Did you know that constipation is one of the most common health problems among children? It’s a condition in which your bowel movements are hard and difficult to pass, making it painful for the child. Laxatives can help relieve symptoms including pain and frequency. What natural laxative would be best for kids who have mild to moderate constipation?
Immediate constipation relief at home is important for kids. Here are 22 natural laxatives that can help with the problem.
To provide youngsters with constipation with rapid relief without the usage of Miralax as a stool softener, learn about natural laxatives.
For the last 3.5 years, constipation has been a problem in my household. It irritates me a lot and is a tremendous thorn in my side. As an occupational therapist with a focus on feeding, I was well aware of constipation and how it may affect a child’s eating patterns. I will provide here more constipation remedies than the bare minimum since in my situation, they weren’t sufficient.
Constipation was a persistent, ongoing issue for my kid. To help him break his dependency on Miralax, which began before he was two years old, I had to go farther.
In the case of my kid, his constipation started as soon as he switched from breast milk to cow’s milk as a young child. At its worst, he had frighteningly severe back referral pain. At that point, we started him on Miralax, an over-the-counter stool softener made of Polyethylene Glycol, or PEG as it is more often known.
He had been using it every day for many years until I began to notice, approximately six months ago, that he wasn’t growing out of it. I couldn’t believe so much time had gone with daily usage and wasn’t sure I wanted to put him on it permanently.
After more than two years, I made the decision to do some of my own research, despite the physicians’ assurances that it was completely safe. I was astounded to see that the FDA has never authorized it for use in children or for long-term usage, despite the fact that no serious incidences or adverse effects have been documented.
Miralax and many other stool softeners maintain water in the gut while it is being digested, preventing absorption into the body and relieving constipation in children.
Please understand that my goal here is not to criticize Miralax; for certain children, it is essential, and sometimes, it has worked like a miracle for us. BUT – I couldn’t help but wonder if there weren’t any other options, particularly since this is a persistent issue.
What natural laxatives were accessible for youngsters with constipation? You may learn more here.
UPDATE: In this follow-up piece, we’ve included even more simple solutions for kids constipation as our experience has progressed: Kid’s Chronic Constipation
Kids’ Constipation Causes
First, we’ve got to talk about the causes of constipation, as an OT I’m always thinking about what the underlying cause is of any challenge a child faces. Constipation is no different. Here are some of the most common Kids’ Constipation Causes:
1. Genetics – Unfortunately, some children are genetically predisposed to having the condition, but it doesn’t imply they won’t eventually outgrow it.
2. Diet – Frequent eating of the items on the list of things to stay away from below, processed foods, low-fiber meals, and goods made largely of white bread.
3. Intolerance to dairy, wheat, or both – An intolerance differs from an allergy, and some children may have trouble digesting dairy or wheat, which slows down their excretion. Dairy is more probable, and reducing it and avoiding cow’s milk is often a successful strategy.
4. Holding it in – Some kids really refuse to defecate because they don’t like the way it feels when it comes out or because they had a difficult movement before. The longer they keep it in, the worse it becomes since this may escalate rapidly. In the part after this, I’ll go into further detail.
5. Poor Chewing – If your kid swallows huge bits of food and has trouble chewing, this might induce constipation since the food isn’t sufficiently broken down as it enters and subsequently departs the stomach into the intestines.
6. Picky Eating – Constipation is a probable result of a diet low in fruits and vegetables. Picky eating, however, may also result from constipation. A youngster will often refuse to eat if they are backed up since there isn’t much place to get extra food into their stomach.
Join our free picky eating session with workbook to start taking action to help your kid change their fussy eating.
7. Insufficient Water Intake – A lack of water makes it challenging for the excrement to pass through the intestines. Every day, children should consume half their body weight in ounces of water. A 50-pound child requires a minimum of 25 ounces. They will need more if they exercise, perspire, or it is hot outdoors. Not drinking enough water in the heat was a significant contributing factor in a recent trip to the emergency department for my son’s severe constipation on the Fourth of July.
8. Low Muscle Tone – Children’s ability to push feces out might be affected by their muscle tone, and if this is the case, too much fiber may make it harder for them to defecate. Here is additional information about low tone.
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22 Natural Diuretics for Children with Constipation
Children’s natural laxatives As you’ll discover earlier, meals, natural supplements, and even certain procedures might cause constipation.
Start with food first since your youngster is eating regardless. If your kid is a picky eater, it could be tough to convince them to eat some of these items. If that is the case, don’t attempt to impose rules; instead, gradually begin introducing these meals in engaging ways to pique your children’s interest. Continue to provide them while you think about some natural supplements in the meantime.
Natural Kid-Friendly Laxative Foods
- Cherry juice
- Apple juice
- Add a teaspoon or tablespoon of psyllium husk powder to your child’s hot porridge, or use it to create a bread or pizza crust. This works well as a natural laxative.
- Beans, particularly black beans, may be added to soup, rice, or hamburgers.
- Bread High in Fiber
- Add a spoonful of flax seed meal to yogurt, hot porridge, or toast.
Naturally rich in fiber, many of these foods may be found at Tasty High Fiber Foods for Kids for further inspiration. In general, if your kid eats a carbohydrate, switch to whole wheat since it typically acts as a natural laxative. Pasta, cereals, and bread made from whole wheat are often available.
But just because something is whole grain, whole wheat, or brown rice doesn’t automatically mean it has fiber. It is crucial to check the label since many high-fiber goods don’t always fall into any of those categories.
