As I type this post, my baby's now fast asleep, comfortable on the king-size bed beside me. During the past couple of days, she was feeling constipated. She would stop whatever she was doing. Then, she would try to hold on to something and push. Usually, she would squeeze her legs together and bend. You see, she's not potty-trained yet, but we are going to start soon.
This morning was the beginning of the third day of non-poop. As advised by her pedia way back then, we put a little bit of olive oil in her milk to make poop pass easily. We've been doing that, but she was still constipated. Normally, she poops once every day. So, this morning, I decided to send a text message to her pedia. Yes, we can do that here in Manila. Her pedia was very accomodating too. This medical convenience frees us from having to go to wherever the clinic was on a Sunday. Most likely, it's closed. See, specialty doctors in here in the Philippines usually have multiple clinics around the metro. Anyway, I just texted our pedia about Allie, reminded him about his age (very important!), and what she's going through. After five minutes, I got a reply on what meds/dosage to give her.
My husband and I went out to Mercury Drug (it's like our CVS version) to get Dulcolax suppository for children. Once we were home, I gave her one. It took about one hour for her poop to come out. She was crying while trying to push it out. We gave her milk because she wasn't able to eat much breakfast. Then we let her watch Phineas and Ferb on her iPad, just so she'd be more comfortable.
Sigh. It really kills me when I know she's having a hard time. Every mommy fiber in me wanted to just take away all her pain.
When her poop finally came out, I shouted to my husband, who was playing Dead Space downstairs, "It's out!". I swear, I've never felt more relieved in my entire life. Whew.
I thought maybe this experience can help others. So I decided to go to BabyCenter (my go-to source for baby and toddler information) and read about toddlers and constipation. So, what makes toddlers constipated? According to BabyCenter, the usual suspects are:
Low-fiber foods. My daughter is at the age where she knows she can say no to the foods we give her. So this is a hard one for us. She loves to eat mac and cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and other dairy products. But she wouldn't touch any fruits or vegetables, except if it's cucumber. She loves the crunch of cucumbers. Maybe I can sneak in vegetables like potatoes or cauliflower in her mac and cheese, or give her fruit juice with her breakfast. What about carrot cake or orange muffins? Maybe she'll like those.
Toilet Anxiety. I think my daughter has this. Signs of toilet anxiety include stiffening her body, arching her back and getting red in the face, but nothing comes out. This actually are signs that she's holding it in, which in turn, leads to larger stools, making it more difficult for her to pass. Haay.
Dehydration and Lack of Activity. Like adults, constipation is also caused by dehydration and lack of activity. Less fluids make our body absorb fluids from what we eat, making poop harder and drier. Activity helps blood flow to the digestive system naman. We try to give our daughter lots of liquids every day, and she runs and walks everywhere too. I think we are okay on this.
If you want some other ideas to help a constipated toddler, head on to BabyCenter for more.