38 answers

My Two Year Old Poops All Day, Every Day!

I have a two year old daughter that poops all day long, every day!. The poop is soft, but not diarrhea. It is almost always grainy. We call it glitter poop. The doctors think I'm a loony toon when I describe it. This has been going on for months and I don't know how we'll ever potty train her, not to mention the constant sore tush. We had her poop tested three times to check for parasites, blood, or other problems and all the tests came back negative. We've tried eliminating various things from her diet: dairy, blueberries, bananas, anything that she eats regularly that we thought might be the problem. Before we move on the eliminating meat and grains which are her favorites, I thought I'd see if anyone had some ideas. I've asked every mom I know and no one has ever heard of such a thing.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your help. My husband even got on to check out all your answers!!! I should have mentioned that she has been tested for food allergies (negative)and that we do probiotics and fiber regularly. I'm going to follow up on all the suggestions to have her poop tested, again, for parasites, blood, etc. I'm going to ask them to test for Celic too. Once I've taken in a diaper for those tests, we'll begin eliminating some of the foods everyone suggested one at a time until we can come up with an answer. I've been contemplating doing a journal too, but between changing her, feeding her, and writing it all down, I'm not sure I could accomplish anything else during the day! hahahaha

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My daughter was allergic to milk and only milk, NOT dairy. Same grainy poop. There was something in the cow's milk fat that her little belly didn't like. She was almost 4 when she finally grew out of it. I had to use soy milk as a substitute. She's 10 now and never had any other food allergies.

That's how my kiddo's poop is when he eats high fiber things like whole grain bread (which is all we eat) or high-fiber cereal. he has a dairy allergy & we will be getting him tested for other food allergies, because food allergies can cause everything from stunted growth to behavioral issues, it's important to identify them early. we just regulate that he's not eating too much high-fiber too often when his bottem gets sore. some kiddos just have very effective "systems".

The first thing I would suspect is a gluten intolerance. My grandson's poop changed a lot once they discovered he could not eat gluten. It's difficult to keep out of one's diet, but not impossible. It made a tremendous difference in my grandson's health, so it is well worth the effort for him.

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The first thing I would suspect is a gluten intolerance. My grandson's poop changed a lot once they discovered he could not eat gluten. It's difficult to keep out of one's diet, but not impossible. It made a tremendous difference in my grandson's health, so it is well worth the effort for him.

I have read all the other comments and it sounds like you have some good suggestions. If your Dr truely thinks your looney go somewhere else. You are the mom and as the mom you know your child better than anyone. Another suggestion I would give is have him tested for cyctic fibrosis. Good luck!!!

Have you ever had her tested for a food alergy? Gluten alergies have a similar reaction. It is call celieac disease. It would be a good idea to eliminate wheat based starches and go with rice and corn for a while to see if that helps. Gluten is also found in oats and barley in small amounts. Bananas, rice, and cheese will actually help slow down the poo problem so it really may be a good idea to do the rice. I hope that helps.

My 3yo had that problem forever. I felt like I was obsessed with poo! (For good reason-Mymom and I have IBS and my dad and brother and sister have Crohn's) We eventually realized that he can't handle grapes in any form. Raisins, grapes, grape juice, anything sweetened by grape juice. It would runny, but kinda grainy, horribly smelly and cause terrible diaper rashes. Like 3-4 times a day. Boudreaux's Butt Paste, slathered him up! Worked great, put baking soda in the bath water to help relieve the discomfort. I also found out recently that if he eats too much sugar, thanks to his grandmas, that will give him the runs as well. Look into the juice, make sure she is only getting 6-8 oz a day and dilute it with water. HTH

My daughter had a case similar to this when she was about 18 months old. My doctor told me that she had "Toddler's Diarreha" It's an actual medical diagnosis. It basically means that we expect them to eat all of the same things as us but they have not developed all of the good bacteria and enzymes in their digestive system as us. She told me that anything can set it off and it can take weeks or months for her system to flush it and develop the bacteria or enzyme needed to get it. She told us to make sure my daughter had at least one yogurt a day, but seeing how my daughter refuses to eat yogurt she had me get Acidopholis (not sure on the spelling there) capsuls. I would open each capsule and put the 1/2 of the powder on my daughters food (usually fruit). She never tasted it, and within 2 days we were back to solid poop! I continued it for about 3 weeks, and she was fine. I only had to do it once more for about a week 3 months after that first time. All the Acidopholis is is good bacteria that your body needs. You can find it anywhere-CVS, Walgreens, and I think I even found it at WalMart. Hope this helps

My daughter had something similar. I figured out it was the vitamins she was taking. She doesn't usually poop all day, but some days it is quite often. It doesn't bother her, or hurt so I don't worry too much. It seemed like potty trainning actually helped some. Good luck, it is just going to require some digging on your part. And maybe some good diaper cream!

