21 answers

18 Month Old Constipated

My son is 18 months old and is really constipated today. Yesterday his bowl movements were fine. I gave him some apple juice and apple sauce today...but so far no help. It hurt him so much he's started to cry when he tries to go. We just tried a few different ways to help him go, but no luck. He's never really ben constiated before. What can I give him to help him go...it seems to be getting stuck...or he doesn't want to give that extra push or something.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all your suggestions. Just after I wrote this he was able to finish "going" I will keep all this in mind though, in case it happens again. For some reason, I thought apples and apple juice was not constipating, but it's good to know I was wrong. We tried some prune juice last night, just to try to make it so he's not constipated today, but he didn't like the flavor...so I'll have to try mixing it with another juice maybe.

Thanks for the great info.

Featured Answers

Apples and bananas will make the problem worse. Try fruit like grapes, raisens, berries etc. Also try getting to drink some water. If you really need it put some prune juice with water and give him that.

good luck.

Prunes, prune juice or raisons have been very effective for me. The prune juice has an extra oomph.

Good luck!

More Answers

Prunes have always worked for my kids - they really like the taste. There are some "bite sized" prunes available in the baking aisle.

Regular prunes taste a LOT better than prune juice, so don't be afraid to try them. They work so well that I have to limit my kids to one or two a day, which makes them seem like a treat when they're allowed to have them.

Apples are actually constipating, try giving him some prune or plum juice. You could also try raisons or whole grain or high in fiber.

My daughter had issues with constipation and we ended up getting a prescription to help soften her stools. It sounds like this isn't on going so I'd suggest staying away from apples and banannas as they are constipating. Fruits the start with P's are not constipating and won't bind the stools. Beans are also good. Increase wheat as well. Good luck.

Have you tried any prune juice, this is usually effective after a couple servings.
good luck

Pear juice! Gerber makes it....works way better than apple.

My son was constipated from the time he was 6 months until age 4 1/2. If this continues to be a problem TRY CHIROPRACTIC!!!!!!! We tried EVERYTHING (from diet changes to medications, they did colon tests on him, and I tried all kinds of natural remedies). And, after four years, Chiropractic worked!!

My kids oranges works wonders! I keep some of the canned ones on hand as the fresh ones aren't always around when we need some. My daughter was in the ER 2 months ago, ended up only constipated. They said apple juice and a pediatric laxative. That can be found over the counter at Walmart and says pediatric on it. We have a bottle on hand now but also keep canned oranges on hand. Prunes we tried and she didn't like the taste.
Good luck,
S. (29 yrs old, mom to 5)

Hi T.

I have a little girl who is 13 months old who has a problem with constipation. I was told by my pediatrician that apple sauce does and apple juice don't help with constipation as much as you would think. My little gal drinks prune apple juice which helps, and I try to get her to eat as much fruit as she can. Also, make sure your little guy is getting enough water to drink. Recently I tried re-fried beans for her and she loved them.

When she has had trouble with her stool being stuck I have helped her out by stimulating her rectum with a rectal thermometer. She hates it but sometimes I have to.

I would suggest also that you speak with your pediatrician about this matter, they have great advice on diet and may even be able to suggest some sort of medication.

Good Luck


Hi T., I have an 18 month old daughter too who regularly gets hard stools or sometimes constipated since birth. I would recommend giving your son a prune. Kids usually love them since they're really sweet and my daughter has loved them from day 1. Try giving him 1 prune a day and see how his system responds to that and if it still is a little hard for the little guy to go give him another. Don't start too fast with the prunes since they may result in diarrhea if his system is not used to them. The key then is to give him 1 a day or however you decide he needs. I hope this helps and we always have a tub of prunes in the fridge for my daughter. No big deal. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions and if it worked ok?

I had the same problem with my daughter and my doctor suggested putting a little prune juice in her bottle or milk. I also used it in her hot cereal as she got a little bigger. You do not want to use too much or you will create other problems :) I would still discuss it with your doctor, though.

