My one year old is having a lot of trouble with constipation. Bowel movements are clearly painful for him - he wails in distress every time. What can I do to help his system work more smoothly? He is now fully weaned, so he eats table food and drinks whole milk. We eat a pretty healthy diet here, too.

asked 12 Oct '09, 22:20

Emily's gravatar image

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Its great that he eats healthy food :)

(13 Oct '09, 20:10) Emi

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Our doctor suggested switching from whole milk to 2% to help decrease constipation in general and to feed her the minimum dairy (2 servings). We actually went to the emergency room when one time because our daughter was also crying in pain because of constipation. They gave us a safe over the counter laxitive called Miralax and had us use a 1/2 of a jelly suppository until she was able to relieve herself without pain. We were told that Miralax is safe to use on a semi-regular basis although the doctor suggested he prefer we try to modify her diet for a long term effect and suggested we add heavy amounts of beans, green beans and pears to her diet. Hope these suggestions help!


answered 13 Oct '09, 06:45

Sabrina's gravatar image

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Thank you, these are helpful suggestions. Out of curiosity, how old was your daughter when your doctor suggested switching to 2% to help this problem?

(14 Oct '09, 01:55) Emily

She was 13 months I think...I thought I had it written down, but I can't find it. I remember it was shortly after we had been giving her whole milk at 12 months.

(09 Nov '09, 08:38) Sabrina

Giving diluted apple juice works wonders. Make sure that he is drinking plenty of water and avoid feeding too many constipating foods (for example bananas)


answered 13 Oct '09, 02:54

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Dan's Mum
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We also noted that our daughter's constipation was very much improved once she started drinking enough fluids, particularly water.

(14 Oct '09, 02:36) Tammy ♦♦

My 6 month old was badly constipated and this worked within an hour. He was cleared completely and back to normal withing 12 hours.

(23 Nov '09, 05:37) DarwinsMom

With my 2 year old my dr. told me to give him benefiber (the chewables) half the dose it says for kids. It has started helping but took a few weeks to kick in. I'd just ask your dr. and get their opinion.

I have heard from random people that it's hard to potty train when a kid is constipated.



answered 12 Oct '09, 23:34

Mommy%20trial%20and%20error's gravatar image

Mommy trial and error
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My brother-in-law is a Naturopathic doctor and he gave us some powder probiotics for my son when he was only a few months old to help his digestive system. My son was breastfed, but was only having bowel movements once every two weeks and we didn't want to constantly rely on suppositories so we began mixing the probiotic powder into his bottle and he began going once every 2 to 3 days and now at 8 months old, he goes several times in one day.

We now mix the probiotic powder into his infant cereal and give it to him twice a day. You can also purchase different kinds of yogurt that have probiotics in them to help him, if he likes yogurt.

I would assume that you can purchase the probiotics (in powder or pill form) in your natural foods section of your grocery store or at a drug store.

Good luck!


answered 12 Oct '09, 22:55

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Shannon B
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How about some dried fruit - prunes and apricots work wonders for constipation and are all natural.


answered 13 Oct '09, 02:03

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These are all helpful suggestions. My boy has been crying in pain for the last week when he is having a bowel movement (pooping). This started happening with the switch to whole milk- he is now 12 months. Despite 6 oz of water, fiber filled foods he continues to have this problem. I'm gonna try more fruits ( apricots & prunes) more beans and keep milk / dairy to 3 servings / day. The one concern is that his stool is pasty and not hard, I think he may have internal hemorrhoids :( so I will change the diet an if it does not help within the next week, I'm gonna yell at my pediatrician ;) jk


answered 08 Jun '10, 20:37

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Robbie's mommy
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Hi Robbie's mommy and welcome to moms4mom.com Thank you for your answer. If you have a new question feel free to post it by pressing the ask a question link on the upper right.

(08 Jun '10, 21:00) Tammy ♦♦

My daughter had been having constipation for 3 days. Today she was trying to poop and her stool was extremely hard/clay like. I took her to the doctor today and she suggested switching from whole milk to soy milk for a few weeks. She also suggested I give her water with a table spoon of corn syrup (keep in mind it is importaint for them to drink lots of water). I hope this helps, sometimes I wish I would have gone online for some of these tips instead of waiting in the doctors for hours and having to pay a copay ;).


answered 17 Nov '10, 03:46

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Denise 1
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I was given one or two tips that were passed down from a couple of generations in the family, and this is one that worked for me when my daughter had slow bowel movements when she was a year old. The idea is quite simple.

  • Warm a couple of spoons of oil.
  • Undress your baby and lay her down somewhere comfortable.
  • Apply some oil on to the tips of your fingers and massage around the tummy area slowly using your thumbs. Gurgles and smiles can be encouraging for you to apply a little more pressure.
  • Lift and hold your babies legs slightly bending knees and slowly bring them closer to tummy area.
  • Repeat the process slowly with each left leg then right leg then both legs at the same time.

A quick way of knowing if this works for you is doing this a couple of hours after your toddler has been fed and his tummy feels a little firm. If an hour or so after the massage his/her bowels move then its a success!

Great question by the way!


answered 13 Oct '09, 05:57

Emi's gravatar image

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edited 13 Oct '09, 18:19

my daughter has been going through the same thing....she is 20 months. We have gone to the ER and several doctors. The miralax is a wonder and with her diet has gotten a lot better. From our experience, we suggest limiting dairy and bready products from her diet ..it took some time and lot of crying on her part and ours..lol. but it worked. goodluck:)


answered 07 Aug '10, 04:56

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edited 07 Aug '10, 13:56

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Tammy ♦♦

My daughter is 13 months and usually gets constipated every other week. She screams, sweats, stiffens up, cries, everything. I've asked her pediatrician about the issue and she keeps saying to keep giving her water and fiber. I do that and give her certain snacks/foods but when my daughter was constipated for almost a week (after the fiber/water kick), I took her to the First Care Emergency center. They prescribed Miralax. It definitely works but it's hard to deal with the fact that I have to give it to her everyday because if I don't and I try to slowly decrease her amount (which is what the dr told me to do), she automatically gets constipated. I would just like to know how to REGULATE her digestive system without it having to rely on a sustance.


answered 18 Nov '11, 18:32

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My understanding (and I'm not a Dr.) is that one of the things that causes your body to use more liquid (leading to constipation) is when it tries to flush something out of the body (best example of this in adults is alcohol). It could be salt, I suppose. It can't hurt to look at the rest of her diet and see if there's something else the body might be trying to flush out of the system. The other bit of information I can offer is that in my experience with a similar problem, psyllium fiber worked great, but you need a lot more than you think, and with every meal.

(18 Nov '11, 21:51) Scott ♦♦
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Asked: 12 Oct '09, 22:20

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Last updated: 24 Aug '16, 05:35