Whats the best way to deal wth a toddler that is constipated?

Laura - posted on 06/22/2011 ( 60 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 2,5 years old and has been constipated for a few days now. I have given her a laxative to help her have a bowel movement and it worked but now she's back to being constipated again...She strains and has some poop but its more of a smear than a hard poop. What else can I do for her? she isn't in any pain or anything so that's good, but I want to know what else can I do. Sorry moms for being so blunt about this topic.

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Nadine - posted on 01/20/2013

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I am a mother of one.my son Aron mean everything to me.he is 3 years old.and he is have problems making number 2.It started at the age of 1 and a half.we went to many doctors',and follow everything they said to do.change of diets a,more liquids more fruits, medicines etc.the whole nine yard.i hate to see him in so must pain.i need some help.to help my son.

Kimberly - posted on 08/02/2011

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My daughter also had the same problem for over a year. All she would eat was fruit, but that didn't help. PlumSmart juice really helps...and It tastes much better than prune juice. The juice helped, but didn't solve the problem completely. Her doctor told me to put some Miralax in her water or juice... TOTALLY helped. We used a small teaspoon of Miralax daily for about 4 months, then didn't need to use it anymore.

Maggie - posted on 01/26/2013

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Have her eat lots if fruit and give her coconut water to drink. Coconut water is a safe and natural laxative.

Kimberly - posted on 08/02/2011

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My daughter also had the same problem for over a year. All she would eat was fruit, but that didn't help. PlumSmart juice really helps...and It tastes much better than prune juice. The juice helped, but didn't solve the problem completely. Her doctor told me to put some Miralax in her water or juice... TOTALLY helped. We used a small teaspoon of Miralax daily for about 4 months, then didn't need to use it anymore.

Aimee - posted on 07/31/2011

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We just took our son to the pedi for blood in stool and he recommended miralax. My coworker's pedi also recommended this for her son. Both are age 3-4 and the doc said half the adult dose daily (adult= 17g dose) mix it in water or other drink. It doen't usually work immediately but it does work within a couple days with no pain. word of advice from my coworker- dont add it to pudding or other solid as it seems to break down and liquify he proteins.

In addition,increase water intake, and more fruits, veggies, and fiber of course. You can also get pedialax fiber gummies OTC- yummy and they help.

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Donna - posted on 07/31/2011

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Apple or Pear juice 50/50 with water. Works like a charm for my daughter. Doctor actually told me that when she was 4 months old, and I only give her juice when its been 2-3 days without a bm.

Heather - posted on 07/31/2011

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I give my daughter prunes on occasion when she is showing signs of an issue. Good luck!

Lisa - posted on 07/29/2011

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Most kids don't like the normal constipation remedies, but heres one that is good. Pear juice is also a natural laxative and it's great for the kids and they like it! Try it...it should work.

Jennifer - posted on 07/29/2011

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My son is 4 and when he was about 2-2.5 he was always constipated. We started giving him fruits once, maybe twice, a day and that eventually helped him start going. We also put a laxative in his chocolate milk to help him go as well. Eventually he started going on his own and no longer needs any help going.

Erica - posted on 07/28/2011

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Gerber sells prune/apple juice. It's in a small bottle, so you won't waste if you don't need a lot. Only give her maybe 1/2 cup. It works wonders!!! And maybe to keep the constipation away, up her fluid intake. Water is essential. Some juices can stop up little kids. Plenty of fiber is good. It's summer and you can find a lot of good fruits. However, for that quick fix you need, go to the baby aisle. In the baby juices, you'll find prune/apple. It's pretty yummy!

Aimee - posted on 07/28/2011

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give her gripe water thats good and infacol before food and if she does get some pain you can see a doc and they can give u some thing hope this helps

Rachel - posted on 07/26/2011

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I got fiber gummies and gave one to my son every day. some kids need 2, but i found it worked really well.

Tonya - posted on 07/26/2011

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Oatmeal is a good one to try as well as peanut butter, nuts. Actually anything high in fiber is best. Just becareful if you give your child too much it may make them have diarrhea for a day. Good luck

Tiffany - posted on 07/19/2011

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Give her less milk and way more juice! I mix a little prune juice with apple juice for her in the mornings and it's been helping a lot!

Tammy - posted on 07/18/2011

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I add liquid magnesium to milk or juice every day and it seems to help my 2 boys that suffer from cronic consitpation. every one and a while I'll have to give a laxative and I try to use something like Senokot that is all natural and won't cause stomach cramping

Julie - posted on 07/16/2011

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lactulose solution that you can get from ya doctors of plenty of fruit puree.fibre filled food ,watered down pure orange these are few of the things i tried

Julie - posted on 06/27/2011

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Don't expect the same sized b.m. each time. Make sure she is drinking plenty of water...
Give her fruit to eat as snacks instead of pastries, etc., -

Jenn - posted on 06/27/2011

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If her poop is a "smear", then it isn't hard and dried and she isn't constipated. But, if by smear you mean something different, try adding more fluids to her diet - water, juice, milk, fruits, vegetables, smoothies, soups, etc.

