Hi, my name is Kaylee Cardona. I’m a registered nurse. I’ve spent the last year working as a labor and delivery postpartum and NICU nurse. And for three years prior to that, I was working as a pediatric nurse. I’m also a mother of two. When your child is constipated, there is a number of things that you can do to help them.
Massage Your Baby
The first thing is, if this is your infant, you can lay them on their back, and massage their abdomen in nice, slow downward motions. This kind of helps to move things downwards. Then you can open up their diaper and dribble warm water onto their bottom with either a washcloth or a cotton ball from a cup of warm water sitting beside you. Test it on yourself first to make sure that it’s not too hot. This can sometimes provide enough stimulation to cause them to have a bowel movement after you have massaged their belly.
Get Toddler Moving and Give Water
In toddlers, increase their water intake, that will help soften things up and help them to have a bowel movement a little bit easier. Give them snacks high in fiber, such as dry cereal, breakfast bars, and things of that nature, and take them outside or to a playground, indoor or outdoor, somewhere that they’re going to run around and be very active. This can help them to have a bowel movement.
Try Using a Little Catheter
If you’ve done those things and those don’t work, a product that I really like for this is actually a single-use little catheter that you insert into their bottom. It’s marketed for gas, but in relieving that gas, it kind of siphons the stool down to a spot where they’re able to have a bowel movement.
Consider Over-the-Counter Medications
Another thing that you can do is look into medications. In children two and older, you can give glycerin suppositories or glycerin enemas. These are inserted into the bottom, and they make things slippery so that their stool can slip out. In younger children, you can use baby stomach relief medications, but don’t do so without consulting your pediatrician first to see how to go about doing that.
Consult With Your Pediatrician
If you tried all these things and they’re not working, talk to your pediatrician about it. They can come up with a plan that’s going to work for you and your child. Some children just require a little bit more intervention. Good luck. You’re doing a great job.