Maybe doing a different kind of stool culture will help? My son was having severe diarrhea and stomach cramps when he was a few months old and the first culture didn't diagnose the problem because it didn't test for what he had. Also, the odd thing with stool cultures is that one may come back positive/negative and another culture later that day will come back the opposite. I have never had a medical professional tell me that, but I've had it happen enough times (to my child and other children I know) to know that it's true.

I had a little girl (she was also 2) in my class about 10 years ago with poop similar to what you describe and she was having a very hard time learning to use the toilet because of it. They FINALLY figured out that she had Giardia. After the treatment, she was fine, excreting normally, and even put on some weight. I hope you find the answer soon. Good luck.

Hello T., have you had you two year old tested for celiac disease? It is where the person is alergic to whey in foods and the bowel is inflamed so most of the food is passed as poop and the child goes more than the normal 2 or 3 times per day. My uncle has it and didn't know it for most of his child hood and he was just miserable as a kid. Talk to your doctor to get checked.

how long has this been happening?
has she been in any medication lately?
i would start making a "food & poop" journal until you find a common denominator.

Hi T., I am a mom of two boys, now 6 & 4. They were both diagnosed as protein intolerant as babies (all protein even soy). Their diapers were very similar sounding. Our regular doctor made us wait until we saw blood before they sent us to a specialist with our first child...I wish I wouldn't have waited. Once we saw the specialist he put him on a special diet/formula called Neocate that we had to order through a pharmacy (or on line)...and it felt like he was cured over night! Now your daughter is older so there may be a different diet for her. I am not sure if you are seeing a specialist but if not I would recommend doing so! My first son suffered more than he needed to. My second son we caught at 3 weeks and never had a problem since. Good news is they both have out grown it.

If you're serious about pursuing the allergy thing, you'll probably want to have her tested. We did a skin prick test on our son and found allergies we never would have thought of. The test is uncomfortable at best, but the information from it is so valuable. An allergist (or pediatric allergist) would be able address this better than a regular doctor or pediatrician.

I am the mother of an 8 month old beautiful baby girl. When she was about 4 months old, I started noticing red in her stool. I am a breastfeeding mom and started to take her diapers in to get tested for blood. They came back negative...but I knew in my gut that it was blood. I noticed that in the 10 (not exaggerating) diapers I brought in they only tested a few. I had this nagging feeling in my gut that there was something going on. Long story short, after many diapers taken in to get tested, and demanding that they test EVERY single one...I was vindicated!!! It was blood. We could start working on figuring it out. I did the dietary restriction stuff only to find out it was a fissure. My point being...TRUST YOUR GUT!!! I don't know if this helps, but I know that I felt like I was going out of my mind during the "investigation" phase. I felt like the pediatrician's office staff would roll their eyes as I walked through the door. "Crazy First Time Mom Syndrome". Good luck to you and your daughter. I hope the issue gets resolved and that your daughter is OK.

This sounds exactly like what happens with my daughter after she eats whole grain anything. The bread we get with wic always messes her up like that and the same with Cheerios! Id check on that one. Maybe even a gluten thing too.

I would try some kind of supplement with acidophilus or bifidus. Sometimes called probiotics. (I used a company called Simplexity, but I'm sure there are many sources.) Just adjust the dosage by opening a capsule or crushing a tablet into her food or milk. It's basically a set of herbs or algae or something that supports the GI tract. Worth a try at least!

A healthy GI tract will actually produce "poop" after every meal. It is triggered by the gastro-colic reflex. If this is the pattern that your daughter is exhibiting, it might just be normal.

My 2 year old is the same way, has been since the day he was born. No less than 6 poops a day. I have elimated foods and tried aphildophilis. The only thing that we can find that affects him...badly... is milk, he can not drink milk at all or he is in such pain. :( He drinks Dairy ease. His Dr. called it Toddler Diahrrea. He never did any test on my son so we have switched DRs and hope to find an answer on how to help him. His poor bottom is always red and I fear we will never be able to potty train him. The good news is over the last month they are not so runny anymore and look like real kid poo. I think its because we reintroduced cheese and he can tolerate it now :) Now if I can get him to 1 or 2 poops a day!! I would be a happy mom :)

Ask her if it hurts when she goes Did you give her any medication go back to the doctor again and see what happen when you come back TYPE ME

My daughter was allergic to milk and only milk, NOT dairy. Same grainy poop. There was something in the cow's milk fat that her little belly didn't like. She was almost 4 when she finally grew out of it. I had to use soy milk as a substitute. She's 10 now and never had any other food allergies.

