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Chronic Toddler Constipation Support Thread.

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

I just want to say if you have this problem my heart goes out to you because this is the single most frustrating problem I have ever dealt with as a parent. You name it, I have probably tried it. When my DD didnt have a BM for 6 days and we cancelled our plans because I knew as soon as we got to where we were going she was going to tell me she has to go home to poo, I broke down and cried. Well sobbed uncontrolably actually. I have been dealing with this every since she started solids. It doesnt matter what I do. Dairy free, gluten free, chiropractor, more fiber, less fiber, prune juice, prunes, lactulose, suppositories, more liquids......*sigh*. Sometimes we will catch a break for a few months or a few days and I think we finally beat it only to have it start all over again.

 

This last time she went 6 days, she was getting 2 tbsp of lactulose everyday, and then I gave her a suppository on the 5th day. It failed. So I gave her some milk of magnesia followed by a big glass of fluids. It failed. Morning came and I gave her more milk of magnesia. Nothing. In the evening I gave her another suppository. I helped her hold it in for 30 min. Nothing came out but the suppository. Finally at midnight she pooped. Then next day she pooped again. That was Sunday. I upped the lactulose to 2 tbsp twice a day. She still has not pooped and I am left feeling.....well.... pooped.

 

I am moving on to miralax and I feel like a terrible mother. I am going to give my child a chemical every day and no matter how gentle and effective they say it is, it feels icky to me. But I cant watch her cry on the toilet any more. I cant watch her sweating, flushed, with her legs crossed trying to hold it in. Part of me feels sorry for her and part of me wants to smack her for doing it, because its what is causing the problem to begin with. (I dont actually hit my child btw I am just venting)

 

I dont know what I am looking for. Maybe someone thats done the miralax and were happy they did it.

post #2 of 39

I totally hear you! Our problem is not as severe but definitely chronic. And I think above all, the problem was his holding it in. And of course my son is a very picky eater so things like prune juice just weren't gonna happen. I finally gave him laxitive drops in his bottles. Very slow acting. Then I tried this laxative jelly (sorry can't remember the name off hand but I'll check if you want!) that I mix in with jam in PB&J's. lol. Works amazing. And fast. And the softer it was the less he started holding it in. And now a pear a day is enough to keep him soft enough to go. :D SUCH a relief.

I hope you can find something that works.

post #3 of 39

DD went threw this for a few months it was awful :(  A quality probiotic is what really helped DD. At the time we used pharmax neonate. A probiotic sounds like it would be great for regardless If it helps her start pooping normal again. What about magnesium daily? Have you tried that?? 

 

I highly recommend you read about the GAPS  diet. The book is pricy but you can find a good deal on amazon.

 

http://gapsguide.com/category/book/

 

http://www.gutandpsychologysyndrome.com/gaps-book/

post #4 of 39

Ugh! I so understand. With my now 6 year-old, I did the karo syrup trick and suppositories once in a while. We avoided all crackers, limited cheerios, bread, etc.. She had to eat prunes daily and we finally found that shredded wheat helped her. It was enough to convince her that it wold be OK and not hurt, and she eventually relaxed. The other thing that helped was telling her to read  and relax while she was waiting.

 

Now I have a 15 month old who is prone to constipation as well. Has been since starting solids. The ped had me try limiting protein some, so we cut out meat and we have to watch stuff like cottage cheese. I find that black beans, prunes and spinach work for her. It seems like you have to keep searching until you find the food that really seems to help them. I think I'm going to try to find a good probiotic to give her as my next step because she doesn't seem to be trying to hold it yet and I am hoping to get it resolved before that starts this time around.

 

This too shall pass is what I'm telling myself. :)

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 

I can not bring myself to use the miralax. Its funny, I havent done much of anything and she is starting to poop a bit more often again. Maybe with the travelling we did during the holidays, it just messed up her routine and comfort zone.

 

I am going to keep using the lactulose and I also just ordered some ground flax meal and InulinFOS from iherb. I already give her probiotics and some home made sauerkraut every now and then.

 

The only magnesium I have tried is Milk of Magnesia when she really gets stopped up. I like it because its gentle and doesnt give her cramps.

post #6 of 39

My kid has had chronic constipation since starting solids as well.  It got so bad that he ended up in the hospital right before his first birthday.  To avoid a recurrence of that we have had him on miralax since he was 11 months old (he is 18 months now).  Even with that we have to use a suppository about once every two weeks.  I've not found any foods that help.  I've tried a probiotic.  I've tried prunes (he loves them so we use them as a snack).  I don't know what the heck?

