Healthy bowel habits for children

Healthy bowel habits for children

Your children's bowel routines are reflective of the quality of their diet and exercise. The frequency of passing stools differs between children and there is no such thing as a 'normal' frequency for all. However, it is important to keep track of his bowel movements so as to avoid major indigestion problems or infections.

Get them to talk about it

Unfortunately, most kids first pick up the fact that poop is dirty and embarrassing before they understand that it is important! While it may not be a wise idea to get loud and vocal about it in public, an occasional personal chit chat with mommy about poop problems could be beneficial to both. If he refuses to go to the toilet, ask him why - does it hurt? Is it not time to go yet? Or is it because he feels shy to do so? Each symptom has to be addressed differently. Explain to him that he should never hold back his bowel movements and he should go as soon as he feels like it.

Diet and exercise

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are good sources of fibre - essential to healthy bowel movements. Throw in some daily portions of apples, raspberries, bananas, beetroot, cabbage, spinach or capsicum to keep those baby bowels healthy. Avoid giving your kid too much milk or juices in which case, kids will eat less of fibre found in food which could lead to constipation. It is however, important to keep children hydrated well by ensuring they drink at least 5-7 glasses of water every day especially during the summers. Lack of hydration is also a cause for constipation.

Active kids have a lower risk of diarrhea and constipation. Getting regular spurts of exercise throughout the day is crucial for a healthy digestive system.

Along with signs of irregular bowel movements, it is also advised to take note of unusual colors or size of your baby's stool. In this case, consult your pediatrician for changes in diet or medication if it gets chronic.