Constipation in toddlers and babies often occurs early on, for example, with the introduction of complementary foods. In this article you will learn when to ever speaks of constipation, what parents can do about it and when a physician is necessary.

Constipation in child and baby

Mother toddler potty

About five to ten percent of all children suffer at least temporarily constipated. But with a change in diet, more exercise and a higher fluid intake is often to get a grip. In persistent cases, your child needs support from soft drugs. In dietary changes or even when traveling children are clogged fast times. But some children torment themselves constantly having to rare and hard stools and have literally anxiety, if they have to go to the toilet or potty.

How many times a child has a bowel movement, depends on their age, their diet and their individual potential. Here are some approximate how often and how much at what age is normal:

age of the child Stools per day Amount per day (In milliliters)
1 to 7 days 3 to 5 10 to 15
12 months 1 to 4 17 to 23
1 to 3 years 0.7 to 3 40 to 45
3 to 6 years 0.5 to 2 over 50

(Average values; 0.5 means, for example, bowel movement every other day.)

The most common causes

Of chronic constipation is when the infrequent and / or hard stool is more than three months. Children over one year should have at least three times weekly bowel movements.

Attention: Breastfed babies up to ten times a day have a bowel movement at first. But only one bowel movement every eight to 14 days nor applies to breast milk diet as normal!

Baby is constipated: Most non-organic nature

The three most common causes of constipation are:

  • Too little movement
  • not enough fiber in your diet
  • too low fluid intake

Some babies are very sensitive when it comes to their digestion. The Complementary feeding or the feeding of carrot or banana can already cause slight constipation in them. Often it will come as part of toilet training temporarily no longer really having a bowel movement. In kindergarten and school children sometimes get stuck and psychological reasons behind an obstruction. Organic causes, ie for. B. Changes to the intestines, are rare. If it is congenital disease, constipation already occurs shortly after birth.

When you need a doctor?

Takes the blockage new on (especially if your child is still a baby!) Or keep it in spite of the mentioned self-help measures for more than 14 days, you should go to the doctor with your child. Suffering your child under addition severe abdominal pain, please go to your doctor immediately. Other warning signs of a serious disease such. As a bowel obstruction, are a hard tense stomach, severe abdominal cramps, vomiting simultaneously, or the fact that leave no wind.

Pediatrician tips: Constipation in babies

Constipation in children: more fiber and more fluid

The first action should always be a change in diet:

  • Give your child no stuffing Foods like cocoa, chocolate and other sweets, white flour products, fast food and bananas. give babies with tendency to constipation too much carrot (juice) and dispense with the addition of rice or oatmeal to the bottle! tip: Do you have very hard water, it is useful for the preparation of infant formula to use special baby water (such as Humana or Milupa.). Lime from the water can connect the intestine with fatty acids from milk to Kalkseifenstühlen in fact. These are very dry, firm and crumbly.
  • Give your child more high fiber foods, So a lot of vegetables and fruits, for the second year and whole grains, but not initially in large quantities. better to leave in the first two years of life on whole grains with whole grains or Frischkornbreie because the digestion of small children so often not done and bloating occur.tip: The book "Bert, the vegetable goblin" J. and S. Volmert Szesny (with plush broccoli, Albarello 2003; 32 pages; 13.70 EUR) is a good way, small vegetable muffles from three years to bring healthy food through play.
  • probiotic yogurts can aid digestion. For this, your child must eat it every day a cup. For formula-fed baby milk formulas are recommended with prebiotic fiber, such. B. Milumil® prebiotic. After about one to two weeks, your baby will thus have softer stools.
  • dried fruit, as prunes, figs or fruit bread, also affects digestion.

    Tip: Feigenmus (From the second year of life) Cut a few fresh, ripe figs small and place in a saucepan with a little water. The figs fry briefly until they are soft, then puree. Season with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and honey. Alternatively, some dried figs, soak and cook until tender with the soaking. The addition of honey is then not required.

  • Your child should imbibe! Offer your baby in addition unsweetened tea. For cylinders children you please consider essential to the specified amount of water to prepare the milk diet, may prefer to take 20 to 30 milliliters of water more, but no less! Young children should drink up to a liter a day, even kindergartners to 1.5 liters.

Remedy for constipation in children

  • Flaxseed and wheat bran make the stool softer in children and stimulate digestion. Children from the age of two get over the day three teaspoons of flaxseed or two tablespoons of wheat bran (children from four years to four tablespoons of bran or six teaspoons of flaxseed daily). Very important: Per tablespoon of bran or per two teaspoons of flaxseed your child needs an extra hydration of 150 milliliters as bran or flax seeds swell in the gut. Too little fluid can, however, strengthen the chair and act more astringent! With regular use of the effect of bran and flaxseed about four weeks begins - so please have some patience!
  • Lactose for constipation stimulates bowel activity while promoting the growth of good intestinal bacteria. It can be already given from infancy. However, since contain both breast milk and infant formula (pre- and one milk) already much milk sugar, a long-term administration in the first six months is not recommended. From the second half year of life you start with a teaspoon of sugar of milk per day and raise daily at each one teaspoon until a success is possible. Get your child abdominal pain, bloating or diarrhea, the dose was too high!

The intestine is a 'creature of habit'

By a regular daily schedule, the bowel can educate very good. are important to set meal times, so that your child's digestion can adjust. Even going to the toilet or "meeting" on the potty you always have to take place at the same time of day.
The best time for this is usually after breakfast or generally about 15 to 30 minutes after meals. When the stomach is stretched by food, this leads to a reflex movement of the colon (called gastrocolic reflex), which further pushes the bowel movement and often also provides defecate.
It is important that you leave plenty of time (about 10 minutes) your child. A suitable attachment for the toilet plus a stool for placing the legs or special toilet chair that allows a relaxed sitting, relieved his bowels.

Exercise and massage bring the bowel in swing

Daily exercise also benefits the intestine. Especially important is a strengthening of the abdominal muscles:

  • Lasse kick your baby much in the supine position. then later make crawling and walking for strong abdominal muscles.
  • Children older than two years can go cycling in the supine position with the legs in the air. From three years your child can (stand with your legs straight, bend the body forward so that your hands touch the feet) by abdominal crunches activate his gut.
    Helpful a slight foot massage once a day for a few minutes. Beginning on the left as well as on the right foot at the heel and rub in the direction Fußaußenrand further around the arch of the foot in the direction around footpad and on to the Fußinnenrand.

tip: In babies, the defecation can often thus suggest that introducing the greased top of the clinical thermometer into the anus and there gently back and forth slightly.

Natural aids for 'big business'

can a blockage with the above measures alone will not resolve the following Schuessler salts can help:

  • Sodium sulphate D6 (no. 10): base means for constipation
  • Sodium chloride D6 (no. 8): if the stool looks very dry
  • Potassium phosphate D6 (no. 5): constipation while traveling
  • Silica D6 (no. 11) alternating with sodium chloride D6 (no. 8): in chronic constipation

Dosage: 3 to 4 times daily a tablet of the particular agent. Tablets are given in exchange, then four tablets daily, two of each kind.

It is possible that in acute constipation once a laxative is required. Question in this case your doctor. Without medical advice you should not self-treat your child perform! This is especially true for infants and persistent constipation.

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