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Constipated Toddler -Help please!

Posted by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 10:54 AM
  • 35 Replies

Hi Ladies, I'm new to the group. My name is Ana and I have a 18 month old daughter.

DD has been quite constipated over the past week, her stool is hard and it always looks like little balls.She still does go mostly every day or every other day... I asked her ped and he said to give more veggies and whole grains which I have started to, but she is still quite constipated!

I've given her prune puree which gave her a runny poop that day and then it was back to pebbly looking poop (sorry if TMI). I'm giving her pears and veg and am thinking of cutting back on milk (she gets 3x8Oz a day, we're moving to 2x8Oz +1x6Oz). She drinks at least 10-12 Oz of water a day too.

Her daycare provides lunch and snacks, so during the week my hands are a bit tied, but the menu looks healthy and there are always veggies and fruit (although she does not eat cut up fruit unless pureed- any advice to get her to is also appreciated).

What else can I do? Any advice will be appreciated!

by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 10:54 AM
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Replies (1-10):
JTE11
by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 11:51 AM

Hello and welcome to the group. :)  I would say that cutting down on the milk is probably a good idea, too much cow's milk can cause constipation and I believe iron deficiency issues in kids. (Obviously, consult your doctor with any decisions, don't just take my advice.) I would recommend that your DD stay away from rice, applesauce, cheese, and white breads and crackers (give whole grain breads and crackers, even ones with tiny little seeds if she can chew them). Even as much as an inch or two of a banana or a little portion of applesauce will constipate my DD. Give her plenty of veggies and fruits, and water is best to drink. When my DD gets constipated I give her kiwi and maybe a little apple juice and it really helps. At this point you want to make it easier for her to go so she doesn't start to associate bowel movements with pain and difficulty, and possibly start holding in her stool, which is a whole other issue. I am sorry, I can't remember what my DD was eating at 18 months (she's four now) but for a very long time I was giving her steamed veggies for lunch, and now most days she eats raw veggies and fruits, especially kiwi and carrots. Those seem to help the most. Oh, and I don't know if you breastfeed, but if you do, you can try to increase her intake of breastmilk for a few days (more sessions) because breast milk really has a softening effect, too. Just thought I'd throw that in, just in case. Well, I don't know if any of that helps, but I feel your pain. My DD is miserable when she's constipated and this is what I've found that helps. Good luck! :)

Rhiannon1980
by Bronze Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 11:55 AM
You could water down prune juice so she only gets a little.
emkirkley
by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 12:07 PM

I agree with cutting down on the milk, particularly if she's getting things like yogurt and cheese too.  They only need 4-5 servings of dairy per day, a serving for a toddler/preschooler is 4oz of milk, yogurt, soft cheese, sour cream or ice cream or 1oz of hard cheese, so 24oz of milk is more than she needs in just one dairy item.  Reduce the amounts of carrots, white potatoes, apples, rice and bananas you offer and offer more peas, pears, plums, pineapple, peaches and sweet potatoes to up the fiber and fluid intake.  Peanutbutter and cheese can be constipating too.  Giving a probiotic supplement could help as well.

AnitaA
by Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 3:24 PM

Thanks for the advice!! I had no idea that Kiwi could help with constipation, I will try that and will definitely cut back on the milk! She does eat cheese and yogurt every other day on top of all that milk so perhaps that is the issue.

I should have mentioned that most of the milk she is drinking is  actually toddler formula, she's been on it since 13 months when we weaned. We are about to transition to whole milk (I'm on my last can of toddler formula). Maybe that is what is causing the problem?

Do you think I should be cutting back the snack time sippy altogether? (She has 1 sippy when she wakes up, one at 3pm with a snack and 1 before bedtime). Her doctor said that anywhere between 2-3 sippys was fine.

Sadly, I quit breastfeeding 5 months ago so I can't turn to the "magic juice" anymore!

