Poop will vary, from child to child, and day-to-day. But what is right for your little one? Read on to learn more about constipation in toddlers and how certain foods, such as cow milk, may contribute to uncomfortable tummy symptoms.
What is toddler constipation?
Up to 30% of children experience constipation, so toddler constipation can be common. There’s no single definition of toddler constipation, but the term generally describes uncomfortable tummy symptoms, with poops that are too hard, not frequent enough and/or painful to pass.
What causes toddler constipation?
For the vast majority of toddlers, constipation is functional – this means that there is no identifiable or organic cause. Functional constipation may be associated with a new developmental stage (such as toilet training), travel, mood, or temporary illness.
Functional constipation may also be associated with diet. While a lack of dietary fiber may contribute to toddler constipation, certain foods present in the diet may also be a factor. A number of papers have suggested that cow’s milk may be to blame for chronic constipation in some children.
Toddler constipation remedies
Determining the root cause of constipation in toddlers requires careful evaluation. Although most toddlers experience functional constipation, it’s important to work with a healthcare provider to rule out an organic cause.
Bottom line: it’s normal for your child’s poop to change from time to time, but big changes warrant taking a look at diet and the possibility of a food trigger. By keeping an eye on the relationship between the food children eat and the poop that comes out, parents are able to better influence their children’s tummy health and comfort.
Be sure to consistently offer plenty of water to drink and foods rich in dietary fiber.
Also, identifying and then removing a potential dietary trigger may help. A useful starting point is to keep a 7-day diet diary in order to see a potential relationship between food intake and toddler constipation symptoms. If cow milk appears to be a trigger, consider swapping it out for naturally easy to digest Kabrita Goat Milk Formula*.
*Not suitable for children with cow milk protein allergy