34 answers

Help with Runny Poop?

I don't have a constipated kid - I have a kid who is totally healthy and happy but has very thin, sometimes watery poop! My day care provider suggested more protein and dairy products like milk & cheese - didn't seem to help so he is back on his normal diet which includes a lot of whole foods, fruits & vegetables, water or milk to drink (no juice) - what am I doing wrong? He does eat meat, although he doesn't like ground beef.

I have gathered from some other responses that bananas and cheese are binding? Is there anything else I should add or something I should eliminate? It doesn't make sense to take away the fiber from fruits & vegetables, so I have been thinking about what to add to his diet. Please help!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for the great information. I decided to start with probiotics, because when he was a couple months old we also went through a period where I almost put him on lactobacillus. So I followed that instinct first. He likes the chewables and it has made him better about taking his regular vitamin. We have started to have really great BMs now for a few days, but day care is also doing bananas and blueberries this week (the bananas in the stores have been better lately than a couple weeks ago). I will keep monitoring and taking notes, to have more information to discuss with his Dr. the next time we visit. I don't want to make a big deal out of it if he will just grow out of it eventually, but now I have lots of ideas to consider over the next several months. Thanks everyone!

Featured Answers

My son was the same way. He LOVED fruit, esp. grapes, which made the matter worse. My ped told me not to worry about it.

1 mom found this helpful


I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 19 month old. They eat the same things for meals and snacks. They drink (generally) the same amount of water, juice, and milk. The older child has always had more of a solid poop, the younger has always had more of a runny poop. I think that sometimes it's just their body composition.

He might have a food allergy. My oldest Son had trouble with Dairy Products at that age...it made him have loose watery light colored stools...

And I wanted to contradict another poster earlier. If you choose to remove milk products from his diet you need to wait 2-4 WEEKS before reintroducing this is only for Milk, and Soy products.

More Answers

My son was the same way. He LOVED fruit, esp. grapes, which made the matter worse. My ped told me not to worry about it.

1 mom found this helpful

From what I have been told in my Anatomy classes, probotics are very good for our digestive system (especially when we are given antibiotics so we can put the 'good' bacteria back in the colon as this is where many illnesses start - which surprised me!)

Our bodies are really meant to break food down in it's most natural form. Fresh Fruit and Veggies definitely need to stay as they pack the fiber (especially the green veggies!).

Yogurt is good to add, but if it is the kids-type yogurt, I feel a body does not get the active cultures direct to the colon/ digestive system like it should be. Some is there, but not enough (or you need to eat a ton of it and I for one hate yogurt!). I do know there are kid-friendly probotics at Good Food. They are in the refrigerated section, as you do want to look for them there~ they remain "active" this way and more 'potent'.

I also recommend checking in with your pediatrician. Make sure all is well in his digestive system.

I use probotics daily, and I have noticed a difference with my own health~

Best of luck and I hope it works out! ;)

1 mom found this helpful

When my daughter has issues we give her rice, toast, bananas and applesause. These should help, the only other thing is if your child has food allergies. This can cause very runny diapers. My neighbors son gets terrible diapers when he has dairy products. Just a thought!

1 mom found this helpful

Yogurt!! Especially any of the "new" yogurts and yogurt drinks, (Activia, etc.) have probiotics it them. They help establish good stomach bacteria on both ends of the spectrum. That being said, things like grapes do tend to cause loose stool so you may want to balance with applesauce, bananas, cheeses which are binding. Most moms have the opposite problem with little ones. You should be commended that your child eats and likes such a healthy diet!! Go mom!

1 mom found this helpful

My son never had formed stools. The dr.'s assurred me that nothing was wrong, just the way his digestive system was, and that it wasn't unusual. Something that as his system matured, it would get better. He didn't have pain, cramping, just unformed stools. If he had those, I would look for food allergies. I am a fan of pro-biotics though, and nutrient dense foods will be absorbed better, therefore less stool. Be forewarned though, it is a problem with potty training because they usually can't wipe themselves clean enough. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Welcome to the club of parents of kids with odd poop. :-)
I also am the mom of 2 boys that to date (4yrs and 18 mo) have never had what people would call "normal" poop. No turds here...
Its not diarhea... Its just really soft.
I don't look at it as anything is WRONG... I know they are getting a healthy well balanced diet. I look at it as they are well hydrated and getting plenty of fiber. No laxatives needed here. :-)
I also do daycare and have had some kids that only had pebbles in their diapers... Or white poop... I would look at that as being odd instead of goopy poopy. To me those say they are getting too much or not enough of something... (white poop = a ton of milk)
But on the flip side, some people do have intestinal issues that cause runny poop. Most of which can not be diagnosed until the child is older and can give more of a description of how it feels.
I wouldn't worry about it too much unless it is something out of character for your child. If your mommy sense goes off then see the dr. Other wise stock up on wipes and be thankful that you will not be one of the customers of childrens suppositories.
side note: Having a child with goopy poopy makes it easier to potty train them when it comes to poop time... They do not fear going...
Good luck .:-)And my guys eat many bananas and are cheese a holics... Still goopy...Wonder what it would be like with out them?lol

1 mom found this helpful

Rice can also be binding. Try more rice and possibly more starchy foods in his diet.

