3Yr Old with Chronic Diarrhea

Updated on March 25, 2010
S.V. asks from Burlington, NJ
19 answers

My 3yr old daughter has has diarrhea for going on 2 weeks now. Her normal bowel movement is once a day. She started going 4 times in one day and it was very loose. Every other day for almost 2 weeks she's been having diarrhea at least 3 times. The day in between she doesn't have a bowel movement. I called the doctor and they said they wouldn't be concerned until it lasts a solid 2 weeks. She is eating and drinking normally and doesn't seem to be in any other discomfort. She has had no fever.

While it could be a virus it doesn't act like a typical stomach virus. I'm very concerned about it though. Has anyone else had this happen with their child?

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So What Happened?

3/25 Thursday:

Thank you to everyone for your wonderful thoughts and ideas. I really appreciate it! What a great group of ladies here on Mamapedia!!
She continued with the diarrhea last night. Her bottom is getting a bit sore so I've been putting lots of Balmex on it and soaking her in baking soda. This morning she woke up crying and cried for a good hour. She couldn't tell me what was wrong. It could be related or not but it's very unusual for her to cry like that. I'm now keeping track of everything she eats. She had been drinking a bit too much OJ so I've eliminated that all together. We will see what happens! Thanks so much for the advice!!

3/28 Sunday:

She's back to normal now. I think she had a reaction to orange juice. When I eliminated it she soon got back to normal. Thank you all for your advice and concern!

Featured Answers



answers from Norfolk on

My son (then just 2) had liquid diarrhea for a solid 2 weeks last summer. They did an x-ray to look for a bowel obstruction, but other than that they said they couldn't give him anything except to treat for dehydration which he didn't have because he drinks more than any small child I know. It went away on its own and he didn't have a BM for about 3 days then back to normal.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My thoughts would be maybe something she is eating isn't agreeing with her , right down everything she eats and drinks over 2 or 3 days and then look and see if there is something that she eats a lot of , for example dairy , then leave this food out of her diet and see what happens , if this diarrhea clears up then you know that whatever it was does not sit well with her.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Boston on

Ok, so I have a suggestion, but I'm not sure if it will work with a human. Oh yeah, everyone is thinking, huh? Well, I'm in dog rescue and whenever a dog has a poop problem, we always use canned pumpkin. Just plain pumpkin, nothing else in it. You buy it in the cake/frosting isle, on the bottom shelf usually. It never fails, no matter what the problem is, too loose, constipated, it always does the trick. None of us really know why and as long as it keeps working, we don't question it. It's safe and no dog has ever gotten sick from it as far as I know. But like I said, I don't know how it would transfer to a human. Just thought I'd throw it out there. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

If it has any consistency, I would not worry yet. What the doctors consider diarrhea has to be like water, no color and pure liquid. If there is color and liquid to it, wait it out a little longer. Maybe she is becoming allergic to some food, keep a log of what she eats every day. If there is a day that she doesn't go, most likely the doctor will not be too concerned. Log in what she eats, when she goes, how it looks, and how loose it is.
There is a stomach virus going on, some people get the barfing and runs, some only the runs.
If you have pomegranate take the skin, and boil it for maybe half an hour, then take that water when it cools off and add a little honey to it (so it will be sweet to her) and let her drink a little here and a little there, all through the day.
If it get's worse and you see that it is just liquid, take her to the emergency room and let them do whatever tests are necessary.
We had the virus at my house and that's what we all drank, except for my boys, my husband, my daughter and I caught it!!!
Best wishes

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

There is also the BRAT diet - Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast
Just to give the tummy a rest, but will still get nutrition.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

I would definitely take her in to the pediatrician. But, in the meantime, you may want to get Culturelle For Kids. When our kids suffer from diarrhea, it's what our pediatrician recommends and it always works within 24 hours. Please check out their website and read the testimonials they have on there. You can find it at any Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, etc. A little bit pricey but so worth it when it gives your little one relief!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

One possibility~one of my children had this reaction to orange juice.
Another thought~has she had or you had a scare recently? Fear can trigger diarrhea.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

My daughter had diahrrea for a month straight (she was 1.5 at the time). We took her to the doc and was told it was just a virus but I wasn't so sure. Come to find out, a child at her daycare had Cryptosporidum (spelling?) - so we had her tested for that (it's contagious). Luckily she did not have it. I'd see if the ped would consent to you having her tested for that. You'll need to collect stool and take it into a lab.