Janet - posted on 06/27/2011

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I found giving cups of cooled boiled water worked wonders with my children....keeping her fluid intake up....I know this can be tricky at times if they say they aren't thirsty but it really helped

Amy - posted on 06/27/2011

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Amanda- How do prunes not work, they work for my daughter she likes to eat them like candy! I don't let her but they work well on her.

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I've dealt with my daughter being constipated quite often but I found that giving her white grape juice works as well as giving her foods that have whole grain like wheat bread and also popcorn (something she loves!). She's not a big water drinker but I'll give her a chubby water with the sugar free koolaide packet in it and she drinks it just fine. Also if your daughters likes fresh fruit cantaloupe and watermelon work really well. Try to avoid giving too many laxatives because I read that if you overload the system with it then it won't work. My daughter now has 1-2 bowel movements daily with no problems. Hopes this helps.

Colleen - posted on 06/27/2011

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I just went through this with my daughter over the weekend who just turned Four. I mixed prune juice, pepsi, and two teaspoons of sugar and she loved it. The docotor told me to also give her Miralax...1/2 cap full in a mix of juice and water. She also told me to cut down her milk consumption and increase the fruits and veggies. She was better in two days. We give her fiber gummies each day, but had missed several and she paid the price for that.

Mandeline - posted on 06/27/2011

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I have found that pear juice works the best. One diluted glass seems to do the trick.

Jessica - posted on 06/27/2011

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Benefiber worked for my 2.5 year old for about 6 months - and then we switched to Miralax (2X in about 10 days now). Pediatrician says it's not unusual... we're also telling her "everybody poops every day" - because she needs to, just doesn't want to. Good luck!

Sandra - posted on 06/26/2011

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My daughter had the same problem. This is what the doctors told me to do. Start out with a half of a cap of miralax and put it in the juice or milk or food just dont cook it. Increase it until she poops then keep her on it regularly. It is very hard to adjust and keep adjusted. Also try giving her fiber gummys you can find them at walmart or any other pharmacy. This will help since most likely that is the problem. Also just so you know children can be constipated up to 4 days with no health issues it is just hard for them.

Tammy - posted on 06/26/2011

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Pears are GREAT!! Even apple juice. My daughter went through the same kind of thing when she was young. The doctor told us to give her mineral oil, but the is so nasty! I gave it ti her only once. She loved pears so that was a better way to go. Hope it all clears up SOON!!

Amy - posted on 06/26/2011

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Our daughter was the same way, and we used sunflower kernals, and try increasing the water. Still works for her now that she is 11. Works great for us parents too.

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Lots of fruits, vegetables, apple juice, and grape juice does the trick for my son who will be 3 in about a month. If he still don't go, I give him something with blueberries in it or even just plain blueberries. It always seems to help. Eating an apple a day is another thing that keeps my son regular. I have almost had to limit his apple in take because when it eats one within an hour he is pooping no matter what.

Kimberly - posted on 06/25/2011

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I have to agree that dried prunes work the best. My daughter who is 3yrs loves them (I do not). She used to get constipated all the time, she would have 1-2 prunes before bed with her daddy. She seems to have grown out of it. It still happens occasionally. I have also tried bran buds in plain yogurt.

Victoria - posted on 06/25/2011

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I would massage her tummy. If she is back to being constipated I would go to her dr. There are many different reasons but if she goes back to being constipated only after a few days I would be concerned and take her to dr and possibly get xray. Saying this as a Student Nurse.

Katie - posted on 06/24/2011

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Hi Laura,

What type of milk is she on? My pediatrician told us to switch my 2 year old to 2% milk instead of whole milk because whole milk can be hard to digest and can cause constipation. You might also want to try prune juice or apple juice. They are pretty effective at getting rid of constipation. If those don't work call your pediatrician to see if they have any recommendations.

Kendra - posted on 06/24/2011

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Have you tried giving her a little prune juice, my doctor to me to try that when my son was constipated. You can also try to give her apple juice everyday.

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Apple juice, fruit, oatmeal will all help. Prunes or prune juice will help A LOT, if you can get the kid to eat them (I think they're disgusting).



Avoid bananas, applesauce, cheese, and rice, as these will all make constipation worse.

Michelle - posted on 06/24/2011

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Buy some magnesium capsules - start by adding about 1/4 or 1/3 of it into some of her food. Then 1/2 a capsule (don't start with too much or it could upset her tummy). Magnesium is a natural stool softener - it increases the body's ability to absorb water into the colon (or something to that affect). She will just pee out any extra, you can't overdose or anything like that. I give that to my son when he has constipation problems and it always helps. I buy SISU brand 250 mg capsules.

