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Welcome to AskMommy.ca Q&A, where you can ask pregnancy, baby and parenting related questions and receive answers from other members of the community.

Does anyone else have a toddler with bad constipation problems and if so, what do you do to help them have a bowel movement?

13 votes
my daughter has been constipated since she stopped nursing pretty much. We make sure she gets lots of fiber in her diet, she eats well, we have taken her to doctors, pediatricians and specialists and they all said this was normal but it's been bad constipation for about 3 years now. We've given her prune juice, possitive encouragement and praise, lactulose but nothing seems to get her regular. I think she was scared to go because of it hurting once and I think she's still scared. I just want her to go poop and it not be so hard on her or me!
asked in Steps & Stages by Angelbaby12000 (1,243 points)

6 Answers

1 vote
When my guy was little and had 'potty issues' I was told to get glycerin suppositories from the pharmacy. It was a bit of a struggle to get him to lie still for insertion, but it really did help!
answered by Guppy (6,010 points)
3 votes

The most likely reasons for your toddler's constipation are:

Eating too many low-fiber foods. If your child eats lots of milk, cheese, yogurt, or peanut butter, for instance, and not enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, she could wind up constipated.

Toilet anxiety. If your toddler is feeling pressured about toilet training, she might start deliberately withholding her stools. If she shows all the signs of straining to have a bowel movement — stiffening her body, arching her back, and getting red in the face — but nothing comes out, she may actually be trying to hold it in.
 

Children's Symptom Guide

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Even if your child is potty-trained, she may not be taking enough time on the toilet to completely empty her bowels. That can lead to a buildup of feces that causes the colon to stretch and cramp. An enlarged colon can lead to larger-than-normal, difficult-to-pass stools, making your child even more reluctant to use the potty.

Dehydration. If your toddler isn't getting enough liquids, her system will respond by absorbing more fluid from whatever she eats or drinks — and from the waste in her bowels, as well. This can result in hard, dry bowel movements that are difficult to pass.

Lack of activity. Movement helps blood flow to your toddler's digestive system, so if she's not active, she may experience trouble in the BM department.

answered by bcpotts (7,692 points)
Thank you for this post bc!
3 votes
We gave our youger son Lansoyl when he had constipation issues.  It is a flavoured mineral oil gel.  I believe there is a Life brand equivelent as well.  It worked wonders but would take a couple days to have an effect and the stool would be oily for a couple days after stopping.

We also eliminated or limited his consumption of milk, yogurt, cheese, bananas, cooked carrots, and white starchy foods (rice, pasta, bread).
answered by cmic (4,473 points)
3 votes
I know with our one child, we were feeding him too much dairy & not enough fibre.  A small change in diet made all the difference!
answered by karlisss (3,585 points)
1 vote
Our little guy has constipation problems too.  He has his mommy to thank for that.  Unfortunately, we tried all the tricks to no avail.  I had the same problems when I was little, still do sometimes.  Our doctor suggested it may be a slow moving bowel.  He just advised to keep him extra hydrated and stay away from large amounts of milk products and red meats.  It works 90% of the time and the 10% we deal with as it comes.   So, my little man is pretty much on the same diet I am.  Thank goodness for multi-vitamins.
answered by channylaf (3,549 points)
0 votes
I am studying nutrition and am learning all about constipation in babies and toddlers. I believe there is a link between possible food allergies and sensitivities and constipation. Keeeping a food diary and looking for patterns is the best way to discover allergies and food sensitivities in regards to constipation. Remember some allergies take about four days to emerge.
answered by lovingmommy (101 points)