He could have some food allergy that is causing his little digestive track just to send everything through. My #2 daughter had runny poop for the first few months after she started eating real people food. I figured out that it was the sesame seeds on the buns I was feeding her. I eliminated those and she was as good as new.
Bananas and cheese are binding and yogurt can help balance out the good/bad bacteria needed to properly absorb what he is eating. I would eliminate cow's milk, white flour and sugar, keep the juice to a minimum as that has alot of sugar and also keeps things moving maybe a bit too swiftly! If things don't change after a week I would recommend a chiropractic/nutrition group in Grosse Pointe. Go to www.ahccenter.com They can sort things out naturally and are excellent at what they do.


You have gotten a lot of great responses to your question. I just wanted to give you a bit of info about food intolerances and testing.

When you remove a certain product from your son's diet you should wait 4 days before reintroducing it to his system. It takes the body that long to eliminate all traces of the food and then when you do reintroduce it, watch for symptoms for the next 4 days.

Only test one food at a time. I know this is hard with a little one, mine is 6 (almost 7) and I have been slowly testing his food intolerances. I hope this helps if you decide to test his diet.

Also, other foods that he may be reacting to: corn, soy, yeast, food dyes, etc.

Many of these products are found in prepared food and processed food. If you look on the allergy website below it lists the names of the derivatives of these ingredients. These derivatives will also need to be eliminated from his diet during the testing process.

Good luck!


Asthma & Allergy Foundation- list of food allergies and their derivatives:

Food allergies vs intolerances: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/foods-allergy-intolerance

Food allergies in children, resources:

Reactions to food additives:

Corn: http://www.ontariocorn.org/classroom/products.html

I would also support looking into a possible food allergy/intolerance. I've done a lot of reading lately that talks about allergies we may have that aren't "Traditional". We may have an intolerance to a food that causes minor things like diahrea (rather than the "traditional" reaction to an allergen like runny eyes, nose, hives, etc). I would start with dairy which can be replaced by things like almond milk and rice-based products. Whole Foods is an AWESOME source of dairy replacement products. Best of luck!


He may be lactose intolerant or have a gluten allergy. My suggestions are: reduce dairy products and a good probiotic (friendly bacteria) supplement.

If your son really likes his dairy, slowly incorporate soy milk products. There are some great tasting soy products out there and available at every grocery store.

The probiotic I use is great. In fact I use it everyday and children can take it as well.


when kids have diahrrea- the recommend.. bananas rice applesauce and toast.

Those foods are binding.

also dairy including milk and cheese.

- I have a boy and a girl.. I think boys poop more often than girls and it is looser.

My girl tends to be more towards constipated - my boy does not get constipated.

I alwasy fed her oatmeal to help her go.. I always fed him rice cereal to stop him up...


I'd try taking him off dairy. I take my daughter off dairy when she gets a cold. Well the last time when she started eating dairy again she didn't tolerate it. She couldn't get to the bathroom in time because it was watery. Or sometimes she'd poo her pants (5 yo) and feel so bad about it. She said I can't control my body any more! I took her off dairy and she was much better after 1 day.
What did I give her? Rice milk, soy yogurt, and we'd lament about cheese together (I stopped eating it with her).

I'm taking my family to get tested for food allergies.
Good luck! A. H

After a bout of diahrea I always use the BRAT diet: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. I always found Iron supplements bind. What does the ped say?

Here is a few things you may want to try. Give him a probiotic daily you can get them at any natural health store (I think there is a chewable one for young kids). Also aloe vera juice is known to fix intestinal issues...if you are constipated it will loosen you up...if you have loose stools it will reverse it. I don't know how it works but I have tried it with myself and my 3 year old and it seemed to work. Good luck! J.

My daughter had runny poop for about 4-5 months this year. Her little butt was getting burned from it so I took her in to the doctor. He called it toddler diarrhea. He had me give her benefiber and culturelle in her beverages. The culturelle is in a capsule so I sprinkled it in the juice. 1/2 of it in the am and 1/2 at dinner. It is a probiatic like in yogurt. She was better in a week and we haven't had a problem since.


I would try giving him more breads or crackers. :o)

He might have a food allergy. My oldest Son had trouble with Dairy Products at that age...it made him have loose watery light colored stools...

And I wanted to contradict another poster earlier. If you choose to remove milk products from his diet you need to wait 2-4 WEEKS before reintroducing this is only for Milk, and Soy products.

