Constipation in 3.5 Year Old

Updated on March 17, 2011
C.M. asks from New Baden, IL
7 answers

Back story - my daughter has been battling an inner and middle ear infection for the past week. Horribly painful (outer ear = swimmer's ear) and she didn't eat almost at all for a few days. She's on an antiobiotic now but the past five days, she's been constipated and will not poop in the toliet. She runs to it when she has to go but then says she doesn't have to go. She's pooped in her underwear 3-4 times now (which has never happened until now) and had a pee accident every day for the last five days. The ped said the pee accidents may be caused by the poop pushing on her bladder. He recommended prune, grape, apple and pear juice (we are doing all buy pear juice - need to get some). No milk and hardly any dairy - we are doing that. The next step is miralax or maalox but we haven't done that yet. I have kid friendly stool softner but she won't swallow the pill (not sure why i thought she would?). Ped says as long as she's afraid it will hurt, she may not go on the toliet.

Have you had this problem with your kids? Any other advice? We encourage her to go to the bathroom every so often. We go with her when she has to poop incase it does hurt (although we do not say it will hurt) and I've even offered to hold her hand "incase it's hard to come out." When I asked her why she won't go in the toliet, she tells me because she thinks it will hurt. What do I tell her? It may hurt and especially if she keeps holding it. I swear when she does poop it's so hard and large, I know why she's scared. But we want to get her over this!

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answers from Washington DC on

My 4y is going through the constipation thing too. Basically the messy underwear is her body fighting her. Gravity is doing its job, and she's holding it in. I tried increasing her fat intake. Gave her a bag of fritos at lunch to munch on. That worked for a few days.

We have done the Fleet Child suppositories, which she hates!, but were necessary. Our pediatrician even had I try 1 piece of chocolate exlax, which worked once. Then she had an episode where neither of those two things did anything. At the 5 day mark she was literally sitting on the toilet all day shaking with no progress. I took her to the ER where they gave her a liquid enima and kept trying until she went. It took 3 trys over 2.5 hours. Now she is on 2 tsp. of Miralax a day. When we try to cut back the problems start to come back.


answers from Boston on

Hi there.
I sent you some information on Aloe Juice. This is the best stuff ever. I forgot to mention however that it will also boost her immune system which will help with the ear infections. Hope it helps.



answers from St. Louis on

you are in control of her diet....make sure it is full of fresh fruit & vegies. Avoid all sugary foods. Pump the fluids....both water & the juices. Avoid dairy, including cheese.

& above all else, don't cave when it comes to snack time. Make sure it's healthy.

To ease her pain, let her soak in the tub several times each day. That'll help loosen her up!



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi McMama,

Constipation is no fun! I've had quite the long battle with this with my son. I suggest you try dried apricots (slice them thin and scrub her teeth afterward :-)).

If you go the Miralax route, try mixing it in whatever fruit juice she enjoys. If you think she can understand, I'd try explaining the way the body works (poop needs to come out every day) and let her know that the longer she holds it, the more likely it is that she'll be uncomfortable, if you don't think that will worry her. You may just need to get her on a laxative (or apricots) to get her loosened up enough to go, and keep her on it for a while (check with your Dr.) to get her regular again. Whatever you do, back off SLOWLY from whatever laxative means you end up using.

best of luck!



answers from Washington DC on

Yes, we've been dealing with constipation on and off for quite a while now. We tried all the natural things first, and none of them worked for very long. We now use Miralax if she gets constipated and it really helps.

Basically, I try to get her to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and drink more water. We avoid bananas b/c they really constipate my daughter.

I also talk to her about drinking more water, eating foods that help, and she listens and will eat the foods that help. Also, I spoke with her about the importance of "not keeping the poopy" in her body, that it will make her sick. She doesn't hold it in any more, especially after we had that conversation.

Good luck!



answers from St. Louis on

My son is now 15 years old. We went through years and years of constipation issues ... numerous doctors, apricot nectar, suppositories, mineral oil, Fleet enemas ... until Miralax came out. Try the Miralax. There is a reason it is named what it is, "Mira"cle, "lax"ative.


answers from Kansas City on

Grandson has that off and on and the orange prunes, in bags by raisins at the grocery store, helped some and then he's on Miralax. It does help. You put it in any drink and they don't taste it and it takes several days maybe to work but also softens the stool so it is good to use for children. Try it and see if it works.

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