constipation.. please help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 11-17-2010, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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please, please please.  I need help with my 3 year old daughter's constipation.  im not even sure if it's constipation since she has soft stools.  she has been this way on and off since 12 months old but it only took on  a life of it's own this past summer or so.  every time we modify her diet to treat it, things improve for days and then the cycle starts all over again.  things we have tried and worked, only temporarily are:


eliminating bananas and applesauce

adding probiotics to her water (it's tasteless)

adding magneisum to her diet

adding iron in the form of floradix every so often (we are vegan and give this to her 2-3x a week)

added fiber gummies

add aloe vera juice or spirulina (this helps the best as it coats her intestines but getting her to drink this is extremely difficult, no matter how hard i disguise the taste)

add chocolate


we dont need to add more fiber.  she eats tons of whole wheat bread made from home as well as fresh fruit all day including pears.   these things simply dont help.  and like i mentioned before, the things above DO HELP for maybe a week at most (even though she will go daily at that time but still cry about it), but then she goes back to holding it in, even more so.  she isnt potty trained and i havent been that pushy with it so i dont think that would be a cause for the fear of passing a movement.  it's just gotten so bad it's taking over our lives.  i have to cancel our outings with friends/activities b/c this issue makes her want to cry and fuss all day for days on end.  she just isnt herself when she feels the urges and im extremely worried. oh and the hardest part is that she is an extremely picky eater/drinker.  she only wants to eat certain foods (hates raisins and anything like that that would help her go) and will only drink water.


we are going to take her to the doctor but i just want to know if any of you parents have any other ideas/advice?  i just dont get how things improve but then stop working.. it makes me think it's a psychological issue.  she has always been very spirited so that might have something to do with it.  anything else i can give her to help her go???? 


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#2 of 13 Old 11-17-2010, 01:07 PM
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Does she drink enough water?  I know when I don't have enough liquids I have problems as well.  So sorry she's going through this.  My little brother used to have the same problem and I know first hand how awful it makes everyone feel.  My Mom used to give my brother mineral oil and it helped but I don't know how crunchy you are if that would be an option or not.  The health and healing folks could probably provide you with some good "cures".

Married to my soul mate and totally devoted to DD (6/08) and enjoying our 2 cats and many fish. Wishing for a "green" house in the country where we can raise more children!
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#3 of 13 Old 11-17-2010, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the suggestion. i think she drinks "just enough"  but could def drink some more.  yeah mineral oil scares me.  she just went with ease even though she cried over the fact she went!  whew.  i had given her some kid "chocolate" flavored powdered drink formula made with spirulina.  of course, she only took it dry but still.  praying this will work for good.


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#4 of 13 Old 11-17-2010, 05:04 PM
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Honestly, if her poop isn't hard, then it's not really a constipation issue.  When my 2y/o was having issues with going (she had been constipated, and even after getting things to loosen up, she still didn't want to go) and we talked with her doctor, she said this age is all about being "in control" of their own bodies.  Basically, it's common for toddlers to try and hold it in, and that as long as she's not having an issue with hard poop, that it's really just something we have to wait out, and just make sure that she doesn't get constipated from holding it in.


It probably wouldn't hurt to check with her doctor, just to rule out any underlying issues with her colon, but honestly it's probably nothing more than her wanting to be in control, and not liking when she's not.

jamie. crinkly (not quite crunchy) mama to 4 amazing girls, an awesome little boy, and a little surprise making a debut this winter.
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#5 of 13 Old 11-17-2010, 06:10 PM
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Since she isn't constipated, it is just psychological. I would just wait, comfort her and talk about pooping being normal and okay. And give her lots of power in other areas whenever you can. 

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#6 of 13 Old 11-21-2010, 10:56 AM
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Have you considered removing the top allergens (dairy, wheat, soy, corn) from her diet just for a week to see?  My family can't have wheat and some of us soy.  Our symptoms are all different but DD2 who is a 2yo gets what I call constipated when she eats wheat.  She goes often enough but the stools are so large that she bleeds.  I keep her off wheat and it makes it much better. The protein in it damages the intestines for those who can't tolerate it.  Have a look in the allergy forum.

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#7 of 13 Old 11-21-2010, 03:12 PM
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Colace...docusate sodium...otc med, will help.


As to medicating a child, tell them they need to take it.  Don't give them a choice of if, but you can offer them a choice of how.....and for pitys sake, don't buy the colace liquid, squeeze it out of the capsule or let her take the capsule.  The liquid is nasty.

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#8 of 13 Old 11-21-2010, 05:11 PM
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My 19 month DS is going through the same thing.  I do all of the things you mentioned above and he is the same way.  He poops everyday and it is soft.  Every time he feels the urge, I can see it on his face, and he holds it in.  That usually happens a few times then it finally comes out and he cries.  I try to be very positive about it when he does poop.  I guess I don't have any advice, just wanted to let you know you aren't alone.  

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#9 of 13 Old 11-21-2010, 07:13 PM
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Would you consider having her tested for allergies/sensitivities? Several of my friends have recently been tested or had their kiddos tested, and they are reporting a WORLD of difference - not only in the way they feel, their stools, etc., but in the kids' behavior!

Mama to DS (12/11/07) and partner to DH (08/08). Expecting #2 late November 2011!
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#10 of 13 Old 11-21-2010, 08:24 PM
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My little guy has had trouble pooping lately, too.


So how hard does "hard" poop need to be?  Like, how do I know if his poop is too hard?

Sleepy mama to Colin Theodore 8-12-08 and Trevor Arthur 7-17-12.



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#11 of 13 Old 11-21-2010, 09:50 PM
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I use lactulose for DD. I have tried so many things (cutting dairy and wheat, prunes, flax oil, benefiber, probiotics, chiropractor etc) but she just ignores the urge to go. Lactulose is a sugar that cant be broken down, it feeds the bacteria in the gut and that some how puts water into the stool. It does make DD a little gassy, but she is able to poop every other day without pain, and thats what matters. Its one of the few medicines that can be used long term. Plus its sweet and easy to give. My doctor recommended it and I give her a  7 ml dose every other day.


Toddler constipation is one of the most frustrating things I have ever dealt with as a parent. I have tried everything. I am comfortable with using the lactulose, until she is old enough to understand the reprocutions of with holding her stool. I def. feel less stress since we started doing this. She is happier and so am I.

Mama to L (7) and A (born 7/15 by VBAC)
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#12 of 13 Old 11-22-2010, 09:30 AM
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We had a similar problem. But, there were times her poop would get hard and even though it was soft she would hold it in. It would get soft and then things would somehow come to a standstill in spite of us trying all kinds of fiber in her diet. The only thing that helped us was 1/4 cap of Miralax along with 2 Pedialax gummies daily. Within a week or two she wanted more and more gummies and we shifted to 6 Pedialax gummies a day and no Miralax. Don't know the exact ingredients but Pedialax is sweetened with fruit juice and generally not that bad. I just wish I had known about it earlier it would saved her a lot of trauma.

Don't imagine the worst incidents in your emotional life -- keep a positive attitude.
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#13 of 13 Old 11-23-2010, 08:35 AM
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Poor babies.  If the stools are soft, I'd check in with the pediatrician to see if there is something else causing pain.

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