Addressing a Common Potty Training Challenge
Ah, the joys of parenting, right? When it's not the late-night lullabies, it's the potty training escapades, complete with the not-so-glamorous sidekick: toddler constipation. It's surprisingly common, causing about 1 in every 20 pediatric visits.
Trust me, I've been there – spending a month navigating this tricky phase with my 3-year-old. While it's a bit of a sticky situation (pun intended!), I've discovered some tried-and-true remedies. So, let's dive into these tips and tricks to smooth out this bumpy ride! 🚽
Remedy #1: Get The Best Kids Probiotic
Studies have shown probiotics can aid in maintaining regular bowel movements. That's why I chose Hiya daily probiotics for my son (I also love Hiya daily kids multivitamins). TLDR I tested Hiya Probiotics, Digestive Advantage Kids, Culturelle Kids and SmartyPants Kids Probiotics and Hiya stood out by far. From an effectiveness perspective, Hiya has 10 billion CFUs versus 4 billion CFUs in SmartyPants, 1 billion CFUs in Culturelle and just 250 million in Digestive Advantage Kids. Plus it has zero added sugar, which none of these competitors can boast. And Hiya has no gelatin, pectin or wax, again these other brands can’t claim the same.
Side note: although this is a “kids brand” the high probiotic count is better than even most adult probiotics, so I've been taking these daily myself with my toddler and love them too!
Hiya Probiotics offer a safe, effective solution with no unnecessary additives. Try Hiya for yourself now at 50% off your first order!
Remedy #2: Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
Hydration is key in preventing and treating constipation. Sometimes, a little apple juice mixed with water can encourage your child to drink more. Alternatively, opting for juice products like Honest Organic Juice boxes, which contain no added sugars, is a great way to increase fluid intake healthily.
A fun water bottle with a straw spout also always helps increase consumption.
Remedy #3: Hide Veggies in Meals
Increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables high in fiber is crucial. While it's important to educate your toddler about the benefits of these foods, sneaking extra veggies into their meals can also be effective. Consider trying toddler-friendly recipes that incorporate vegetables, such as one-pot hamburger helper with zucchini, cauliflower mac and cheese, broccoli turkey meatballs, and healthy chocolate muffins with veggies. These options not only boost fiber intake but also make eating vegetables fun and enjoyable for your child.
Here are some recipes you can try at home filled with foods to help your toddler poop:
- Hidden Veggie Meatballs – Delicious meatballs with hidden veggies for an added nutritional punch.
- Pumpkin Pancakes – These pancakes are not only high in fiber but also have a hidden serving of fruit!
- Broccoli & Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells – A fantastic way to hide some greens in a cheesy pasta dish.
- Veggie-Packed Pizza Rolls – Pizza rolls with an added bonus of hidden veggies.
- Zucchini, Banana, and Flaxseed Muffins – Delicious muffins brimming with fruits and veggies.
- Cheesy Pea Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes – A risotto recipe that cleverly conceals peas.
- Sneaky Mac & Cheese – Mac & cheese is always a hit, and this one has a secret serving of veggies.
- Pasta with Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce – A classic pasta dish with a sauce full of hidden veggies.
- Green Monster Veggie Muffins – A monster-themed muffin recipe that's secretly filled with veggies.
- Hidden Veggie Chicken & Rice – A comforting chicken and rice dish with veggies cleverly hidden within.
Remedy #4: Activity & Adventure
Physical activity can significantly help digestion. Simple activities like visiting the local playground or an indoor trampoline center can be fun and effective ways to get your child moving in more ways than one. 💩
Remedy #5: Eat Prunes, A Natural Laxative
It's been days and the term “laxatives” has started getting thrown around between you and your partner. Been there. Before hopping into your car for a trip to the drugstore to relieve your toddler's constipation fast, try a natural laxative like prunes instead. You can purchase prune pouches for easier consumption since they look like the tasty snack your toddler is used to eating, or you can try dried prunes for a sweet treat. Other foods that are thought of as natural laxatives include pears and apples which contain a sugar called “sorbitol” that actually helps soften poop.
Be sure to avoid these foods while you're at it: fried foods, processed meats like hot dogs, white bread, cookies, cakes and pastries.
Remedy #6: Give Stool Softener
If other remedies aren’t effective, gentle medications like stool softeners can be considered. We had to use Miralax multiple times during our potty training transition months. It’s crucial to consult your pediatrician before administering any medication to ensure safety and proper dosage. And if this doesn’t give the strong push your toddler needs, your doctor might also recommend pediatric laxatives as a next step.
Dealing with this Sticky Situation
Dealing with toddler constipation can be a delicate phase of potty training, so remember to keep up with your potty training rituals, like the reward chart. Hopefully with these remedies, you can help your child navigate this phase more comfortably.