Please Help My Very Constipated 2 Year Old!!

Updated on December 30, 2010
L.A. asks from Strongsville, OH
20 answers

My 2 year old girl is horribly constipated. She tried pushing for several hours yesterday and kept screaming saying "ouchie!". It breaks my heart. In the past we have given her suppositories and they worked instantly. However, it didn't work for her yesterday and I gave her miralax this morning with her juice. Still nothing and now I'm scared. She tried pushing again today for a half hour again crying and screaming "ouchie!" I called the doctor and they said to try again tonight with a suppository and a tsp of miralax 2X a day. If that doesn't get something out of her to take her to ER!
Last week she was a little sick and had diarrhea for a couple days. Why now is she constipated? She eats well balanced meals and loves her fruits for snacks. Does anyone out there have any suggestions to keep my daughter out of ER?!?!?

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answers from Modesto on

You might try giving her a little bit of a fleet enema to soften the hard plug she has stuck there. The miralax will soften up some of what is still in her colon trying to come out, but I assume she has a hard rock first that needs to be removed. If she goes to the ER chances are that's what they will do, they will give her an enema. Just keep giving her fiber and a lot of water to drink. Dont forget that pain meds, even childrens advil, tylenol and such help to cause constipation....
If you give her enough fiber with water and miralax, she'll eventually poop up a storm. Put some vaseline in and around her anal area, it's probably sore from some sharp, hard poopy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

We've used Mineral Oil. It's clear and tasteless, we were told to put it in a bit of juice. The Mineral Oil makes things "slide" right out.

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answers from Indianapolis on

Looks like you've gotten some good responses on what to do to get her to go. This is for your question...the reason we sometimes go from diarrhea to constipation is because your intestines are literally "rebounding" and getting turned back around to their normal state.

A good thing to do after having a stomach bug or using antibiotics (this is for kids and adults) is go to your local "natural food" store and get a probiotic. Can usually find it in powdered form that can be put in drinks and can't taste it. It helps get your gut back into it's natural state.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Have her drink about 2 tablespoons of mineral oil. That's what our pediatrician had us do. You can put it in orange juice if she won't drink it straight. It will take maybe 2 hours to work. (Make sure you have that diaper strapped on tight, because when she goes, she will REALLY go!) Then, once she has gone, keep her on Miralax a couple of times a day for the foreseeable future to keep things flowing. It is not habit forming, it just makes the poop softer and easier for them to pass.

You might consider getting her off of dairy for a while, if she drinks a lot of milk or eats a lot of cheese. Dairy was the culprit for us - made both of my girls horribly constipated. We switched to other forms of calcium until they were around 3 years old, and the dairy seemed not to bother them so much at that point. Just a thought.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Have her drink Apple cider, unpasturized if you can get it. Or prune juice. Always worked with my little guys.

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answers from Chicago on

she's only 2 are you sure she's constipated? maybe she has the "feeling" of pooping and nothing's coming since she's had diarrhea. I know it's happened to feel like it, but nothing comes because there's really nothing solid in you, it's more of a bloated feeling.

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answers from Denver on

Juice + warm baths (loooong baths) can do wonders.

If none of this may want to have the docs check to make sure she didn't swallow something she is having a hard time passing.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

My son does this everyonce in awhile too and I totally agree with Grandma T. Miralax will help from the top but what she is having trouble with is probably at the bottom. Glycerin suppositories never worked for my ds. What I found worked well is what you do for infants, some vasoline and a thermometer...I am not sure why but he always finally goes shortly after that.

With my older ds I one time had to use some gloves, vasoline and help him get started myself. I refused to take him to the ER until I had tried everything.

Good luck!



answers from Boston on

With all the pushing she may have a little cracked skin around the anus. Now any time that it stretches a little it will hurt. We have used Vaseline to get that hard plug out and soften that dry irritated skin. I pretty much had to physically help by almost crumbling pieces of hard stool off the plug that she could push out a little but not all the way. It took my help and several doses of Miralax and her drinking apple juice as hot as she could take it. After that episode we gave her one teaspoon of Miralax for several weeks to give her the feeling that poops do not have to hurt, based on doctor's advise.
One time my other daughter ended up pooping in a nice warm relaxing tub. I was happy that it came out and did not mind disinfecting the tub while dad put her in the other shower to clean her up.
No one told me that having kids would entail this kind of work. The things we will do for our loved ones. Try to let her relax in a warm tub and let her know that if she feels it wants to come out to just let it and you can clean everything up later. Poor thing, I hope she feels better soon.



answers from Cleveland on

I don't know what kind of juice she is drinking, but apple juice/prune juice always did wonders for my kids. My oldest has to have apple juice every day or we pay the price for it(if you know what I mean).



