Easing Toddler’s Constipation

Contributed by Jo Gardner
For Sammy’s Milk

Sammy’s Milk Toddler formula is an important part of your babies nutrition even when your child begins to eat solids.  Toddlers are a finnicky bunch of eaters with moods, whims and eating habits that can change hourly.  It really shouldn’t surprise us when toddlers experience irregularity. We will go over symptoms, causes and solutions for easing toddler’s constipation.

Because toddlers are so different that there isn’t really perfect normal to quote here.  Some toddlers clear their bowels every day like clockwork.  Others can go two or more days without have any bowel movements.  So how do you know when your little angel is stopped up?  The Causes vary, but the symptoms are pretty standard.

Toddler’s Constipation Symptoms

If your child has a bowel movement less often than normal for your child, they are probably constipated.  If stools are difficult to pass, they are probably constipated.  According to the AAOP, large, hard or dry stool, and painful bowel movements are all signs of constipation.  Soiling between bowel movements or blood on the outside of the stool can also be signs of constipation in your toddler.

Toddler’s Constipation Causes

Just as in adults, there are a variety of potential causes of constipation in toddlers.  The most common culprit is diet.


Your toddlers diet can lead to constipation when it is too heavy in processed foods, dairy and sweets.  If it is missing fiber foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, constipation is bound to bind.  Even whole grain foods get solid when there isn’t enough clear fluid to ease the passing.  Diet changes affect stool too, like when your toddler changes formula or starts eating new foods.

Holding it in 

Most 1 to 2 year olds would rather keep playing with toys than stop and use the toilet.  Sometimes, children are too afraid or self-conscious to use the toilet, especially away from home. Toddlers, who don’t like the toilet training process might be expressing their will by refusing to let go in the potty power struggle.

Fear it will hurt 

When toddlers have had painful bowel movements before, they sometimes avoid the bathroom from fear it will hurt again.  It can become an unending cycle, because the avoidance can cause the stool to build up getting bigger and harder.  It guarantees more painful repetition of an early experience.

Change in Routine

Going on a trip, and being away from normal routine and normal toilet can make a toddler unwilling to allow bowel movement. 

Lack of physical activity, slows food digestion and movement through the bowels. Illness can affect your child’s diet, which affects constipation.  Medications and supplements can have side effects like constipation.  In rare instances, a physical condition can affect your child’s ability to have regular bowel movements.

Toddler’s Constipation Solutions

The good news is that constipation isn’t usually a serious condition.  Stool consistency can often be changed with dietary changes.  A first recommended step to take is to increase the amount of water and non-dairy fluid your toddler drinks.  If your child doesn’t get enough fluids even with high fiber foods, he or she can experience constipation.  Include more high fiber fruits and fruit juices with sorbitol (prune, pear, mango).  Vegetables like broccoli and beans can help. 

Increase Activity. Your toddler needs at least 30 to 60 minutes a day for healthy movements. Create a bathroom routine. Encourage regular bathroom visits during the day, especially after meals and when they feel the urge to go.  Allow at least 10 minutes each time.  Reward using the toilet with a sticker or other atta-child so the experience is positive. Ask your pediatrician if a medication is causing the constipation, especially if it is ongoing.

See your pediatrician if the constipation lasts two weeks or more. By then, it is considered chronic.

Got questions?  Ask Sammy. Toddler Constipation happens, and the solutions are usually easy to apply.  We hope our list of symptoms, causes and solutions help you in easing your toddler’s constipation. Sammy’s Milk formula comprehensive nutrition is designed to prevent constipation.  With natural ingredients in the right quantities, Sammy’s Milk can help make toddler’s constipation become the one challenge you avoid.

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