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Toddler constipation

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi Dr. Sears! What an amazing resource you are. I have all your books and really respect your advice. Thanks for taking the time to answer this question.

Like many toddlers, my 3YO DS has been dealing with chronic constipation. One day he'll have a nice BM of "soft serve" consistency. Then the next day he'll struggle to push out hard, marble-sized pellets. Some weeks he'll not have a BM for four days, while other weeks he'll have BMs daily.

Unfortunately we've had to do suppositories when he hasn't gone for several days. Those are traumatic and have contributed to a delay in potty learning interest (because he sees his diaper as "security").

We have tried all these things to alleviate his constipation problems:

- Increased amount of fiber-rich foods he eats
- Increased his water intake
- Makes sure he exercises daily
- Added a daily probiotic
- Minimized dairy at one point with little change in BM pattern
- Warm baths
- Lotion on his bottom to help the BM slide out
- Keep diapers if he prefers

When I talk to his pediatrician, she doesn't seem concerned and recommended he take Miralax. I've had success with it but am not comfortable giving it long term. I feel like there has to be another option to help my little guy get regular.

Can you tell me if there's something else that could help him, or a cause of the constipation I may be missing?

I breastfeed him several times a day, so could there be an issue with something I consume?

Thanks for your time!!
Edited by MunchiesMom - 5/22/11 at 10:05am
post #2 of 4

I'd add a fiber powder like Benefiber, some magnesium liquid (maybe 100 to 200 mg daily), some aloe Juice (1/4 cup) mixed with regular juice, some prune juice.  If that gets him going (1 or all of these), keep at it for at least three months before you start weaning off.  Also, I'm sure you already tried going off all milk products.

post #3 of 4

Find a doctor that shows more concern.  My doctors didn't show concern it only got worse. I would ditch non-human milk all together




Flax seed is good source of fiber.  Stay away from things on the BRAT diet (Bananas, rice, apples, toast).  Dr. Sear's site has information on constipation. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/8/t081100.asp


I found with my child it was not a matter of adding fiber but the right kinds and keeping him watered with small amounts of pear or prune juice.  When he was 4 I had never heard of aloe.  


I was not comfortable with long term stool softener but it really was a matter of letting my son's bowels "shrink" and  then SLOWLY WEAN off.  My son got to the point BM's got so large they would clog the toilet. :( We also had to train him to sit on the toilet right after meals to help things getting going.  

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for your reply! Dr. Sears I've been taking your advice but so far he's still struggling with small, hard BMs. I have heard about magnesium helping constipation (or natural calm) and also vitamin C. What are your thoughts on vitamin C?

Can you offer any insight on what may be causing this?

The only dairy he gets is in cheese and yogert, so I may eliminate those as well.

PP I agreed I need to find a new pedestrian for my son!

Thanks so much!!
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