23 answers

Toddler with Constipation Issues

My 2 year old daughter has major constipation issues. Her Pediatrician has put her on Miralax since April, 1 tsp per day. That has not helped her become regular like he hoped- he wants her to go 6-7 times per week, it's more like 3 (if we are lucky) times a week. The Miralax often causes very loose stools that make her go about 5-7 per day, developing in very painful diaper rash which then I take her off of it completely. For the last two weeks she has gone once a week. For a last resort we go to suppositories- which I absolutely hate doing but it works. I know it is mostly my fault for not giving her much veggies but she does eat fruit. I found that Pedia-Lax now has a fiber supplement in a gummy form. Any suggestions from veteran mom's with kids who have/had constipation issues?! Help!

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Thank you for everyone (minus 1 person's) useful suggestions/comments. I have been keeping my daughter on a regular dosage of Miralx for the past 3 weeks and have her also on the Gummy Fiber supplement. Things seem to be going well. She has gone 4 days straight now. Thank you again, Moms'!

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If she eats a lot of dairy, then that may be the problem. My daughter had the same problem (except that Miralax worked great). We switched her to soy milk instead of cow's milk and that really helped!

"Juice-Plus" is a vitamin that comes in a gummy and a chewable. They take 17 different fruits and veggies and dehydrate them and grind them into the vitamins. (you take a veggie one and a fruit one). Since it is the whole fruit and veggie, you get much more fiber. My kids love them, and it helps keep them regular, especially when they do not get enough fruits or veggies in their day. Good luck..

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I empathize with you. Watching your little ones struggle with constipation is rough. Here are some things we've tried, with success: we are into homeopathic remedies, and they number one thing to help with constipation, hands down, is intaking enough water. Many pediatricians might disagree with this, but we started our now 7-year-old son on water at about 1 year of age. He starts every day with water, drinks it throughout the day, and we take water bottles with us wherever we go. You might hear doctors and others say that if a young one takes in too much water, they won't get enough milk (or formula) or food (i.e. they'll "fill up" on water). We found that to be erroneous. Our little guy has a healthy appetite, and the water hasn't interfered with his nutrition in the least. Since our bodies are over 70% water, and we lose water from our bodies continuously (through evaporation, sweat, and elimination), we need to replenish it - and children are no exception. Other things that help are gentle tummy massage - rub in circles from right to left, which is clockwise as you face your child. We also use a vibrating pillow, and you can also fill a cotton tube sock with rice, tie a knot in the end, and microwave it for 2 minutes or until warm (CAUTION: shake the sock and test for temperature against your bare tummy skin first to make sure it's not too hot for your child; then put it over their clothes to ensure it won't be too warm). We call this a "Bed Buddy" and it is also sold in some stores. My son used it against his tummy, laid over his lap, while he was on the toilet, until last year. It helps with what we call "poop cramps." We used the glycerin suppositories after 3 days of no bowel movement, and diaper rash balm as a preventive, when he had more than one bowel movement per day. Also, taking a warm bath with a touch of lavender (one or two drops of essential lavender oil per bath)can help. Of course, applesauce and other fiber foods are key. Oatmeal is good, too, as the mucilage it releases lubricates the intestinal tract. Good luck with this. Hang in there. Constipation is a normal part of their growth of the digestive system, and all these things can gently help them cope.

1 mom found this helpful

My son, who is 3 now, struggled with constipation as an infant and his early toddler years, but most of the time he's fine now. He loves to eat fruit and whole grains, and drinks lots of water, so his pediatrician was a bit baffled by it. We now spike his favorite milk beverage with pediasure (Wal-Mart brand) with fiber, and that helps a lot. We've also discovered peanuts have a bit of a "laxative" effect on him (he's not allergic to peanuts), so we include that in his diet when needed. Hope this helps!

I would stop the Miralax completely and give 1 cup of Plum smart four to five times a day consistantly. It will work if given consistantly. Give it a week. Just give every morning and don't give her anything else to drink until she finishes it. The first week I would give the plum smart every day. Try it and let evryone know if it works.

Excuse my briefness: more liquids, peaches, no rice, and try citrical. Stay on it. She sounds like the miralax was too strong. Ask your doc if you can use the the citrical and how much. It will loosen her up with out making her have the runs. If not use less miralax.

In addition to the prune juice and probiotic ideas listed here, I would recommend black strap molasses. It has to be the "blackstrap" kind; it has extra magnesium in it and that is a stool loosener. Very good for you, if you like the flavor. My kids love it; it tastes like licorice; not everyone is fond of that flavor. But you could try mixing it with a glass of milk or something? A warning on this - milk will constipate, as will most things white (potatoes, cheese, starchy vegetables . . .), but soy milk or another substitute might be better, not sure. Good luck!

If you know that you are the source of the problem by not giving her more veggies, why don't you just give her more veggies????

I have a son who has a neurological disorder- and constipation is part of the package deal. We have weaned him off the miralax by introducing fiber into his diet via benefiber. You can sneak benefiber into any liquid- it leaves no evidence. Dosage with miralax and benefiber is a highly individualized thing - you have to play with the dose. If the stools are too loose- cut the dose. A tsp of miralax is really almost nothing as it is. You may be good with cutting out the miralax altogether and just adding the fiber to the diet.

I also found this article about how to get more fiber into a diet. The article states fiber recommendations for an adult. For a child age 5, the recommendation is 10-12 grams. Good luck.


My daughter has the same issues. You should try reducing the Miralax a little to prevent the diaper rash and going 5-7 times a day. Also making sure she has enough water really helps too. good luck! My daughter is 3 years old and still using the Miralax.

Ground Flax Seed offers wonderful results and is incredibly healthy for you and your child. We add it to pancake mix, yogurt or oatmeal. Try it, I'm a huge fan. And, the best part is that it tastes good.

