Constipation in a 3 Year Old - Hopewell Junction,NY

Updated on March 12, 2011
P.C. asks from Hopewell Junction, NY
8 answers

My daughter is 3 and is suddenly constipated. She has been an awesome eater until turning 3 and now she eats a very limited variety of foods. We are in the midst of potty training which I read can be an issue with withholding her poop, but she willingly uses her potty to move her bowels and it is the peeing that is the issue.
Her diet was high in dairy since she would not eat any meat. She ate a lot of cheeses and yogurts for a protein source.
These foods never constipated her before. She WILL NOT drink water and tells me she doesn't like the way it makes her tummy feel. (I don't like to drink plain water either and it does upset my stomach too)I have resorted to watering down all fruit juices, not giving her any cheese, milk or yogurts. I have not given her any eggs either. She loves prunes (the baby food pureed kind) and I give her 2 containers everyday. The prunes and increasing her fluids has not helped at all.
She is straining and I even saw a tiny speck of blood the other day on top of her stool.
What foods are you feeding your children to help with constipation?
As I said, she is really picky with her foods lately and it is a struggle to get her to eat anything.
Textures are still an issue with her. Anything lumpy, stringy or dry and she will refuse eating.
I don't want to resort to laxatives if I do not have to.
Are there stool softeners that you like to use?
How do you camoflauge veggies?

Thanks for any help or suggestions you can give


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So What Happened?

Thank you to all of you! You had some great ideas and I am taking them all seriously.
My daughter and I are together eating fiber rich cereal for breakfast and she seems to really like it.
I am mixing prune juice with other juices...I mixed Cran apple juice with prune juice and I thought it tasted really good.
I gave a cup to my daughter and said, "This juice is so yummy" and my daughter drank it for a bit, took the cup out of her mouth and said, "It tastes a lot like prunes!!" You just can't put anything over on them...LOL
Going to continue with prunes and will get some of the Plum Smart juices as well as some of the V8 Fruitables too.
Yesterday my daughter was making they typical grunting and I went to put her on the potty and she started to cry and plead for me not to put her on it. I later realized that she was associating the pain of constipation with using the potty. Ironically enough, all the prunes and fiber etc finally paid off and she had a normal formed soft stool. The look of surprise and happiness on her face and then hearing her say, "It didn'thurt me this time" was so great! I think she will be more willing to use the potty once she continues to see that she is going softer. I am being diligent with the changes in diet and I feel that I need to be an example and eat the same things she does. She loves to do things "Together" and gets quite excited when we have meals together.
Thanks everyone. Your ideas were very helpful!!

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

Miralax. Combination stool softener and gentle stimulant. very safe. there is also a powdered fiber additive on the market

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answers from Dallas on

This is a response that I made a few minutes ago, but it should help you too! Also, try pear juice or apple juice as they both should help. Stay away from the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast) as it is meant to firm things up. My son loves dried prunes and apricots as well as straight prune juice. If you try any of those, though, I'd go for the adult variety as she is old enough to handle it. The baby prunes may not be doing it for her at this point... Here's my earlier post to another mommy as well...

We have battled constipation in my son, especially with potty training. He is four now and every so often he'll have a painful poop that will leave him scared to poop again. So he starts withholding and before you know it, we have exactly what your pedi warned you of. Our pedi told us to use Miralax, we did for a few days, but I am a natural kind of momma when it comes to my babies and I just couldn't get over that it has the same chemical in it that antifreeze does. Added to which there are no official sizable trials on the stuff for kids AND the FDA hasn't approved it for anyone under 16. The trials that were done were done on adults and older kids with healthy colons and they found that the chemical was NOT absorbed into the system. That's good, right? But the catch is that in unhealthy colons (those that are constipated quite a bit and soemwhat stretched out), the chemical was absorbed into the system because of how porous the intestinal tract became with stretching. And that's in adults! What about our youngsters?

So I searched high and low for something medicinal that was meant to fight constipation (we had used pear, prune juice, prunes, dates, etc. he loves this stuff, but it just wasn't getting it this time). I found Philips Milk of Magnesia. It is magnesium and has guidelines for younger kids on it's label. It worked wonders immediately and actually worked faster than the Miralx which had shown no result over several days of trying it. Your child will have to drink a glass of water with it though, or at least alongside it.

It comes in cherry flavor which is what sold my son on it. We can get him to chug the water for us though. You may try telling him that he gets a cherry medicine to help his bottom so that the poop won't hurt coming out. Not sure if he's old enough to reason that out yet, though. I jsut wanted to put my two cents worth in on the Miralax and steer you towards the M.O.M. that has worked so well for us.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Crystal Light (or the off brand kind) is a decent replacement for water, if necessary.
I give my kid's a lot of fiber. Fiber one bars, fruits, beans, whole wheat bread, peanut-butter. They are picky, too. But I started eating healthy myself and have the house stocked full of (mostly) good stuff for them.. so now they don't have a choice. They either eat what we've got, or they starve.

They chose the not starving, lol. And now they're both very regular and have absolutely no problem in that area. Took about a week for them to have regular healthy BMs.

Also; this website can help you find ways to sneak veggies into their diet:

There's quite a few out there, and even some cook books you can buy. Just google it.



answers from Buffalo on

Fruits may work wonders. My son loves frozen berries. Pineapple also helps with softening the stool.



answers from Denver on

prune juice.... it works wonders- and be careful about how much milk she drinks.. milk can cause constipation...

good luck!



answers from Milwaukee on

My daughter's doc recommended giving her Cracklin Oat Bran cereal to munch on. My kiddo loves it and asks for it. I give her some dry to munch on, not in a bowl w/ milk as you usually do cereal. When I first started giving it to her, she called them cookies.



answers from Boston on

Veggies, fruits (try Dole in a jar w juice) and Miralax 2 x week.



answers from Albany on

Hi There,
We have had some issues off and on with both my kids. They go through phases of eating great, and not so well. My daughter, who is now 5 had issues witholding when she was potty training. It was a control thing with her... she was fine peeing in the potty, but did not want to poop. We finally let her ask for a pull-up when she needed to poop. Anyway, diet seems to be the culprit with your daughter, which has occured with my kids too. Witholding cheese is probably a good idea for a while, but don't withold the yogurt. The healthy cultures in yogurt help to regulate the digestive track... preventing diarrhea and constipation. Some other foods that my kids stay regular are peanut butter, ofcourse fruits (but this is hit or miss depending on what they want to eat!), cantelope, mandarin oranges, blueberries, raisins all help. We will also give the kids Plum Sweets (dark choc. covered prunes) and that helps too. My kids don't like oatmeal... but that could help. Cheerios have a lot of fiber too. And, make sure she gets a lot of exercise!

Good Luck!

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