32 answers

Constipation in 7 Year Old

Hello all. My 7 yr old daughter seems to be constipated all the time. When she does have a bowel movement it it hard with a little blood in the stool. Which Im pretty sure is from her haveing to push so hard. I took her to the docter ( not the fam doc he was on vac.) He told me to give her over the counter laxitives. But did not even give me an idea what brand. So I am at a loss. I would love some ideas on products. Or even ideas on more natural ways to help her. I dont want to give her anything that it going to make her cramping any worse. The doctor also said it might be due to her weight. My fam doc has never expressed any concern about my DD weight. My DD is really big for her age. She weighs more then her 11 yr old sister whom is a tall string bean. Her dads side of the Fam are bigger but not over weight. Just more wide in the shoulders a bit bigger boned. But the doc did get me thinking. Do I need to change my cooking habits? My kids do get fruits and veggies every day along with milk and healthy snacks. I do not let them junk very often at all. Sorry Im just going on and on. I am just so frusterated because I dont what what to do. Thank you all for letting me vent.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the responses. I have up'ed her fiber intake. Also cut back on dairy and having her drink more water. I know it might take alittle bit to get everything perfect or at least close to perfect for her. But with all the words of wisdom I have recieved I know we will find what works best for her. I have also used some of the tips for my other 2 kids. Just to make sure hopefully they will not have to got throught the same thing as thier sister. You all are so great and helpful.

Featured Answers

Miralax in whatever she is drinking - I put a pinch in my kid's drinks until the issue is resolved.

Also - lots of fiberous fruits, and things beginning with "P": pears, prunes, peas, etc.

My pediatrician recommends miralax. It is tasteless and safe to use. Just put it in their drink once a day. You can also adjust the amount if a full cap makes her too runny then scale it back.

Miralax. It recently became over the counter. My pediatrician prescribed it for both of my kids around age 5. Very gentle. We tried everything dietary and still needed something. Experiment with the dose. I only give my kids a couple teaspoons and it works like a charm.

More Answers

M. my daughter was the same way at aged 7. Doctors told us to stay away from foods that cause constipation like carrots. Dairy causes the same problem. Have her eat more green leafy veggies. They act as a laxative as well. Less juice and more water. you will need to take away one food at a time and look for the reaction. Just like when you began feeding your baby and you added one food to make sure she wasn't allergic. It takes time but you'll figure it out.

Hi (again), I would suggest you try a couple of natural laxatives. Our kids both seem to have a bit of an issue in this area so we do the natural stuff and it seems to work well. Almonds are at the top of the list as they seem to help the best. We also use grapes, raisins, prune juice and even avacados. All of the above stuff is great but I cannot stress how important water in their diet is. Plain old water..no flavored stuff, nothing sugared, just water and lots of it. God Bless You, L.

Drinking Aloe is a great natural way to help. Aloe is a healing agent and it's soothing and helps things move through the digestive tract. I'm a Personal Wellness Coach and I have a client who's 6 year old son had to be on medication due to constipation. It used to take him an hour to have a bowel movement. He started drinking the aloe and now his bowel movements only take 5 minutes and he's off the medication. If you'd like to take a look at it, my website is www.shopherbalife.com

Hi there,
I know what you are going thru, my daughter has had tons of problems, along with myself. My daughter also had blood in her stool and we have been dealing with this almost 1 1/2 years.
A few things... Lots of water as many have recommended, prune juice or prunes that have been boiled in water for 10 minutes or soaked over night. Berries are also great. I was told any berry - rasberries, blueberries or blackberries.
Sparkling mineral water with a high mineral content is also very good, it has a high magnesium count that can naturally soften stools.
The one thing that has completely turned my daughter around after being on Miralax for over 6 months and not seeing ANY improvement was taking her to a chiropractor. It helped after only 1 visit and I was able to switch her from the Miralax to 1 tsp daily of benefiber mixed w/ prune juice. I also give her prunes or pears every day to every other day depending on her b/m that day.
I know the doctors say Miralax is safe, but I believe anything natural has got to be better than something that is not natural.
Good luck to you!

whole grain breads and cereal, make sure she is also drinking plenty of water. even still her body isn't creating the right bile--I have gallbladder problems. I would track her BM's when the are if they are pebbles or runny or normal for a few weeks so you have info to take back to the doctor. There are stool softeners out there, but I think going natural first if you can is best and if not find out why it isn't working. I had to have my gallbladder out, and then special supplements to get my body making regular BM's. My whole growing up life I didn't know what a normal BM was supposed to be like when I had my first normal one I was freaking out my dh was laughing at me kept saying are you serious? that's a normal poop!lol
GL

My seven year old son had the same problem. i tried everything from fiber to enzymes to medications, and nothing worked consistently. Last year I discovered a product called Jus -- it's chock full of fruits and veggies, is all natural and it works like a charm. One ounze a day, and the taste is fine, so the kids will take it. Our whole family takes it, and in addition to fixing constipation, it boosts the immune system. My little boy has not been sick a day since he's been on it, which is amazing because he had such a weak immune system that he could not even go to preschool.

check out my website at www.myjus23.com/C. for info. the corporate website is www.jus.net. If you want more info, call me at ###-###-####. I'm not trying to sell you anything, but trust me, this will work and you will be so pleased! It also has a money back guarantee, so there is absolutely no risk.

