38 answers

Constipation: 2 1/2 year-old constipated -- Prune juice or Miralax?

Any ideas on how to get my daughter to pass a stool. She normally goes regularly once a day on a daily basis. It has now been about 3 days and she keeps complaining her stomach hurts. I can tell she needs to have a bowel movement but isn't. I have fed her fruits and about any other thing I can think of to "move" it and nothing is working. Please help!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

WOW - THANK YOU ALL for your kind words and responses. Never knew how much mothers can come together and truly help each other out without expecting anything in return. That was the strange thing with this child. She eats very well especially fruits, veggies and almonds. So it didn't make since while she was constipated. After much work yesterday, running around the yard and house, eating plenty of applesauce and drinking apple juice - I was finally able to get her to have a BM. I know she still has some more to get rid of but at least she slept through the night and didn't complain much more about her belly after wards. Thank you all again for your help. I will definitely get some Miralax to keep on hand for the next time. With 3 children running around the house, it's a wonder I haven't experienced this before now. Have a great day! P.

Featured Answers

Put about a half to one teaspoon of mineral oil in her juice. This is what my doctor had me do for my daughter and it works great.

prune juice, you can mix it with a bit of water in case it is too strong for her taste. Give her some bran cereal to eat, either a bowl with milk or just dry and she can eat it while playing. then I would call the doc and get a stool softener for children or a laxative.

Good luck!


Dear P.,

Been there, done that, know exactly how you feel. since you've tried fruit.... mixing mineral oil in applesauce or something like that can help. Prune Juice is the old standby, but I don't think it tastes very good. Now they have plum juice which tastes better. Oatmeal might work, too. If you think this is just a one-time thing, give her some Miralax. It is a liquid and is now available over the counter. A warm bath can help, too, it relaxes the muscles. Good luck! L.

More Answers

Pure all natural pumpkin. Not pie filling. Has fiber so it solidifies or loosens stools. I do with my dogs and kids. It works.
You are a blessing.
W. Morris
Sellersburg, IN

1 mom found this helpful

Dear Pricilla,
I had a nephew who was in the hospital for the same problem and gave him some Vemma. He was out in no time! Stays regular too. I can't advertise my business without violating Mamasource guidelines so maybe you can find out where to get some. My daughter also benefits from no allergies as a result of taking it. It's also an immune system booster so your son will be more resistant to disease as he enters the social environment of daycare or school. My daughter rarely ever gets sick and my husband and I are well up in years but not on any medications! ;-)

1-2 capfuls of MiraLAX in her milk or juice each day until she passes everything. Be prepared! She may have blowouts. It will not be pretty, but it works! MiraLAX is over-the-counter at WalMART, grocery stores, etc. in the pharmacy areas. Also, she may need a glycerin suppository to help pass any hard clumps that have formed. Good luck :~)

Try using some Kayro syrup in her juice or something she likes to drink. I used this for both of my kids since they were born . It has alot of sugar in it , but it will loosen her stool.Good Luck!

prune juice, you can mix it with a bit of water in case it is too strong for her taste. Give her some bran cereal to eat, either a bowl with milk or just dry and she can eat it while playing. then I would call the doc and get a stool softener for children or a laxative.

Good luck!


Put about a half to one teaspoon of mineral oil in her juice. This is what my doctor had me do for my daughter and it works great.

she may need a mild stool softener. Once they become impacted its harder to get things moving without medication. Check with your pharmacist for suggestions.
I'd also rely on good old fashioned prune juice. That's natures Drano!!! It really works wonders.
good luck

Our ped suggested Miralax mixed in with her juice each morning. We have just started to use it, and she didn't notice that it was there.

I've had 2 with the same problem. It seems to be a phase that some kids go through. My pediatrician told me with both of them to use Miralax. It is NOT a laxative, it's a stool softener so there are no stimulants in it and you can now buy it over the counter (Wal-greens). I was concerned that if I used it that once I stopped, my kids would have trouble going on their own but my Dr. said that's only true of stimulants. I used it every day for between 3 and 6 months with both and it was WONDERFUL...it takes a few days for it to start working but once it does, my kids had SO much relief! My little guy used to turn beet red, strain and scream every time and that completely went away. You just mix it into whatever they drink (I mixed with milk, juice and water) and the kids can't even taste it! It's really a life saver because my kids were so uncomfortable and my heart broke every time I used to watch them try to go!
Good luck, keep us updated!!

About five months ago my 4 year old was complaining of tummy ache. It got so bad that one morning she came out of her room crying and screaming my name (not mommy) and I knew I had to take her to the doctor. It turned out she was dehydrated which made her constipated. Her doc told me to give her MiraLAX. It has no taste or color. The next morning she had a normal vowel (not runny, either) and she continued to go to the bathroom for the next couple of days. I gave it to her for three days. Since then, she stays hydrated and she is regular...again. I suggest giving her plenty of clear liquids first, if she does not go to the bathroom then, you can try MiraLAX. Good luck!

hi i just recently had to give my 3yr old miralax. it was ok'd by his doctor and pharmacist.

