Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Constipation - Brief Version
What is constipation?
When your child is constipated, your child may:
- Have a hard time having a bowel movement (BM).
- Have a painful BM.
- Go 3 or more days without a BM.
This could happen because your child:
- Does not eat enough fiber.
- Drinks or eats too many milk products.
- Remembers painful BMs. That can make some children hold
How can I take care of my child?
For babies less than 1 year old.
- If your baby is less than 2 months old, try giving
1 teaspoon of dark Karo syrup twice a day.
- If your baby is over 2 months old, give fruit juices
(such as apple or prune juice) twice a day.
- If your baby is over 4 months old, you can add
strained, high-fiber foods twice a day. Cereals,
apricots, prunes, peaches, pears, beans, or peas are
good fiber foods.
For children over 1 year old.
- Feed your child fruits or vegetables at least three
times a day.
- Give more foods rich in bran and fiber. Try bran
flakes, bran muffins, shredded wheat, graham
crackers, oatmeal, brown rice, or whole wheat bread.
- Do not feed your child excessive milk products, like
milk, ice cream, cheese, and yogurt.
For children who are toilet trained.
- Have your child sit on the toilet for 10 minutes
after meals. This will help your child have a BM
Call your child's doctor right away if:
- Your child starts to have very bad rectal or stomach
Call your child's doctor during office hours if:
- Your child has not had a BM after you have fed your
child fiber foods and reduced milk products for 3 days.
- You are using suppositories or enemas for your child.
- You have other concerns or questions.