Battling Constipation in Children While Traveling
- June 16, 2014
- by Melissa Lawrence
So we’re about one week into our big summer adventure and I’m so excited to upload some more videos of the marvelous sites we’ve seen. But as much as I’ve loved snapping photos of my babies in front of the Sagrada Familia and the ceramic tiles of the Parc Güell, each and everyday I’m still the same old mom asking her usual questions: have they slept enough, have they eaten well enough, have they gone to the bathroom? Sometimes we joke in our family and ask Daddy: “Did you make a poopy?” because in the morning, Mommy’s always running around asking everyone whether they sat on the potty and how long it’s been since they last went. Call me neurotic, but I think I am scared of my children getting constipated because I don’t want them to be uncomfortable. You guys too?
Got any strategies for helping kids with constipation either at home or while traveling? Please share any constipation home remedy that has worked for you!
Why? Well, we’ve had times — not too often thankfully — when one or more of the kids have gone days, even a week without going to the bathroom when we were out of our routine. One of my children (he shall go unnamed for this post) had a horrible stomach ache two nights ago, so much he couldn’t sleep. I realized he had only gone to the bathroom once since we’d arrived. He was terribly constipated and in so much pain!
When you’re traveling, either visiting family or off as a family, it’s so easy to see all of your normal habits slide. My kids tend to eat less fruit and vegetables, drink less water, sleep less well — and as a result, this can cause constipation. I would say it takes us at least a few days to get into a routine and even then, I have to sort of loosely keep track of what we’re doing to make sure everyone is good in the constipation department! I’ve written before about babies and constipation, but with this trip pops up the opportunity to write about toddler constipation and constipation with big kids! Fun, right?
I’m not a nutritionist, but here are the things I’ve been doing to try to battle traveler’s constipation in my children that seem to be working:
Constipation in Children while Traveling
1) Fruit. I went to the market as soon as I could find an open one, and bought a ton of fruit and made a big fruit salad. My kids have had this for breakfast and after dinner each day. It varies, but the fruit salad usually has oranges, pears, apples, grapes (although I haven’t been able to find seedless here and I don’t have the energy nor the patience to take out all those seeds!). If someone is constipated, I try to steer clear of bananas because I’ve heard they can have the opposite effect!
2) Vegetables. I wouldn’t say my kids eat a ton of vegetables, but with dinner I give each of them a handful and pretty much insist they eat them! We usually have carrots, beans, broccoli, or brussels spouts. Spinach is a major battle, try serving it with garlic and you’re basically toast! One huge win win is sweet potatoes, which I cut in strips and fry in coconut oil — they love these and they are rich in fiber.
3) Water. Lots and lots and lots of water. I don’t carry it around anymore because inevitably it spills everywhere, but whenever we stop, we drink as much as possible.
4) Whole grain bread. I’ve been surprised how little whole grain bread there is here in Spain and in fact, finding brown rice has been nearly impossible. Thankfully, though, a local bakery had a delicious rye-like type of bread that my kiddies love. I bought a few loaves and popped them in the freezer.
5) Potty time. Potty time requires strategic thinking — ha ha — when you have 7 people, 2 small bathrooms and one hour to get ready. We have to have a bit of routine! My husband gets up early and goes to the bathroom! I feed everyone breakfast at once, and as they finish, I try to cycle them through the potty. Sometimes someone has to go but there isn’t a potty available, but so far we’ve always worked it out. I try to get them to read or look at a book on the potty and to sit for 5 minutes, even if they say they don’t have to go. Doesn’t always happen, but I aim to do this in the morning and at night. On a good day, Hedley reads to the girls while they are on the potty.
I’ve found that constipation in my children can get really bad and when this happens, on my doctor’s advice, I give them a half capful of miralax mixed with water and orange juice once a day, but I only do this once and then I wait and see what happens, because I don’t want them to get dependent on it. Usually one dose or two will do the trick.
SO, that’s today’s exciting post on our summer adventure! Tune in for some more videos these week on the sites we’ve seen and how we’ve managed to cart 5 kiddos through this gorgeous city.
A few moms have said some really supportive things on YouTube about our trip — thank you so much for your support and I just love you guys! Sending love to all and hope you’re having a great summer so far!