36 answers

My 14 Month Old Can't Poop

I have an almost 15month old son who has the hardest time pooping. If we are lucky, he poops maybe 2 or 3 times a week which seems like too far between. Also, when he tries to poop, he has the hardest time-his face turns bright red, he sweats, he sometimes cries, we can tell that he seems to have physical pain from not being able to poop. Most of the time, his poop is harder. I feel like we have tried EVERYTHING. We have added more juice (prune and pear and a little apple), we have added more fiber to his diet, we have even tried the very gentle laxatives for babies which make him poop but doesn't help the underlying situation that he can't seem to push it out. My other son never had this problem.

Please help! Thanks for your advice!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

WOW! Thanks so much everyone for your responses and advice!! I really appreciate it! I am going to try some of the ideas out and see. I have started him today with drinking water in his sippy cup and he is liking it much better than the juices so that's a great thing (probably because big brother is drinking water all the time!). Anyhow, I actually did consult his doctor about the constipation and he did recommend more water and potentially adding in Miralax. So, we are going to start with more natural ways-prunes, apricots, and other things and as a last resort-we will try the Miralax. I am finally so hopefully hearing from so many that this is an issue with their little ones! Thanks again!

Featured Answers

Get rid of dairy, especially get rid of cheese. Replace any white bread products with whole grain versions. Lots of raisins, beans, apples.

My prediatrician put my son on probiotics. There is a product called Baby-dophilus, I got it at Whole Foods. You add 1/4 teaspoon to a bottle once a day to help his digestion. It has really helped him. He still pushes, but he doesn't have to try very hard and he never fusses about it anymore. Sometimes he even poops while he is asleep, so the effort doesn't even wake him up.

My 9 month old has this problem. Every morning, I feed him baby food prunes and he's able to go regularly without too much pushing! Water is also a huge help.
Good luck!!

More Answers

I would consult your doctor. They can take an x-ray of his abdomin and see how constipated he is. My daughter was 4 months old when she started having trouble and it took me until she was nearly 3 to get someone to believe me that it was actually a problem. They refered us to a ped GI specialist and my life has changed forever!!!!! They take Miralax everyday and it really makes a huge difference. I know a lot of people are against this, but until your babies are crying out in pain everyday trying to push poop that is too big to come out than they can't understand. I wish you the best of luck!

Try Natural Calm for Baby. It's a highly absorbable form of magnesium. You can get it at your local health store or on-line (just Google it). Great,NATURAL relief for him as well as a great supplement for your whole family! Blessings,M.

My daughter had that problem. She was dehydrated. She was drinking but not drinking water. She simply was not getting enough water and her poop was just so dried up she couldn't get it out. Like I said she was drinking but not drinking water. Somehow you have to get lots of water in him.

I've often heard of parents using a teaspoon of Karo Syrup in their child's milk about once or twice a day at the most to help them have a regulare bowl movement.


I feel your pain. My middle son who is now 6 has been going through pretty much the same issue you have just described since he was 10 months old. This is a very helpless feeling. The juices are going to help alot. The laxatives might help a little, increasing the fiber will definitely help. However, there may definitely be an underlying issue. You may want to have him seen by a Gastroenterologist. My son has been on Miralax since he was 10 months old to help him with going. We have done the diet thing and everything else. The doctor has now order blood work to find out if there are any other issues that could be causing these problems. I would suggest that you have him checks out by a GI doctor before the situation becomes unmanagable.

I would be happy to answer any other questions you have if you would like. ____@____.com

I wish you the best of luck.

36 y/o SAHM of 3 boys 14, 6 and 3

Hi, C.!

Poor Kid!!!!:(...here is an old fashioned tried & true thing, try putting a teaspoon of Castor Oil in something that he drinks each evening or you can give it to him in a spoon although the consistency is nasty. This will give the BM a smooth journey and soften the stool as well. Have you talked with the pediatrician? Hope this helps him, I have problems due to my meds so I know how hurtful it can be and with a babe who can't really speak to the issue to understand it must be mentally upsetting as well as the physcal pain....Good Luck to you both!


