Fun with Pooping and Prune Juice

Updated on May 11, 2009
J.R. asks from Geneva, IL
25 answers

My one year old son has had a hard time pooping lately. It is awful to watch, he squats and then screams like it REALLY hurts to go and his poop is really hard. We just finished formula a few weeks ago and he is now on whole milk. He gets a lot of fruit and meat and wheat bread in his diet, but I'm wondering if he needs more fiber? We gave him a few ounces of prune juice this morning to see if that helps, but I'm not sure how much and how often to give it to him. I'm desperate to relieve the poop pains -- I really think it hurts when he goes. Any tips to help him poop a little easier? I called the pediatrician and am waiting on a call back from the nurse. I hate seeing my child in pain when he has to poop! =(

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the great advice. I have just modified his diet to include less bananas (his favorite -- but apparently they are very constipating to kids!) and less milk. He was a BIG milk drinker and HUGE banana consumer, but the ped assures us he doesn't need as much milk or bananas as he was getting. We added in 2 ounces of prune juice at breakfast and before bed (which suprisingly, he LOVES!) and we're making sure he has a vegetable and fruit with every meal. I also loved the black bean tips -- we've been giving him brown rice and black beans once a day or so -- and he really likes it. With all of the added fiber in his diet, it took two days to loosen things up, but now we're back in business -- no more tears when it's time to go! I've never been so happy to see poopy diapers! =)

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

Calling the peditrician was the smart choice. He may need a stool softener or maybe the milk is bothering his system. They can end up with anal tears from being constipated and then they will not go. In the mean time I would give him lots of juice (I would still dilute the juice) and as much fiber and fruits and veggies as possible.

K.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi Jennifer!
Just wanted to let you know that, first of all, you're not alone - my youngest son had the exact same problem. We did Miralax for a while mixed with prune juice. I didn't like giving him Miralax all the time and so we just stopped that, but continued with the prune juice. We started with a whole sippy cup full in the morning to go with breakfast and over time, as things have loosened up, we have lessened the amount we give him - it seems to work really well. And if ever he has a problem, we just up the amount again until everything is operating smoothly again. His poop is much stinkier this way and he seems to poop a lot more often, but it's well worth it to avoid the pain he used to experience. Hope this helps!

K. :)

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K.R.

answers from Detroit on

When my son was still an infant, we had to put him on Soy milk, rather than cows milk (even though he used a cows milk formula).. something about it he just couldn't digest, but the soy milk straightened it out and after about a year, we switched him back to regular milk (2%) without trouble. May want to watch out for certain types of fruits (Bananas are the bane of my sons potty time if he has more than one).. different people react in different ways to them.

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D.D.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Jennifer,
I always had my kids eat black beans as a snack. they get the fiber without all of the sugar.Kept things moving too. I maybe fed them this 1-2 snacks a day. right out of the can, set in a cup of hot water for a few min to warm, drain and serve. Make sure you get the beans with no seasoning - just beans and salt. meijer house brand is a good one.

I would do watered down prune juice - like 1/2 water - 1/2 juice. it can be harsh.

good luck!

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P.R.

answers from Detroit on

Milk is constipating.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.K.

answers from Detroit on

My son had the same problem until age 3. Now he's fine at 5 1/2 yrs old. I learned boys digestive tracts are slower to mature than girls, and this can lead to constipation. (My 2 girls, no problems). I always gave him half prune juice, half apple juice. Once or twice a day usually worked. You can also try some flavored cod liver oil. That keeps things moving. Also, you can give him olive oil in a dish to dip things in (like toast, whole wheat bread, etc.) also try drizzling it on his veggies. The oil will keep things lubricated in there for easy departure out of their little tummys. Plus olive oil is good for them. Good luck.

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A.A.

answers from Lansing on

Hi Jennifer,
You could try something called "power pudding". I am a cna and we used it in the nursing homes. I have also have heard of mom"s using it for their children. It works great. Google "Power Pudding" and several recipes will show up. It's a natural way to help relieve constipation. It sounds like you only need to use 1 to 2 teaspoons.

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T.S.

answers from Detroit on

Looks like you have enough advice. What works for my daughter is 1 1/2 oz of Prune Juice after breakfast. Also when they start getting harder again we give cut up Apricots for her fruit - this and bran crackers seem to get it out of her easier. Your dr may suggest a suppository. The other thing we have done that works is baking soda in her bath - something in it helps them go! Good luck.

