NEWS FLASH: Get the latest, official Coronavirus (COVID-19) news from the South African Government at


Home » All Articles » Toddler constipation, what to do

Toddler constipation, what to do

Did you know?

80% of your child’s antibody-producing cells are located in the gut. Good gut health isn’t just about relieving constipation and treating diarrhoea, but it is also about boosting your child’s immune system.Little tummies can face a range of troubles. Here are some tips that can help.

Step 1: Learn the signs of constipation in toddlers

  • Stool is harder than usual
  • Less than two bowel movements in a week
  • Abdominal bloating, on and off
  • Reduced appetite
  • Irritability

Step 2: Know the causes

  • Not enough fluids during the day
  • Not enough fibre in the diet
  • Discomfort during defaecation, which is causing your child to hold it in
  • Certain medicines
  • Other health problems

Step 3: Treat and prevent

Treatment options will depend on how long your child has been constipated and the severity of their pain and discomfort. A trip to the doctor is important when symptoms are prolonged, as there could be a need for intensive treatment.

Little tummies

Here are some simple constipation remedies you can do at home to prevent and treat constipation too:

  • Make sure your child is drinking enough fluids (specifically water) during the day. For toddlers, 1.3 litres (depending on the child’s weight) is recommended per day, while bigger kids should be drinking at least five glasses of water a day.
  • Introduce lots of fresh fruit and vegetables into meals for super healthy kids that are free from discomfort.
  • Finding fun ways to be healthy can help your children to develop positive eating habits for life.
  • Probiotic (lactic acid-producing bacteria/LAB) supplements help keep your child’s digestive tract healthy.
  • Make toilet training a relaxed and positive experience. Allow your child to communicate with you and give you signals so that they don’t hold it in.