Stool Softener for Kids: Explore 15 Effective Options
Constipation can turn out to be a real headache for parents with kids. Are you looking for a list of stool softeners to solve the condition of constipation in your child? You are in the right place. It has been noted that over 3–5% of parents who visit pediatricians with their kids will be trying to find a solution for constipation.
And most of them don’t bother to try natural remedies and choose to rely directly on medications to fix their children’s issues with constipation. It is essential to know about various useful stool softeners for kids if you are a parent so that you know exactly what to do when your kid can’t go at ease the next time.
In this article, we are going to see in detail the situations that could be causing constipation in kids and some good stool stabilizers to try as problem solvers.
Constipation in Kids
Constipation is a common problem seen in kids. Miralax might be a very familiar name for parents with children under 15 years old. It is a stimulant laxative that boosts bowel movements in kids by promoting liquid flow to their digestive system.
Miralax always does the job in most cases, and we are not against it. But it’s always good to know what caused constipation in your child and fix it naturally rather than directly depending on a doctor. Inadequate liquid and low fiber levels in the body are the most common reasons for constipation in kids.
Lack of exercise also boosts this. In rare cases, a child may suffer from Hirschprung’s disease or Irritable bowel syndrome, which can cause constipation.
Signs of Constipation
You can look for some apparent signs in your kid to understand whether he or she is suffering from constipation. Below are the ways you can find out whether your child has a tight bowel movement.
- Tummy Pain
- Hard Stools
- Tummy cramps
- Gas trouble
- Low appetite
Stool softeners, also known as emollient laxatives, promote good bowel movements by relaxing a person’s constipation. The basic function of a stool softener is to introduce water to one’s gut and make the stool easier to pass. When it comes to laxatives, there are multiple kinds:
- Bulk-forming Laxatives: These types of stool softeners are gel-like substances that make the stool larger by adding water content to it by forming a layer around it. Example: Mineral Oil
- Hyperosmotic Laxatives: Such stool softeners for kids do the job just by allowing more water into the system and eventually into the stool for ease in passing it. Example: Colace, Miralax
- Saline Laxatives: The function of saline laxatives is not different from the ones listed above. They introduce water to the stool to promote good bowel movements. But such laxatives might cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Example: Milk of magnesia, felt, etc.
- Stimulant Laxatives: These kinds of stool softeners promote better stool movement by boosting the contraction of the gut. Though they deliver faster results, such laxatives can cause dehydration.
Rather than going for artificial stool softeners, you have plenty of ways to fix your kid’s constipation in natural ways. The introduction of a fiber-rich diet and a good food pattern can boost your kid’s digestion in a positive manner. Slowly walking your kid to a better lifestyle can even prevent constant occurrences of constipation in the future.
Try to understand why all foods have insoluble fibers in them. Insoluble fibers won’t dissolve in the digestive system and promote the movement of food-promoting stool.
Soluble fibers, too, promote better bowel movement, but in a different way. They form a gel-like substance in the colon after dissolving. They promote better movement of food and fat absorption.
Foods with soluble Fibres: Barley, Beans, Oats, Peas, apples, Citrus Fruits, etc.
Foods with insoluble Fibres: potatoes, Nuts, Beans, Whole Wheat products, Bran products, etc.
Stool Softeners for Kids
1. Sweet Potatoes
Even though they are not a common variety of vegetables seen in homes, sweet potatoes are considered to be a good stool softener for kids. Kids have a tendency to naturally like sweet potatoes for their sweetness, and you can use this in their diet to release them from constipation. The skin of sweet potatoes is very rich in nutrition and is actually recommended by dieticians too.
It is still okay if your kid doesn’t want to consume it with skin; you can bake the sweet potato after peeling its skin off, as the vegetable itself is considered a rich source of fiber.
2. Green Peas
We can already sense an urge of yours to scroll down this part of this article, but hold on! It is okay if your kids hate green peas. You can still make it a part of their diet.
The key is not to make it evident to your kids that their food contains green peas. You can mix the green peas into their salads, soups, or pasta to let them consume them. While suffering from constipation, the presence of green peas in food can be a real savior for kids.
Kids can get very stubborn when it comes to their eating habits, and it is often a headache to find the food of their liking, especially when it comes to finding something from your kitchen to fix their constipation. Asian peas are one of the best stool softeners for kids. If your child likes to munch on apples, you can easily add this to his or her diet.
Both apples and pears have a similar skin structure and are crunchy. Pears, which are high in fiber, can quickly alleviate your child’s constipation!
4. Whole Wheat Bread
Looking for a fiber-rich diet is the key when you are searching for stool softeners for kids. Whole-wheat muffins or bread are a good source of fiber. The inclusion of whole wheat rolls or muffins in your kid’s diet can give your kid a break from constipation. As they are easily available in the market, they can be a budget-friendly and easy-to-get product for your kids.
