Children & Parenting

How to Prevent Constipation in Children


Constipation is a common condition in children and does not usually represent any health concerns. It is generally a temporary condition that can be treated and prevented with simple lifestyle and diet changes.

What Is Constipation in Children?

A child is said to be experiencing constipation when they have less than three bowel movements in a week, and experience inconvenience and pain during potty time. 

Your kid might be constipated  if he/she:

  • Has stools that are painful to pass
  • Passes large, dry or lumpy stools
  • Cries or screams during bowel movements
  • Feels bloated
  • Has belly pain
  • Has decrease in appetite

What Causes Constipation?

Constipation mostly occurs when stool moves unusually slowly through the digestive tract. This can be due to a diet that does not contain enough water, fruits, vegetables and fibre, which help the bowels move normally. 

Some other causes of constipation include:

  • Diets high in processed food such as cheese, white bread or red meat.
  • Not going to the toilet even when there is an urge to go. This commonly occurs when kids are travelling or are afraid to go to the bathroom. 
  • Stress and anxiety can also be the causes of constipation. 
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may also cause children to have constipation or diarrhoea.

How to Prevent Constipation in Children?

Include More Water

Drinking enough water and other fluids promote good digestion and regular bowel movements by keeping your stool soft, which moves easily through the digestive tract. The amount of water kids need is based on their weight and age. Most young children need at least a litre of water every day. If an infant is constipated when transitioning from breastfeeding to trying solid foods, parents can give them f fruits such as apple and pear, or prune juice. 

Serve More High-Fibre Foods

Make sure to include high-fibre foods in your child’s daily meals. Fruits, vegetables, beans, whole-grain bread will help form soft stools and stimulate bowel movements. It is recommended that younger children consume approximately 20 grams of fibre a day. As they grow older, teenage girls and young women’s intake should aim for  29 grams a day, whereas teenage boys and young men should consume 38 grams of dietary fibre a day.

Develop a Regular Toilet Routine

If your child is toilet-trained, help them establish a routine so they can follow it and use the bathroom regularly. To have a regular toilet routine, it is necessary to have a regular meal schedule. Make sure to set some time aside after meals for your little one to use the bathroom. 

Encourage Exercising

Having regular physical activity is beneficial for your child because it not only helps them form good habits and prevent obesity, but it can also stimulate your child’s bowel function. As parents or caregivers, you can start by setting a good example and exercise together with your little ones.

Review Your Child’s Medications (If They Are Taking Any)

Some medications can be a cause of constipation.  It is important that you consult your child’s paediatrician about alternative options if you notice that your child experiences constipation after taking a certain type of medication. 


Constipation is a common condition in children and is usually not a symptom of any serious disorder. Nonetheless, if constipation persists and your child experiences severe pain when passing stool, seek a paediatrician for professional medical help. At SOG, our friendly paediatricians are dedicated to giving your little ones the best possible care and help to improve your child’s bowel problems. 


About SOG Health Pte. Ltd.

Established in 2011, SOG Health Pte. Ltd. (“SOG”) is a leading healthcare service provider dedicated to delivering holistic health and wellness services to the modern family.

With a long and established track record in Singapore providing Obstetrics and Gynaecology (“O&G”) services such as pre-pregnancy counselling, delivery, pregnancy and post-delivery care, the Group has since further expanded its spectrum of healthcare services to include Paediatrics, Dermatology, and Cancer-related General Surgery (Colorectal, Breast & Thyroid).

The Group’s clinics, under its four operating segments of O&G, Paediatrics, Oncology and Dermatology, are strategically located throughout Singapore to provide easy access to its patients.

  • Obstetrics
  • Gynaecology
  • GynaeOncology
  • Breast, Thyroid & General Surgery
  • Colorectal, Endoscopy & General Surgery
  • Dermatology
  • Paediatrics

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