Wow, I would love to hear your advice because this is happening with both my kids, 2 and 3. It has been going on for almost two months. Sometimes it is softer than others and sometimes it is runnier than others. We also had theirs tested and it came back fine. My youngest usually only poops once per day, but it is so much and so soft that usually comes out the sides of her diaper and up her back. My son is going about 4 times/day. I find it hard to believe that it could be their diet, since they both have it. Anyway, hope you figure it out!

I've never heard of this but you might try checking with a health food store such as Wild Oats for something that might help. My first thought was Acidopilus, they have it for children. We give it to our 2 1/2 year old to help keep her immune system up and we've been pretty lucky, she hasn't been very sick and she's in daycare full time. the reason I say Acidophilus is because it's good for the stomach and I've heard the probiotics are excellent for adults with stomach problems when they can't tolerate certain foods. Good luck.

This may or may not help you, but my experience may widen the possibilities. Our young son had a similar problem not controling his bowels. Parisite test showed nothing several times. Ruling out other things the doctor requested parisite tests again. This time giardia was confirmed. We were told that parasites can be elusive to find. Medication for this condition cleared up the problem within a week.
M. Marble

That's how my kiddo's poop is when he eats high fiber things like whole grain bread (which is all we eat) or high-fiber cereal. he has a dairy allergy & we will be getting him tested for other food allergies, because food allergies can cause everything from stunted growth to behavioral issues, it's important to identify them early. we just regulate that he's not eating too much high-fiber too often when his bottem gets sore. some kiddos just have very effective "systems".

You might check out "toddler's diarrhea" and if she has pain, some kids get acid issues instead of reflux/heartburn as a poopoo "dumping"... ask your doc! Good luck!

Hi! My son did the same thing at age 3. We found out that he had Celiac Disease. Basically, his body rejects any wheat, rye, and barley. I am not saying that that is what your daughter has, but I would push for your pediatrician to consult with a pediatric gastointerologist. Our pediatrician did this after several poop samples,as well. The specialist was able to tell the pediatrician what blood tests to do which saved us from having to wait a long time to get in with the specialist. Maybe the gastointerologist will have other suggestions or ideas of what it might be. I definitley had to keep pushing the doctor until he called the specialist. He did not see that there was a big problem either. You know your child best and you know if soething is not right.

K. P.

I'd keep a journal to monitor the frequency and consistency of the poop. Here are two charts you can use to more effectively describe the type of poo.
and this chart also has suggestions for changing the poo type to one that is healthier. (Be sure to copy and paste the entire URL)

My son had similar symptoms - we now use only raw dairy products and gluten free foods.


When I started reading your post I thought you were talking about my son. He was lactose intolerant at birth but when he was a year we put him back on regular milk. He was okay - or so I thought. He pooped all day too! I was wondering the same thing but finally at age 2 1/2 changed his regular milk to Rice Milk and within a few days he was regular! I could finally potty train him. I know you mentioned you tried to eliminate milk from her diet and that didn't work. It does sound like an allergy - have you thought about allergy testing on foods to pinpoint the culprit? I know how frustrating it is but as the old saying goes - This too shall pass! Good Luck!

Diet is definitely a factor. An elimination diet is the best way to see what's causing her problem. Here's a response I found by another mom who was having the same problem with her son. Note the site called "Parents Digest". It's going to be online soon so watch for it at www.parentsdigest.com


7-year-old's food allergy = poop accidents
April 1998
My 7 year-old son has hopefully conquered a bowel problem now that he is on a dairy free diet. He had been having occassional accidents but it wasn't until last fall that it became chronic after starting first grade and being at school all day. It was humiliating and awful for him. I confided in another mom at school who told me that he could be lactose intolerant because his symptoms sounded similar to her son. First we eliminated milk from his diet. We bought lactaid instead of cows milk, lactose free margarine and switched Mocha Mix or Rice Dream for ice-cream. He continued to have problems until we eliminated cheese (I found tofu cheese at El Cerrito Natural Grocery which he really likes).

We went through alot to get to this point. Last fall his pediatrician ran every test on him to make sure he didn't have a disease. At one point he thought it could be a behavioral problem so we tried sticker charts and a daily potty time plan to no avail. He had told us that the only way to find the source of the food allergy is by process of elimination and that you can be lactose intolerant and still be able to eat dairy products, which really confused me. Also everyone is different and some people can tolerate a little dairy and others none at all. Since then we have seen a nutritionist who explained the need for him to get calcium from other sources and he has been eating and feeling better. I have found helpful food allergy info through the Parents Digest listing on the internet. It has been a trying experience and a relief to have it under control although we will always have to stay aware of it.

