Prescription Laxative for My 10 Month Old?

Updated on August 30, 2010
J.L. asks from Pittsburgh, PA
22 answers

My son has always had problems trying to have a bowel movement. He'll go a week or more and not have a BM. For several days he'll grunt and strain and really try to go and when he finally does, he has a hard time and it's usually hard balls. I have talked to his pediatrician about this and she has recommended raisins, prunes, etc, however, he hates the raisins and apricots (either baby food, dried or fresh) and doesn't really like the baby food prunes. I offer him water every day and have tried to give him pear or apple juice but he won't drink it. He does nurse regularly though. Anyway, the pediatrician has decided she wants me to try and give him a prescription laxative. She told me it was a stool softener not a laxative, which was really irritating. I have only given it to him twice and I guess I need time for it to get into his system but it hasn't seemed to help, in fact, he seems uncomfortable. I don't know if his discomfort is because he hasn't had a BM in a few days or if it is a side effect of the laxative. I really don't want him to have to rely on a laxative, but I figured I would just try it and see. Has anyone else used a laxative for their baby? The laxative is called Generlac. Any advice would be great. Thanks!!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks so much for all your help! A lot of the advice you have given, I have already tried with no success, but there are some other ideas that I will try. Maybe I just need to stick with one thing for a L. while longer to see if it works. Missy F and Marda P, thank you for your help also, however, Generlac IS a laxative, not a stool softener; I have the info sheet that came with the medicine and I also researched it. I am irritated with my pediatrician for telling me she was giving my son one thing and then I find out from the pharmacist that it is something different. Marda P, you touched on the exact reason for my irritation in your last paragraph in your post. If this medicine doesn't work, I am taking him to a different pediatrician in the same practice. I forgot about the Benefiber, I know they make that for kids, so I will try that. Thanks again everyone!

Featured Answers



answers from Allentown on

Well I have not researched it but if it truly is a laxative I wouldn't give it. My son has had constipation since he was 2 weeks old. He was exclusively breastfed and would go weeks without going. I introduced foods early which helped a bit initially, giving lots of the P fruits but once he was on solid food it came back worse than ever(he loves dairy and cheeses). We have seen a pediatric GI Dr. for this who prescribed first a syrup(some sugar based stool softener), which did nothing, and then miralax which does help if given regularly. My son is now 2 and half and I do use the miralax occasionally. I hate giving anything to L. ones so I mostly tried to use fruits and lots of fruit juice especially pear juice and peach juice. As for the honey suggestion, DO NOT GIVE HONEY TO A CHILD UNDER 2. It is not recommended for the risk of botulism. Some will say after age 1 now, but there have been cases up until age 2. I have also on occasion used a suppository when he was really impacted. Good luck and I hope you can get him going more regularly.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My daughter (now 2) has always had issues with constipation as well. Like you, we've tried water, fruit, juice etc. But it hasn't worked. Her doctor suggested Kondremul, which is over the counter. It is a laxative (but was told stool softener by doctor) and I was nervous about giving it to her. I did it anyway and it did work. What I found that worked better was a high fiber breakfast. We have given her Fiber One muffins (frozen food aisle) and also homemade bran muffins. They seem to really do the trick when she's uncomfortable. She still seems to have some problems every once in awhile, but it is easily fixed with a fiber or bran muffin! Oh, and just a warning if you do bran muffins. Half of one or just one should do the trick. We gave my daughter two one time (because she really liked them) and had an explosion later!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Chicago on

It's a horrible shame that your doctor didn't learn anything of much practical use in med school other than how to use an RX pad! There is a very simple solution to your child's problem. You need to buy him some probiotics and some fish oils. This will get his gut in order AND lube the chute, so to speak. It worked like a charm for my L. girl and was recommended by a chiropractor. We've been using a probiotic called Maxibabydophilus and it comes in a small, brown/amber jar from Whole Foods. You give 1/4 tsp in some yogurt or applesauce and he can't even taste it. I would do this twice a day until things get going more regular. Also, the best fish oils to use are by Nordic Naturals and it comes in a small amber bottle as well and is strawberry flavored. If you can't get him to take it straight, just put it in some stwbry yogurt or a smoothie for him along with the probiotic, also twice a day at first. Considering how backed up his, it might take a few days of this before you start to get results --and w/o any discomfort for your lovey. Once he has a bowel movement I would back off the supplements to once a day. These supplements are healthy for the body anyway and can only help. Once he's back to normal I would keep giving him the probiotics once a day and the fish oil a couple times a week. Best of luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Hi, J.:
Check the health food store about Hyland 5 mg vit. C tablets that melts in a babies mouth. It will help soften the stool. You can use 2 or 3 tablets depending how soft the stool is needed.

