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Moms of constipated toddlers, can you help?

1696 Views 12 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  MovingMomma
Hi, my dd is 18 mos old. She has had constipation issues since the intro of solids around 8 mos. Since it started I have tried everything. She is still primarily bf, but grazes throughout the day and eats a little at dinnertime. She's a sporadic eater and doesn't want to drink much throughout the day. I offer a cup of water at her disposal. I even try using straws. She's just not interested in drinking much, besides her bm. We have avoided the constipating foods, increased whole wheat products, offer fruit all day long( which she loves fruit ), tried smoothies with prunes added (she only takes a few sips and that's it), mineral oil (yuck), flax oil-she doesn't like the taste (even blended into smoothie), pureed prunes, magnessium, lots of bm. I am at a loss. I have given her a liquid glycerin suppositorie only a few times, and also have resorted to liquid tummy laxitive drops a time or two, when everything else failed. Her ped. prescribed myrilax, but she wouldn't drink that at all.
Do any of you mamas know a trick or to two that I haven't tried? Do toddlers need to poop everyday when they're not eating much? Should I just
quit offering any solids and only give breastmilk? Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Maybe it's a wheat sensitivity? Soy and cheese bind my daughter up. She gets constipated a lot and the poor thing refuses anything that will ease her constipation and requests the very things that block her. Ugh. Some days all she wants to eat is cheese and crayons. And then I have 3 solid days of hell. She's almost 3 and has an older brother so I have a hard time offering her only foods that will help her eliminate.
Do you nurse her whenever she asks? I know that my daughter asks to nurse a lot when she's backed up. I can't always nurse her as much as she wants though because I have two other kids.
My dd2 had the exact opposite problem until I took apple juice out of her diet. Firmed right up! Try giving her apple juice!
kavamama, i never thought of wheat being a problem. Maybe I'll try slacking off on it, although she rarely eats breads and such. I do nurse whenever she asks, because that's her primary source of food.

kirsten, I forgot to mention that I also tried straight apple juice as well. Can you believe that she only takes about one sip and she's done. I just can't convince her to drink more liquids.

thanks for the replies
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I would imagine that liquid would help a lot in this problem, although the bm will be could try buying her a really special cup, take her to the store and let her choose?

would you ever consider homeopathy, the like for constipation is probably alumen. You can get the remedies at health food stores. Check out this website for the correct symptoms

Good Luck

Apple cider is one of the best laxatives I know, even better than apple juice. Just beware of going too far in the other direction :LOL . Also, Herbs for Kids makes a yummy Chamomile tincture that also works really well for constipation, in addition to all the other benefits of Chamomile
Good luck, poor little thing, and poor you to have to watch her struggle.

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Go to your local grocery store and go to the baby food's section. Gerber makes those little plastic containers (in 2s) of pureed baby fruit. Get the ones with JUST plain ole Prunes.

Prunes draws water into the intestines to make the bowels pass through kind of mushy breaks up those little "bowel balls" you see which indicates constipation.

Make sure she drinks lots of water. You can't go wrong with Prunes and Water unless there is any underlying medical condition which in your case I Highly doubt. I personally believe her digestive system needs to mature and she will outgrow up because I went through the same thing with DS.

Rice and Banannas was a sure fire way he'd get those little poop balls. So don't do those for awhile.

If you find it working for you, I'd stock up and try to incorporate into the diet plan for the next month or so.
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Dr. Sears has a bunch of gentle tips here:

I had similar issues with my son starting at the same age. Dietary changes did not help, and he used Miralax for about 5 months. Instead of giving it in liquid, try mixing it into food that she eats with a spoon. It dissolves very nicely in just a little bit of soft food. There would be days that I would feed my son pureed prunes laced with laxatives, and if I didn't laugh I would have cried!

What ultimately worked for us was a bout of diarrhea for the whole family when he was about 14 months old. He's been off the Miralax since then, and his poos don't involve screaming and straining anymore. They are more urgent and less frequent than other kids I know, but now I feel his body is just doing what it needs to do.

Good luck!
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Originally Posted by Kirsten
My dd2 had the exact opposite problem until I took apple juice out of her diet. Firmed right up! Try giving her apple juice!
Me too, then ds became really constipated. He drank apple juice all day, ate prunes, I mixed prune juice with his apple juice, gave him epsom salt baths, ate tons of apples, homeopathic remedies, etc. Nothing helped.

He just stopped wearing diapers about 2 weeks ago, and he is forced to poop on a regular basis now (he would kneel on all fours and I believe try NOT to poo, so he would poo every 4 days and it would be HUGE). That regularity has helped him, finally. His giant poop had him in tears.
It could also have something to do with the fact that she is a grazer. My first dd had some constipation issues until she was around 2. I found it was a lot worse during times when she didn't eat very well. Almost as though when there was only a bit of food in her bowels - it wasn't enough to actually move on down to where it needed to be if that makes sense. There is not that much waste in bm either...
Thank you for the replies mamas.

P-Chan, I will have to try mixing the mirilax with mashed potatoes, which she loves. I hope this works.

newmommy, she used to eat the pureed prunes, but I can't get her to eat them anymore
: . However, I do keep trying.

Thanks everyone, I will try some of the suggestions. I feel bad for dd because I have to make sure she doesn't see bananas or applesauce or apples. She loves these fruits so much.
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This sounds so similar to what we've experienced with our DD. We had tried many of the same remedies that you have (without success), including the glycerin suppositories, which were rather upsetting for all of us.

What works for us is to mix a bit (maybe 1/4 tsp of powder to 3/4 cup of liquid) of slippery elm powder with whatever drink she's drinking (it has a pleasant sweet taste and she doesn't mind at all) as well as psyllium husk powder mixed in with yogurt. A little of the latter goes a long way - use too much and the yogurt will get stiff and hard to stir. I'd recommend just a bit over 1/4 tsp in 1/2 cup of yogurt.

We keep slippery elm in her drink and give her the yogurt a couple of times a day until she poops. Works every time, is very natural and a big relief to us all to get her back on track. You can pick up these products at a health or natural foods store.

Good luck!


PS - Just realized that Jane and Lily were born on the very same day. Sweet.
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Originally Posted by numomnalaska
Do toddlers need to poop everyday when they're not eating much?
Nope...your really only need to be concerned if she is having hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass.

If she is indeed constipated, I would look into food allergies/sensitivities, especially since it's been an ongoing thing since she started solids.

My DD has gotten backed up when we've had company & been visiting & she's been too busy to poop! She's EC'd, but I imagine that non-EC'd littles would also have poop routines that could be affected by routines/lack thereof.
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