Quoting JTE11:

Hello and welcome to the group. :)  I would say that cutting down on the milk is probably a good idea, too much cow's milk can cause constipation and I believe iron deficiency issues in kids. (Obviously, consult your doctor with any decisions, don't just take my advice.) I would recommend that your DD stay away from rice, applesauce, cheese, and white breads and crackers (give whole grain breads and crackers, even ones with tiny little seeds if she can chew them). Even as much as an inch or two of a banana or a little portion of applesauce will constipate my DD. Give her plenty of veggies and fruits, and water is best to drink. When my DD gets constipated I give her kiwi and maybe a little apple juice and it really helps. At this point you want to make it easier for her to go so she doesn't start to associate bowel movements with pain and difficulty, and possibly start holding in her stool, which is a whole other issue. I am sorry, I can't remember what my DD was eating at 18 months (she's four now) but for a very long time I was giving her steamed veggies for lunch, and now most days she eats raw veggies and fruits, especially kiwi and carrots. Those seem to help the most. Oh, and I don't know if you breastfeed, but if you do, you can try to increase her intake of breastmilk for a few days (more sessions) because breast milk really has a softening effect, too. Just thought I'd throw that in, just in case. Well, I don't know if any of that helps, but I feel your pain. My DD is miserable when she's constipated and this is what I've found that helps. Good luck! :)


-42-
by Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 3:26 PM
Ask youur pediatrician about benefiber clear. You can mix it in water and they can't taste the difference.
rebeccasmommy09
by Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 3:28 PM
1 mom liked this

I would definitely cut back on the milk and increase water. You can also try Apple juice. It worked really well for my oldest when she was a toddler. If this becomes a chronic problem, talk to your ped about possible encopresis. My dd was diagnosed with it around 4yo and given miralax to help.

AnitaA
by Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Thank you, maybe the pureed prune was a bit too much but the watered down juice will help.

Quoting Rhiannon1980: You could water down prune juice so she only gets a little.


emkirkley
by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 3:32 PM
1 mom liked this

Unless she has health issues there's no need for a toddler formula at all.  Keep offering healthy foods and water and she'll eat what she needs to get her nutritional needs met.  It's not about what they eat in a day or even a week, but what they eat over the month.  She should get up and eat breakfast, not formula at this age, and as for a snack, again, no formula is necessary, but I would certainly not be giving more than 12-16oz a day MAX of formula or whole milk to a child this age.  They need healthy meals and snacks throughout the day.

Quoting AnitaA:

Thanks for the advice!! I had no idea that Kiwi could help with constipation, I will try that and will definitely cut back on the milk! She does eat cheese and yogurt every other day on top of all that milk so perhaps that is the issue.

I should have mentioned that most of the milk she is drinking is  actually toddler formula, she's been on it since 13 months when we weaned. We are about to transition to whole milk (I'm on my last can of toddler formula). Maybe that is what is causing the problem?

Do you think I should be cutting back the snack time sippy altogether? (She has 1 sippy when she wakes up, one at 3pm with a snack and 1 before bedtime). Her doctor said that anywhere between 2-3 sippys was fine.

Sadly, I quit breastfeeding 5 months ago so I can't turn to the "magic juice" anymore!

Quoting JTE11:

Hello and welcome to the group. :)  I would say that cutting down on the milk is probably a good idea, too much cow's milk can cause constipation and I believe iron deficiency issues in kids. (Obviously, consult your doctor with any decisions, don't just take my advice.) I would recommend that your DD stay away from rice, applesauce, cheese, and white breads and crackers (give whole grain breads and crackers, even ones with tiny little seeds if she can chew them). Even as much as an inch or two of a banana or a little portion of applesauce will constipate my DD. Give her plenty of veggies and fruits, and water is best to drink. When my DD gets constipated I give her kiwi and maybe a little apple juice and it really helps. At this point you want to make it easier for her to go so she doesn't start to associate bowel movements with pain and difficulty, and possibly start holding in her stool, which is a whole other issue. I am sorry, I can't remember what my DD was eating at 18 months (she's four now) but for a very long time I was giving her steamed veggies for lunch, and now most days she eats raw veggies and fruits, especially kiwi and carrots. Those seem to help the most. Oh, and I don't know if you breastfeed, but if you do, you can try to increase her intake of breastmilk for a few days (more sessions) because breast milk really has a softening effect, too. Just thought I'd throw that in, just in case. Well, I don't know if any of that helps, but I feel your pain. My DD is miserable when she's constipated and this is what I've found that helps. Good luck! :)



AnitaA
by Member on Mar. 16, 2015 at 3:47 PM

Wow  I've definitely been overfeeding dairy then! On top of her 3 sippys she eats cheese and yogurt every other day! Thanks!


