42 answers

Baby Has Hard Bowel Movements

I have a happy one year old daughter who has always had problems with harder than normal bowel movements. When she was just a few months old we had to put her on sorbital(sugar water). I hated having to do this and started feeding her prunes and other foods that I thought would help. She's now drinking milk and it's gotten worse. She's not constipated she actually goes 4-5 times a day, but it's in rabbit pellet form. I hate to be so blunt, but I'm hoping that someone has some ideas on how to cure this without over-the-counter meds. I've tried giving her prune, juice and other juices. Any help is greatly appreciated.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyones response. I did end up purchasing some dried fruit (plums, apples, apricots) and after one day things are starting to loosen up. Yahay!!! It looks like I'll have to continue to give her the fruit a couple of times a day, but hopefully that should do the trick.

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She's probably having a reaction to the milk. I don't know much about being lactose intolerant. But cheese will stop you up if you have too much of it. I would imagine milk may be doing the same thing. Or she might just be dehydrated too. Also, another method too is rub olive oil on her tummy. Sometimes that helps move the bowels. But she is having movement though - it's just hard. Wouldn't too much Iron cause the pebbles. I would look at her diet a little more closely. I would talk to her pediatrician about lactouse intolerant and see what her options are. Good luck and happy mommas day.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the exact same problems as you. I found that not just prunes, but prune juice REALLY helped. The stool should have the "feel" of peanut butter. I give my son about 2-3oz of straight prune juice, not mixed with water everyday.

If it is a worrisome thing for you, you can always put about one tablespoon of light Karo syrup in her milk bottles. It may take a day or two to get in her system, but it works.

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I've been having my son (3-1/2) treated for constipation since February. He was having very hard "rabit pellet" form stuff come out too. I would take her to a doc to get it checked out and even to a gasteroenterologist if you can. That way you KNOW she isn't constipated. My son had a single bout with 'it won't come out' type constipation in december and I thought it had been resolved...aparently I was wrong...i let it get to the blood in the poop stage because I didn't know any better. I would urge you to get it checked out if for nothing else, for peace of mind. Good luck. I know this probably isn't what you wanted to hear.

1 mom found this helpful

I, too, recommend taking her to a doctor. A naturopath may be more helpful. Hard pellets is a form of constipation and indicates that the colon is not absorbing enough water. My grandson was chronically constipated. The dr. prescribed a medication that drew water into the colon. It was not a laxative per se. She also gave his mother a diet for him to follow. Oddly enough apple juice is constipating but apples themselves are good for treating constipation. My grandson was to have no cheese and no more than 24 ozs a milk/24 hours. His other grandmother got him to drink more water by diluting the milk with water and then giving him more bottles/day. We gave him crackers and cereals high in fiber. I was surprised to learn that most dry cereals have very little fiber. Often it's less than 1 g. I looked for foods with at least 4g of fiber. Hot oatmeal is good for fiber.

There were other dietary suggestions but I don't remember them. My grandson has not had constipation difficulties for a couple of years now. He's nearly 5.

Sorbitol should be helpful. It's found naturally in fruits and berries but is also synthetically made. Sorbital does help the intestines to absorb water.

I suspect that some babies have difficulty with constipation because their system isn't fully developed. It's a matter of finding the right combination of foods, liquids, and stool softener until their bodies kick in.

I highly recommend that you take her to see a doctor. When I did research re constipation I read that there are some physical abnormalities that interfere with normal bowel movements. This possibility should be eliminated.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi J. -- My daughter had a similar problem when we switched her over to cow's milk. It took a couple of weeks for her body to assimilate, but now she is fine. One thing we noticed is that she was most constipated/hard poops when she ate cottage cheese. We have eliminated it completely.

Also, we saw our doctor about it and he prescribed a laxitive (not sure what it was called). Of course, the day we went to the doctor, her stools went back to normal and we never picked up the meds. Anyway, he said that when our bodies deal with constipation or hard poops, it affects the function of the colon. By taking this medicine for a period of time, her stools would pass much more easily and her colon would be "re-set", if you will.

In addition to fruits/sugar, be sure to increase her water intake as much as possible.

Good luck to you and your daughter. Those little rabbit pellets are a pain in the butt! :)

1 mom found this helpful

She's probably having a reaction to the milk. I don't know much about being lactose intolerant. But cheese will stop you up if you have too much of it. I would imagine milk may be doing the same thing. Or she might just be dehydrated too. Also, another method too is rub olive oil on her tummy. Sometimes that helps move the bowels. But she is having movement though - it's just hard. Wouldn't too much Iron cause the pebbles. I would look at her diet a little more closely. I would talk to her pediatrician about lactouse intolerant and see what her options are. Good luck and happy mommas day.

1 mom found this helpful

I had the exact same problems as you. I found that not just prunes, but prune juice REALLY helped. The stool should have the "feel" of peanut butter. I give my son about 2-3oz of straight prune juice, not mixed with water everyday.

Cheese can really costipate kids. Try to get more fruit down her, as well as water. Whole grains are a must as well. Most kids love bananas, and apple/pear slices. You might try activia or whatever yogurt you want. The more cultures listed the better (Active 8 has 8; Mountain High has 5).

My daughter also has lots of constipation issues. I haven't seen anyone mention mineral oil. When she's having trouble i mix a little in her cereal in the morning and it helps a LOT.

Milk really aggravated her constipation, so I gave her soy milk to start with. We're starting to switch to regular milk now (at 16 months) and she seems to do fine with it. Just needed extra time to adjust.

good luck.

J., Many doctors I have talked to about bowel issues blow the topic off. If you go to a European or Asian Doctor you get a very different response. They feel a healthy bowel is esential for a healthy person.

I don't know what is happening with your daughters bowel. I do know many things can effect it working well. If she had meds or antibiotics they could have killed the natural flora that help her bowel work properly. Alergies can effect it like milk or sometimes gluton for example. If her gall blatter isn't putting out enough bile, she could be having a problem. You might want to consider seeing a new doctor. Naturalpathic doctors tend to be more responsive to these issues. Best of Luck, N.

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