73 answers

Desperately Seeking Help for My Two Year Olds Problems with Constipation.

Hello Mama's
I am at my wits end! My 2 year old daughter has been suffering from constipation. This issue has been causing her to be very cranky and upset. Honestly I can't blame her. She will go for days without having a bowel movement and when she does it is painful. She's constantly crying and saying she needs to go "poo poo" I am about ready to seek some kind of medical intervention.

She eats a very healthy diet plenty of fruits and vegetables and she eats only whole grain pastas and bread and i've even had her eating beans which seemed to help at 1st. i've been giving her juice and nectar but she doesn't drink much and she refuses to eat any yogurt. Today I mixed some prune juice in her pancake batter but, I don't know if it was enough and so far nothing.

Have any of you had this issue and if so, what helped?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

If she's already eating enough fiber, she may need to increase her water, not juice or milk, just good, plain water.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter had the same problem and my mother toll me to give her virgin alive oil every day, she hasn't had that problem.. Try it and let me know.

Hi C.,
My daughter is 8 now, but we went through this very same thing around a year and a a half. We actually had to use a supository to fianally relieve her~~~and me~~~It was so hard to see her in such discomfort. Anyway, after that the Dr. instructed us that she did need fat in her diet~~ as it helps things "move". We also switched her to soy milk witch seemed to help. Good luck. Christi

More Answers

Been through it, my daughter started around your daughters age and things went from bad to worse, she wasn't "cured" of her problem until she was 5! (Her constipation eventually turned in to Encopresis). She is almost 7 now and things are great in the BM department. That all being said, the longer your little one goes in between bm's the more stretched out her colon gets to the point her poop will become impacted and she won't be able to poop on her own. So, hopefully - you aren't there yet. Is this a one time thing or is she constipated often? If it's a one time thing, you may want to do an enema (you don't want to do this on a regular basis though because she needs to poop on her own). A few things that WILL work, however are extreme (maybe call your Dr. first as I am not one) ARE.. oils - mineral oil (not one I would normally recommend but for a one time cleanout, you could give her a tablespoon or two in a drink before bed (we did vanilla/chocolate milk shake) mind you - we were in a BAD place (NO BM FOR 18 DAYS) and HAD to do this for 5 days plus some other stuff. Normally, I wouldn't have reached for the mineral oil myself, I prefer natural ways to relieve constipation but my daughter was also eating a great diet, plently of water and even flax oil daily! Anyway - I digress... a shake/drink before bed with mineral oil will give you a poop in the morning, possibly even during the night, but if she is really backed up, then I'd also do an enema and/or suppository. What needs to happen is your daughter needs to not only poop, but her poop needs to be made soft again, otherwise she will fear pooping and WILL hold it in (which is what my daughter did). So, talk to your pediatrician, don't take "oh, feed her a diet rich in fiber and water" for an answer if you already do this - make sure the dr. hears you - I went years of the same ol, same ol, until I found what was wrong online and found a specialist. So, 3 years with my regular ped and my poor daughter suffering and getting worse and worse, then 5 days with a dr. that was familiar with this and she had my daughter better in those 5 days! Sorry - I'm re-living it in my post. When I read requests for help like yours, I just feel so strongly about helping so others don't go through what we did. Also, if your daughter won't drink the prune juice straight, mix it with a drink she likes, I think I used to do grape. Some kids have a bm right away after drinking prune juice, some take a few days, so maybe give it to her daily. Miralax is a non-habit forming over the counter laxative, you could give her that too, but you need to do it daily, it can take 3 days or so..

Hope this helped. Feel free to email me directly

3 moms found this helpful

If she's already eating enough fiber, she may need to increase her water, not juice or milk, just good, plain water.

1 mom found this helpful

Many toddlers have constipation.

Michelle S. gave you information, which my Daughter's Pediatric Gastroenterologist, said as well... and my Daughter had to be treated, by a Doctor (not guessing at it), in a similar fashion.

I would take your daughter to a Doctor.

As Michelle said, when the colon is blocked/over-burdened with hard stool... you can get encopresis etc.

Next, although a healthy eater/diet... too much fiber can cause also Constipation.... when there is lack of water intake/hydration.... and lack of exercise.

