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Baby/toddler constipation

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have a 13 months old boy who is a very inrequent pooper. Usually one time every 5-7 days. I have resorted to Miralax two times but I am wondering if there is anything I can do to help him.

Other things to know:

He is still 95% breastfed. He is not taking to food very well at all. He will sip smoothies from a straw cup every so often and will rarely self feed things like O shaped cereal. 

I have tired feeding him prunes and pears and that doesn't seem to help. He is taking probiotics and he is pretty good about drinking water. Not as much as I would like but about 8 ounces a day. 

Any thoughts or advice or maybe even thoughts that this is normal and not something to worry about, would be helpful.

post #2 of 13
My DD has bouts of constipation...have you noticed your son strain to pass or cry when trying to pass? That's what I would consider constipated, infrequent is not a huge problem now esp since he is still mostly breastfed. The only thing that worked for us when DD is truly constipated is an Epsom salt bath. If I notice her try to pass unsuccessfully, I'll put her in a bath with some Epsom salt and let her soak a good long bit, splashing around a bit to try to get it in her mouth some too. Next day she hasa BM. My girl didn't eat or drink anything that is not breastmilk, lol.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

He usually doesn't strain until after I give him the Miralax (done twice with a lot of hesitation). I gave him the Miralax both times b/c it had been 6 days since a BM. So I guess he is not uncomfortable during the time he isn't trying to poop. But once the medicine is in him, he is very much straining. He has small ping pong sized (firm) BMs and then a day or 2 later he has a very substantial soft normal poop. 

I have epsom salts, how much do you put in the bath?

I bought prune juice and aloe juice today. I am very hesitant to give juice, but I will do it to avoid another dose of Miralax. 

I also have a 4 year old DD who never drinks juice, so me buying juice is a big deal. I haven't bought juice one time in 4 years. My DD drinks 50 ounces of water a day.  i am paranoid about giving him juice, and that getting in the way of him liking water. 

how old is your DD? Has this always been a problem for her?

Thank you for your reply.

post #4 of 13

If he doesn't seem uncomfortable I wouldn't worry about it.  My DS (33mos) was kind of like that at that age but started having more trouble as he transitioned to less breast milk and more solids.  If he goes more than two days without a BM it is very painful for him when he finally does go. 


I give him a small dose of Milk of Magnesia (3-5ml) when it has been two days between and that usually takes care of it.  I've tried Miralax but I think it works better for if taken everyday and takes a few days work really work and the Milk of Magnesia works quicker for using as needed. 


We try to prevent constipation as much as we can.  We only end of needing the medicine once a month or every two months.   I find that juice (4-6oz per day) and plain graham crackers (Nabisco, red box) keep things moving.  I'm not sure why the graham crackers do it, he eats other things with higher fiber content, but they seem to work.  


And the juice hasn't ruined water for DS, he still drinks plenty of plain water.

post #5 of 13

I definitely would do Epsom salt bath before any laxatives.  Just to give you insight down that road, friend of mine has a 12yr old son who has been taking a variety of laxatives since he was a baby.  On laxatives, because his body has become "immune" to them, he poops once every 3-4 weeks, and I can't even begin to describe the size, or the smell....omg.  No idea how he even passes them but when he was younger he would hide and cry because he knew it was going to hurt.  His mother is a nurse and sees no problem with this.  If you suspect constipation because he's straining or makes a big fuss about going and it's fairly firm upon coming out, I'd also look at diet.  Dairy in particular is highly constipating so if you eat dairy it will pass through to him.  You don't have to go with prune juice if you want to avoid juice.  Pumpkin is a great laxative as are bananas and blueberries.  DD used to like the organic pouches with pureed prune.  Up the fiber along with fluids (breastmilk is a fluid) and you increase the poop output.  My 20mo is still nursing and will drink water if she's thirsty, but realistically my milk is probably mostly water at this point with very little fat so highly hydrating and thus I don't worry too much if she shuns water some days.

post #6 of 13

I make DD popsicles or smoothies out of prune juice (not much) and bananas or other fruit I have on hand--that usually does the trick. She's two, but I think I started trying that when she was around your son's age. She also really likes "Plum Amazins"--chopped up dried prunes that she thinks are a kind of raisin, but have more fiber and less sugar.

post #7 of 13
I was wondering how op's little one was doing? We are dealing with constipation over here again as well. I've decided to give her a baby food jar of prunes everyday until things start looking normal again. I'm also making an effort to get as much water as possible in her because she wasn't drinking any, only nursing. I'm currently having some success getting her to drink by mixing juice and water, but you know with toddlers what works one day stops working the next! smile.gif
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

To update: little guy went 8 days with no poop and I tried everything under the sun...water, prunes, prunes juice, pears, aloe juice, suppositories, epsom salts baths, massage, probiotics, flax oil, coconut oil and some things I am sure I am forgetting right now. On the 9th day, I resorted to giving him an enema. I am so glad that I did b/c seconds later 3 pounds of bowel with grape size balls came out. I will hope to never have to give him that enema again, but he was impacted and I was getting very nervous. I hate that I have to medicate him, but I have resorted to Miralax as needed for right now. I don't want him to get the mega colon or floppy colon.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

The Miralax is the stool softener. I used the pediatrice Fleet Enema and that was hopefully a one time thing. 

post #10 of 13
How much miralax do you give? We are 4 days in and I suspect dd is impacted as well. I am considering giving her the miralax and giving that 24 hours to work. She doesn't seem uncomfortable. I really would rather not do a suppository again, she really really didn't like that last time... I also think shes holding her bowels now, this really sucks.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

It does suck and quite a lot! I give one tablespoon daily (as recommended by my pediatrician and my BF who is also a Ped.), but (after one month) I am going to try to give it every other day. It has been almost one full month and I am bummed my baby has to be medicated to poop! I mix it with prune juice or carrot juice. My 4 year old has never had juice and here I am giving my 14 month old juice. I know it isn't a big deal, but it is just something I don't love giving to him. My son hated the suppository. It caused him so much stress and grief. I hope it gets better for you, and fast. I was getting very scared by day 8. I will never let it go that long again. I now have a calendar and I write down if I give him the Miralax and if he poops. I have a hard time remembering if I don't write it down. How old is your baby, Element?

Good luck

post #12 of 13

Have you tried chiropractic or acupressure (acupuncture minus needles)?  I know for DH the result of going to the acupuncturist was one massive BM!  When I first started taking DD to the chiropractor at 6wks old, we were going 2x a week and she would have massive blowouts following her first few adjustments (which focused quite a bit on her lower spine) and it allowed her to get on a great pooping schedule.  She's down to a monthly maintenance visit now and has never had an issue pooping.

post #13 of 13

One thing you don't mention is water/fluid intake. I know you're using some juice, but water is a must, especially if you are upping the fiber in his diet. For us, water is the key. To get him to drink more, I make him "tea" that is just water with blackstrap molasses and a little salt mixed in. IDK if it's the molasses/salt or the increased fluid, but it helps move things along. (I've seen people mention molasses/milk enemas but thankfully haven't needed to go that route. But I figure the molasses can't hurt and may be helping.)

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