The BRAT diet if for people with diarrhea. It is Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Feed him that for a day and he won't have diarrhea anymore.

I third (or fourth can't remember) the lactose issue. I didn't become intolerant until I was in my 20s, but my son was born intolerant, and grew out of it. Perhaps try switching him to soy or rice milk for a week and see if that helps? Yogurt does not effect lactose intolerant people (It contains lactese to help break the lactose down as it's digesting), so you wouldn't need to eliminate that.

Hi S., Lots of good advice. I agree with the others about milk. It is one of the most allergenic foods that we eat. It just happens to not always cause a big enough problem to do something about. Please go to www.strongbones.org to learn more about the potential problems with drinking cows milk.

To see if any food allergies are causing the problem, try removing one of them for a couple of weeks to see if it is the offending food. Do that one at a time until you hopefully find something. Another resource I use in my Wellness Education business is www.askdrsears.com. He has written over 30 books with his wife, and he contributes to Parent and Baby Talk magazines. I also know of a wonderful whole food supplement, 17 fruits, vegetables and whole grains, that is known to help regulate the digestive system. It's called Juice Plus+ and the fruit and veggie juice powders are also put into gummies for little kids. It really does make a difference. You can learn a little more about JP+ and the independent research behind it at www.dianeshealthed.com. Feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions. Good luck. D. ###-###-####


I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 19 month old. They eat the same things for meals and snacks. They drink (generally) the same amount of water, juice, and milk. The older child has always had more of a solid poop, the younger has always had more of a runny poop. I think that sometimes it's just their body composition.

Maybe try experimenting with the water he's drinking. My daughter had a similar issue, and our doctor really thought she was drinking too much juice, and told us to cut juice out of her diet. We couldn't cut it out completely, cold-turkey, so we just kept adding more water to her juice. It didn't improve at all. About a month or so later, we went on vacation for a week, and only drank bottled water. Things improved so much, so now we only drink distilled water in our house.

You can try adding bulk forming fiber into his diet. Do an internet search for it with those words 'bulk forming'. A Dr. once told me that popcorn and graham crackers are good fiber for kids...dont know if it's true. Keep in mind, though, that BM's should be soft and easy to pass.

Also, the probiotics in yogurt are good for the digestive tract, whether the problem is too runny or too hard, it helps balance things out.


He sounds like he has a great diet. My five-year-old loves fruit and vegetables too. But as he's only two I think maybe I'd cut back on the wholewheat products a bit to see if that helps - perhaps give him white rice, regular pasta and white bread for a few days and see if that helps. Perhaps it is just a bit too much fiber - good luck - Alison

I would check to see if your son is allergic to milk products

This sounds like a food intolerance or maybe an allergy. A family friend had this problem his whole life, turned out he was gluten intolerant, also lactose intolerant. He switched his diet and immediately got results. Longterm this can have a bad impact on health, so I'd get in to the DR and get checked.

** if the does have gluten intolerance I believe the test is very expensive, but they often recommend trying the diet and if you are it takes care of itself and makes a huge difference.

Best wishes! Hope your kid feels better!

My daughter would go for weeks with normal stools and then she would switch to loose ones. the Doctors could not finger out what was causing it. She has had this problme every since she was borne. She will be turning 7 next week and just comes and tells me when she has them now which is not very offten. Good luck.

Maybe the milk and cheese is causing it, I know people who all of a sudden became lactose intolerant.
Good luck

It is probably nothing but it could be caused by a food allergy or many other things. I found this article, because I thought I heard that milk could intolerance/allergy could cause this.


Maybe you will find some info on that site that will help you to narrow that cause.

Although it very well good be an allergy. I have been that way since i was a kid. i am now 32 and i go alot. its almost always loose. I also go several times a day. They have never found anything wrong with me. and besides i am not in discomfort from it. Its just gross.
But i think adding more cheese to the diet might help but keep in mind if he is lactose in tolerant will be an issue too. keeping in mind that of course if your child isn't yogurt is a good idea.
It was explained to me that some people are just like that. But maybe these ladies are right. try the lactaid milk and things of that nature first before doing anything else see if that helps then try adding more cheese and more protein. i am all over the place huh? lol

You really need to talk to your doctor. Is the stool oily/greasy? Strong smell? This could be malabsorbtion. Has he been tested/considered for Cystic Fibrosis? Food Allergies? A Food Allergist is a good place to explore these issues.

Good Luck!

Have you ever heard of the BRAT system? This is supposed to help with diarreah. Bread, Rice, Applesauce, Toast. It has been many years since I used this so if somebody noticed that I remembered it wrong, please correct.

Try blueberries.

Also consider this: the intestines that deliver thin poops are basically alright. The biggies are indications that the walls are being stretched. Which would indicate a need for more fiber.

Maybe there's an intestinal bug? But I used blueberries when my boys were babies.

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