I’d make an effort to refrain from purchasing any foods with less than 2 grams of fiber.
Although it can seem daunting, there are now a ton of alternatives available for breads, pretzels, crackers, etc. Additionally, you should aim to include as much fiber as possible; don’t stop at 2 grams. When you locate the greatest number, keep turning over boxes and bags. Since processed fiber is often added to goods that are rich in fiber, it stands to reason that natural sources are preferable.
Supplements for Children that are Natural Laxatives
14. Fiber Advance Gummies for Kids – I was relieved to discover an all-natural fiber gummy that I gave to my children when we began to reduce our intake of Miralax. There are not any sugar and just a few components. My children adore them.
15. Children’s Fletcher’s Gentle Laxative – This works quickly as a natural laxative, according to several readers.
17. Aloe Vera Juice: A tiny quantity of this naturally occurring juice from aloe vera may be mixed with juice or water. But the flavor of this is a little overpowering. In order to introduce this to young children who are put off by the flavor, I would prepare a special drink or smoothie.
18. Magnesium Powder: We have had great success using magnesium citrate in the past. Although it has a little strong flavor, most youngsters can manage it in juice.
19. Magnesium Gummies – While these gummies were made to aid children with anxiety, magnesium also helps with that. Many reviews claim that using these gummies helped people with constipation.
20. Water – As I have said, bring the water in! Start your day with a cup ready to go, and have it nearby the whole time. As necessary, gently remind people. Additionally, bring water with you everywhere you go so they may sip it while driving or conducting errands.
21. Tummy Rub for Constipation – Laying your kid on their back and massaging their intestines in a circular motion with a little amount of lotion will help to get the bowels flowing. Get detailed instructions for a “poop massage,” which can be performed in a matter of minutes and is quite effective.
22. Wellement’s Organic Baby and Toddler Constipation Support – If you have a baby or toddler, this all-natural supplement with outstanding ratings is a great option.
**It’s crucial to remember that you should see your child’s doctor if they are SEVERELY constipated. It’s imperative that they get relief, and they’ll probably need to take Miralax or Restorolax in really high dosages to flush them out and for some time after that. After two enema treatments, my kid additionally took around 10 capfuls of Miralax in the emergency room to be entirely clean.
This quantity must be adjusted for your child’s age and weight. Don’t adhere to that rule; I’m merely sharing it to demonstrate how much they could first need. Consider seeking a second opinion, seeing a pediatric gastroenterologist, or going to emergency care if your doctor isn’t providing you with the information or assistance you need.
Timing is Important for Children Who Need Quick Relief From Constipation
Many kids avoid using the restroom when they need to because they are in a place they would rather not be, they don’t want to come in from outdoors, or they don’t want to stop playing in the midst of it.
Missing such signals may significantly affect how constipated your child becomes. If you happen to be looking at your child at that same moment, you may see the signal and be able to shoo them away nonetheless, but sometimes kids are good at hiding it, so we sometimes lose that fleeting opportunity.
The answer is to make them use the restroom at the same time each day. The ideal period is often within 15 minutes after their meal. I make a concerted effort to avoid making bathroom time a bad experience or worse, a power struggle.
I have to constantly remind my kid to use the restroom (“As soon as you’re done, go and pick out your book for the toilet”). Morning mornings generally function really nicely. This helps a lot when we are aware of it.
Foods to Avoid for Prompt Pediatric Constipation Relief
I detest having to tell kids they shouldn’t or can’t consume certain foods in my capacity as a feeding therapist. At the age of four, I did start explaining to my kid why some foods were only allowed because they made it difficult for him to defecate. I didn’t really like doing this, but he understood. All of them are somewhat off-limits, but I try to keep them to a minimum.
- Icy dessert
- fried rice treats
- grain cakes (unless they are brown rice and have a few grams of fiber)
- is white rice
- White bread snacks like crackers and pretzels
Children with Constipation Have Hope
We are presently researching this on our own and haven’t come up with a definitive answer. For a few months, we transitioned to almond milk while still allowing some dairy in moderation. We stopped using cow’s milk, but it didn’t appear to make much of a difference, so we just started using it again. I’m always keeping an eye on it and controlling it.
As of right now, we continue to use Miralax as required, which may range from two to six times each month. That is a significant improvement for us over regular usage. My ultimate objective is to seldom need it.
**UPDATE: After treating my son’s constipation for five more years, it became apparent that every time he ate dairy, he would get somewhat more backed up. With the natural laxatives mentioned above, we were able to regulate it, and Miralax was only sometimes used.
However, my kid chose to give up dairy after visiting the hospital for the first time as a result of eating dairy at several gatherings every day in the heat of July while neglecting to drink enough water.
The amount of excrement that was backed up inside of him caused his colon to expand due to the severity of that bout of constipation. Most youngsters who are constipated experience this. For many months, we had to depend on Miralax often once again.
However, after entirely cutting off dairy and making sure to drink enough water, he has never had constipation as freely as he does now.
Understanding the source of your child’s constipation can help you treat it. In the meanwhile, it can take some time for your child’s intestines to return to normal size.
Please share if anything you have that works in your home that I haven’t included here so that it will benefit others. Check out The Constipation Gurus, a fantastic physical therapist and dietitian team dedicated to aid youngsters with constipation, for further strategies to relieve it.
More Children’s Natural Laxatives
Laxatives for children are natural and quick relief, which is why they are the best option for kids who have constipation. Reference: laxatives for children.
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