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C.C.

answers from Grand Rapids on

i went thru these 'poop' with my daughter - days & days of not pooping, and when she finally did she would get fissures (small tears on the rectum). this started at around 5 months old until, on occasion, now, and she's 4! anyhow, the prune juice is a good place to start. i would give him an ounce or two to start for a few days, maybe a week to see if that gets him back on a regular schedule. i have to pay close attention to feed my daughter lots of foods high in fiber. so, lots of fruits, veggies, cereals and breads high in fiber. be prepared for the gas that comes along with it, though. the more you feed it to him the better that will get. we finally had to start her on miralax (you can buy over the counter but her pediatrician prescribed it and it's much cheaper that way)
also, mineral oil also works. you can find it by the milk of magnesia and stuff at the store, and it's completely natural. try a teaspoon of it before he goes to bed and by morning he should be ready to go. this might help him now if his poop is really hard and he's having a hard time pushing it out. the miralax you have to give daily for about a month (this is what her pediatrician told me) for their body to get cleaned out and for them to develop a good pattern. then you can take him off of it and see how it goes. we rarely use the miralax anymore, but if i notice she's starting to have a hard time i'll give it to her for a few days to a week.
also, warm baths can help, exercising his legs (walking & running) and giving him lots of water can help.
anyhow, good luck! he'll be fine! it's hard to watch your child in pain, but try the above and i'm sure he'll be o.k.
try to relax!!!

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J.F.

answers from Detroit on

Oh yes.....I remember those days! Isn't it miserable to see them like that? My older son went through it - we felt like we tried everything. Our Ped gave him a prescription for a generic form of Miralax. It is safe, easy and non-addicting. It is a white tastless, oderless powder that you mix with any drink. It may take a while for you to find the right dosage that works, but don't give up! At first, he will have mushy poop. The key is to get him "cleaned out". His bowel may be stretched out from his large, hard turds. Once his bowel returns to normal size, then everything should straighten out. Ask your ped about giving you a prescription for it. If you have a presc. plan it will save you money. If you have to buy it over the counter, it is expensive! Good luck - it's good to nip this in the bud before he starts potty training!!! Feel free to e-mail me if you have more questions - it seems as though we've been through every poop story in the book!!!

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L.C.

answers from Jackson on

When our oldest daughter was little, we found that using a different fatcontent-2% milk instead of whole milk--did the trick. That was a long time ago but it might be worth a try.

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

Milk can cause all kinds of problems. Stop giving him milk and see what happens. Some extra vitamin C supplements or food that's loaded with vitamin C could help alot. Grapes, oranges, veggies, apple cider and lots of water...try a cup of frozen peas as a snack. My toddlers loved that. He can carry it around, it's fun and it's not messy! No worries!

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T.K.

answers from Detroit on

Maybe back off the milk give water and a liquid non-dairy calcium suppliment.If you can't do no milk try the less fat version. Also orange juice in my experience works well for constipation, I buy the calcium fortfied. My kids never took prune juice well so of course it didn't help.
T. K.

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J.M.

answers from Lansing on

I had the same situation and I would put some prune juice in the grape or apple juice as a blend. Also watch other things they are eating to see if there is somethings else in the diet causing a problem. My kids ate lots of cheese and so instead of just cheese slices that they would devour out of the frig. We put them with Cheerios (fiber) and made mini "Combo's". Just another idea.

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C.B.

answers from Detroit on

sounds like a need for more fiber.

realize that for all of us that when we don't have enough fiber, poop will expand the 'walls' where it's slowly moving through. That will make it bigger, and it can hurt when we finally manage to get rid of it. with a proper amount of fiber, the stuff will go through easier, letting the walls go to normal diameter. too much build up will give us aches, and pains, and cramps. and to large an elimination can potentially tear the 'opening'. That hurts too; when it happens and afterwards.

not just for your little one. this is valid for everyone.

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

You already know he needs more fiber. I used to think of fiber as breads etc...when actually the type of fiber that aids in bowel movements are veggies and fruits. All types of veggies and fruits, except bananas as they bind. Meat and dairy is also very hard on the system. Also use juices and dried fruits, but sparingly since juice has a ton of added sugar (unless you juice it yourself) and dried fruits are difficult as well since they are so...well, dry. Also try adding flax seed oil to his oatmeal. Brown rice is good, but it also binds as it's a grain. Fruits and veggies with tons of water are your best bet! Good luck.

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G.B.

answers from Detroit on

Lots of fiber and fluids would certainly be a good think.

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S.S.

answers from Detroit on

Hi Jennifer,

Keep giving the prune juice until he poops. It is all natural and can't hurt. It is heart breaking to see our little ones in such pain. I gave my son prunes in a jar when he had issues like this and it worked great.

Good luck,
S.

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M.B.

answers from Detroit on

maybe try apple juice? it's a little gentler then prune and was recommended by our pediatrician... also pear juice!

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A.R.

answers from Lansing on

My son is 17 months old and we went through the same problems! Here is what finally helped him: less milk and more water during the day, substitute his dairy intake with yogurt, no cheese for a while, prune juice in the morning, lots of exercise! Once he started walking, it helped his system a lot! Good luck. I know how you feel!

