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Treating your Child's Constipation Issues

November 11th, 2014 | By: Dr. Jeremy Friedman
Learn what’s causing your child’s constipation, plus how to treat it and when to see a doctor.

In This Article

Treating your Child's Constipation Issues

Causes of Constipation are often multifactorial, so treatments ideally target behavioral, dietary and physical influences for constipation. Treatment should be in place for a minimum of six months to allow the bowel time to get back to normal. Treatment of constipation will also differ between, babies, toddlers and children.

Dietary Constipation Strategies

Constipation in Babies Younger Than Four Months

Babies at this age generally do not have constipation. If you are worried, see your doctor. Do not switch your baby’s formula or breast milk to try to remedy the problem. Prior to giving any medication for constipation, see your baby’s doctor.

Constipation in Babies Four to 12 Months

After your baby has started solids, you can feed her high-fiber foods that have been strained such as peaches, pears, plums, prunes, apricots, beans and cereal.

Constipation in Toddlers and Children

  • Ensure your child drinks adequate amounts of fluids. Adequate fluid intake is based on your child’s weight. Daily fluid intake should be at least 32 ounces (1L) in a 22-pound child, 48 ounces (1.5L) in a 44-pound child and 64 ounces (2L) in an 88-pound child.
  • Give your child at least four to six servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Add bran to your child’s food; bran is very high in fiber and acts as a natural stool softener.
  • Limit foods that contribute to constipation, such as bananas, rice, white bread, white pasta, peanut butter and junk food.