My friend had the same problem with her daughter, but once she started giving her Danone Active yoghurt, the bowel movement was regular and she had no more issues. Good luck!

my 4 1/2 yr old has had chronic problems with BMs and still sometimes goes in his pants instead of the potty. He tends to only go every few days and then they're massive things that clog the toilets. I finally ask the ped. about it at his 4 yr check up. I thought maybe if he was more regular we have less poop in the pants. The ped. said to give him something like miralax or metamucil in a drink when he has trouble. She said she has to do this herself with her youngest daughter who's 2-3 yrs old. we tries the metamucil but I think we'll switch to the miralax next time. My son does notice the met. when I put it in and supposedly they don't with the miralax. We have had great improvement since starting the met. though.

Don't wait around. Give her a little milk of magnesia. That is a laxative so don't give her alot and don't give it to her often. If she is normally, normal then a little milk of magnesia won't hurt. Get it out and then everyone will be happy

My 2 1/2 year old was hospitalized last spring because of a blockage in his bowels. Myralax is what the pediatric hospital has him on to prevent it. It is not absorbed into the body just the bowels, so it is very safe. It takes about 12-24 hours to work. If she is still complaining take her and insist on x-rays. That is how my son started telling me his stomach hurt. A 2 year old has to be hurting to complain, they don't know how to make that up. Good luck.



Try the corn syrup method. In her milk, pour a little corn syrup, maybe a teaspoon per cup of milk, and mix it in well. That always worked for my daughter. Also, when she is trying to go, manipulate her stomach as she trys to push. Not hard, just enough to put some pressure and move things along. I do this with my daugther now, she's 7, and we usually can get rid of the constipation within a day.

Good luck, I hope your daughter feels better soon.


Have you checked out the Glycerin Pediatric suppositories?
Please check with your child's Dr. as each child is different.

Another helpful suggestion is to get some baby prune juice and mix it with apple juice.

I heard a long time ago that anything with a "P" would help, pears, peaches, prunes.. I know apricots will do the same.

She might be needing more water... try to remember what she has eaten and eat that food in moderation to help avoid the constipation if you can, which I know is hard to do.

Hi P.! Unfortunately, we struggle with this on a regular basis. Our 2 1/2 year old son fights his bowel movements and is very successful at it. It has been going on for months, and I've even talked to our pediatrician about it. We keep him on a daily regimen of Milk of Magnesia. Normally we give him a teaspoon per day, but if he goes for several days without a BM, we increase it to two teaspoons a day until he has one. Another product you can try is Miralax. A dose of fiber in her water, juice, etc. helps as well. We use the Benefiber powder. Also, all of these methods were approved by our pediatrician.

I hope one of these suggestions will help. Good Luck!!

My son was about that age when he experienced the same problems. Have you tried Miralax? It is a powder that disolves in any liquid. It is now over the counter and is mild enough that it will not hurt their stomach. Hope this helps!

Contact your pediatrician for advice. He/she is familiar with your baby's medical history. The doctors deal with this all the time, and will recommend the best course of action.
She may be using the poo issue for a feeling of having control, which is not that uncommon with kids. There are exercises that you can do with her to "speed up the process". Instead of trying a bunch of different things that might not work, or might even stress her more and aggravate the problem, try whatever her doctor orders.
Lots of luck, and no pun intended but "this too shall pass."

Miralax to the rescue. Miralax is sold over the counter and has no taste and totally dissolves in any liquid. Best of luck to you!!

She needs to relax. It sounds like she might be stress with all that is going on around her. You know yelling, screaming or even fighting. Of the other children there. I am just guessing. She must be very tense inside herself. She need to calm her little self. Stools can be so ruff when a person is upset. This will take some time for her to adjust. But be there and calm her with your gentle voice. You sound like a wonderful Mother of love. Bless you. I do not know if I helped. But I try to. I too am a loving Mom.
Vicki W.

all great advice, but do contact your pediatrician before you give her anything and get their recommendation.

My daughter had the same thing happen to her. I had to use suppositores on her for a time. I got tired of those - it just seemed so mean. Our family dr said it is normal for children that age to get constipated because they are learning how to regulate theie bowel movements. My daughter would eat apples with the skin on, peas, drink juice, be active and drink lots of water - nothing helped for long. She is still that way and she is almost 5. I started using fiber-sure from metamucil and it works great. You can add it to juice or food and it does not leave an after taste or get thick. I give her about 1 teaspoon a day in her juice and she is non the wiser and it works! You can find it down the isle with stool softners. It is in a blue container and kinda expensive, but it is worth it. I dont use it everyday, only when she shows signs of harder than normal stools!

