DESCRIPTIONThe passage of bowel movements (BMs) is painful.
Your child cannot have a BM despite feeling pressure in the rectum.
Your child's BMs are infrequent (4 or more days without a BM). Large or hard BMs that are not painful are usually normal variations in BMs and not constipation.
Constipation is often caused by not eating enough fiber. The memory of painful BMs can make young children hold back.
1. Diet treatment for infants less than 1 year old.
- For babies less than 2 months old, try giving 1 teaspoon of dark Karo syrup in the bottle twice a day.
- Give fruit juices (such as apple or prune juice) twice a day to babies over 2 months old.
- For babies over 4 months old, add strained, high-fiber foods such as cereals, apricots, prunes, peaches, pears, beans, and peas twice a day.
2. Diet treatment 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. Some sources are bran flakes, bran muffins, shredded wheat, graham crackers, oatmeal, high-fiber cookies, brown rice, or whole wheat bread.
- Feed your child fewer constipating foods, such as milk, ice cream, cheese, and yogurt.
3. Sitting on the toilet (for children who are toilet trained).
- Encourage your child to establish a regular bowel pattern by sitting on the toilet for 10 minutes after meals, especially after breakfast.
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF:
Your child has blood in their bowel movements.
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS IF:
Your child has not had a BM after 3 days on the nonconstipating diet.
You are using suppositories or enemas.
You have other concerns or questions.