Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Requests From Our Readers: Week 22

This week we are talking about constipation with toddlers. Check out what our reader said....


"My 18 month old toddler has been having constipation issues for the last few months. He has a very hard time passing his stools and as a result, tries to hold it in making it even worse. I've read up on the subject and the advice I've seen is to limit dairy products, increase fruits and veggies, and feed your child foods that are high in fiber. My pediatrician has recommended feeding him specifically prunes, prune juice, peaches, pears, and peas. The only problem is that my son won't eat them!!! I've tried to add them to smoothies to hide them as well as mashing them up and trying to incorporate them into his daily foods but most of the time, he just won't eat it (it's like he has a 6th sense for healthy foods.)

What suggestions do you all have to get your kids eating healthy foods? What has helped out with your children's constipation issues?"

So help her out! Address her concern for her 18 month old. How have you gotten past constipation issues and helped your child eat the things that will be good for their bodies?

Thanks for reading and commenting. Send a reader request our way anytime!

9 comments:

Liz, Karl and Madison said...

This is an issue I know well. we had this problem for well over a year to a year and a half. My daughter LOVES milk and would drink a lot of it. She also loved any sort of dairy product. She has always been in the lower percentiles for weight and so when I can get her to eat something, I let her eat it (not that I just let her eat junk food, because I don't- hopefully you get what I mean). Anyway, we tried the prunes, pear juice etc and all they did was give her a MAJOR upset stomach. One of the best methods we found was to give her miralax. It is a powder that you just mix up and put in a drink- they don't even notice its there. We gradually got her to drink less and less milk (we also think she might have had a slight allergy to wheat) and eventually she grew out of it. Be patient. You can also use baby laxatives if it's extremely bad or try to help stimulate it with a cotton swab with vaseline on it (all of these methods were recommended to me by our dr).

Jessie said...

Our doctor recommended apricot nectar--it's often more on the pricey side, but tastes great (at least my girls and I think so), and has a similar effect to prunes.

Good luck, sorry I can't be of more help here, we usually have the opposite problem.

Delia said...

We did the miralax. We only had to use it for a month or so and then my son's natural digestive rhythms fixed themselves and he doesn't have anymore problems. Our doctor said that the body trains itself to be afraid of pooping because it hurt the last x many times so it will hurt again ...which makes the constipation worse. Then it eventually has to come out and it...well hurts perpetuating the vicious cycle. So after using miralax for a few weeks or so his body wasn't so scared of pooping anymore and it retrained his body to pass stools normally. I hope this helps!

Delia said...

Oh and you can mix the miralax into his milk.

Jennifer said...

when my two year old had this problem we did some of the same things listed here- limited cheese and milk intake, etc. I did have him drink more juices- the best one I have found so far is the prune juice but most little kids will not drink it. SO- one time at the store I found prune and apple juice mixed! And my son will drink that! I hope this helps you!

Erin said...

Miralax worked great for my boy too. Also, Metamucil makes a wafer that helps constipation. It's kind of like a granola bar/cookie and they come in different flavors. My daughter had one at my mom's house and it worked well. Stay away from foods that constipate like anything in the BRAT diet that they use for diarrhea - Bananas, rice, applesauce, toast.

Britta said...

My daughter had constipation issues from the time we started feeding her solids and it just got worse over the next two years. We tried all the juices, cutting out the constipative foods, getting her to move more (bicycling her legs and such)and we also tried Miralax. None of it worked well at all. Finally our doctor told me to cut out milk entirely and just use soy milk. That worked like a miracle! We have found that she is so sensative to milk that even a half slice of pizza makes her have a hard time a day or so later.

Although all the comments above are really good- make sure you stay in communication with the doctor the whole time. They might eventually make a decision in the interest of your child that you may not have thought of (like cutting out all milk- yikes!).

As for getting my daughter to eat healthy foods, thats all I offer. For snack time I ask 'apple or raisins?' and I don't buy sugary cereals, I offer a veggie at every dinner...etc. If your child refuses to eat the healthy food, don't substitute it with something else, he just doesn't get to eat.

A child will never let themselves starve. If they get hungry enough they'll eat what is offered. So it may take a few times but he'll understand that healthy choices are what he gets.

Also- I've heard that it takes several times of introducing a food to a child for them to start to like it. So don't give up on any one food.

Megan said...

I can't help with the constipation issue, as we have the opposite problem! But, I do the same thing as Britta. I try to offer only health food and we serve a vegetable and a fruit with dinner every night. We also keep reintroducing food that my son tends to not eat and hope that eventually he will choose to like it.

Tannie Datwyler said...

I'll just confirm what Britta said. My little girl was allergic to milk for the second year of her life. SO she was on soy milk that whole time. Although we'd never had constipation problems with her I can tell you that soy milk really loosens things up. That's a great idea to try!