To make it more appealing for your kids to eat, you can try a variety of dishes with wheat bread. For example, bread toasts and sandwiches
5. Dried Dates
When talking about the best stool softeners, dry fruits can be of real help. The inclusion of dried dates in the diet is something you can try to loosen up stools for your kids. As they are rich in fiber, they can act as a good remedy for constipation. But while adding dates to your kid’s diet, it is also very important to let them drink plenty of water.
As dates promote dehydration in the body with their presence, it is very important to stay extra hydrated.
6. Baked Potato
Another similar addition to this list, alongside sweet potatoes, will be baked potatoes. Baked potatoes, especially if used with skin, can be a good stool softener for kids. It is quite possible for your kid to shoot a straight no while serving baked potatoes. Making the dish look more attractive and tasty is the key to trying it here.
You can also try frying baked potato cubes with their skin on to let your kid eat them easily. You will be able to find various recipes for making baked potatoes in an oven too.
An apple a day not only keeps the doctor away but sometimes helps with constipation too! Hence, just like pears, apples are a good stool softener for kids. Again, it is recommended to keep the apple’s skin on while serving them, as done with baked and sweet potatoes. This might be a task, as some children don’t like eating fruits and vegetables with their skin on.
You can try a trick by slicing an apple into tiny pieces to make your kid eat the skin without any complaints.
Prunes are next on this list. It is a known fact that prunes are a common presence in an adult’s diet. But adding them to a kid’s diet will work like a charm when it comes to fixing constipation. If your kid is reluctant about eating prunes, you can make juices or smoothies using them. Another good alternative you can try is to add some drops of prune juice to their milk.
This, too, can be helpful in fixing the kid’s bowel movements.
Raspberries are rich in fiber. If you look up close, you can see plenty of seeds placed together in the fruit. This makes them fiber-rich and an excellent stool softener. You can also add strawberries and blackberries to your kid’s diet, as all of them are known for their fiber-rich structure. Using these fruits, it is easier to make juices and smoothies, so it won’t be much of an issue for your kids to consume them.
10. Banana and Orange
You can easily identify fiber-rich fruits by yourself. Checking the texture of a fruit is the key. If you checked an orange, you could see a fiber-like structure in abundance. The same is true with bananas. You can peel an orange and provide it to your child so that it can be easily eaten. Adding bananas to your kid’s diet can also be helpful. Both of these fruits are known for being nutrient-rich.
11. Wheat Pasta
It won’t be hard for you to find whole wheat products on the market, as they are fiber-rich and are a good remedy for constipation. With a variety of pastas available now, you can find what suits your kid’s appetite. Make tasty pasta using whole wheat to boost your kid’s bowel movements and digestion. If your child is reluctant to eat whole wheat pasta, you can try using 50% pasta during preparation.
12. Fibre Advance Gummies
Kids always like toffees and Gummies. What if you can find some gummies that can fix your kid’s constipation? This fiber-advanced gummy is a true lifesaver in this scenario. With no sugar added and made with 100% natural ingredients, you can offer these gummies to your kids to get relief from constipation.
13. Aloe Vera Juice
This could be one of the best stool softeners you can ever find, but at the same time, it’s a hard one when it comes to feeding your kids. You will be able to find naturally extracted olive oil juice on the market. Adding a few drops of olive oil to water or juice can solve your kid’s constipation, but they might not naturally like it as it has a strong taste. You can try making smoothies with olive oil drops added to add them to your kid’s diet.
Is your kid a fan of Popeye? If so, you are in luck, as you can easily trick him into eating spinach. Spinach is known for being a powerhouse of fiber and vitamins. Rather than keeping the greens aside only for the adult diet, you should introduce them to your kids as well. Adding spinach to the diet can be a good stool softener for kids. You can sit and drink a tasty smoothie with spinach in it with your little one, as it is beneficial for both of your health.
15. Magnesium Gummies
Magnesium is known for treating anxiety in kids. But they are also very good for treating constipation. You can try these magnesium gummies as a stool softener for kids. These gummies come in multiple natural flavors, so your kid won’t have a problem munching on them. This vegan product is a good source of magnesium and can ease up your kid’s bowel movements in no time.
If your kid is suffering from constipation, the first thing you should do is find the underlying issue. Most cases of constipation in kids are due to an improper diet and lifestyle. While looking for a stool softener for kids, it is better to first try something natural. We hope this list of stool softeners that can keep constipation at bay for your kid was helpful to you. Make sure that your kid gets enough physical exercise and a healthy diet to avoid constipation. If none of the natural remedies work, you can try giving your kid probiotics. But it is always best to first consult your kid’s pediatrician and get examined if constipation goes on for a longer period of time than usual.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Know if My Kid is Experiencing Constipation?
You can observe your kid’s body language to understand if he or she is going through pain because of a tight bowel movement. Crossing legs, clenching buttocks, and uneasy expressions are some signs of constipation.
Will Constipation Affect a Child’s Behavior?
Research has shed light on the effects of constipation on a child’s behavior. A child may display temper tantrums, irritation, aggression, disrupted sleep patterns, etc., due to constipation.