The Begin Guide to Toddler Constipation Relief

If you have a toddler or kid experiencing irregular stools or constipation, before we talk about constipation relief, like using Begin Growing Up Prebiotics, it helps to go back to the basics. 

There are two things our bodies need: fluids and fiber. Ready to learn more? Let’s get to the bottom of constipation!

 

Drink More Fluids

Why? When we drink the right amount of fluids, everything in our gut stays hydrated and passes through our guts more quickly. 

What’s the right amount of fluid for constipation relief?

How much we need to drink is determined by how much we weigh. Check out what your little one needs below.

Fluid Needs by Weight / Day

Weight

Ounces  (Cups of Fluids)

10 pounds

16 ounces (2 cups) 

20 pounds

30 ounces (3-3/4 cups) 

30 pounds

40 ounces (5 cups) 

40 pounds

48 ounces (6 cups) 

50 pounds

52 ounces (6 ½ cups) 

60 pounds

55 ounces (7 cups) 

80 pounds

61 ounces (7 ½ cups) 

Over 80 pounds or an adult

64 ounces (8 cups)

That’s a lot of fluids! 

We agree. This is one area that many families struggle with. 

Summary - Toddler Constipation Relief Tip 1 Know how much fluids your little one needs to drink every day. and get creative with different fluids like water, and iced herbal tea to keep hydration fun!


Fluids Ideas That Are Not ‘Just’ Water

Plain water can get boring and soon you feel you are chasing your little one around with a sippy cup or water bottle non-stop! It’s exhausting. Some ways you can spice up plain water is by adding fruit to it like cucumber, watermelon or lemon. 

Juice counts as a fluid, but the American Academy of Pediatrics just came up with strong guidance to limit juice. They say:

Age

Juice

Younger than 12 months

No juice 

1 to 3 years old 

4 ounces or ½ cup

4 to 6 years old 

4 to 6 ounces per day (½ cup to ¾ cup)

7 to 18 years old 

8 ounces per day (1 cup)

 

Another fluid alternative to water is herbal tea. Varieties such as peppermint, chamomile, citrus, fennel, ginger, rooibos, are all safe for toddlers and kids. These can be served warm or iced. Hold off on adding sweeteners. 

Last, there are endless options for other drinks. One category we want to mention are sugar-free options. Opt for varieties sweetened with stevia and monk fruit. Stevia has been found to act as a prebiotic in the body by feeding good gut bacteria. Other artificial sweeteners need to be investigated further before we really know their long-term effects on our bodies. So when in doubt use caution.

Summary - Toddler Constipation Relief Tip 2 Get creative with different fluids like water, and iced herbal tea to keep hydration fun!


What About Milk?

Milk is the preferred drink of choice for some toddlers and kids and it counts as a fluid. But, parents must watch out for too much milk. If kids drink too much milk that can lead to constipation or worsens existing constipation. We don’t want that.

Some Dairy Alternatives

For the kids that don’t tolerate milk, there are many milk alternatives at the grocery store. Milk alternatives like almond milk or oat milk are very different from cow’s milk when you think about nutrition. Some non-dairy milks do have added protein and are fortified with vitamins D and calcium. If you are looking for a milk substitute read the label. 

 

Watch Out For Too Much Dairy

Toddlers and kids ages 2-8 should have no more than 2 ½ cup equivalents of dairy per day. If you are serving too much here, this could provide the constipation relief you’re looking for. Some examples provided in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans include:

Here are some examples of a dairy equivalent:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 ounce processed cheese (1 slice)
  • ⅓ cup shredded cheese
  •  1 ½ ounces hard cheese (1 slice)
  • 1 cup soy milk
Summary - Toddler Constipation Relief Tip 3 Track how much diary your little one is getting and make sure the amount is less than 2 ½ cup equivalents every day.


Eat More Fiber

Dietary fiber helps to form our poop. Sometimes fiber is called roughage or bulk, and includes plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb. It passes relatively whole through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body.

Types of Fiber 

Fiber is usually referred to as soluble, which dissolves in water, or insoluble, which doesn’t dissolve. 

  • Soluble fiber, the type of fiber that dissolves in water, forms a gel-like material in the digestive tract. It is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
  • Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of poop through your digestive system and increases stool bulk. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fiber. 

Both types of fiber are equally important in the diet. The good news: most foods have a combination of both. Aim to vary the sources of fiber in your toddler and kids diet every day. You can do this by serving different types of fruits, veggies and grains.

How much fiber do toddlers and kids need? 

It’s more than many parents think. 95% of toddlers do not get enough fiber. Most toddlers and kids, aged 1-5 need between 15 and 20 grams of fiber per day. Kids older than this need approximately 25 grams per day (DGA). Don’t think in grams? Learn more daily fiber needs for toddlers and kids and fiber foods. 

Summary - Toddler Constipation Relief Tip 4 Calculate how much fiber your little one is getting every day. If there is a gap learn more about Begin Growing Up Prebiotic!


Put it all Together for Toddler Constipation Relief

Now you know how to boost the fluids and the fiber. But, sometimes we all need a little help! If these toddler constipation relief tips are just not going to happen in your home, Begin has the perfect product for your family. Begin Growing Up Prebiotic is easy to use and tasteless. It is a great source of fiber you add to what you already eat. 

New to prebiotics and how they help with toddler constipation relief? Learn more about them here. 

Gradually Add Growing Up Prebiotics

You want to gradually introduce this to your little one. Keep in mind that changes to a child’s diet should take time since little tummies are not prepared for big changes and are more sensitive.

Start with ½ of a packet of Begin Prebiotics per day over several days before increasing to a full dose for age. Toddlers under 4 years old can take 1 packet per day as a full dose and kids over age 4 can take up to 2 packets per day. 

Let Us Know How It Goes

Use a tracking sheet to keep a record of the foods your little one is eating, when they poop and whether their poop is hard, soft, watery, hard to pass. We want to know what happens after you start using Begin Growing up Prebiotics. 

Shoot us a note at care@beginhealth.com we can’t wait to hear form you!

Happy pooping!                 

Summary - Toddler Constipation Relief Tip 5 Add Growing Up Prebiotic to your daily routine. It’s an extra fiber boost and a perfect toddler constipation relief.


Picture of Kate Gerweck, MS, RD, LD

Kate Gerweck, MS RD LD

Kate Gerweck is a Registered Dietitian based out of Charleston, South Carolina. Kate Gerweck specializes in pediatric nutrition and kids’ constipation.



Also in Learn

The Psychology of Withholding Bowel Movements
The Psychology of Withholding Bowel Movements

Little boy with a Begin Growing up Prebiotics packet on his nose
For Begin Beginners with Irregularity or Constipation

Mom and Toddler holding a bag of Begin Growing Up Prebiotics
Getting Started with Begin