Constipation in infants and toddlers is a growing concern. When one of our daughters was 6 months old the pediatrician recommended I start giving her solid foods, as the custom is here in the United States. I was reluctant, since I’m one of those breast feeding, crunchy mama’s who feel that exclusive breast feeding for a year is best, but I did try a few things when she was 8 months old. She had been nursing since day one, but would only nurse for 7 minutes on one side per feeding, and I couldn’t pay her to stay latched on and drink more! That made it hard for her to sleep through the night, so I really wanted some relief from the sleep deprivation.
I first tried her on fresh pears, and then rice cereal. After only a few servings she became extremely constipated. It took her 10 days to have a bowel movement, and only then did she have one after I gave her a suppository. It was the most painful thing to watch her little body shake and her lungs open up into serious screaming to get that doo-doo out! So, of course, I waited several weeks before trying solids again. This time I tried only the fresh pears. Again, we had the same problem after only one serving of pears. We waited again, and again the same thing happened. Now the doctor recommended the popular Prune remedy. Surprisingly, it was unsuccessful.
We continued this pattern until she was 14 months old. It was clear to me that her bowels were totally healthy on breast milk alone, but on solid food, she immediately became constipated. We were now discussing a GI specialist, but I consulted with a nutritionist first. Her suggestion was to try giving a little bit of Magnesium Glycinate in diluted grape juice. It was my last resort before going to the specialist. I was dragging my heals on going because so many children are on Miralax for the same problem. Why is that an issue, you ask? Well, Miralax was never approved by the FDA for children. In fact, In 1999, when the F.D.A. first approved Miralax, the patient materials included the warning: “Miralax should not be used by children.” It’s supposed to be used by adults for up to 7 days at a time. Our children are being treated with it every day for years until they become dependent upon it! That was not the road I wanted to get on. Read the full article on Miralax issues in children from the New York Times.
So, I tried the magnesium and it worked like a charm!!!! I was totally able to give my child solid food with only a tiny bit of magnesium each day, with no constipation whatsoever! That was a pivotal moment for us and such an incredible breakthrough! If you’re baby, toddler or child is struggling with constipation, please seek help on using a natural remedy like the one we tried before you resort to a potentially harmful medicine. Here are two great articles on constipation and magnesium to help you gain more insight and get healthy relief. Natural Constipation Cures That Work and Benefits of Magesium from Dr. Mercola.