Also, kiwi and avocado really help too.

Half-dose of Miralax once every day - worked like a charm for our daughter!! She fought constipation from birth until she was 3 and the Miralax did the trick - no flavor or texture change and we put it in milk and/or water.

It looks like you have received a lot of good feedback. In addition to reducing the dose of Miralax, I recommend including pear juice. My toddler, who has also struggled with constipation, likes it a lot more than prune juice and it has been proven to be equally as effective. (Pear juice is often a main ingredient in other cloudy juices....like guava).

Good luck!

My problems went all away when my daughter potty trained. I have a friend who experienced similiar issues with the same result. If it is possible to potty train, I'd get on that.

"Juice-Plus" is a vitamin that comes in a gummy and a chewable. They take 17 different fruits and veggies and dehydrate them and grind them into the vitamins. (you take a veggie one and a fruit one). Since it is the whole fruit and veggie, you get much more fiber. My kids love them, and it helps keep them regular, especially when they do not get enough fruits or veggies in their day. Good luck..

I feel your pain my daughter also had this promblem. I have found that she cannot drink milk. She can eat cheese ( not to much) and she can consume other dairy products. But when she drinks milk she pluggs up so bad she cant eat. I took her off milk and within 2 weeks she shown much improvment. She now drinks silk. She loves it and we had no trouble with the switch. Hope this helps you..

I don't have any perfect advice here, I have a daughter with lots of constipation - we use Benefiber and Miralax together. When we introduced the 1tsp of Miralax it helped us quite a bit, and it didn't cause the 5-7 times per day that you had. I am sorry to hear it isn't working well for you! You are doing the right thing by keeping in close contact with your pediatrician on this, and make sure he/she is really listening to you.

The only thing I wanted to say was that this IS NOT your fault. My daughter eats plenty of veggies and this happened to her. My dr. says that just some kids have this. Plus once they start getting constipated, they start holding back more, which causes more constipation. In any case, please don't blame yourself. Yes, some foods cause more constipation than others, but when it is this full blown it is NOT just the food alone causing it.

If she eats a lot of dairy, then that may be the problem. My daughter had the same problem (except that Miralax worked great). We switched her to soy milk instead of cow's milk and that really helped!

Constipation sucks!

My daughter has had issues for well over a year now - she eat a very high fiber diet - lots of fruits and veggies - beans and what not - if finally got to the point that she didn't poop for 12 days - talk about painful once it happens.

We are currently on the 1 tsp of mirlax a day - hoping it regulates her - she just had 3 days then has gone four days without. We had started with 2 but it was too much and she had no control what so ever.

Based on the handouts we have we need to do from anywhere from 9 to 18 months in order to retrain her colon. Basically what has happen each time it took a little bit longer her colon grew bigger and bigger. So how her colon is huge - so when she does poop the volume is great.

So I would recommend follow your doctor's advice - follow up and see if you need to increase the dosage - because you want her colon to get smaller.

My daughter is 3. We've been working on a for a few months now - no way fixed. We also elected to go to an accupressurist in order to work further on the issue. My philosophy is to combine east and west practices. It is working but slowly - constipation didn't happen overnight so it won't be fixed.

Also - there are probably reason that don't have to do with food - my husband apparently had the same issue until he was 9 or so. Another friend of mine had a roommate who wound up with surgery to remove half his colon because of chronic constipation. Another friend no matter has had the issue with her son since birth. So really do take the time to fix it - and make sure it works.

I'm not a doctor, so i could be way off base, but it seems like irregular doses of the miralax may be worse than none - when she gets a dose she gets runny stools, then you take her off, she gets constipated, and you go back to the beginning. You need a higher dose to release the constipation, which then means runnier stools, etc. etc. It seems like it might be worth talking to the doctor about a change in dose - perhaps 1/2 tsp per day, but every day consistently until it works out?

Or, if you want a more natural route, my daughter loves prunes, and only stops eating them because we limit how many she can have. You can buy bite sized prunes pretty much anywhere. Maybe your daughter will love them and that will help? (or prune juice, too - prunes are super sweet, so i think kids like them.)

Some basics..

Probiotics: vitamin form, cultured vegetables or yogurt (low sugar, all natural organic varieties only)

Fiber: sprouted grain bread only, fruit, veggies, flax seed, dried fruit

If you don't get this under control now she's likely to fight constipation her whole life. Feed her TONS of probiotic foods to help her intestines recoup lots of healthy bacteria. Good luck!

I would try giving her acidophilus and you might want to also consider taking her to a pediatric naturopath. They may have some good ideas for you.

My daughter became very constipated when she stopped nursing at 18 months. I wanted to avoid medications, so went the gentler and cheaper route and gave her prune juice every morning with breakfast. She still loves it and has it in the morning. We aren't a juice or sweet drink family, so it seemed like a treat and she took to it right away. She is almost four now and still drinks it. It works like a charm and when she doesn't have it for a few days (if we are on vacation or don't get to the store after running out), she will back up again. Try it! It is soooo much better for your child than prescription meds.

My 10 yo has a constipation issue too. Poor girl. We did the Miralax and found that cutting cold turkey just back her up again. The problem is once kids are constipated they get a back up that takes a while to get out. Try cutting back on the miralax instead of just stopping and gradually taking her off. Mirlax also has no real side affects unlike some of the laxatives.

Good luck!

Please , does your little get lots of liquid ??.I had a health store in Southern Calif. Honestly liquid ,water especially, flavored w/o sugar is just fine!
Then it is such an easy ,natural experience..just happens!
I am glad you honor your son......he is still part of your family! You are a real mom,
ps. popcorn....like with air poppers(really cheap) then you can put a little flavoring on it!

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