20 answers

1 Year Old, Very Hard Time Going to the Bathroom

Hello ~ Our 13 month old baby girl is having an extremely hard time passing her bowels for the last 3 weeks or so. I don't consider it constipation because she is pooping every day. The problem is that the poops are extremely hard, like rocks the size of an egg. She has to stand in one place and pushes for 5-10 minutes, all the while almost shaking because it's so hard and sometime crying when it does pass because it is so hard and large it hurts her rectum.
What's causing this all of a sudden? She has been eating "normal" table food for months now, nothing has changed in her diet to cause this at all. We've taken the advice of more fruits & water, did nothing. Tried sapositories, did nothing. Tried small amounts of mineral oil (was told it would loosen stools), did nothing. My poor baby is suffering every day, and having stools this hard and problems passing for a baby does not seem normal. Any advice?????

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

You can give her graham crackers, prunes or prune juice,whole wheat toast, karo syrup,oarmeal, all will help. Stay away from bananas, rice, and cheese. FYI---mineral oil simply makes her GI tract slippery, it doesn't affect the stool itself.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter experienced the same thing off and on for a couple of years. Try a little epsom salt in her bath. But be prepared ...it may work faster than you think. My daughter finally outgrew it; she's 11 now

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What you describe, is constipation. The fact that she's pooping, doesn't make it something else. She is not effectively passing her bowls, they are hard and painful. That's constipation. Get her a good probiotic. I suggest going to a natural food store and getting a refrigerated one, they are much more effective. Feed her yogurt with live active cultures, like Stonyfield Yo Baby. Probiotics supply the gut with healthy bacteria and help to normalize intestinal function.

2 moms found this helpful

You can give her graham crackers, prunes or prune juice,whole wheat toast, karo syrup,oarmeal, all will help. Stay away from bananas, rice, and cheese. FYI---mineral oil simply makes her GI tract slippery, it doesn't affect the stool itself.

1 mom found this helpful

I agree that you are describing constipation. More fruit (bananas are okay in moderation – they help "normalize" bms that are too loose OR too hard), more whole grains, and be sure to encourage liquids. My grandson needs to be reminded many times a day to drink a little more water so his stools don't become too hard/uncomfrotable.

Liquid glycerin suppositories for babies/toddlers might be worth trying if you haven't used that type yet, but should not be used daily or a dependency might develop.

I'd sure talk to her pediatrician if I were in your shoes. There are supplemental products like Miralax that can soften hard stools, but I'm not sure if they should be used with a child so young. But if this problem goes on, it could become worse, and encopresis (bowel impaction) is difficult to deal with.

1 mom found this helpful

You need to ask your Pediatrician...
because if she gets impacted or the bowels get blocked up that is not good.
They can x-ray her....

1 mom found this helpful

You are indeed describing constipation - very hard stools painful to pass.

Eat Grapes, grapes, grapes, cut in 1/2 for her and lots of yogurt.

1 mom found this helpful

Your daughter may be regular but she is constipated. I second the karo syrup. Avoid the BRAT (bananas, rice, apples and toast) foods. These are the foods given for diarrhea. So if you're giving her fruits from this list your making the problem worse.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M. - Try Juice Plus chewables before you resort to Miralax. I've had several customers who have had toddlers with persistent constipation problems (I think it is constipation because she's having a hard time passing the stools) who had their kids on Miralax for a long time (and to their detriment) with little results. After a about a month of taking Juice Plus fruit and vegetables chews their children became regular and normal bowel movements! If you'd like to talk with them let me know! You can get Juice Plus at WeThriveonJuicePlus.com. I hope her problem is solved soon!

Poor baby!

Talk to your daughter's pediactrician right away; the doc may recommend something like Miralax to help with this.

You said you switched to extra water and more fruits/veggies? That's good, but make sure that all the grain products you're giving are whole grain -- whole grain cereal (oatmeal is yummy), whole grain/whole wheat bread, muffins, whole wheat pasta. If you're using rice in dishes, use brown rice not white.

Try giving her prune juice, pear juice, apple juice (in order of effectiveness--prune juice is the most anti-constipating), diluted. Also, try giving her a couple of dried prunes per day, cut into very small bits, or stewed prunes mixed with applesauce, or just straight (prunes are sweet, so most kids & people will eat them.

