40 answers

2 1/2 Year Old with Severe Constipation

I have a 2 1/2 year old granddaughter who since she was 10 months old has had great difficulty having a bowel movement. She only goes 1 to 2 times per week on a good week! She cries and screams when she goes because it is usually 2.5 to 3.5 inches around, extremely hard and very painful to get out. I am very worried about this. She spends 1 week with her father, my son, and 1 week with her mother as they have been seperated for 2 months and divorcing. When my son has her, within 3 days she will go with great difficulty because my son gives her prune juice and lots of apples and bananas which seem to help, then everyday after that she will go and it is somewhat softer and a little easier for her. When she returns a week later from her mother's home, she is impacted again and unable to go. At times my son has used infant suppositories from the pharmacy because she is unable to go. Any help or suggestions on what we can do is greatly appreciated, this beautiful little girl should not be suffering this way and her mother says that the Dr has told her since she was 1 yr old that its just the way her digestive system is.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for your great advice, we have gotten the myralax and are trying that, I have taken many excerpts from all of your answers and compiled them and sent them to both Mommy and Daddy to get the point across that they both must work together and be doing the same thing for her in order to correct the problem. That they need to give her water and as much water as she is willing to drink, and work more with her on what she is eating. I never realized that Apples could bind up in a child and she loves apples, eats 1 or 2 a day so I have suggested cutting them out for a week to see what happens. Thank you all again for all your advice it has been so helpful.

Featured Answers

I found Quaker Oatmeal Bars work wonders with my daughter. They have different flavors such as Apples & Cinnamon and Rasberry that work the best for us. They keep her regular as long as she eats them daily. I would find out the type of diet her mother is feeding her? It sounds like that could be part of the problem too.
Good Luck.

My Doctor recommended Miralax. YOu can get it at Costco or the drug store. Just add some to her juice/ milk and she won't even know she's drinking it.

First...NO bananas, milk or cheese as they are all constipating. She needs lots of water, apple or prune juice, raisins, green veggies, the apples are great...apple cider is good for this too, AND don't forget physical activity to keep things moving. She should be going more than 1-2 times a week...oh my, more like at least once a DAY! Poor little thing. Her mom needs to pay more attention to this. If it continues she could be in for some permanant problems. She is lucky to have you looking out for her! I hope this helps.

More Answers

Hi S.. That poor little girl, my heart breaks for her. I went through this with my son too. He will not eat veggies, so I know part of it his diet, but I also feel like some kids are just more suseptable to constipation. What has worked for my son is giving him "Plumsmart" juice every morning with his oatmeal. This juice is good for digestive health (has Fiber too), and it's something both parents can consistently do fairly easily. On top of that I'd maybe even try those digestive health yogurts on the market. And of course you can add Fiber supplements to food as well, you could look into Flaxseed too, any supplement that has a lot of fiber. Also make sure she is getting plenty of water. My son has a cup that I constantly fill up all day long. Unfortuneately, since she has had some painful BM's in the past, she is probably holding it in when she does feel the urge to go. It's a vicious cycle. Oh, by the way, bananas are constipating, I wouldn't give her those. I'd research to see what veggies and fruits are the highest in Fiber and hopefully she likes 1 or 2 of them. I hope some of my suggestions help, I feel for her and you. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

It's not very likely that it's 'just the way she is'. We are made to eliminate waste, not become impacted with it. Unfortunately, many kids diets are full of overprocessed foods and they are so lacking in fresh fruits and veggies that they are not getting the fiber needed to keep things moving. It's obvious that your son is giving her what she needs (except the bananas...they cause constipation so leave those out) and her mother isn't even trying to address the problem. She shouldn't have to suffer so much and in the long run, could suffer permanent damage to her muscles and tissues, eventually even running the risk of losing bowel control from constant stretching to pass large stools.

Two of my kids have this problem, too. After being impacted twice, and despite having tried EVERYTHING to naturally fix the problem, I had to resort to Miralax daily. Now that they have been regular for a while I am able to really push the foods that help and back off the Miralax....it's amazing how much we talk about poop in my house!! LOL Anyway I would recommend buying the Miralax (you can get it over the counter) and sending it with her. Since mom refuses to try to help change her diet, maybe she will at least add this to her drinks. I can't imagine a parent who flat out refuses to help their poor child who is suffering!

I would not hesitate to take her to the doc...every week if necessary and have these episodes documented. It's neglectful to allow your child to suffer when it CAN be fixed!


1 mom found this helpful

I would think to keep up on water water water along with the apple and prune juice .. has he asked the doc about adding extra fiber to her diet such as fibersure or the fiber tabs that you eat. maybe that would help. you can add the fibersure to any drink besides pop or you can add it to food. it sucks to be constipated and i hope things get better. I always thougth that bananas helped firm stools. maybe im wrong. will she eat actual dried prunes maybe as a snack or apples as a snack .. does her mom have her on a good diet.. and having her drink more water.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like she is getting two different diets and neither are correcting the problem. This is not about who's feeding her what and who's not, it's about coming together to treat the problem.

In an ideal world, your son would take his daughter to a doctor for a second opinion (or sometimes the same doctor will give different answers to each parent) and let them know his concerns. Then, he would sit down with his wife with the findings and coordinate a dietary plan to combat the problem.

There could be some emotional basis to this as well...divorce is hard on the kids if the parents are back-talking about the other in front of or to the kids. You haven't given information on who is leaving whom, but you are definitely biased against the mother (understandably so - he's your baby!). Give her a chance to cooperate in getting their child out of the vicious and painful cycle. If they can get beyond their own issues, it will be better for the whole family.

My Doctor recommended Miralax. YOu can get it at Costco or the drug store. Just add some to her juice/ milk and she won't even know she's drinking it.

Hi S., I am a pediatric nurse working in a very busy practice. We have about 30-40 patients ages 6 months and up that struggle with constipation on a daily basis. Your son needs to get your granddaughter into her pediatrician. She can have complications from being constipated for so long. Here in our office the children are started on milk of magnesia (MOM) can purchase at any store. Very safe. Depending on the age, they are started on 1-3 teaspoons daily. Adding prune juice and more fruits and vegs will help too. She should have an abdominal xray to make sure there is no impaction. That large of stools causes the rectal vault to stretch and become sluggish. The other problem that can occur is anal fissures, small tears inside the rectum. I would strongly recommend her getting to a doctor soon. Good luck. Your grandbabies are very lucky to have such a caring, loving grandmother. M.

I know how you and your daughter feels. My daughter had the same concern and my ped. advised me to buy myralax and put some in her juice or water in the morning. Do not put it in milk because milk can be binding so it really has no effect. Please ask your pediatrician how much to put in an eight oz. cup of liquid. I was told to use one teaspoon but my daughter may be lighter or heavier than yours. So again ask your pediatrician for the right dose. It does work, but do it in the morning so she has a bowel movement by the early afternoon. I hope this works as well as it worked for my daughter. I think she was on it daily for over a year. So once you start, keep it up. My friends daughter has been on it for years, so it is safe to use daily for an extended amount of time. Good luck!

Apples and bananas bind. Don't use them at all.
Try high fiber cereals and breads, lots of water, veggies and fruit. I mean lots. Limit Cheese too.

I would also talk to her pediatrician to see a specialist.

It is more common than you think. ALthough You know her little mind and body are taking on stress with inconsistant living situations.

Trader Joes has some good high fiber cereals and such.

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