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Submitted by: Colleen Langenfeld
The word constipation sends a shiver through most potty training parents.
The reason is clear; once constipation begins in a toddler it can be notoriously difficult to “fix” the problem.
The child suffers. Mom and Dad suffer. Sometimes the whole family suffers.
If you’re currently in the throes of constipation with your toddler or preschooler, you want to find relief quickly through suppositories and high fiber diets (a tablespoon of honey each morning did the trick for one of our toddlers. Don’t forget to brush the teeth afterwards, though).
You also want to take a look at these long term solutions for most constipation so that you never have to deal with this frustrating challenge again.
– What’s the hurry?
After potty training four children of my own and experiencing plenty of constipation along the way, I came to realize that one of the most effective habits I could instill in my children was to teach them to take their time when it came to using the bathroom.
Let’s face it. This is not how most of us parent our little ones.
We’re always in a hurry. We’ve got places to go and things to do. After the initial days of potty training are completed, we (secretly) feel that our child knows what to do and should just do it – on command and in a quick manner.
However, that’s not how our bodies were designed.
Teaching your child to take her time on the potty chair will pay off rich dividends. First of all, you’re really teaching her to be comfortable on the potty. Kids who suffer with constipation are often anything but comfortable using the toilet.
Secondly, bowel movements often take time to occur and your child is just now learning how to relax the correct muscles at the correct time to let a bowel movement happen. You may take this process for granted, but your child does not. He’s never thought about all of this before. He’s curious. He might be a little worried, too.
An unhurried bathroom environment helps to address all these issues. Is this inconvenient sometimes? Absolutely. The nature of parenting means that much of what we do is often inconvenient.
You can either sit with your contented and regular child and talk, sing or read a book together while his body does its thing naturally or you can sit with your crying, tense and constipated child trying to desperately calm him down enough that he can let go and do his job.
The choice is yours.
– Diet matters. Really. No, really.
A lot of parents give lip service to the notion that our bodies are regular due directly, at least in part, to our diets and exercise.
We all KNOW that, right? But even as adults we often don’t practice good nutrition and exercise.
This is a great area because there’s so much we can actually control about it. Your child (and your whole family) needs serious fiber every day. She also needs plenty of water. Not too much juice and certainly not soda (keep that a treat, if at all). Frankly, if the family diet is in disarray, the chance of your toddler eating healthy are pretty much nil.
This is totally in your hands, Mom or Dad. There is a wealth of information online to help you get this done. If you need them, there are food charts, recipes and support groups. These are longterm solutions that will serve your child into adulthood.
Activity is equally important in this equation. Bodies that move…well…move! If the word “exercise” trips you up, no problem. You want to find activities that you and your child enjoy. You’ll want variety, too.
Go to the park. Run in circles. Dance to music. Play silly wiggle games. Or be more traditional and walk, bike, swim or do sports. The possibilities are endless. Just move; as often as you can. Not only does activity have the advantage of keeping a toddler regular, but it also wears a toddler out and helps when naptime and bedtime roll around.
So if you’re struggling with potting training and constipation, hang in there. Deal with the mind and attitude through slowing down and deal with the body through nutrition and exercise. Teach your child to respect his body, daily.
That’s a valuable lesson that applies to so much more than just potty training.
About the Author: Colleen Langenfeld has potty trained four kids and helps other moms get more out of their mothering at http://www.paintedgold.com . Toilet train faster using her potty reward charts and creative ideas plus uncover more about
potty training and constipation
by visiting her website today.