Is your little one enjoying healthy bowel movement? If you have a young child who is pooping infrequently or irregularly, a tummy massage or warm bath just might do the trick. Movement and exercise too can help constipated toddlers pass motion, as all these aid digestion by stimulating the movement of food through the intestine and encourage the natural contraction of intestinal muscles. Therefore, it is important for you to help your child to stay physically active.
Simple activities that might help your little one poop
Before children begin exercising on their own, parents can help them exercise. Even at a young age, exercise is vital to the health and development of children. A simple exercise that mom and dad can bond with their child over, is ‘bicycle legs’. When your toddler is lying face up, gently move his or her legs in a cyclic motion as if he or she were pedalling on a two-wheeler.2
Your child might enjoy this activity and eventually even do it on his or her own! This helps to gently stimulate circulation and stretch your child’s muscles in the lower abdominal and hip area. It might also help your child with constipation to release gas.
Encouraging your young child to learn to crawl is good exercise too, as this refines their movement and coordination, strengthens their muscles and aids bowel movement.4 As your children’s physical capabilities increase and they begin learning to stand and walk on their own, you can assist them in walking around after meals.
Of course, you and your child should only attempt these exercises if they are already capable of doing so. Please exercise caution and exercise your child in moderation.
More relaxing activities that encourage healthy bowel movement include giving your child a warm bath, which can relax their abdominal muscles while minimising strain and constipation-related discomfort.2
You can also give your little bundle of joy simple massages that are suited for young children – simply use the tips of your fingers to make a circular motion on his or her stomach in a clockwise pattern.
Besides providing you and your toddler with great parent-child bonding opportunities, these activities can help children pass motion regularly and easily, when combined with healthy eating and lifestyle habits. If your child’s bowel problems persist, it is recommended that you bring him or her to see a paediatrician.