I would stay away from the applesauce and apple juice because that's what you give for the BRAT diet when they have the opposite problem.
I would stick with fruits that start with P, pears work great. Get some fresh pears and chop them up really small and have him eat them and get him some pear juice. My kids all get looser stools with mandarin oranges too. Push the water a lot too because that will add more moisture. You really have to get a hold of constipation quick because he could get a tear up in his colon like my daughter did. There is also a product called Miralax that was just made over the counter that my daughter used to use for her chronic constipation. If all else fails you might want to try that. Just ask the pharmacist what dose to use. It's granuals that just mix in with their milk or juice.
Best Wishes,

Apples and bananas will make the problem worse. Try fruit like grapes, raisens, berries etc. Also try getting to drink some water. If you really need it put some prune juice with water and give him that.

good luck.

I am glad your little guy got to go. Just so you are aware next time, you were ok with applejuice. Apple juice can actually cause diarrhea, and applesauce is what is in the BRAT diet to help firm diarrhea. Someone told you it was applejuice, and I just wanted to make it clear that it isn't. You were fine to give him applejuice.

Prune juice always works for my toddler. I've also been told that a good soak in the tub loosens things up to but have never tried it.

My son has had problems with constipation over the years. I've found both infant and regular oatmeal help. Prunes are great, of course, but not every kid likes the taste. I get the gerber apple-prune fruit blend and try to add water to his juice, etc. He also loves nutri-grain bars (I buy the store brand as they have less sugar)

Other things that help are green leafy veggies (spinach, kale, etc) or squashes. I add a bit of cinnamon to squash (no extra calories from sugars, but still gives flavor) or I grind sweet red/yellow peppers and green peppers in the blender and add it to spaghetti sauce. Whole grain pastas, wheat breads, etc help also. It really depends on his taste.

If diet alone doesn't change things, ask your doctor about Miralax (or the generic equivalent). We had to resort to that since my son had encopresis (severe blockage in his intestines). It's completely safe to take long-term (this was my biggest fear) and after about 4 months will clear things up. Just make sure you stick out the whole four months, even if he shows signs of improvement.

If you want any other ideas for dishes the whole family can eat, feel free to email me at ____@____.com I have a ton. :) I hope you and your little one find something that helps!! :)

Prunes, prune juice or raisons have been very effective for me. The prune juice has an extra oomph.

Good luck!

I have always used sugar water to help ease my childs constipation. just 4 oz of water with 1 table spoon of sugar, a real old remedy my mom used when the fomula was too strong was that or corn syrup. This does work, the frutose in this makes it happen.

hi, when my son was little my mother suggested a tablespoon of Karo syrup on his cereal. I only had to use it once so it seemed to work ok. I'm sure it tastes much better than prunes. Also try watermelon, grapes, corn on the cob and raisens. They seem to make my kids go!!

Just wanted to let you know that you were in fact right about the apple juice. It is specifically what my daughters doctor suggested. Honestly, I doubt you would be able to get your son to drink prune juice. I had "problems" myself during pregnancy and it is just nasty. Maybe if you gave him the dried version it would be better (I remember liking it as a kid). We've found that keeping up with a little apple juice a day and gram crackers (another suggested by the doc.) really helps to keep things going. Right now she's on a banana kick so I've upped the fiber in her diet.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

I just read your response to all of the advice you received. I did not read any of that, but try pear juice. That is better than prune since it doesn't cause as much gas...which is painful, especially when constipated!! If your son gets constipated and you want to give him a medicine, buy some miralax and just add it to any non-carbonated drink (except milk) and he can drink it. My daughter is chronically constipated, and this is what we give her.

I brought my baby in to the doc for same and maybe some advice will save you the trip. Instructions are warm bath, lube up a rectal thermometer and insert to see if that can urge him to push or it may help loosen things. prune juice if the stools aren't loose. Also you can try probiotics in their milk and that helps regulate them. (Find in vitamin stores) I use this everyday for my little one. Probably nothing serious if this hasn't been a problem before.

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