If you can't find it locally, call The Heritage Store in Virginia Beach, VA. I used it for my g-granddaughter to her with her constipation.
Good luck. D.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

It looks like you've already gotten a lot of advice, and I'll admit that I didn't read all of it. I will tell you that my L. ones came home from the hospital with similar issues, and we tried diet only approaches to resolving it. The first thing was yogurt every day (mixed with cereal and my milk when they were still small, then on it's own as they took more solid foods). It is safe even before cow's milk, because of the way the lactose breaks down. The second thing was playing with the cereal we used (you don't write if you're using dry cereal, but I thought I'd mention it). As I recall, rice was constipating, while either oatmeal or barley (darn memory went out the window now that I'm pregnant with number three and could really use the info from last time around !?!) helped to move things through better. Since he's still nursing, pay attention to what's in your diet (and to your stools) since much can pass through to him. In our case, we didn't have to resort to any supplements, but I know that every child is different. Hope this helps...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Do you trust your pediatrician? She said it's a stool softener so please stop calling it a laxative. The two are different. A stool softener helps the intestines to draw in water so that the stool gets softer. A laxative causes the intestines to contract and push out the stool. Big difference.

I don't understand what you mean about being "really irritating." The stool softener is really irritating or you feel irritated. I've not heard of a stool softener being irritating. From the way you worded the statement I think you mean that you're irritated with the pediatrician because she's calling a laxative a stool softener. There really are the two different ways of helping to have bowel movements and they are very different from each other.

My grandson has had constipation issues since he was very young. The pediatrician prescribed a stool softener that is now OTC and called Miralax. It helps many babies and children. You could try that. I know it's not irritating. Actually, it did not help my grandson but I've heard from others that it helped their children. And he loves milk and cheese and he has a couple of caretakers who didn't stop with the dairy products.

You do need to give the stool softener as prescribed. I suspect Miralax did not help my grandson because his parents and grandparents in 4 separate households were not able to be consistent in it's use. I dounderstand that if you don't expect it to work and suspect it's damaging that you won't use it as often as it's needed to be used. I urge you to rethink the process, as you're doing here with this post, and give it as often as prescribed and wait for it to work.

Continue helping him to eat foods that will provide the fiber and liquids that he needs to have a soft stool. He will need to learn to eat those foods if he is going to be able to have regular bowel movements. Also avoid constipating foods such as diary products (milk and cheese) and bananas. That means, ifyou're breast feeding that you may also have to avoid those foods. There are other foods to feed and with hold but I don't remember them any more.

My grandson still is constipated from time to time and nearly always has firm stools. He does continue to drink milk and eat cheese which seems OK since he also has regular, tho firm bowel movements.Others in my family have struggled with constipation there whole lives. You will be helping your son tremendously if you can help to get his body on the right track with regular, soft stools while he's young.

Remember: stool softeners work in a natural way with the body. Laxatives are chemical and can prevent the body, over time, to function normally. I have used stool softeners after surgery and found them to be very helpful with no side effects. I stopped using them, without difficulty, as soon as my bowel movements were once again regular.

I also agree with about the use of Benefiber and suppositories.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New London on

Have you first tried some milk of magnesia? A teaspoon? That should help within a day. Also, how about adding some fiber to his diet? You can put some benefiber in his baby pear sauce, peach sauce, prune sauce etc. A week is just too long to not have a bowel movement. Use the glycerin things soon. The longer you wait the worse this will get. He needs to start getting regular again so that his colon does not stretch out and starts working again. A week without a bowel movement too long time. I would say three days without a bowel movement is too long. Those sypositories work.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lake Charles on

make sure he is getting plenty of water. same thing happened to my lil one and she was pooping out what i call rabbit pellets. babies can easily get dehydrated internally... yes i know i didnt this was possible until a good friend of mine told me that it happened to his daughter whne she was L.. i started giving my daughter 3 -4 glasses of water a day and she hasnt had rabbit pellets since. hopes this works. Good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