Any advice on getting her to eat cut up fruit? She purses her lips and turns away every time! :(

So far I puree it and give it to her with or without cereal

Quoting emkirkley:

I agree with cutting down on the milk, particularly if she's getting things like yogurt and cheese too.  They only need 4-5 servings of dairy per day, a serving for a toddler/preschooler is 4oz of milk, yogurt, soft cheese, sour cream or ice cream or 1oz of hard cheese, so 24oz of milk is more than she needs in just one dairy item.  Reduce the amounts of carrots, white potatoes, apples, rice and bananas you offer and offer more peas, pears, plums, pineapple, peaches and sweet potatoes to up the fiber and fluid intake.  Peanutbutter and cheese can be constipating too.  Giving a probiotic supplement could help as well.


JTE11
by on Mar. 16, 2015 at 3:50 PM
1 mom liked this

You're welcome! :)  I have to admit I don't know anything about toddler formula, but if you are nearly done with it and were already going to quit then go ahead and do what you were going to do, and maybe when you're done with this can you may see a difference. BTW, does it have iron in it? Sometimes iron supplements in things like formula or vitamins can make the stools a little harder, just thought of that.

Anyway, I have been told that toddlers should have no more than 24 ounces of (cow's) milk per day, but it's better if it's 16-18 oz, so they still get enough calcium. Please don't quote me on that, if you are concerned you can consult a nutritionist or the doc. But that's just to give you an idea on what to shoot for when you convert over to cow's milk. Some kids want to drink milk all day and hardly eat and that's not healthy.

I am all over the place with changing subjects here, lol, but yogurt should be OK, unless your DD is very sensitive to milk. It helps with the digestive system and keeps things moving along so I wouldn't necessarily cut back on that yet. Wait and see what quitting the formula does. 

I don't know what to tell you about not giving the sippy at snack time but if the doc said two sippys are OK, then maybe give it a try and just give her water with snack.  One last thing I thought of that I forgot before...with my DD, I give her drinks at meal times but I also have a small straw cup of water available for her all day long, and she sips at it as she feels she needs it. If I relied on her getting all of her liquids at meal times she wouldn't drink enough. Maybe consider doing that- just put an inch or two of water in a sippy that she can have access to, and refill it a couple of times per day, if you don't already do that. It helps keep them hydrated.

This has been way too long, my apologies. Hopefully something works!

And LOL at "magic juice"! 

Quoting AnitaA:

Thanks for the advice!! I had no idea that Kiwi could help with constipation, I will try that and will definitely cut back on the milk! She does eat cheese and yogurt every other day on top of all that milk so perhaps that is the issue.

I should have mentioned that most of the milk she is drinking is  actually toddler formula, she's been on it since 13 months when we weaned. We are about to transition to whole milk (I'm on my last can of toddler formula). Maybe that is what is causing the problem?

Do you think I should be cutting back the snack time sippy altogether? (She has 1 sippy when she wakes up, one at 3pm with a snack and 1 before bedtime). Her doctor said that anywhere between 2-3 sippys was fine.

Sadly, I quit breastfeeding 5 months ago so I can't turn to the "magic juice" anymore!

Quoting JTE11:

Hello and welcome to the group. :)  I would say that cutting down on the milk is probably a good idea, too much cow's milk can cause constipation and I believe iron deficiency issues in kids. (Obviously, consult your doctor with any decisions, don't just take my advice.) I would recommend that your DD stay away from rice, applesauce, cheese, and white breads and crackers (give whole grain breads and crackers, even ones with tiny little seeds if she can chew them). Even as much as an inch or two of a banana or a little portion of applesauce will constipate my DD. Give her plenty of veggies and fruits, and water is best to drink. When my DD gets constipated I give her kiwi and maybe a little apple juice and it really helps. At this point you want to make it easier for her to go so she doesn't start to associate bowel movements with pain and difficulty, and possibly start holding in her stool, which is a whole other issue. I am sorry, I can't remember what my DD was eating at 18 months (she's four now) but for a very long time I was giving her steamed veggies for lunch, and now most days she eats raw veggies and fruits, especially kiwi and carrots. Those seem to help the most. Oh, and I don't know if you breastfeed, but if you do, you can try to increase her intake of breastmilk for a few days (more sessions) because breast milk really has a softening effect, too. Just thought I'd throw that in, just in case. Well, I don't know if any of that helps, but I feel your pain. My DD is miserable when she's constipated and this is what I've found that helps. Good luck! :)



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