18 answers

2-Year Old Pooping Issues

Hi Ladies,

I've been dealing with this issue for awhile but keep telling myself I will change my child's diet, give him less milk, actually put to use Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious cookbook, etc. etc. but I think I'm at the point I need to get a little feedback.

My 2-year old loves milk and can drink a lot of it. Problem is he doesn't like to eat anything and would prefer to drink milk all day with the occasional water (with a little apple and prune juice to help with the problem). After a bout with the stomach flu 8 months ago, he's had issues with going poop. He has even had fissures since he's kept it in so long that when it did come out it scraped the sides and created little sores. Now he associates pooping as a painful experience he'd rather not do. So he will hold it in as long as possible which makes the problem even worse.

I am thinking I need to give him more apple/prune juice and fiber in whatever way possible in addition to improving his diet but does anyone think I should see a specialist or doctor for this problem?

I always envisioned my children being the healthiest eaters before having one that loves snacks, popsicles and milk!


What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I second the CALM works wonders. If you give them enough they can't hold the poop in. Worked well for us and now the kiddo is back to normal and doesn't need it anymore.

Hi there-

It's funny how are kids teach us to be really humble moms! I think you are on the right track with what you need to do, but that takes time and effort!

Please deal with the poop issue right now before it becomes impaction and a serious witholding issue. I would see his pediatrician to see if he's already backed-up in his colon.

Miralax is a laxative that passes through the body undigested- similar to bran fiber. I found it at walgreens as a powder. You could add 1/2 a pack to his milk to help soften his poops and alleviate the pain. It's tasteless, odorless, and benign (from a biochemical point of view).

Good luck!

More Answers

Hi A.,

My son who is now five had the same problem when he was two. At that time, I gave in to him and let him drink milk. He was a very picky eater. Basically, he had dairy and gluten during that period of his life. Not many veggies and not many fruits. Anyway, his health deteriorated and almost a year ago, I knew we needed to improve his diet. We took him off of gluten and we switched his dairy intake from pastuerized cow milk to goat milk. Both gluten and casein can fill the opiate receptors in the brain. The kids get a "high" from it and can be very picky eaters. Anyway, his behavior and health have improved since we made those changes to his diet. Now, he eats a lot more fruits and veggies and we have introduced raw milk to him. Sometimes, he eats pastuerized cheese or yogurt.

Here is a link that may help explain what happens in the brain. http://gfcfdiet.com/TheBigFAQ'S.htm. And here is a quote from that webpage "In its peptide form, casein has opiate properties similar to morphine, and may plug into the same opiate receptor sites in the brain. "

Lastly, when I told my son we were changing his diet and removing the bread, cereal, etc. and no more chocolate milk, etc., he had a major meltdown. If you go this route, you should expect it also. We just told him, you can eat what we give you or not eat. That's your choice. Kids will not starve themselves. They will eat what you give them eventually. It make take a few missed meals, but eventually they will eat.

Lastly, my son is on probiotics as are my other kids. It definitely helps the digestion, so I would second that also.

Good luck.

I would tyr osme raisins, dried fruit and fresh fruit for snacks and maybe a sweeter high fiber ceral he can have dry as snacks. Have you talked to the Pediatrician for advice, if not I would. Good luck

My grandson had the exact same problem. Had a "bad experience" going once and decided he wasn't going to go anymore! We took him to many doctors before we found one who had a plan of action. the first step was to give him an enema (SP?) to clean everything out. the doctor actually suggested doing it twice, which we did. After that, we gave him 1/8 of a cup of mineral oil twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. mineral oil is completely natural with absolutely no taste. What that does it it coats anything in the bowel making it soft so he comes out very easily. In fact, your son won't be able to hold it in. 1/8 of a cup is a lot, you could start with less. The doc suggested that much because my grandson had had the problem for a LONG time and there was a lot up there that needed to be softened and come out. Anyway, do that for about two weeks and then cut back a little at a time on the mineral oil. Also, get your son a foot stool so that when he sits on the toilet he has something to put his feet on. That will help with trying to get the poop out. You will probably find "skid marks" in his underwear. he can't help that; with the oil, it will just happen. Again, the oil has no taste but it is a weird feeling in your mouth. I would put it in a cup of juice. It will separate with the oil on top so if he just drinks it all down real fast, it shouldn't be a problem. the last part is after you get him fairly regular, start him on Activia to help keep him that way. If you follow this, your son will feel relief and will get on track.