Donna - posted on 06/24/2011

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My little boy has the same problem he can go for about a week without pooping. We have had him to the doctors and he gave him movicol as he was developing a phobia about pooping because it hurt him. The doctor said the same thing as the other mothers give him plenty of fruit and veg and fiber but the the thing is like you said he gets quite lot of fruit, veg and fiber. We even gave him prune juice it helped a bit but didn't cure it completely. He is 4 and half now and every so often he will get constipated and we still haven't found the cause of it.

Michelle - posted on 06/24/2011

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Apple juice and water (half n half). My 3 year old never has a problem thanks to this. He drinks this once everyday.



Water is the key though. Lots, along with limiting Milk and no cheese for the day.

Claudine Jo - posted on 06/24/2011

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Hi, are you also potty training your child? I actually thought my son was constipated for a good while when i started potty training him. So i would have a lot of episodes where he would try pooping and said he can't, try to strain and still nothing. But he would let out small poo-poos in between tries, has accidents in his underwear (smears). He drinks lots of apple juice during the day so it shld. help him with his supposed constipation but it didn't. I think he was just scared to do no. 2...and when he finally got the hang of no. 2, i have not had any problems with constipation.

Not to say that your child isn't really constipated, if she is, i also tried the laxative route ( 1 tsp) mixed up with his apple juice regularly until he has soft poop (doctor actually said to repeat daily until poop is a little runny then do 1/2 dose regularly until poop is normal) . Worked for a while until i thought his constipation is over and quit giving it to him and it's back to the same problem. They also say abstain from bananas too, it makes their poop hard. Hope this helps.

Claudine Jo - posted on 06/24/2011

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Hi, are you also potty training your child? I actually thought my son was constipated for a good while when i started potty training him. So i would have a lot of episodes where he would try pooping and said he can't, try to strain and still nothing. But he would let out small poo-poos in between tries, has accidents in his underwear (smears). He drinks lots of apple juice during the day so it shld. help him with his supposed constipation but it didn't. I think he was just scared to do no. 2...and when he finally got the hang of no. 2, i have not had any problems with constipation.

Not to say that your child isn't really constipated, if she is, i also tried the laxative route ( 1 tsp) mixed up with his apple juice regularly until he has soft poop (doctor actually said to repeat daily until poop is a little runny then do 1/2 dose regularly until poop is normal) . Worked for a while until i thought his constipation is over and quit giving it to him and it's back to the same problem. They also say abstain from bananas too, it makes their poop hard. Hope this helps.

Kelsey - posted on 06/23/2011

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When my daughter had trouble I used dark kyro syrup it's by the pancake syrup in the grocery store you just add a tbsp to milk and it helps them go fairly quick without giving them a laxative...my doc suggested pedia-lax gummies to keep my daughter regular and they work great. I agree with the fact that children slowing down on the pooping at this age is normal I did it and it's just normal for me and now my daughter is doing the same thing. You can ask your childs doctor to ease your mind but as long as your child isn't in pain or any discomfort I would say enjoy not cleaning as many poop butts...

Isabel - posted on 06/23/2011

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I have given my children Castor Oil. It is tasteless & odorless & very inexpensive (under $5 at Wal-Mart). 1/4 tsp- 1 tsp depending on their age

Herna - posted on 06/23/2011

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Prune juice works for us too. Our daughter wouldn't take it straight before, so we actually mixed prune juice and her milk together (I know it sounds gross, but she actually liked it quite a lot). Now, she can just drink it by itself. Your daughter might also just be a little dehydrated, so more water, less starchy foods, and more fiber can really help.

Tiffany - posted on 06/23/2011

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My daughter is similar, she eats a lot of fruits and veggies, her diet is good. My pediatrician recommended Miralax. It's better for their system and it's not a laxative that makes you go immediately. It can sometimes take a few days before they go where it doesn't come out hard. She said that it can actually be taken continuously for years because it is gentle. We've given it to her for a week and it is much better. Obviously, natural methods are better, but if they don't work and she is having a hard time, Miralax is safe (if no other medical issues). Check with your doctor first.

Amanda - posted on 06/22/2011

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I will add that MORE fruits and veggies won't help. More so you want to have them eat fruits and veggies that aren't binding or starchy, but have tons of fiber. Prunes, apple sauce or pieces, carrots, green beans, things like that. Peas, potatoes, bananas, and the like can cause bm's to be harder. If she isn't uncomfortable then I wouldn't worry to much. If you do go the laxative route again please be aware that the more often you use them the more likely children are to become reliant on laxatives to go. Try the natural route if you can for awhile. You could also try the age old method of taking her temp rectally. That usually makes them go too.

How often is her "normal"? The reason I ask is because with my oldest, he used to go frequently as a baby and then around the toddler years shifted to only having a bm every 5 days. It's been the same ever since and even his pediatrician says this is his "normal".

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