I would watch how much juice she's getting. That could be affecting her stomach. Is it causing any redness or bothering her?

I also recommend writing down everything she eats for a few days (or weeks) to see.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

We've had some issues where there was lingering diarrhea for no apparent reason. I don't think you're at the level for immediate concern yet, but I do think you're doing your due diligence by being in contact with the Pediatrician's office.

Best wishes in dealing with the issue - I hope it resolves soon.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I agree that it is probably something your child is eating. My daughter had very similar symptoms and it turned out she was allergic to honey. We had gotten some as a Christmas present and she was eating it every day. She has outgrown her allergy, but it took us a while to figure out that was what was causing her problem



answers from Pittsburgh on

My ped recommends the probiotic Culturelle to get the system back on track after mild viruses or after a course of antibiotics that cause diarrhea.



answers from York on

My son had this when he was 7 months, and I couldn't believe it either. My husband had a terrible stomach virus (vomitting, etc.), and when I called the ped about my son's diarrhea, they said it was probably the same stomach bug affecting him differently. My son never vomitted or acted sick in any other way, but he did have runny poop contantly for 13 days. It would wake him up at night. His poor bottom was so raw. It was miserable, and I must've called the ped a million times and I did bring him in because I was so worried. Sure enough, it ended on its own in just under two weeks like they said it would. Good luck! I feel for you!



answers from Philadelphia on

My son had diarrhea for about a week and a half when he was around 15 months old. I remember calling the dr and they told me something was going around--the old it's a virus routine. After it had been longer than the nurse said I finally realized that it was the Ovaltine I was putting in his milk to try to get him to drink it. Any ready made chocolate milk gives him diarrhea. He can have Hershey's syrup in milk but nothing else. I don't know why. My mother said it is the iron in the drink but the dr said iron is binding. Who knows, but I switched him to OJ with calcium and everything was good. Maybe it is a dietary thing? Hope you figure it out!!



answers from Philadelphia on


My 8 month old just had the same thing! Although he had a low grade fever in the evenings only. I took him to the Ped. after one week of it and the Doc said it's most likely a virus and that there is a LOT of stuff going around right now. He told me that it could go on for two to three weeks, but as long as he's eating and drinking he should be fine. Sure enough, another week went by and he's back to his normal bm's. Hope she's back to normal soon!!


answers from Erie on

get her on the BRAT diet like PP suggested and see if that helps. if it goes away, then it's more than likely something she's eating. i would try to get her to drink some pedialite too to get some electrolytes back into her system.



answers from Allentown on

Poor thing!
Has she recently had any vaccines at all? Is anything different in her diet? Does she have any rashes at all?
I would definitely start her on a REALLY good, high count probiotic & try to remove as much refined sugar & artificial dyes from her diet as you possibly can.
You can find good probiotics in the refrigerator section of any health food store. They make ones that are specifically for kids.
Hope she feels better soon!



answers from Harrisburg on

My daughter had loose stools for almost 2 weeks when she was about 18mo. I took her to the pedi after 1 week and had then work up some cultures and check for parasites, too. They all came back negative, which I expected. The Pedi explained to me that there a re very tiny hair-like microvilli in the intestines (everyone has them) that absorb excess water, but in babies if something like a virus kills them off, it takes longer them longer to grow back vs. an adult so that is why they tell us nervous Mom's to wait 2 weeks. My biggest concern was a sore tush so I really loaded on the diaper rash cream on with every diaper change and soaked her in a warm bath with baking soda.

So what I did was get my daughter off all juice, fed her lots of yogurt (it has good bacteria to help in the intestines) and at the pharmacy, I bought a package of bacteria (the same bacteria that is found in yogurt) and added it to her milk and food. If you go to the Rx for this bacteria, you have to ask for it because it has to be kept refrigerated. It did take 2 weeks for things to get back to normal so if this lasts longer than 2 weeks, then you should call the Pedi back.

Hope your daughter is feeling better soon!



answers from Pittsburgh on

Go to your local pharmacy - I got mine at CVS- and ask for Floraster kids. (not sure of the spelling). It is a probiotic for kids that you mix in with their juice. You don't need a prescription but the pharmacy will have it in the back with all the medications. My doctor recommended it for my daughter if she got diarrhea from her antibiotics. Your daughter could just have some overgrowth of the bad bacteria in her intestines.



answers from Lancaster on

one of my friends had a son who was having diarrhea for an extended amount of time and they discovered he was lactose intolerant...check it out.

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