 

I have found that cutting out foods that he tends to swallow whole (likes beans and corn) helps a bit.  His poops are huge...and I think its because he stretched his intestines out before he was finally hospitalized.  This is why I don't mind using the miralax...because if we don't he experiences incredible pain when he passes his stool.  Poor kid.

post #7 of 39

 

I posted this in the Health and Healing thread too.  OMG I am so there with all of you.  It's one of the most heartbreaking things to sit with your kid while they strain to poop and are just screaming and writhing in pain as they do it.  My heart aches for my DD when she is trying so hard to poop but nothing happens (or when she's getting fissures)

 

Have you tried a hazelwood necklace?  My daughter (13 months old) has really struggled with constipation since she was 7ish months old.  It's really resistant to everything and we have a prescription laxative and glycerin suppositories on hand at all times in the event that she misses a day of poops (we used to let her go 3 days, but have since changed to only letting her go a full 24 hours.  If we let it get away from us we have to do a lot more to get things going again and DD is in a lot of pain).  It's become critical for her to have a BM on her own every day or things get really bad for her (fissures and huge drama).  I picked up a hazelwood necklace for her one day and it has totally changed things for her.  I was super skeptical at first, but within 2 days, she was having "normal"texture BMs every day.  

 

The other aspects of our constipation plan include:

1 cup of berries every morning

1 serving of yogurt every day

Probiotic supplement

Lots of water and breastmilk

1-2 pears every day

Staying away from 100% white flour products (mostly white bread...totally does a number on her poor tummy)

Butter on vegetables (increasing dietary fat, and increasing fibre at the same time)

 

We were doing the above before we got the hazelwood necklace and saw improvement in her BM frequency and texture, but it really wasn't enough for her.   We would still have to use the prescription lax and suppositories way more often than I was comfortable with.  The hazelwood definitely was what regulated things for her.   Not that things are perfect, but are definitely better controlled. 

 

HTH

post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 

McCully: Now that is something I havent tried. I am going to order a hazelwood necklace today!

post #9 of 39

after reading this thread, i am realizing my son does in fact have a problem. he is 17 months & only recently started having solid poops & they are quite large. there is discomfort & comes to me to cuddle when he has to poop. i may have to try pears tomorrow. what else besides prune juice works? i am hesitant with introducing juice this early. i am wondering more about the probiotic too. 

post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 

If you dont want to use juice, try making a prune puree. Take a few prunes and simmer with some water on the stove and puree in a food processor. Try adding 1-2 tbsp of flax oil in some yogurt. Make sure the yogurt has live cultures so he gets the probiotics as well.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by half-pigeon View Post

after reading this thread, i am realizing my son does in fact have a problem. he is 17 months & only recently started having solid poops & they are quite large. there is discomfort & comes to me to cuddle when he has to poop. i may have to try pears tomorrow. what else besides prune juice works? i am hesitant with introducing juice this early. i am wondering more about the probiotic too. 

post #11 of 39

Dd refuses to have prune puree. She'd eat whole prunes, raisins and prune juice but at one point nothing worked. No matter what we tried - we gave her all the fiber we cud and probiotics. Then, we ordered Dr Schulz's natural formula for constipation. At first it seemed to work well and in a week or maybe two it just made her worse. Her stomach looked double it's size and she had sever bloating according to her doc. It came down to enema and I think freak out is mildly putting it, she had panic attacks just looking at it. She is unvaxed so I don't know if she thought it was a shot. She knows of shots from watching tv but she only imagines the pain. We had to spend what seemed like forever trying to hold her down to do the enema. It was horrible. As a last resort we gave her Miralax. But, the fiber gummies Pedialax have worked q. good as well. We alternate between the two.

post #12 of 39

I'm so happy to have found this thread as we have been battling chronic constipation with DD (now 17 months) since we first introduced her to solids at 6 months.  Things have gotten progressively worse since she weaned a couple months ago.

 

She eats a pretty good diet and likes many of the things that should help her poop but nothing seems to help.  We are at the point where we can't let her go more than 24 hours without a bowel movement otherwise it's just agony for her and us trying to get her going again.  Her poops are not overly hard but at HUGE!  We've been to the dr. multiple times and he's no help.  Just keeps telling us that it's normal for kids to get constipated blah, blah, blah.  It's so frustrating because this is not normal.  I feel like it's a symptom of a larger issue.

 

Has anyone had any luck with eliminating certain foods and trying to determine is a food allergy/intolerance could be the cause?  Just wondering as this might be our next step.

post #13 of 39

I have had just an awful time getting DD to drink prune juice/eat prune puree/eat prunes etc... She will pick around at pieces of prune but won't actually ingest enough to make any difference.  It's why we have her eating so many pears- we keep them in the fridge and she likes them a lot when they are super cold (it feels like she is teething constantly so I'm sure the cold fruit on the gums feels nice too).  

 

Raisins also seem to help her and she'll actually eat them and they are a good snack for her to have.   Pear juice also works if your LO won't touch prune juice (my kid doesn't like juice at all anyways though). 