You might cut back or cut out dairy products, particularly cheese and yogurt and maybe water down or eliminate her milk. Milk products can be very constipating.

Don't delay talking to the doctor about this problem, though, and maybe also start a food journal now, and document all her drinks, snacks, and meals, so you can see what exactly she's eating, so you can adjust it.

Hello, My, now 8 year old grandson had the same problem. It was so sad to see how he struggled with this. It got to the point where he would hold it because it hurt so bad, then holding it would just make it worse. My daughter took him to the doctor and it seems they put him on something which helped. He eventually outgrew it.
Good luck with your precious little girl.
K. K.

My mother always tells me that when I was little, I called poo, "NUTS", because I was so constipated it came out in hard little balls like nuts. Turned out to be milk issues. I think, as a family, they had switched to 2% and my body needed the fat to handle that task, I guess. We switched back to whole milk and the problem solved itself.

My guy has a problem with hard stools as well. He's five and he's had it most of his life. I switched to whole grain breads, purposely give him foods with higher fiber content and nothing was helping. So my doctor recommended getting some of those fiber pills. They make them in gummie form for kids. Over the counter. He gets three a day and they work great to help him get the extra fiber he needs. Also, apple juice is really good for "cleaning out the bowels".

My daughter experienced the same thing off and on for a couple of years. Try a little epsom salt in her bath. But be prepared ...it may work faster than you think. My daughter finally outgrew it; she's 11 now

The longer stool stays in the intestines, the harder it becomes because the intestines draw out the moisture. She needs more fluids. Good luck!

I put a very small amount of prune juice in every bottle. I use the real stuff not the watered down kids version. If you add about a teaspoon to her milk or juice it actually sweetens it a little bit so they don't complain.

mix a little bit of clear karo corn syrup into her bottle of milk each morning. it will help

My little one (now almost three) has been seeing a pediatric gastro specialist since she was 6mos for similar issues ...our doctor recommended Mirlax (1/2 cap a day) and it has worked wonders in keeping her movements soft. You might also want look into a pediatric probiotic to help even out her system...our little one has been taking a chewable (little tummies?) for about 6mos and coupled with the miralax we havent had any problems in months. Chat with your doctor about it and if you arent happy with the answers you are getting seek out a specialist to rule out anything more serious...trust your instincts! Good luck!!

Same issues with my daughter, our peditrication told us to use Miralax. Try giving her 1-2 teaspoons of Miralax in her milk, water or juice....she can have this daily and not become "addicted" to it. Do not give her more than an adult dose in a day. I would also sprinkle some on any of the foods she eats that you can mix it into. It not only helps her become regular, but softens as well. Good luck!

Miralax. Ask your doctor

My 3-yr-old has had this problem since he started eating table food at about a year old and it made potty training extremely difficult. He was regular, having daily BMs, but they were very hard (and large!) and painful for him to pass. We tried all the dietary suggestions with no improvement and I finally spoke to the pediatrician. We reviewed his eating habits, nutrition, etc and she agreed we had already tried everything. Her suggestion (at 16 months old) was Miralax, half of the cap (so half of a normal dose) mixed in with liquid in the evenings every night. This has taken care of the problem completely! But if we run out of Miralax or forget for a week or 2, he goes right back to being constipated. I recently reviewed this with the doctor to be sure it's OK to continue giving to him on a regular basis and she said it's totally fine - that some kids are just prone to having hard stools and that eventually he'll probably outgrow it. Of course you should always speak to your doctor to get the OK (the Miralax bottle says not to give it to a child that young) and dosing information. But this was a huge help for us and my son is SO much happier now. AND - he never seemed to really eat very well before then either. I think he was just always sort of "backed up" and felt full. But when his poops are more comfortable and "normal", he has a much healthier appetite and mealtimes are much more pleasant for all of us!!

One other note, the karo syrup did seem to help quite well (we had tried it initially before seeing the doc), but the doctor stressed not to use this method as it is very bad for baby's teeth.


I hear you. My little one had trouble too when she was an infant and every now and then has some trouble. She is now 22 mths and I give her an ounce of prune juice to facilitate her bowel movements...Im sure that you may have tried this, but thought I would still send this bit of advice. I use to give her and ounce of prune juice every other day as a preventative measure for her and it worked real well. Let me know how it goes and the best of luck to your little one:) !

J. Miller

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