I didn't use laxatives, but a couple of tricks that have worked well for me have been a tablespoon of Karo corn syrup in a bottle (I KNOW! I'm a health nut and was mortified when the doctor suggested it, but my stopped up li'l guy pooped right away). Also, dark grape juice makes kids poop.
Now my youngest daughter , 1, struggles with occasional rock hard poops that really hurt her. We've used the Karo a couple of times and also give her watered down prune juice and grape juice to drink. We are very careful to make sure she doesn't get too much milk and carbs (both can constipate without enough fresh things breaking it up) vs fruits and veggies. This all stops the problem.
When he gets a L. older, the A.'s Organic medium chili makes all my kids poop like fountains. Beans have a lot of fiber.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

One thing that I have used on all 3 of my kids and this came handed down from my great grandmother. Use Kyro mixed in water or if you baby doesn't like water (like my youngest) I mix half water (SmartWater or another type of water with electrolytes) and half fat free milk (you can use whatever milk you have...just if it's whole milk give 3/4 water to 1/4 milk).

I don't like using a lot of refined sugars, so instead of Kryo, I use Organic Corn Syrup or Honey. 2-3 TBSP per bottle. Yes that's a lot DO NOT USE IF THE CHILD IS DIABETIC AND DON'T USE IT TOO OFTEN. By my understanding, the sugars will cause water to enter the intestines making the stool softer.

To mix this....put the honey or syrup in a glass jar or coffee mug and cover that with water. Microwave for 30-60 seconds until the syrup is thin enough to mix into the water without it being stringy. It should have the same consistency as water. Since this will be hot... Add a L. cool water to the bottle, then the mixture, and top off with more water or water/milk mixed. SHAKE vigorously until blended and cool. Give to baby.

**Warning: this could result is some explosive diapers. I have had 2 blow-outs. But out of 3 kids in the last 4 years, that's pretty good odds (my preschooler gets a mix like this after eating lots of cheese and pizza)..

****Sometimes these can cause gas and cramps. If you are concerned about the amount of added sugar (honey/kyro/organic corn syrup) then use less and add more as you need to. One of my children would get crampy with this so I gave gas drops to help with it before I gave the sugar and I gave some afterwards...I split the dose in half.

Another Fold Remedy is WARM APPLE JUICE with a L. honey/kyro/organic corn syrup in it....2-3 teaspoons. Melt the honey/syrup by placing it in a mircowave safe cup cover with just a L. water. Cook for 30-60 seconds. Stir, once you have the consistency of water place a L. apple juice in the bottle, add the water mixture, top off with cool apple juice. The cool apple juice + warm water mixture should give you the warm apple juice
I use a lot of folk remedies and herbal remedies because they are more natural and better considering the side effects of the meds.

Just remember you are and only YOU can decide what's best for your baby (and DAD TOO, of course). If something isn't setting well with you, then look for other options.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

Hi J.,

I'm so sorry your L. boy is uncomfortable :(

I just wanted to maybe help ease your mind a tiny bit and let you know that there really IS a difference between a laxative and a stool softener. While most laxatives also include a softener, a softener itself won't include a laxative. The difference is that a stool softener is just that, a softener. It won't make him go immediately or even more often. It just makes the actual poop soft so that he won't have to strain when he DOES go. A laxative on the other hand has a stimulant in it that makes your bowls contract and basically forces you to have a bm within the next 12 hours or so.

In case you don't have it, here is the link to Generlac on the US Library of Medicine.
It's a synthetic sugar so is sort of like super prunes.

That said, if you're not comfortable giving it to him, then stop.


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm totally late with my reply and it may have already been addressed, but my son was constipated horribly (going 14days once) and it turns out that he wasn't getting enough hindmilk from nursing. We found out by accident after I asked about some milk that I'd pumped to a lactation consultant, noticing there wasn't any creamy stuff. I went from nursing him 10-15mins on each side, to nursing one side until he fell off on his own not wanting any more. The poop gates opened for sure!

Baby yoga has helped him a ton when he's had issues as a toddler.

Good luck!!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Hi There~

When my daughter was young and experienced some constipation I would give her Herb-Lax by Shaklee. I basically crushed it up and put it in her food and sure enough she would be getting stuff moving within just a short time. Herb-Lax is a natural laxative and safe.