 

Lessmith- I haven't tried an elimination diet yet since things seem to be improving for us, but that's definitely on the list should things go south.  Our Dr has been pretty good at laying out some options for E's constipation issues.  His first move was to get her on Lactulose for a bit to "reset" things and then to go from there.  He suggested that there could be anatomical issues that can cause constipation and if we couldn't get her constipation under control that his next step would be to rule those out.  I think that we would probably go that route first if things don't continue to get better, and then would go for an elimination diet.   But that's what I feel comfortable with.    Like your DD, we have to see a poop every 24 hours or things go out of control. 

post #14 of 39

Hello,  My DS (22 months old) became very constipated when he started solids.   We tried everything (most of the suggestions mentioned above).  Some things would work for a few days then he would become constipated again.  Even if his stool was soft he would hold it in for as long as possible.  I wanted to share something that has worked for him.  A few weeks ago I bought some sesame sticks, the kind you buy in the bulk section at a co-op or health food store.  My Ds loved them, he ate a small handful.  The next day he had a pain free, non dramatic bowel movement.  I am not sure if it is the oil in the sesame seeds or fiber, but they seem to really help him.  He eats a few everyday, and now has regular soft bowels movements.  Thought I would pass this on in case it can help someone else.  I know how hard this can be to go through.

post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by sageovalente View Post

Hello,  My DS (22 months old) became very constipated when he started solids.   We tried everything (most of the suggestions mentioned above).  Some things would work for a few days then he would become constipated again.  Even if his stool was soft he would hold it in for as long as possible.  I wanted to share something that has worked for him.  A few weeks ago I bought some sesame sticks, the kind you buy in the bulk section at a co-op or health food store.  My Ds loved them, he ate a small handful.  The next day he had a pain free, non dramatic bowel movement.  I am not sure if it is the oil in the sesame seeds or fiber, but they seem to really help him.  He eats a few everyday, and now has regular soft bowels movements.  Thought I would pass this on in case it can help someone else.  I know how hard this can be to go through.



Awesome tip! My DS hasn't pooped in a week now because he's been sick. Doc advised us to get him a supository ( becuase he wouldn't keep an oral laxitive down)

post #16 of 39

My DD has also been plagued with constipation since starting solids. Prunes are effective but she hates being spoon fed (and can't spoon feed herself yet) so I started making "prunesicles." I pour pureed prunes into an ice cube tray, freeze it and then cut it into bite sized bits and she LOVES it. We also do probiotics and pears. She still only goes every 2 - 3 days...

post #17 of 39

I forgot to mention that our toddler was getting v. little exercise. I am not sure but from what I've read on other threads it has a major role to play in constipation.

post #18 of 39

my 2 year old gets constipated unless I give him juice every day, at least 8 oz. I hate it because I hate giving him juice..it's so lacking in nutrients, and just makes him want more sugar, but if I skip a day, he gets constipated. I guess there are worse things, huh? Anyway. He absolutely refuses to go to bed or eat unless he's had a good poop for the day, so here I am, giving him juice daily. At least I buy organic!

post #19 of 39

DS (3 yrs 4 months) isn't chronically constipated, but he has these episodes when something freaks him out and he's scared to poop for 4-5 days. He'll hold it in and dance around the house screaming when the pressure comes. Pretty hellish for us to watch him go through it. During those times, I give him lots of warm water to drink, greens, raw veggies, fruits like bananas, prunes, butter, fibre foods, you name it.

 

This time we tried triphala powder - an Ayurvedic physician recommended we give him a quarter teaspoon first thing on an empty stomach in the morning, and a quarter teaspoon at night just before bed. The powder is pretty hard to swallow by itself, so we mixed it with butter and sugar and made little balls for him to eat, followed by a drink of warm water to wash it down. Here's a little bit about triphala.

 

He did poop on the 5th day, it pretty much pooped itself. And he finally got over his fear and pooped some 4 times that day. Thank God!

post #20 of 39
We've had this problem here as well. My ds is almost 3 1/2, still nursing and typically only poops about every third day. It's gotten a lot better, but I do think that he tries to hold in his poops and that started because of a painful one.

Here's what we have done that seems to help:
I give him 2 pedialax fiber gummies every morning, I try to give him a pear every day(although they haven't been very good at the store since summer), and he regularly(almost daily) eats Activia yogurt.

That seems to help, but we still sometimes need extra help. I found this remedy that has worked quickly every time I've done it and it's easy- I found it in a natural healing book at the natural foods store nearby. Get some castor oil and some essential oil of lavender, Rosemary or marjoram( I used lavender). Mix the castor oil with several drops of the essential oil- enough to notice the scent of the oil and you can adjust from there. Warm the oil slightly (I have the mixture in a small bottle with dropper that I just submerge in warm water to heat it). Massage that mixture onto your child's belly, starting at the belly button, in a clockwise fashion, extending out and finishing down the left inner thigh. That's all. Super easy and they don't have to ingest anything. I've done this several times and it has worked within probably ten minutes each time, no drama, no pain. I don't know why it works, but I was really happy to find this remedy as I really didn't want to be giving my child lots of chemicals.

I hope this works for you, I know it's so hard to not be able to help them with this painful problem. Good luck!
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