I have been dealing with this issue with my daughter for 20 years (shes dev. disabled) This is what we found to work over years of trying everything under the sun WITH THE DOCTOR'S SUGGESTIONS 1. Kondrumel - its mineral oil that is in an easily taken and digested form. Comes in a white bottle with a blue label. It "greases" up the colon and makes it easier to pass the bm but it doesn't have to be put in manually like a suppository so no fear involved. 2. Remove all milk products and replace with soy. Meghan, my daughter, will only drink soy milk now. Cow milk products are very binding for people with sensitive bowels. 3. Lots of clear liquids. 4. Benefiber in EVERYTHING. You can put it into his food/juice/etc. and it dissolves completely. He won't even know it's there. 5. When it is really bad (not every day) you can try Senecot. We used it on Meghan when she actually went for over a week and a half without a BM. It is all natural and works overnight and doesn't have a lot of chemicals in it. One other natural laxative is (don't laugh) sauerkraut liquid. Lots of people won't touch it but I LOVE sauerkraut so it was always a no brainer for me and it works remarkably well.

Start giving him some probiotics. It may not solve the issue, but can definitely help.

My 2 1/2 year old daughter has had the same problem her entire life (including the fissures.) We have spoken to our pediatrician about it numerous times. He does not seem concerned. We did ask and get permission to put some benefiber in her drinks. She still has issues (her poop is still hard and she still bleeds from the fissures,) but she does go. We are considering a specialist because we hate to have her bleed every time she poops forever? But, I would suggest trying the benefiber and talking to your pediatrician the next time you are there. Good luck and God Bless!

Constipation is a sign of a deficiency of Magnesium. The easiest way to increase the consumption of Mag is to supplement it. I buy Kid Calm and follow the directions on the label. Slowly increase until the stool is comfortably loose. A soft stool will allow the skin to heal as well.
Easy fix. :)

My children have had the same problem their doctor had me start giving them miralax in a drink (usually juice or water). I only give it to them either everyother day or every few days. They know they are taking it and they call it their medicine water or medicine juice depending on what they have it in. They know that it is to help them so that pooping does not hurt.

Just say no. LOL My son would definitely prefer candy and snacks to the real thing...I just don't give it to him (and yes, it is a fight sometimes. I just remember that I'm the parent and know better). Heck, I don't even buy them except on rare occasions. Large quantities of anything isn't good for you and more than 16 ozs/day of milk for a child is too much. I had the problem of too much milk as a teenager and I was drinking a 1/2 gallon a day. Cheese and anything with whey will aggravate the problem (yogurt for digestion is ok a couple times a week).

It's not easy, but he'll be the better for it and his poops will soften & he'll be less constipated. =D

I second the CALM works wonders. If you give them enough they can't hold the poop in. Worked well for us and now the kiddo is back to normal and doesn't need it anymore.

My daughter had the same issue from 2-3. Bananas and dairy were her issues. We could not let her have more than 1 full banana. She is suddenly just better around 3 yrs old. What worked for us was flax seed oil. 1/4 tsp in her morning yogurt. And peach or apricot nectar worked better for us than any other juice at our pedi recommendation. We would give her 5-6 oz of Kerns peach or apricot nectar and it worked like a charm. My daughter had fissures and wills scream and cry as well. You could also look at Benefiber since it dissolves and is easy to hide. She still loves cheese and milk but doesn't have the problem now...

I only have a minute but wanted to reply to your post. Here is an answer I sent to someone else whose daughter was constipated. I don't have time right today to go through it right now to personalize it for you but I hope you will read it! I suggest looking for the CAUSE of the constipation rather than trying to treat the symptoms! :) It could be gluten and/or dairy. This is a very common problem that is not considered by doctors very often. Too bad. If your son is intolerant, it could eventually cause a whole bunch of other health problems. Here it is...
So sorry you are going throug this! I know this is a tough situation. I've been there and so have several parents that I know. This happens to many kids during potty training since they tend to want to hold it for some reason. I know you don't really want to hear about ways to treat constipation (since you feel the constipation may have stopped) but it is possible that the root of the problem could be physical and has, in turn, resulted in a problem with your daughter's behavior. Going to the bathroom has been painful for her in the past and she doesn't want to experience that anymore. Can't blame her! The only way to change her behavior is to change the physical problem that is causing it. She has to experience going to the bathroom pain-free before she will stop being afraid. I think you have to focus on the root of the problem which is the CAUSE of the constipation.
You can try Mirilax, etc. to soften her stools but that only treats the symptoms. In my experience, it could be dietary. Rather than add in more foods, I believe some foods need to actually be removed. She may have some food intolerances or allergies. I finally figured this out for my kids when they were 5 and 8 so I hope you don't have to wait that long! :) I went to many doctors who said, "Add more whole wheat," which only made their constipation worse. Gluten (and sometimes dairy) seems to be the worst culprit. Gluten intolerance (or sometimes Celiac disease) is a genetic condition and there are many other symptoms associated with it that may run in your family. If you want to read about this condition, here are some articles that may help.



I'd be happy to answer more questions if you want to give this a try just to rule it out. Constipation can come and go with this condition that is fairly common. It was the only thing that worked for my kids. When I removed the gluten, their eczema and stomach aches went away as well. I took it out of my diet and elieved my thyroid problem, skin rashes, canker sores, muscle and joint aches, etc. Take care and hang in there. :)

Try giving him children's probiotics (found in cold case, vitamin aisle) at Whole foods. My daughter had this same issue and after a few weeks of taking them daily, the has been regular ever since. You can buy a powder that you can mix into the milf (flavorless) or chewable tablets. My pediatrician recommended this, by the way.

Hi A. - I would try putting more probiotics in his diet. Perhaps after his bout with the flu, his intestinal system didn't get back to normal. The good bacteria in our body doesn't replace itself, the bad bacteria does. Probiotics won't hurt him at all - even at a high level. Most yogurt has some, but that's not really a therapeutic level. Also, adding enzymes may be a good thing at this point also. Both of these should help make his stool softer without 'pushing' it out.. I've also found adding Liquid Chlorophyll to water entices them to drink more water - tastes minty (at least this brand does - can't answer for others) - and it make the water green - kids usually like that I use Nature's Sunshine Bididopholis Flora Force and ProActazyme, and Liquid Chlorophyll. You can get them at http://www.mynsp.com/morethanherbs - Hope this helps:) You may also wish to massage his tummy a couple of times a day, going in the direction of the colon (clockwise as you're facing him) or massage his feet to help him relax a bit - reflexology is wonderful not only for relaxation but to help the body function easier, better, etc.

B. C.
Holistic Health Coach
Certified Applied Aromatherapy Instructor
Certified Newborn Massage Instructor
Hypnosis Cert.
Certified Reflexologist
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Meridian Tapping Specialist

Hi there-

It's funny how are kids teach us to be really humble moms! I think you are on the right track with what you need to do, but that takes time and effort!

Please deal with the poop issue right now before it becomes impaction and a serious witholding issue. I would see his pediatrician to see if he's already backed-up in his colon.

Miralax is a laxative that passes through the body undigested- similar to bran fiber. I found it at walgreens as a powder. You could add 1/2 a pack to his milk to help soften his poops and alleviate the pain. It's tasteless, odorless, and benign (from a biochemical point of view).

Good luck!

A. - Target sells fiber gummy bears - in the aisle with other constipation products. I know the idea of giving your kid gummy bears doesn't sound like the healthiest but it is super easy to get a 2-year-old to eat them on days when you cannot get them to have other more healthy fiber products - I have a 2-year-old with constipation problems also.

Apple Juice popsicles!!!! you make'um yourself and he's getting what he likes and NEEDS! two for one!!lol
but really i think you should call you ped, they might be able to give you something to "soffen" the stool. oh one more thing my kids love to new fiber pop tarts! and my kids go potty almost everyday, not always in the potty for my 6 year old who is still in pull-up (controll issues) but he does "go".
they have to new high fiber cereals to which my kids LOVE.

I don't have any good advice on this, but there was a recent thread on this, and there seemed to be a lot of good info here:


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