Hello. I know for sure that apple constipates! My daughter was eating so much of it for several days and then she was extremely constipated for the next couple days.
So, I had to decrease the amount of apple I was giving her even though she likes it.
Hope this helps a little. Good luck to you!


C., take him to the pediatrician. If all of the natural remedies, which are actually good for him, have not worked, and neither have the gentle laxative medicines, then something is wrong. He may have some kind of obstruction or bad formation of his colon. He might have something different about his anus that makes it hard for him to poop.

While you're waiing for an appointment, check to see if he's getting enough water? Even with the extra fiber you've given him, if he's not drinking any plain water, he will have the urge to go, but his bowel movements will still be hard and scratchy if there is not enough water in his system to keep the poop moist. Try getting him to drink a glass of water every day, and see if this helps him in a day or two.

Make sure that he does not feel pressured or forced to try to poop when he is not ready. It IS possible to make yourself poop when you're not ready, but it takes a long time, and it IS painful. He might be trying to please you and obey you because you are worried that he's not pooping enough, so there may be a little part of this that is emotional. But please, please, take him to the doctor and get some answers. It is not normal for a kid to have this much trouble having a bowel movement all the time.

I pray that it's nothing and that the situation resolves itself without any further discomfort.


We had this problem with our oldest son. The doctor said because it hurt him being constipated, he hels back as long as he could without going. (which really made the problem worst) He gave me something to put it his milk ( was not a laxative), but it helped him go. We used glistern suppositories when he hurt so bad and could not go. It would break my heart to see him in so much pain.

My daughter had this problem when we stopped breastfeeding. She had started drinking a lot of cows milk and that was about it. We cut down on the milk. We also give her Motts apple juice, there is no reason I can think of that Motts works better but it seems to. If she hasn't gone in a day we give her a box or two and it comes out no problem. She gets plenty of fiber, water, exercise, I have no idea why she is like this. Good luck!

Drink More Water!!! Also could be a vitamin deficiency...ask your pediatrician about this.
Relax, Mommy, this will be resolved.

My son is not 32 years old but for the first year of his life he drove me crazy with this problem. Thuns out he was alergic to animal based milk. His digestive system could not process it. I resorted to herbal teas and soy milk. eventually I weened him off of milk altogether an introduced him to solid foods as early as I could. You may have to try different and creative ways to nurish your baby.

Also masage the small of his back... at the "V" where his behind begins.

How just giving him water???

My prediatrician put my son on probiotics. There is a product called Baby-dophilus, I got it at Whole Foods. You add 1/4 teaspoon to a bottle once a day to help his digestion. It has really helped him. He still pushes, but he doesn't have to try very hard and he never fusses about it anymore. Sometimes he even poops while he is asleep, so the effort doesn't even wake him up.

Have you ever heard of MiraLax? I had the same problem with both my kids, and MiraLax is amazing. It used to be by prescription only, and the pediatric gastroenterologist used to prescribe it for my daughter, but now it's over-the-counter. Unlike a laxative that just stimulates them to poop, MiraLax helps draw more water from the intestines to help the poop become moister/lubricated and therefore makes the bowel movements softer. Also, if your son is holding it because he knows it's going to hurt, once he has a few painless bowel movements with MiraLax, he will realize it's okay to poop! It's totally safe for kids. It is a tasteless powder that you can mix in any drink. Stir it for less than a minute and you won't be able to see or taste it. It's in the laxative section in a white bottle with a purple label. I really encourage you to try this, and give it a couple of days to work. Also, because it's a powder and not a pill, you can adjust the amount according to your child's eating habits, bowel movement consistency, etc. Good luck!

I would try going to a chiropractor. It sounds like what you are doing with his diet is good (make sure he is not eating refined food..white flour ect. as that will stop him up and at this point too much fiber may be adding to the problem until he starts to clear things out.) The reason why I suggest a chiropractor is that if there are misalignments of the bones in his back it can irritate the nerves that control the bowels and cause them to not function correctly. I'm a chiropractor and my colleagues and I have had great success in working with little kids. I have a little girl who is now 5 weeks and she was having some difficulty with her bowels..she all of a sudden for a few days had very few bowel movements. I took her to our chiropractor who is specially trained in working with babies and kids and, sure enough, one of the bones in her lower back (where the nerves come out to control the bowels) was misaligned. She was adjusted and has been great since. We go once a week to get checked to make sure everything is working correctly. I would suggest looking for a chiropractor in the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association for a chiropractor who is specially trained for babies. The website is ICPA4Kids.com and click on find a doctor. There is a lot of info on there about chiropractic and children. Good luck.

