Call 911 if your child is constipated and:
Constipation, or passing hard, painful stools, is a common problem in young children. Mild cases can be treated at home.
Call Doctor If:
- Your child has ongoing signs of constipation.
1. Increase Fluids
- For infants 4 months or older: add small amounts of fruit juice, such as prune, pear, or apple juices. Avoid bananas and apple sauce as they can increase constipation.
- For children 1 year or older: offer fruit juices and more water.
2. Increase Fiber
- For infants 4 months or older: add baby foods such as peas, beans, prunes, peaches, plums, and apricots.
- For children 1 year or older: add fruits, vegetables such as peas, beans, and broccoli, and whole-grain foods such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, graham crackers. Four to five prunes a day is also a very good source of fiber. Avoid bananas and applesauce.
- Cut down on candies and sweets. Limit milk and cheese to 16-20 ounces.
3. Encourage Good Habits
- Get your toddler to sit on the potty or toilet after meals.
- Have your toddler stay on the potty or toilet for 10 minutes each time.
- Have your toddler keep their feet on the floor when they are on the potty. Use a foot stool if they are on the toilet.
- Reward your child for having a bowel movement.
- If anxiety about toilet training is playing a role in constipation, switch back to diapers temporarily.