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What are the best remedies for constipation in children?
There are a number of measures that can be taken to help relieve constipation in your little one.
For babies who have been constipated but are not yet eating solid foods, giving extra water between feeds can help. If you are giving your little one formula milk, making the formula as directed by the manufacturer is recommended. Massaging your little’s one tummy and moving their legs in a bicycle motion may also help encourage them to go the toilet. If your baby is eating solid food, lots of diluted fruit juice and water are helpful. Fruit can be eaten, pureed or chopped depending on how well they can chew and peaches, pears, plums, prunes, strawberries, apricots, grapes, apples and raspberries can all help relieve constipation. Dried fruit is particularly good due to its high sorbitol content. It is important not to feed your baby if they are not hungry, as this may result in your little one associating mealtimes with being a stressful experience.
As constipation progresses it becomes much more painful, so if a change in diet doesn’t work and your little one has been in discomfort for a while, speak to your family doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible to see if it would be suitable for your child to have a laxative. Always take advice from a health professional regarding what is suitable to give children for constipation to ensure that it is safe and appropriate, as some laxatives are not recommended for children.
Older children can reduce the risk of getting constipation in the future by maintaining a healthy, balanced diet. A diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain foods such as pasta and wholemeal bread will all help.