Keeping Kids Regular and Constipation
Keeping Kids Regular
Kids, like adults, should be having regular bowel motions. Constipation is quite common amongst kids and there are a variety of reasons as to why they could be blocked up. The good news is, there are numerous daily tips you can use to make going to the toilet easier for them.
But firstly, what actually is normal?
Most kids have a bowel movement every day or every second day, some more than once a day. It’s important to take into account that bowel habits vary from child to child.
Ideally, once a day is the sign of a healthy bowel, providing they have good consistency. Their stool should be like a soft sausage.
If however, they are a bit more like small hard pepples or a hard, large sausage they are most likely not going to the loo as often as they should.
They also might be showing signs of not wanting to go to the toilet (tears or tantrums) as it could be a little difficult or uncomfortable for them. This is a sign that you may need to consider whether they are drinking enough water or eating enough fibre.
Here’s a few signs to look out for:
- Small hard lumps like pebbles
- Hard, large stool
- No bowel movements for 3 or more days
- Crying or pain during bowel movements
- Blood on the stool (due to a potential tear on the skin)
- Tummy pain
The sooner you can catch on to these signs the better, as it can become a vicious cycle once children have a bad relationship with the toilet room.
If your child does not have a tummy bug and their stool has been a little mushy or watery on a regular basis, it may be a sign that they have a food intolerance such as dairy or gluten.
How can you influence a regular, daily bowel movement?
- Establish a toilet time – try to work out when your child naturally needs to go and encourage them to sit on the toilet for about 5 mins. Help them to relax – sing, colour, read stories. This will aid with training their bowel to relax at this time. Routine is the key!
- Keep them active every day
- Healthy eating habits –Reduce their intake of ready-made food and takeaways, sugar, refined grains (pasta, white bread) and processed meats and try to integrate more fruit, veges, wholegrain breads, beans and simple, unprocessed meats
- Make sure they drink plenty of water – you can measure their ideal daily water intake by multiplying their weight by 30 (30 x 25kg=750ml)
- Food sensitivities – check for food intolerances and change their diet accordingly. Common foods are milk, wheat, egg and soy
- Stress and emotional tension – a relaxed, happy child is more likely to have regular bowel movements
- Healthy intestinal flora – keep their healthy gut microflora in check. Antibiotic use and food sensitivities lead to imbalances so daily probiotic supplementation may really help
- Find a food or food group that makes them go. It might be something like berries, cucumber, celery or stewed/fresh pear. It’s ideal to find this out when they are young so it can be your ‘go to’ when needed
- Try Phloe Kids Bowel Health, a yummy tasting natural bowel health supplement made from New Zealand kiwifruit that helps keep you regular. Your kids are sure to love these!
The importance of hydration on bowel motility
It is common knowledge that water is essential for life, but it may not be the first thing you would associate with good functioning digestion and bowel movements. However, dehydration is often a reason for sluggish digestion and dry, hard, difficult to pass stools.