Next, for prunes/prune juice. It is best if taken straight.. just eating the dried prunes for example. Or, if mixing the prune juice, mix it with another liquid... not in pancake batter.

Next, for this much constipation/hard stools... it will take TIME to undo this. For my daughter.... we had a Doctor advised regime... which over the course of 2 MONTHS.... THEN the vicious-cycle or constipation was alleviated.
So, just having 1 prune, and then having a normal poop, won't just happen like that.

When toddler constipation happens, it is a vicious cycle: because (1) it hurts, thus the child "withholds" going potty... but the stool gets harder... then the child gets pain upon pooping, so they withhold again... making the stool harder and harder... then it hurts when they poop, AGAIN. And the vicious cycle keeps going. THUS, "constipation" per our Pediatric Gastroenterologist Specialist, then becomes an "emotion" based "fear" of pooping. Because it hurts. (2) SO to alleviate the constipation... you need to first trouble shoot the hard-stools. This is the first course of action.... then, as the stool becomes softer, and the child "learns" not to fear the "pain" of passing hard stools... then they will/can start to release their poop more comfortably.

Some children have stools so hard, that their anus actually tears and bleeds. It IS LITERALLY painful.

I would, take your child to the Doctor. Before she gets her colon affected.

All the best,

1 mom found this helpful

One of the major causes of constipation is dehydration. YOU didn't mention that she is drinking any water... she should be drinking about 1/2 her body weight in ounces in water per day. Our bodies are designed for water since we're about 2/3 water as it is. Don't flavor it ... just make it the only thing she can have if she's not used to drinking and refuses. The intestines will reabsorb any water from the feces so that it can function.... that makes for very hard stool which causes constipation.

Also might be food allergies.... she might not be able to handle the wheat.

1 mom found this helpful

- oatmeal for breakfast - peel a pear and add pear to it as a sweetner. pears help with constipation.
- whole foods has 100% organic prune juice by Lakewood - only label i can find that does not have sweetners.
- lots of water.
- beans are great, expecially lentils (i season with garlic, onion, and cilatro -- put in a food processor to mix them all up then add to the lentils). my 19month old eats it up with rice and veggies.

Hi C.,
My daughter is 8 now, but we went through this very same thing around a year and a a half. We actually had to use a supository to fianally relieve her~~~and me~~~It was so hard to see her in such discomfort. Anyway, after that the Dr. instructed us that she did need fat in her diet~~ as it helps things "move". We also switched her to soy milk witch seemed to help. Good luck. Christi

how much exercise does she get? at her age, she should be outside doing any sort of physical activity for at least two hours total, minimum. also, how much water (not juice, not milk, not soda) just plain water does she drink? she should be drinking at least 24 oz. of plain water a day. if she's not meeting these guidelines, it could be contributing to her cosntipation. some fruits and veggies don't help either because they have soluable fiber instead on insolubale, such as apples, bananas, carrots. they don't help you poop and can actually promote constipation. if she's drinking a lot of milk and eating alot of cheese, that can contribute, too. another thing to check are the breads and pastas. just because they say whole grain doesn't mean they have much fiber to them. you always need to check the amounts of fiber per serving, most only have 1 or two grams at the most, which is what regular breads and pastas have (it fools alot of people because it says whole grain, so they take for granted that its better for them). try being more conscious of the foods she eats, water she drinks, and get her moving if she's not very active, and she should return to regular soon.

Dear C.,

I know exactly what you are going through and I feel for you and your daughter. My 28 month old son was going through the exact same thing and it broke my heart because I felt so helpless. He, too, eats all the right things and enjoys drinking water and juice but nothing seemed to help. So, on the recommendation of my sister-in-law, I started putting 1 level teaspoon of Miralax powder into his juice or milk in the morning and another at night before bedtime and it helped tremendously. My son is now able to go without pain and less effort and I feel a huge sense of relief. I monitor how his stools are and if they start becoming too loose, I just give him the morning dosage and omit the evening dosage. I did some research on Miralax and found that it is extremely mild and is safe to use in children, provided that there are no existing gastro-intestinal problems present. If you're not sure, ask your pediatrician for his/her opinion. My sister-in-law's pediatrician recommended Miralax for her daughter who was also experiencing the same severe constipation problems. I hope this info helps and I wish you and your daughter good luck and happier pooping!


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