All the best,
C.

Hi,

My daughter gets constipated easily (due to diet--she is a picky eater....But I have noticed if eliminate bananas and applesauce from her diet when she is constipated it helps tremendously. Also on days she seems fine I limit her to one serving of applesauce or one banana a day that is it. Apple juice will loosen my daughters stools up easily. I do know that milk can cause constipation in some kids. Make sure she is drinking more water than milk and that she eats her apple peels etc. Explain to her that fiber will help her and find cereals she like that are high in fiber. Activia yogurt may help her also, it maitains the good flora in your intestines and can help a ton!

R.

My pediatrician recommends miralax. It is tasteless and safe to use. Just put it in their drink once a day. You can also adjust the amount if a full cap makes her too runny then scale it back.

Try giving her apple juice or sauce as well as prunes or prune juice. Those are natural laxatives. I also recommend lowering her cheese/dairy intake as it is more constipating.

HTH & have a GREAT day!

S.

Hi M.,

Awesome advice already. Just three things from me- my daughter isn't allergic to dairy, but it definitely makes her constipated so I really limit her dairy and do soy whenever possible instead.

They usually have recipes for bran muffins on the sides/backs of bran cereal boxes. I would make those, and add ground flax seeds (2 Tbsp or so) if it's not on the ingredients.

Finally, I wonder about that activia yogurt I've seen commercials for? Supposed to help constipation I believe.

I would ask your doc about all of this before you do anything, but that's my two cents. Good luck!

There is a product called Kid-e-reg that is put out by Dr. Christophers. It is drops and I use it with my 4 year old...well actually all my kids. It is natural and it is in liquid form so it is not hard to swallow. I get it at Good earth if you are in utah but I know that Dr. Christophers has a website. Good luck

my sisters son hade the same problem and she used benifiber every day twice a day and the nice thing about it is that you can mix it in any kind of drink and it is tasteless i hope you can make it easer for your DD good luck

M. I'm in your shoes, I have an 8 yearold with cornic constipation since she was one. Her doc put her on Dolax, not sure I spelt that right, about a year ago, her specialis for this problem put her on Kristalose, which is a powder you can mix in anything, my 8 yearold calls it her suger, she just loves its. If the doc at anytime puts her on miralax, your daughter is going to be hurting, that stuff has been known to cause alot of gas and for my daughter it did nothing, she was on it for 5 years. But I know somethings, not a doc or nurse when it comes to constipation, but you ever need anyone to talk to about this, I'm hear for ya. if you have yahoo my name on there is davidslittlebytch I also have msn. thats ____@____.com I truly wish you and your little one all the luck in the world, its hard long thing to deal with.

I agree with the whole wheat bread thing. My niece had the same problem and just switching her bread to whole wheat solved it.

My daughter had problems with BMs. Our family doctor had me give her Miralax to help her get regular. It worked great and the good thing is that your (or her) body won't depend on it for regular BMs, it will just help her get to a place where it works the way it should. The other good thing is that it really doesn't have any flavor and you can mix it in just about any drink. If she has a problem taking things, she won't have to know. I am a BIG fan of it! Good luck. I know how miserable this can be!

There's lots of foods with high-fiber content that I'm sure your daughter could benefit from. High-fiber cereals, crackers, granola bars, prunes and dried fruits. They helped my 5-year old and we didn't have to resort to medicines. Just be careful how much you introduce to her at a time. It's better to slowly add it into her diet and let her system adjust to avoid the opposite problem!

Miralax. It recently became over the counter. My pediatrician prescribed it for both of my kids around age 5. Very gentle. We tried everything dietary and still needed something. Experiment with the dose. I only give my kids a couple teaspoons and it works like a charm.

Hi M.,

So many children suffer from this, unfortunatly. You mentioned you are getting enough fruits and veggies, for kids her age that translates to 6-8 servings a day (this is really hard to do) but if she is getting that amount, is she also drinking enough water (plain water) which is 1/2 of her body weight in ounces. so if shw weighs 80lbs, she should be drinking 40 ounces at minimum. She could be constipated from all of the fiber and not enough water.

Constipation can be from dairy....

I hope that helps.

L.
www.DenverJuicePlus.com

Miralax in whatever she is drinking - I put a pinch in my kid's drinks until the issue is resolved.

Also - lots of fiberous fruits, and things beginning with "P": pears, prunes, peas, etc.

Aside from making sure she gets enough fiber in her diet have you considered if she is drinking enough WATER? You said her stools are hard and that could be an indication that she isn't drinking enough water throughout the day. Not juice, not soda, not even milk. We need WATER to help our bodies process waste efficiently.

Apples contain pectin which is a natural "regulator"-loosens you up when you need it & thickens things up when you need that (perfect food, anyone?).
As for the size, we've got a 14 year old POLE-90 lbs-& a 13 year old tank-147 lbs. Pole takes after Dad-skinny til he hit his teens, & Tank takes after his Mom's side of the family-think good strong farm stock. The 13 year old had very poor eating habits when he came to us from his mom, but we're working on changing that. His activity level is much higher too & his face has thinned out a bunch in the past 2 mos. Increasing her activity level might help too. What about a family walk each evening? That will give you all some exercise-who doesn't need that, some family time, & may help her work things out naturally. Have you ever tried Metamucil? My nephew was on it for a while when he was 3-doc's orders-so I'm assuming it's safe for her.
Black jelly beans are a great laxitive too-found that out the hard way! Licorice is known to get things moving-what about a string or two of black licorice as a special treat for a few days? Some kids don't like the flavor though...
Hopefully the pharmacist can help you. If not, & if you've got a good relationship w/the doc office, call the nurse & ask her if she can get in touch w/YOUR doc. Let her know what the temp doc said & that you weren't clear where to go from there & would feel more comfortable if you could get some guidance from your own family doc. You don't need to talk to him, but if she can ask him for you, that would be just wonderful & so sorry for interrupting his vacation.
They say Senakot is a natural laxitive... no gas pains according to the commercial. Apple cider vinegar pills are sold for weight loss & have a laxative effect for me because the cider vinegar helps to block fat absorption. You'd have to ask before you started her on the apple cider vinegar though...
Good luck!!

M.,
My 6 year old daughter went through the same thing, and when I mentioned it to my family many of them had had similar experiences with their children. We talked to her and strongly encouraged open communication. Then came the monitoring of BMs! She had such pain when going that she would hold it for days. My father-in-law recommended Miralax. He is a retired physician. We had to allow her body to become capable of relaxing when going to the bathroom, so that having a BM was not such a traumatic experience. We monitored the frequency and softness of her BMs and gave her the powder in her drink accordingly. After a while we would slowly stop and allow her muscles to work a little harder. Sometimes we would need the Miralax to get us by a day or two, but she was finally able to have confidence in using the bathroom again. She is doing great! Don't give up I have heard of some children struggling with this for up to 3 or 4 months before they got through it. Good luck, I know it isn't always easy!
A.

We had poop-holding issue with our daughter for more than a year. Not the same root cause but the effects have to be treated the same. We used a full dose of Miralax daily for months on advice by dd's ped; then we very slowly began tapering off it (by about 1/8 tsp each week).

I'm very anti-meds so stay tuned for possibly too many suggestions for natural ways to help with the issue... Don't be overwhelmed -- just pick a few things at a time to work into your routine. The Miralax will help within a couple of days and then you can taper it off as you find which natural methods help her, too.

In conjunction with Miralax we were (and still are) very careful about her diet. No nuts, strawberries (avoid any berry with tiny seeds: raspberries, blackberries, etc.) bananas, applesauce, cheese or yogurt. Berries and yogurt were all especially bad for her -- caused horrible constipation almost immediately.

Someone else suggested Activia might help -- I would just stay away from yogurt all together. A yummy and very high quality probiotic chewable is available from American Health. Those are a great way to help get her colon bacteria in healthy balance again without the dairy.

Also, flax can help with firm stools. If you don't want to deal with grinding flax seeds daily (coffee grinder are great for this), Barlean's makes an excellent flax supplement called Omega Swirl -- kids love the creamy texture and strawberry-banana flavor. The probiotic chewables and this flax supplement are both available at Vitamin Cottage or Whole Foods.

Blueberries are also a great natural stool softener. Oatmeal is great, too, so if your daughter likes those together, you might let them be a regular on her breakfast menu each morning.

Also increase fiber. King Soopers has a store brand of Benefiber powder that is dramatically less expensive. You can mix it in water or juice with no problem at all. I still give my daugther at least 2 Tbs of fiber each day. Rudi's Organics also makes a double fiber bread which she loves. Also, increase water intake; if she's not a fan of plain water -- perhaps she would take 1/4 or 1/3 juice to 3/4 or 2/3 water.

Good luck -- on your concerns about her weight, a healthy colon is critical for a healthy body. I would suspect her constipated system is related to her weight issue. As you help get the constipation issue under control you will also be helping restore her colon to its proper, healthy balance. I would be surprised if you didn't see her body's metabolism respond to the process, as well, and see her drop a few of those unhealthy pounds.

Also, some consider this left field, but you might also investigate the Blood Type Diet theory. It purports your blood type is related to what foods are most healthy for you and most efficiently processed by your body. Google it if you're interested.

So good luck -- I know how emotionally charged dealing with this type of issue can be. Remember to stay focused on the positives and don't obsess over the problem... it will get better!

When my little boy was 3 years old, he was having hard bowel movements. Sometimes when would be on the toilet for and hour screaming (even with laxitives). It was really sad. I took him to a specialist for this.
The specialist said he was not getting enough fiber in his diet. They need 4-5 grams a day.
My son is now 7 yo. I have him eat a fiberwise bar a day and he has not had anymore problems.

Hey M.~
Both of my children get constipated and embarrassingly so do I. This is genetic in my family. I drink a lot of water to help but that does not always work. Correctol works great it's a little pink pill just take one and it should clean her out (it's really mild so it's safe for her). And it worn't hurt her. If that does not work and she get's to hurting so bad she can't run or have any fun have her drink some stuff that comes in a glass bottle that's green (it's in that same isle) I can't for the life of me remember what it's called but wow does it work. Suggestion: add ice and drink fast it tastes like tangy 7up. Also don't let her have corn or nuts for a bit this tends to hurt when it comes out and caauses the bleeding to worsen.
Truely hope this helps. I really do know what your daughter is going through.

Bran or flax seed muffins are great. My son also loves those fiber bars. Sometime it is not the easiest thing to get a child to eat different. Beans are also a great source of fiber. She also could use a whole lot of water. Presentation is the key to get children to eat different things. Whole wheat can go through the body a lot easier than bleached white wheat. I have always given my kids whole wheat bread, but I just started using the whole wheat pasta and it is really good.

I would not concentrate too much on the weight issue until she is finished growing. Kids have a tendancy to gain a lot of weight and then sprout up. Just changing the eating habits right now will do plenty.

My son actually had a latent milk allergy as a toddler that caused him to get extremely constipated. He also was very rotund. I took him off of dairy and also wheat as that runs in my family. He's now 6 and looks much healthier and has had no constipation in 3 1/2 years. But he does throw up if he has milk now! I was really glad to figure out what he needed. We had been doing a regimen of different laxatives and stimulants, but I don't have to worry about it anymore. Good luck!

The first thing I would make sure is that she is getting enough water. Divide her body weight (in pounds) in half, and she should drink at least that many ounces every day. Try that for a couple of weeks and see if it makes a difference. If not, I would recommend some herbal supplements rather than the laxatives. It's important for her colon to be working properly, and the laxatives don't really address the underlying problem. Here's an herbal supplement that contains all natural ingredients and whole herbs:
http://www.wholesomevitality.com/bowel-cleanse.php
An herbal product like this should actually stimulate the muscles in her colon to work properly. If you can get this problem taken care of when she is young, she will avoid many problems later in life.

P.S. the blood in her stool might be more of a concern than the doctor seemed to think. It might be worth getting at least one more doctor to check her out before self-treating..?

M.,
It might be a good idea to talk to your pharmacist about which laxative to use for your daughter. When my daughter went through this we gave her applesauce at night before bedtime,and that seemed to work for a time. Chocolate can sometimes be a natural laxative. My daughter was overweight at the time so we didn't give her a lot of chocolate,but it may help your daughter. Good Luck

Bromelain is a really good natural alternative to laxatives...it dissolves the proteins that build up in the body. Taken on an empty stomach it works on sinus infections and congestion. Taken with food, it helps with digestion. If she/he is too little to take a pill, try pineapple. Bromelain actually comes from pineapples and should do the same thing. You could make a smoothie with it or just feed it in slices.

Does your child get enough fiber?

Good luck!

Your daughter needs probiotics to balance the good bacteria in her gut. (check out: http://www.babybites.info/2009/02/24/probiotics-healthy-k... and http://www.babybites.info/2009/02/26/probiotics-food/ Bacteria can get out of control with a poor diet, antibiotics, etc. This will cause stomach and bowel issues. The second natural remedy is more fiber. Flax oil is high in fiber and will naturally keep her bowels soft. I understand you can purchase lemon-flavored in a whole foods store.. If you give her too much, the only side effect is loose bowels, then decrease the amount given.

M.,

I have had constipation problems with my kids and the dr.'s told me it was too hard to regulate with food and suggested Miralax. It works great. You have to figure out the right amount for your daughter. They also told me that it just puts water in their stool and is not habit forming. I buy it at walgreens or Costco. I definitely know what you are going through. Good luck!

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