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Constipated 15 Month Old

My daughter is 15 months old.  When she was an infant, she did exactly as you stated she would when she pooped.  Now, it seems that having a bm is a struggle for her.  She pushes and strains only get out marbles or a sausage patty.  She eats several healthy meals a day, including her fruits and vegetables (though she only likes them in the jar food still).  Is there something I can give to her to make her stool softer and her bms easier?

A 15 month old with straining, struggling and marble-like stools is constipated.

When children are constipated it is best to first address it with dietary changes. I would hope that increased “table foods” especially fruits, vegetables and fiber will help. If dietary modification does not help, I would take her to her doctor.

If she is in pain from constipation while you are working on her diet you can give her glycerine suppositories. see glycerine suppositories.

For healthy children ( no spinal dimple, no toe walking, no history abdominal surgery, etc.) I recommend a class of constipation medications called “non-absorbed sugars”. These medications are equivalent to a diet coke. They taste sweet, but the sugar is not absorbed from the intestines. The additional sugar in the intestines draws in extra water and thereby loosens the stools. The medicine ingested is pooped out with being absorbed into the body.

Milk of Magnesia, Lactulose and Kristalose are all non-absorbed sugars. They are safe and non-addicting. Lactulose is a tasteless prescription liquid. Kristalose is a tasteless, prescription powder. It can be mixed into food with altering the flavor. I prefer to start with Milk of Magnesia as it is over the counter and inexpensive.

Milk of Magnesia is dosed for effect (meaning there is no set dose based on age or weight). At 15 months, I’d probably start with 1/2 teaspoon a day. After a week re-evaluate. If she has loose stoosl decrease the dose. If she is still constipated increase the dose. The goal is 1 to 2 peanut butter soft stools a day.

see all constipation questions - constipation in children


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Written August 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician


 is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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