thinking, right? Stay with me, though. We’re going somewhere because we have solutions! After all, that’s what we’re here for.
As we discussed earlier, fiber and magnesium are key, along with adequate hydration. All of these contributing factors combined are major factors in gut health.
MixSupps has a blend of clinically proven ingredients and scientific product that you simply add to water and meets all three requirements WITHOUT added chemicals and fillers, AND it tastes great with flavors like Peach Mango and Blue Raspberry.
Constipation can happen at any age, and Little Sh!ts can handle it all! Little Sh!ts is crafted with care to relieve and help prevent constipation and aid in proper digestive health while addressing stomach issues. The product dosage scales are gentle enough for toddlers but powerful enough for adults.
Made from a unique blend of magnesium and fiber, Little Sh!ts was formulated to unclog the body's cleaning system to relieve and prevent constipation problems. The supplement achieves that goal by resetting the body's natural cleaning mechanism, eventually making the whole process smooth, painless, and seamless.
Does your child struggle with constipation? Do you have any tips for parents like yourself who have chronic constipation? We’d love to read your insights in the comments below!