I would add like a 1/2 teaspoon, of olive oil in his bottle. A very natural laxative, and purée 1 prune, real prune purée, as for the one they sell in baby food jar are mixed with apple puree... and apples actually constipate you.
Your baby has developed a fear (probably unconscious) to push. and have him drink a LOT of water (not "sugary" juice, just plain water).
With time, your baby will understand it does not hurt anymore when he pushes, and that something is actually coming out, and will be able to push it out, to use your words. and there is nothing wrong on not going everyday... every other day is good too, even maybe 3 days... that may just be how he is.
I had the problem with my daughter, and when I was in France,I was also using a Brand spring water that was high in magnesium (facilitate the bowels movement), but here... you don't really know what is inside any spring water, unfortunatly.
Good luck, a little extra green veggies, a little olive oil... it will all get better soon.

My daughter was having a hard time pooping some days and it would be hard poop (sorry tmi). we stopped giving her so much milk- she would have at least 2 cups a day- and that solved that problem. Try minimizing his dairy intake.

Try plum smart, it is a jucie that will help get him regular. Apple and grape jucie are also good. My 18mo has the same problem. Make sure that he is geting water everyday. My doctor also told me to give her a small dose of an laxative every morning.

Get rid of dairy, especially get rid of cheese. Replace any white bread products with whole grain versions. Lots of raisins, beans, apples.

Wow, all of that sounds so familiar. I have 4 year old twins that went through the same thing. We tried everything anyone told us to try and nothing worked. Finally a different pediatrician prescribed Miralax, at the time you couldn't buy it over the counter but now you can. It took about 2 days and it worked!! The best part is that it is a fine powder with no taste that you simply add to their bottle or sippy cup and they never even knew they took anything. Good luck!!

have you tried a little bit (teaspoon/tablespoon) of caro syrup? i used to watch a little girl with the same problem and her dr sd to gv her caro syrup. it acts as a laxative. also i think that the frequency is sometimes normal to go that far in between having bowel movements. my sons face always turned red, and his eyes would tear up.

My son had the same problem and we tried the same things. Then one day I read that Black Olives would work. I gave him about 8-12 whole black olives and sure enough the next day it all came out. Black olives are supposed to be I guess a natural laxative. Give it a try. I now give them to my son (who is now 18months) about once a week and he is pretty regular. Hope this helps!

Hi C.! My name is A.. My daughter had the same problem since she was a newborn. She is 3 now and we took her to different pediatricians to figure out why she cant go poop. sometimes she wouldnt go for weeks at a time and we would have to giver her a sapository....Finally one of the doctors recommended putting 1 tbs. of mineral oil in her milk or juice twice a day. It helps coat the intestine to make the stool slide down the trac better. that has reallly helped her alot. She is now going everyday. The mineral oil is also non-addictive unlike laxatives and sapositories. I hope this helps...good luck!

My sister in law is a Pediatrician and when my son was a baby he had the same problem. She recommended to put a teaspoon of Karo Syrup in the formula (every bottle). I did this for the first 5 months of his life and he has never had the problem again. It is natural and not addictive. Hope this helps.

I would eliminate a diet issue first. My daughter had a similar problem. For her, it was dairy. At the time, we were still breast feeding so I cut diary completely out of both our diets and she started pooping. Sometimes you need a doctor but other times the simplest answer is the best.

Best of luck.

try karo syrup. even doctors suggest it. I know it loosens their stool

Don´t forget to give him a lot of WATER. no water no poop

I would talk to the doctor about that. My son is now 8 yrs old and still has trouble. I have to give him a laxative everyday. If it hurts to bad they hold it in and the problem gets worse.