If I can share more with you, feel free to let me know.

Take care~

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

I, personally, would strongly suggest trying a really good infant probiotic & maybe adding some flax seed or flax seed oil into his diet first.

Any good health food store will carry some good infant probiotics in their refrigerated section.

You can also try regular massage & removing some dairy, etc... from your diet & take a good probiotic yourself.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Generlac is a stool softener, not a laxative. Not sure why you don't trust your pediatrician when she told you what the medicine was or why you believe it is a laxative, but you can look it up for yourself. The medicine in it is Lactulose, which draws water into the colon to soften stools. Since your son won't take stool softening fruits or juices, giving him this medicine as prescribed is your best and most effective way of helping relieve his discomfort and regulate his body. You are not making him "have to rely on a laxative," you are simply softening the build-up stools that are trapped in his colon and can eventually make him very sick if they aren't evacuated from his body. It will take several days for the medicine to work, since it is by nature a gentle, slow acting medicine. If your son is showing discomfort, it is because, as you said yourself, "he hasn't had a BM in a few days." Please, call your pediatrician if you have any questions about the effectiveness, the speed, the side effects and the medicine in general, but listen to what your doctor has to say and don't give your son any other medicines or home remedies instead or on top of the Generlac. Give it a chance to do it's job. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Davenport on

Thea is right, it only makes it softer. Have you tried white grape juice, that always works for my son. I also agree to try water. Maybe, water his juices down.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I would try baby glycerin suppositories. That's what my pediatrician said to use.
Soemtimes, if the baby is clogged up, the more stuff you put in them just stays and rolls around. The suppositories work from the other end.
And, they really do work.
You can buy them at any pharmacy.
After you get your baby cleared out, then you can try the warm prune juice and stool softer, etc.
In the meantime, I would try the glycerin suppositories.
They work quickly.

Best wishes!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Anything with "P" will help...prunes, peaches, pears, etc. but don't do that on top of the stool softener. I think either one or the other. prunes always do the trick for us, but if you mix it with another fruit that he likes, he should eat them. at this point, i would trust your know uncomfortable he probably is not being able to go for a few days? at this point, i would try just about anything...even if it is something that has to be perscribed!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Well, if he is not going to drink juice or water or then maybe the laxative will help. Do you have enough fiber in your diet? I would think things that you eat and drink are passed through the breast milk. I would keep trying to feed him different things. Give him a sippy cup if he will take it. Make him some baby food liked apple sauce or anything else that may have fiber in it. Also try doing the bicycle with his legs. rub his stomach in a counter clockwise motion. I have also heard using a rectal themometer may help him out. My sister in law had to do these things since my neice had a hard time going. She bought babylax over the counter. Good luck

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Topeka on

Have you talked to you daughter about the possibility of using glycerin suppositories? I used them on my daughters will a lot of success!! One other thing that you might want to look into...since you say that he has ALWAYS had problems with bm's. My middle daughter required digital expansion of her rectum because her rectal muscles were so tight that they literally didn't not ALLOW her to have a bm. My pediatrician did a physical exam in order to catch the problem. It was NOT a pleasant experience, having to digitally stretch her rectal muscle , not for myself OR for her...but it worked magically!!! I will not bother giving you all the gruesome details but if you talk to your doctor it may be something that could help. If I am not making myself clear, please message me and I can explain it to you in further detail.
Since you are breastfeeding...are you sure that you are not eating large amounts of something ( think cheese...cheesecake...anything that would make you have difficult bm's) that could be contributing to the issue? If he only seems to have problems at certain times, try keeping a diary of what you are eating and see if there is a connection between what you eat and how his bowels are acting.
Good luck to you!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I've never used the laxative for my baby, but would be so tempted if he had those issues... Constipation is no fun... My son was EXTREMELY gassy... You may want to try that 'Baby Fart Aerobics' DVD... She teaches you stomach massages and L. exercises that help work gas (and other things) out of the baby's system... That may be a good complement to the laxative.

Good luck! I hope your son gets some relief soon..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I didnt read the responses, so sorry if you already got this advice, but all I can say is that we have used Miralax since my son was 10mo old. Its OTC now. Its GREAT and changed my sons life... he was constipated since birth. This too is a stool softener, it works by drawing water into the colon and it is wonderful. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions