22 answers

Constipation Relief in a 2 Year Old

My almost 2-1/2 year old daughter is constipated for the first time ever. She cries really bad when she's about to have a BM and tries to hold it in. This just started yesterday a.m. and she finally had a BM last night and it was very large and had to have been extremely painful to pass. She was fine afterwards so I thought she was o.k., but tonight she's having the same problem. I know that prunes have a laxative effect, but does anyone have any other tried and true natural remedies for constipation?

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Featured Answers

I have 4 wonderful kids. I have found with all of them that if they got constipated I would feed them mandarin oranges. That seemed to work the best. I always try to keep around those little fruit cups or little applesauce cups for them to eat some everyday. But the mandarin oranges always seem to do the trick. Good luck!

Mineral Oil is very effective and safe for young children. You can mix it with some juice to make it easier to take. Directions are on the bottle.

More Answers

Try papaya and drinks lots of water..it works with my daughters..

White grape juice works great. A full cup a day or twice a day will keep her going smooth with out the gas that prunes can cause. There are also glyserine suppositories that will help get her cleaned out and then maybe you can look at what has changed in her diet, there has to be something that is causing the change...

I had this problem with all of mine at the same age. We used warm apple juice or warm white grape juice. Grapes work well too. And prunes. My kids love prunes. Good luck!

My daughter had the same problem since she went on table food. Now at 3 and a half she still sometimes experiences constipation. For her though, using the potty has helped tremendously. However, you are probably not to that point, so here is what we did: the Dole fruit cups that have jello and fruit pieces in them act as a natural laxative. Whenever my daughter would get constipated, we would get her to eat two to three fruit cups during the day and by the next day she had a bowel movement. It did get so bad at one point that her pediatrician put her on a stool softner which is now available over the counter, Miralax. You can use it up to one year without any problems. Also, her pediatrician told us that if the problem was immediate to also give her half a teaspoon of Phillip's. She loved the cherry flavor so that went well. Hope this helps.

My daughter used to have a lot of trouble with constipation, things that worked, straight apple juice, and if she was really bad, a teaspoon of dark karo syrup. Miralax also helps, I was told to mix a half a teaspoon in with water/milk/juice whatever. It's really gentle on them and works to help them get regular again. Stay away from apples, bananas, cheese, etc until she gets going normally again. Any fruit that starts with a P is good to help them get going though. GL :)

have you tried caro syrup? it's an old remedy for infants but i know it works for others too. try putting a teaspoon in her milk and see what happens. it's harmless so you can feel free to experience with it as you or she needs. good luck with it!

My daughter has the same exact problem. She shakes just to pass a BM. One time I think that she nearly passed out. I talked to the dr and he said to give her 1/2 cap full of Miralax in her juice or milk and mix really well. You can get it at Walmart, Walgreens... anywhere that has laxatives.
HOWEVER... It IS NOT a laxative. All it does is soften it so she won't hold it and will go.
The dr said that it use to be perscription but now can buy it over the counter and said that we could use it every day and it won't hurt anything. I think that the iron in the vitamins is stopping her up and I can't find liquid vitamins without iron. I usually use the Miralax every other day and sometimes every day.
Try it... it works for me.

My son has the same problem off an on, and he is 2 as well. We took him for a well check-up on a Thursday. They were supposedly checking him thoroughly right? Oh no. Friday, he had a temp of 104 when I picked him up from his paternal grandmother. He was hospitalized for 4.5 days. He had stool the size of a baseball lodged inside of him, and it was hard as a rock. There are lots of things that can contribute to this problem. Keep track of bowel movements on a regular basis, provide her with lots of fluids such as water and juices. Do increase the bulk of her food by watching and increasing her fiber intake. When it's hard for us we don't want to go either, and when you imagine how it must feel for them it makes you cry. Eating take out on a regular basis contributes to this problem as well. We as a society do not prepare meals like those super parents before us, because we are busier due to work and other activities. Always know what she eats and how she tolerates it. A good way to tell is by seeing when she actually does have a bowel movement after eating different types of foods. If she doesn't have a bowel movement within her normal time frame do not give cheese filled things like pizza. It only makes the problem worse. Our pediatrician suggested Milk of Magnesia, and it helped but not long term. So, I simply modify his diet when he is with me, provide him with lots of fiber and fluids and he is pretty regular. We have a joint parenting order so it's hard to say what he has with his father. Mineral oil does work wonders, and so does warm apple juice. Try increasing her fluid and fiber intake plus some mineral oil. Let us know how things go. Have a fab weekend.

I know this isnt a natural remedy, but I had the same problem with my daughter awhile back. The pharmacist at walgreens told me to use Miralax. Its safe for her to use and it only takes about a teaspoon in her juice. That softens her stool so she can get it out easier. Or you could try suppositories.(sp?) My nurse at our doctors office suggested that. That will lubricate her so it will come out easier. Or dried fruit I know they say. Hope she gets better!


Give her fruit, prunes, raisins and increase her fiber. A good fiber cereal could work. Shredded Wheat has a sugar coated cereal if she would eat a few pieces.

Increase her water and liquids and it should make her go.

My daughter also began having trouble with constipation. Although these other suggestions may resolve the symptom by acting as a stool softener, I would try to get to the source of the problem - if it continues. In our case, it turned out that my daughter developed lactose intolerance. Normally the body slows production of the enzyme lactase around age 2 1/2, so most of us are somewhat lactose intolerant. Often lactose intolerance shows up as diarrhea, but not always. We switched to Lactaid milk - which tastes the same as regular milk and it is milk, just with lactase added to help digestion. Also, the active cultures in yogurt help to break down lactose. Constipation can also be a symptom of cow's milk allergy.

Hope this info is useful. You can find lots more info on both lactose intolerance and cow's milk allergy on the net.


We use what my little girl calls a milk shake. I just take a cup of milk and put karo syrup in it. It really works and its sweet so I have no problem getting her to drink it. Some people use dark I use the clear. I dont think it matters because they both have worked for me.

My nurse-friend told me that they use warm apple juice in the hospital. I tried it, and it really works!

Unfortunatley, I know what you are going thru, my 11 year old son had this problem from potty training days to the age of 8 and my daughter is 15 months old and just now starting the exact same thing. With both of them, the symptoms were pretty much the way you described, here is what I can suggest, some of these things have worked for me at different times. When you notice they haven't gone in a day or so, you need to start the 100 % juices, if you find that these don't do the trick I would give her a teaspoon of the childrens laxative(over the counter) Fletcher's Laxative for Kids; original root beer taste. My pediatrician suggested this to us because it is natural and safe for children to take daily if needed. It smells horrible but my son loved it, now my daughter, I have to put it in a syringe and squirt it into the back of her mouth or she will spit it out.
If it is already too late for all that stuff, for instance, if you can see the stool stuck in her bottom, try very hard to get her to calm down...tell her it is very important for her NOT to push, even though she feels like it. If you can get her calmed down enough to where it goes back into the rectum, you could use a glycerin suppository or if it is really bad, you could use an enema, afterwards, let her sit in a very warm tub, deep enough to cover her tummy. The warmth of the water relaxes the bowels and it could come out easier or when she relaxes, the medicine you just inserted will be able to start working. Also, when I see that I am too late for all of that (I had this problem last night with my daughter) I had to quickly put gloves on and put vaseline all around her bottom to try to prevent her from tearing and then I had to manipulate the stool to try to help it come out without hurting her so bad, I have even used q-tips to remove some of the outer sides of the stool to make it smaller for her to pass, but the laxative we gave her, took over and her little body tensed up and she screamed, and it was out. I always examine it to see if maybe there was something in it that would have caused it. Her bottom was very swollen and sore and red, and she bled about 3 little drops. I use a hemmoroid ointment or "Aquaphor" on her after that.
Sorry if that grossed you out but if this keeps up with her, you will know what I am talking about very soon. Especially when your baby is crying for you to help her.
So, just remember, in summary: she should have at least 8 oz of 100 % juice every day, if that doesn't work, start giving her 1-2 tsp of the laxative every morning. If it has already started, sit in the warm tup, she could even drink something very warm...tea, hot chocolate, coffee, when she is calm use the glycerin supp. or the enema. You will find all that together at your drugstore, both are made for babies, toddlers and children. Hope that helps, if you come across something I didn't tell you, please pass it on.....

When I asked for some advice from my mom for my daughters she suggested added some mineral oil to their milk. That worked great for the short term. I realized that it was just too difficult to get vegetables in them in any volume to make a difference so I started increasing fiber wherever I could. I always fed them oatmeal for breakfast so I switched to a more natural, higher dietary fiber version. For awhile, at the beginning I also gave them a chewable tablet that had 3g and called it a vitamin. I bought ground flax seed and added it that to ground beef and any dish I could get away with. I looked for snacks like breakfast bars, Nutrigrain, and South Beach that had a higher level of fiber. You can also find kids cereals like the Princess flakes and Little Einstein that have added protein and fiber. Now, when I go shopping, with my daughters (5 & 6) they read labels for fiber, protein, sugar, and vitamins.

Best of luck!

Lots of raw veggies like broccoli, carrots, celery, etc. will help get it out. Apple or Grape Juice will help loosen things up.

I have 4 wonderful kids. I have found with all of them that if they got constipated I would feed them mandarin oranges. That seemed to work the best. I always try to keep around those little fruit cups or little applesauce cups for them to eat some everyday. But the mandarin oranges always seem to do the trick. Good luck!

Gerber has apple prune juice in those 4oz bottles. It tastes a lot better than plain prune juice and it works too! I used to have to drink that a few years ago when I had the same problem.

It sounds like she needs more fiber and water in her diet. Prunes work but also consider prune juice. Other high fiber foods like oatmeal and apples with the skin on are also good. Hope this helps.

I would try juice -- apple and/or some type of prune juice (or mix with that in it). Also, the more water she can drink, the better, too. High fiber foods will help, as well.

You might also want to limit foods that might constipate her worse (dairy, bananas, etc.). I think you can look up foods that are constipating and those that help with it online on several Web sites.

Good luck and I hope she doesn't have any more painful BMs!

I know sometimes apple juice and pears will help with constipation. When my son was younger the doctor told me to give him dark Karo syrup mixed with water

Mineral Oil is very effective and safe for young children. You can mix it with some juice to make it easier to take. Directions are on the bottle.

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