My daughter has also always had a hard time pooping. We finally took her to a special gastro pediatrician after seeing tags on her anus from pushing so hard. It turns out she had the start of a hemmoroid at 2! His solution was to put her on either Benefiber or MiraLax powder. These are both over the counter. You can start by putting 1/4 tsp in either his drink or sprinkle it into his food. See if it improves it. If not increase the amount or do it more often. It will make his poop softer which enables it to be easier to push out. It has worked for us!! Good luck.

We went through this with my daughter when she was a little older than this. I think she was around 2. She is 7 now. She did almost the exact same thing, She would grab onto the countertop above her head and pull and strain. Her face would turn red and she would sweat. When she would finally go she would fall asleep immediately after because she was so exhausted. We tried all thise things as well and finally ended up doing glycerin suppositories. When she would get that way we would have to use the suppository and within a few minutes it would work. We figured out that she had a hard bowel movement one time and from then on was scared to poop so she would hold it in. The suppository helped her go so she eventually realized it wasn't so bad and stopped holding it. If we noticed she was holding it all we had to do was say "booty medicine" and she would eventually go on her own.

I hope this helps. I would contact your doctor before doing the suppositories.

I have a 35 month old same problem. my pediatrician never took me serious. When they hold it air dries what it reaches making it even harder to get out. Advice I do not have but, I will see what others offer. Good luck.


did this all start when you started whole milk? does he drink lots of milk & eat lots of dairy products?
I would try cutting out all milk protein, including 'hidden' dairy (whey, casein- no cheese goldfish, or milk IN things) for a good 2 to 3 weeks- clear out his system. if pooping improves, then try adding back the 'hidden' dairy. if that's ok, stay 'there' for a while (with no milk products like milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc but yes to milk in things like cheese crackers, etc). if pooping does NOT improve after the 2 or even 3 weeks of NO milk protein, then I'd say try adding probiotics into his diet. You don't want to try too many things at once, so I would first do the dairy, because constipation is a VERY common sign of intolerance to milk proteins (this is NOT lactose intolerance! lactose is milk SUGAR and I'm talking about milk PROTEIN)

I know this is going to sound a bit funny, but try giving him Frosted Mini Wheats. When I was pregnant (all 3 times) the only way I stayed regular was to eat a bowlful everyday. The funny thing is that even when I compared the fiber on the cereal boxes, Frosted Mini Wheats came out lower than some so I tried those others first, but something about the way your body digests Frosted Mini Wheats gets you regular like nothing I've seen. My 3 boys eat them when they start getting "unregular" :) My youngest is also 14 months and we give them to him also, but we break them in half and he'll eat them without milk or anything. It's a much better fix and easier on the body long term than most other things I've had to try for my boys. (My oldest was potty training and having trouble so we took him for xrays and the ped. said he had an impacted colon, ie - he was full of !@#$ :) HA! So she gave us the prescription stuff and enema stuff and HOLY COW that was terrible!! I felt so sorry for my boy! ANyway, I remembered what I had to do during my pregnancy and low and behold it worked wonders for him. So I would start giving him a few bites at a time at every meal and snacktime for the first 2-3 days, you should see him start going by the 4th day. Then reduce it down to just one time a day - like breakfast or snacktime on the 4th day.
Best of luck to you!
Jen - mom of 3 boys - 5yrs, 2.5yrs, and 1yr old :)
ps - my youngest's birthday is January 12, 2008. when is your sons birthday?

My 9 month old has this problem. Every morning, I feed him baby food prunes and he's able to go regularly without too much pushing! Water is also a huge help.
Good luck!!

My daughter had the same problem she's a patient with the gastro clinic @ Nemours and she's not having a problem with that anymore. I was told that laxatives are not good for kids at this age because the laxatives control their bowels and forces them to go , the Milk of Magnesia is natural and not habit forming to their bowels. It has worked a miracle for my daughter because she used to scream and cry everytime she had a bowel movement. You may want to take your child just for testing to Nemours so you can be sure he dosen't have another problem. I hope you can get this under control because I know how you feel, I found myself crying with my daughter most of the time because I felt helpless until we went to Nemours.

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