I thought I would share my experience to warn other parents that sometimes a food allergy can be the source of an ongoing bowel problem and that it should be considered, investigated and ruled-out.

Your child may also have a wheat allergy, glutin intolerance, or Celiac Disease. These cannot be diagnosed by standard blood and allergy testing. These problems are woefully under-diagnosed. Perhaps you could eliminate wheat products for a few weeks (if you haven't already tried this) and see if your child's condition improves. Elysse

When you eliminate dairy, you have to really work at it. Try godairyfree.org for lists of what's acceptable. Dairy has many surprising hidden sources, including hot dogs, most breads, even Mc D's french fries.
My son vomited all the time before we eliminated dairy, now he's fine.
Good luck!

Trishm my son use to poop all the time, it was milk. he always did soy and as soon as I gave him milk. swoosh. smelled bad to. I hope you find the source. To help her butt my aunt told me to buy this powder they used back in the day walgreens sells it Caldasene in the pink bottle. It get rid of rashes, sore butts, doesnt seem to hurt. my sons butt would be red and raw and bled. I hope that helps her poor toosh. My sons poop was greenish an yellow it use to alternate. Hey when you gotta describe poop you gotta call it like you see it... Jeni

Hi T.,

If it was my daughter I will take her to a Holistic Dr for
a checkup. If you need recomndation let me know.
###-###-#### Annett

My son went through the same thing. We found out months later that we had a slow gas leak. We never found out for sure that was it but I am convinced that is what did it. We moved out of that house and then he was fine. Maybe her body just processes her nourishment faster than most? Make sure to keep Desitin cream on her tush to avoid rash (the wal-mart brand is great and much cheaper!) Hope this helps a little. I will keep you in prayer! Best of luck.

You might try feeding her some cheese and peanut butter, not too much, but these might help thicken her stool a little. Also, insist that your doctor is listening to you and sees the stool himself.

I'm almost positive that you won't have to eliminate ALL grains from her diet. I'm also pretty sure that the probem is coming from a particular grain, or perhaps corn. You can remove one grain at a time, or go without grains for a few days, and if the poop becomes more normal, start adding them in one at a time.

Hello, T.:
My name is D., and I have a 3 year old daughter. My daughter has a food allergy to corn, this allergy only effects her digestion & causes her to get dry skin patches (when it was at it's worst). She can not drink or eat food with Corn syrup in them (many fruit juices, jelly, syrup, gummi fruit snacks and so many other items....). On occasion if I am away from her, she will get a hold of some food (containing corn syrup) from an adult who is unaware of her allergy and by the next day her poop is as you described your daughters (soft, not diarrhea, but very grainy). This allergy was not an easy one to diagnose, but since changing her diet and removing corn as much as possible, she rarely has tummy aches and her poop has become normal (not soft & grainy). This is just an idea, I am definitely not an expert. Good luck in your diagnosis :)
P.S. She also has trouble digesting concentrated fruit juices (even if they are 100% natural), especially grape & apple. They will cause the same soft, grainy poop. I can also only give her small amounts of actual grapes or apples as well.

It is actually more healthy to have multiple poops a day than to poop only once a day. And softer poops are healthier than hard poops. As far as graininess, I'm not sure. My son also poops many times a day, right after he eats, and his poops are soft. His pediatrician wanted to be sure there was no mucus, as that can be a sign of irritation or malabsorption, but I've also had questions about the graininess. As far as frequency, though, I wouldn't sweat it. Some kids poop a lot, and some not for days.

Its a little obscure but look at the website for Celiac (can't tolerate grains) most people who have it aren't diagnosed til late adulthood. I have a very good friend whose sister died of it at the ripe old age of 20 because they never found out what was wrong with her. Now they have three siblings confirmed with it.

It could be an allergy or sensitivity to wheat/gluten. I would take all gluten out of her diet for a few weeks. I am sensitive to wheat although I am not a true Celiac. Have you had her tested for food allergies? Good Luck!

You might want to have her tested for Celiac Disease. My granddaughter had poops like that and with frequency, too. She's 10 and was tested last January. It's first a blood test and if it shows possible Celiac they do an endoscopy into the intestines (all under sedation).
Since she's been on a gluten-free diet she has had normal poops and has lost her "puny" look and added muscle and weight.
When she would eat gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats) the Villi in her intestines were damaged and she wasn't getting the nutrition from the foods. She also got stomach pains.
There is a great support for Celiac, many Web sites, more and more new gluten free foods available, too.
Worth checking out.

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