Toddlers and Constipation

mother talking to child

Children of any age, including toddlers, can develop constipation. Constipation at this age usually means the passage of hard stool. 

Constipation is treatable, and the earlier treatment is started, the more likely it will be successful. 40% of toddlers with constipation have had symptoms in infancy.

Frequency of bowel movements is not as important, because it can vary a great deal among normal children. Breast-fed infants rarely develop constipation. Most often they frequently pass soft stools. Formula-fed infants, on the other hand, can have hard stools at a very young age. All infants develop firmer stools as they get older. They also have bowel movements less frequently.

Diet has an effect on stool consistency. Fiber, vegetables, and fruit help keep stools soft. Cow’s milk can cause constipation in some children. Most constipation in toddlers is not due to any disease or serious problem. Constipation is treatable, and the earlier treatment is started, the more likely it will be successful. 40% of toddlers with constipation have had symptoms in infancy. So, if symptoms reoccur or continue they should not be ignored.

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One of the difficulties in diagnosing and treating constipation in toddlers is that they are often not completely toilet-trained, and they cannot or will not tell their parents what is bothering them. Sometimes toilet training is disrupted by the child’s constipation. Parents have to observe the behavior and try to figure out what the problem is.

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Toddlers and Constipation

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3 comments

  1. Avatar of Summer Summer says:

    My poor 2yo has had off and on constipation for a few weeks now. I’ve tried adding probiotics, limiting milk, adding beneficial yogurts and fiber bars and strawberries, trying to get her to drink more water…. and still constipated :( hopefully the milk of magnesia and otc stool softeners can get her to relax as she passes them and fixes the problem…

  2. Avatar of Ashleigh Ashleigh says:

    This will definitely come in handy since my 5 yo has frequent UTI’s which can be caused by constipation.

  3. Avatar of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    A good read article. I will keep this in handy!

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