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K.S.

answers from Detroit on

Have you tried probiotics? I used to have all kinds of digestion problems before I started taking probiotics and I even used a prenatal vitamin with probiotics in it. For kids though, they have those kefir little (juicebox type) at Kroger I've seen them in the organic sections. They come in a little four pack. Its great for digestion, strengthens the immune system and lots of protein in the kefir too! On a sidenote it also got me through morning sickness because its thick and coats your stomach. Try the kefir or a yogurt with probiotics.

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K.M.

answers from Detroit on

I wouldn't give him more than 8 oz today. Prune juice can give you tons of gas. His pains are probably more gassy than poop. Ya it hurts to go but it hurts worse to have gas. Try plum juice its basically the same thing less gassy and also try lots of water. If you body does not get enough water your not regular. The water is more important than juice and fruit. You want him to have lots of water and fiber. But don't go over what the right amount is for the body. just make sure hes getting enough water with everything else. The next thing make sure he has fiber. Apples, oatmeal, etc. Give him apples are awesome especially the juice works great. Make sure he has water after too. Like my kids are juice drinkers but only up intil about 2 years ago. Before that they never had juice. But they are water drinkers. They have juice than water.good luck.

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H.Z.

answers from Saginaw on

Not sure if anyone mentioned this, but when my daughter was constipated the dr. suggested Benefiber in her bottle - they make it for kids and you can mix it into a bottle or a cup of whatever they're drinking. It really helped her! It seemed to work faster than prune juice or food with fiber in it....good luck.

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D.W.

answers from Saginaw on

Hi Jennifer,
Below is an article on fiber that may help your son. I hate to see him in pain too. I shop from a great store that carries high fiber cereal, breakfast bars, crackers, and a flavored drink that my kids love. If you are interested email me for more details at [email protected]____.com

I would be sure that he is eating berries and apples, or applesauce but also has a good yogurt without sugar in it. Dannon and Activia have a good one for him. Make sure it has active cultures. Below is an article about Fiber that you might find helpful.


Focus on Fiber

If you’re like most Americans, you know that fiber is important, but you probably don’t know exactly why, or even exactly what it is. Luckily, it’s as easy to add to your diet as it is to explain.

Simply put, fiber is a carbohydrate that your body can’t digest. There are two kinds of fiber—soluble and insoluble—and there are health benefits to both kinds.

Fiber Facts
Insoluble fiber is probably the most notable type, and is the type most associated with fiber. Insoluble fiber is fiber that doesn’t dissolve in water, and its primary benefit is to add bulk to stool, helping prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis.

Soluble fiber is not as widely understood, but it’s health benefits are quickly pulling in the spotlight. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel in the stomach which can slow carbohydrate absorption and improve blood sugar level for people with diabetes. Soluble fibers can help improve blood cholesterol levels thereby lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke as well supporting a strong immune system and helping to prevent colon cancer.

In addition, fiber’s unique ability to fill you up quickly and leave you feeling satisfied longer makes it an extremely popular nutrient among those concerned with weight management.

Filling Up on Fiber
If you’ve been tracking your meals on VitalityForLife.com you’ve probably discovered you aren’t getting as much fiber in your diet as you should. In fact, adults in the U.S. tend to get 12 to 18 grams of fiber per day. As you begin to add more fiber to your diet, the best piece of advice is: take it slowly. Adding too much fiber too quickly (the recommended level is 25-35 grams) can result in bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea. It’s a good idea to drink plenty of water throughout the day to minimize any issues.

Where do you find fiber?
Fiber is present in all plants that are eaten for food, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. However, whole grains and psyllium husk are among the most recommended sources.

Want to add fiber?
The easiest way to add fiber is to look for products that are made with whole grains. Choosing nuts and fruits for snacks is another great way. And don’t forget about FiberWiseTM.

Just one serving of FiberWise contains 5 grams of fiber, so simply adding one drink and one bar to your routine can add 10 grams a day! Not to mention that the main source of fiber in the FiberWise drink is the #1 doctor-recommended psyllium husk.

FiberWise isn’t the only way to increase fiber in your diet. Simply FitTM Bars and ProFlexTM Shakes are both great sources of fiber. Simply Fit Bars contain 5 grams of fiber per bar which is just one reason why Simply Fit is the ideal snack bar. ProFlex Shakes contain 8 grams of fiber per serving making it not only the ideal protein source after a workout and throughout the day but also a healthier option than most other protein shakes.

No matter what your age or health, fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, and you should get a least the minimum recommended amount of 25-35 grams of dietary fiber per day to see the real benefits.

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M.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

Try pear and apple juice, he's old enough that it shouldn't be a problem (for apple). I had to do 1 oz of prune or pear for the first 6 months of my daughter's life. So You'll probably need 3-4 oz/day. The pear was much much better.

As far as fiber be sure he's getting lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and less meat. Meat has NO FIBER and can easily lead to constipation and irritable bowel. Try things like rice and beans (brown rice) and WW bread with peanut butter, these are high in complete protein and lots and lots of fiber!

Best wishes!

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