Hi P.,
I was in cvs recently and discovered they had a childrens laxative. I unfortunately do not remember what brand it is or any age limits. I'm sure if you ask to speak to a pharmicist he/she will assist you.
Sorry about the limited info, but well, it's something to start on at least.
Hope this helps,

My daughter saw a pediatric gastrointerologist when she was younger. Tummy pain due to constipation was her biggest issue, and apple juice or pear juice would help sometimes. He said we could use a children's laxative on a VERY limited basis -- just when the tummy pain was terrible. (I did use it with her once, but it was not a good experience. The cramping was worse than the bloating, and I threw the bottle away after that.) Miralax works great -- it helps so much, and it goes completely unnoticed in any drink (juice, water, milk, etc...). Applesauce seems to help, too.

Prunes and prune juice are supposed to be good for constipation, too, but my little girl HATED both of those things.

I'll keep her in my prayers...

I have a 9 month old and i have to give him pear juice every day so that he can go. It works like a charm. I give him 4oz. You might could give her more since she is older. My son loves it.

Dried prune really do have a good taste. You can also put 2 prunes in water and bring them to a low boil. Let your daughter drink the COOLED prune tea.

Hi P.,

Sorry to hear you dd is complaining of belly pains. Apples and or applesauce have always worked well for my kiddos. Hope that helps.


My 4 yr old was doing the same thing. Our Ped. said to try Miralax as mentioned in a previous article. It works great. I did give it to my 2 1/2 yr old. Be prepared with the younger children 1-2 cap might be too much. I would start with 1 cap full for the younger children. My 2 1/2 yr. old was not strong enough to hold it until she got the bathroom. It does not make them go but it help soften everything so that it is easier.

Pears, cantalope or watermelon are great "movers". With this sit her on the potty and encourage her if not I would call your Pediatrician to see what they say. Everything is so small at this age you don't want anything to burst. Good Luck!

Juicy Juice now makes this vegetable juice (it's orange). My son, who is also 2 1/2 LOVES it! I pour that into his cup, and by the end of the day, he will drink the whole bottle if I let him. When he drinks this, it makes him have to go...but its usually an explosion! Something else we have tried in the past, which isn't so pleasant tasting is in the childrens laxitives there is a liquid laxitive that you can give them with a dropper. I don't know how effective this is, though. Whenever we have gotten to that point, we also gave him prune juice, and I think its the prune juice that eventually brought on the action!

this sounds dumb but it works everytime with my son and trust me it is usually really hard to get him too poo when he gets that way but i found if i buy a 32 oz bottle of Gerber Pear Juice and keep pouring it in his sippy cup and have him drink it is works everytime

Dear P.,

Been there, done that, know exactly how you feel. since you've tried fruit.... mixing mineral oil in applesauce or something like that can help. Prune Juice is the old standby, but I don't think it tastes very good. Now they have plum juice which tastes better. Oatmeal might work, too. If you think this is just a one-time thing, give her some Miralax. It is a liquid and is now available over the counter. A warm bath can help, too, it relaxes the muscles. Good luck! L.

Hey P.... My recommendation is that you get something called "just barley." It comes in a powder or a pill, but for your daughter you would want to get the powder. You can get it at a health food store like earth fare, wild oats, or somewhere like that. if not, you can order it online from iherb.com, however that will obviously take longer. Start out by giving her a teaspoon of it mixed in juice. if that doesn't work, give her another tsp. up to 3 times a day. you can also increase the amount to about 1/2 a tablespoon. it is a very fine powder, and the only way to get it to mix in well is to put it in something that you can shake it in. stirring won't do it. this is the most complete food found in nature, and will almost certainly give your daughter a bm, esp. if you give it to her 3x's a day. this is a great product, and my whole family takes it regularly. (my 20 month old takes 1/2 tbsp 2-3x's a day, and my husband and i take 1 tbsp 3x's a day.) It also helps you digest cooked foods, so it is best to take it about 30mins before meals.
Hope this helps!

I had the same problem with my son at that age.Try Miralax.You can put the powdered form in her drink, and she'll never know the difference.It really helped my son.I'd also suggest prunes.You can get them in cherry and orange flavors if she wont eat the regular kind.They also come dipped in chocolate too!

My son had the same problem on a regular basis and it even resulted in him regressing in his potty training. We went home to visit my family and my dad put flaxseed (it's all natural) in my son's pancakes. It worked within an hour. You can buy flaxseed at almost any grocery store that has a health food section and can even find it on some baking sections. I would recommend the ground version. I now put it in anything I bake and give it to my son once a day. It's extremely healthy and helps him with his BM's. Good Luck!

If this is unusual, I'd try a glycerin suppository or a warm-water enema with a [large - about 1/2 cup capacity) bulb syringe -- whichever you have easiest access to.

Have her consistently eat lots of fiber-rich foods: prunes (or prune juice), cereals (bran flakes, oat bran, etc), graham crackers, fresh fruits and veggies w/lots of strings or pulp such as cherries, grapes, plums, apples (w/peeling), celery, broccoli, etc. AND DRINK WATER! Hardly any Americans (including myself) drink enough water (unless it's flavored, colored, sweetened AND carbonated! LOL)

Miralax is an actual laxative and I'd hesitate to use it on any regular basis. Some kids just 'go' less often than others and the above suggestions should help anyone!

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