answers from Cleveland on

We've had this problem with both of our kids. The diarrhea can be caused because the poop gets soft to get around the clot that's in there. Kids will control their poop and just not go sometimes when they need to and that causes it to build up. I would take her to the ER and get an x-ray to find out how bad it is. They'll probably do an enema which she is not going to like, but she probably needs one.. The real treatment is prevention. Talk to your doctor about a long term treatment and keep her on medicine, like miralax.



answers from Los Angeles on

try prunes! we gave pureed prunes to my little guy and it always worked wonders.



answers from Lafayette on

My 2 year old son has had the same problem historically and the worst recently. He was constantly pushing with little results. His pediatrician recommended a low dose of miralax everyday for some time now, which we have been doing. (1 tsp twice a day) but after his recent episode, the doc kept increasing the dose but it did not help much. ( we were up to 4 tsp. twice daily) We had him in to the doctor then and he did an x-ray and found that there was quite a bit of stool in his colon. He recommended another increase in miralax but eventually we ended up doing an enema, actually 2 since the first didnt' work. Following the enema, we did another high dose of miralax and have gradually been decreasing it since. Our doc said that some kids just need to stay on miralax for quite some time to keep things moving. It is safe to give and is helpful to keep the stool soft. We have finally gotten our little guy back to normal. It's tough. I have learned that at this age a lot of kids hold it in, esp. if they had a bad experience pooping in the past. I hope this is helpful! I would think that it is time to be seen by your pediatrician and if they just want you to go right to the ER, then maybe consider switching doctors. Good luck!!



answers from New York on

Try giving her a warm bath, that usually helps or just put a hot water bottle or a warm compress across her belly. Another thing that would help my daughter (who is now almost 13 & still has issues like this) was to just sit on the toilet for a bit here and there. Have you been giving her loads of water, that is one of the best things for it as it will loosen things up or even apple juice, prune juice, any kind of fruit juice. How about grapes or raisins? We used to rub her back as well and that would help sometimes too, but just be ready because when she goes it is most likely going to be extemely painful. Not to sound gross but what she will be pushing out will be very dried up and hard so it will hurt so she may try to hold it in. You may even want to have her just sit in the bathtub & go, that would usually work the best when it got to that point. It was a little messy, but less painful. Good luck.



answers from Washington DC on

It took 2 does of suppositories for my 4y last week. hopefully the dose tonight will help.


answers from Dallas on

My daughter has the same problem every now and then. With potty training she hates pooping in the potty. We have used miralax on aregulra basis. There is some juice that I keep on hand it's call Digestive Health (I think it is prune juice) but it seems to help soften things up to help them come out. She probalby has a compaction and that's why it hurts...I did a littl ebit of miralax in her water 2 to 3 times a day. just to help loosen things up.
Sorry for being so graphic. With her pushing so much she might have a littl hemroid too.
HOpefully she gets some relief soon...I know it is so painful for them!!



answers from Phoenix on

Does she have food allergies? Try keeping her off of wheat/gluten and dairy and see if that helps.



answers from Detroit on

My daughter had the same problems at 3 years old. The doctor told me Miralax can just build up the stool if they are already constipated. We used milk of magnisia and boy oh boy did it work! I hope this helps and your baby is feeling better soon!



answers from Indianapolis on

FLETCHERS - root beer flavored and will tell you how much to take based on age, etc. I've found this works GREAT! ALSO......if she will eat lemons - this helps contract the bowels AND to rub (firmly) the heels. This is where the nerve endings are of the intestines. (See reflexology charts)

I recall a day before 4th of July where I had a 3 year old who couldn't even walk because her belly hurt so much because she needed to poop. I gave her water, she loves lemons, so she ate them willingly AND rubbed her heels. It didnt take long until she had her bowel movement.



answers from New York on

Oh I know about this all too much! My son has been in this cycle for months! Just today we had an episode, the first BM in almost a week...
I don't have any new suggestions on what to give her, but there is a wonderful childrens book called "It Hurts When I Poop"
It is for children 3 and up, but it may help son loves the book and it really helped this summer getting this issue under control...we are going back to reading it on a regular basis again, in fact today on the toilet in tears from pain was asking for it. It was written by a pediatrician and gives helpful info tp parents as well...did you know when kids seem to be trying to push the poop out, they are actually trying with all their might to hold it in as they know it will be very painful when it passes?
Two more suggestions that helped us...another childrens book called "Where is the poop" a fun book for little ones!
Also, ELmos potty training DVD, talks a lot about "listening to your body" and we use the lingo with my son to encourage this, it is a potty training DVD but may help to learn it is ok to do poopy as well!
I have also found that if I ever so gently push on my sons belly while is trying to push his BM it helps for some reason, I think it is more psychological for him but helps....
Good luck, I know how tough this can be on a family!

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