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I just wanted to tell you all that I totally understand how helpless you feel when your child is hurting and you cannot really help. My daughter who just turned 2 also does the "holding it in" and goes into almost a rage when she has to poop but does not want to. This is affecting how much she eats, which is affecting her weight - which is concerning the doctors enough to warrant trips to a pediatrician. The doctor told me prunes and lots of liquid (she won't eat prunes anymore...) and stimulating the anus with your finger when you know they need to go. We also tried suppositories which don't really help and then another doctor told us to try Lactulose syrup. NOTHING WORKED. She has to get over the psychological part and then it is fine, but it is especially important that we as parents do not let the child get to the point of the hard hard stools which is what causes the horrible anticipation. I really had to encourage and pretty much demand my daughter to consume more liquids and fruits. and you really do have to be careful that you are not giving foods that cause constipation. And one more trick - although she will not drink prune juice or eat prunes anymore, I started giving her the prune juice in the same syringe as medicine and that gets her to take at least 5ml a day which helps a LOT with the hardness of stools. WATER WATER WATER! And I try and talk her through and get her to relax, and tell her to push it out and it won't hurt as much if she just pushes it out. Forget the potty training and let her squat wherever she wants until she can figure out that it is not the tragic event she is so scared of - sitting on the potty only makes it worse. The other thing that worked before is doing the deed in the water - but now she tries to jump out of the tub when she knows what is coming. Also a suggestion to keep the area well lubricated with vaseline when you know the event is coming - this will help with stretching/tearing from hard stools.
I know, it is torture for the little ones and for us adults that go through it with them. I hope this post helps!

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It really is helpful to hear everyone's postings. My son is almost 3 and is starting to have trouble with "the poopies." He's had some large painful ones, and the idea of pooping is really starting to upset him, so he holds it in for a couple of days. We're not as far gone as some here (my heart goes out to you), and we're trying to keep things from getting too far gone. There are some great suggestions here.

One suggestion that I have not yet seen is a chiropractic adjustment. My little guy has been going to the chiropractor every 6-8 weeks, and she almost always has to do an adjustment to his SI joint. Evidently, all the falls that toddlers take can aggravate the SI joint and the process of elimination. It's not a miracle-cure, but we've found it does help.

So, we'll add that to the arsenal:
more water
Milk of Magnesia
more soluable fiber
less milk (he's got a dairy allergy, but rice milk tastes so good to him)
a chiropractic adjustment adjustment

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WOW! I am relieved to hear what you all are going through and that I am not the only mother who is in tears over this. My daughter, who turned 2 in August, has been dealing with constipation issues since she was 11 months. This has effected our family and our most patient baby sister. It can take more than 24 hours for her to pass a bowel movement. In this time, she will stand with her legs stiff as a board and scream, when we put her on the toilet she will fight us and keep her body straight not wanting to bend. During this she screams. The heartbreak is unfortgetable. The amount time we have spent in the bathroom with tears and extremely sore arms from holding her is unthinkable. I now think this is becoing a mental thing as can only be expected. Why would a toddler want to do something that would result in an "Ouie" However, this did not start out as a mental thing and that is why I am frustrated. I have made emergency trips to the doctor and have gotton the same feedback as all of you. We too are on the Mirilax schedule, but WHY? This doesn't seem right. When the doctore kept saying this was normal while not once even examining her down there or feeling for abnormalties in her tummy I demanded an ultrasound of her intestines and surrounding areas. How can you tell me nothing is wrong without looking? Luckly, well according to the same doctor, there was nothing irregualr, except a stool waiting. SURPRISE. Now we live in fear of the next bowel movement. The other horrible thing about this is when it happens in public or around people that do not know her history. They look at us like we are making our child suffer when if fact we are trying EVERYTHING to help her. How much and for how long to you take Mirilax, what do you do when SOY doesn't help after 8 months, how long do you forbid a child from bananas, cheese, or yogurt and is 40oz of water a day enough? Thanks for hearing me out. I wish we all could have more answers.

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Yes, I agree with "roo", absolutely try flax oil! It also worked for my daughter. It's very good for the immune system, with all the essential fatty acids, but it also helps with constipation. It acts as a lubricant and has a laxative effect. My little girl was regularly holding it for 5 days at a time, now she can only hold it for 2 days, or 3 tops and she tries, believe me. Prune juice also helped, but she doesn't like it any more, so I couldn't force it. Flax oil is a good replacement for mineral oil, too. It's a lot healthier. Flax seed meal has good fiber, as well as the good oils. 2 tsp flax oil daily for toddler, maybe more for an older child. the recommended adult serving size is 2 Tbsp of flax oil. 2 Tbsp flax seed meal daily for a toddler to help move things through. I also give her fruit 4-5 times a day, as much as she will take. Pears, grapes - any fruit she will eat. Whole fruit is better than juice by far, but not dried fruit! They will need lots of water to rehydrate dry fruit, so no raisins. I give her sprouted grain bread, so it has no flour in it. I also give her high fiber pasta - 5 grams in a serving. It seems to help, but I avoid all white bread, tortillas, pasta and any grain products low in fiber. No bananas, rice, cooked carrots or cooked squash! They can constipate. I hope this helps. My daughter still has painful poops and doesn't want to go because it hurts, but it's much better than it was. When she was first constipated, she would go 10 days without pooping, but after making these changes to her diet, we're down to 2-3 days, usually 2. And I never have to help pull out a 3 inch diameter poop that she can't push all the way out. Not anymore.

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It's a great relief to read all of your posts. My daughter turns 3 next month and we have suffered through many months of chronic diarrhea and abdominal pain. Finally, we figured out (without the help of our pediatrician!) that she has food allergies. Gluten, dairy, soy, goat products, and various fruits. If your toddler has diarrhea of constipation it's a good thing to check out. My daughter is a great eater so we just didn't suspect allergies.

Now, though, she's constipated and in a lot of pain again. I'm going to try to the flax oil, but can't do a lot of fruit because she also has yeast in her digestive tract.

It's so frustrating and scary to watch her scream in pain while she sits on the potty. Or double over after eating. It's horrible.

It's often hard to know what will help.

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I am so glad to finally find a website that have others in the same boat as me. My son has suffered over a year with his problem and he is only 2! We have tried numerous laxatives, mineral oil, suppositories, and the only thing that is working now is an enema. He eats fruit all day and drinks numerous glasses of dulited juice and water, including prune juice. I have also been to many doctors and specialists. Last week we had to bring him in to get a barium enema at Childrens Hospital. After the test was done and nothing was found (which is a good thing) they told me that he would grow out of it?!!? We tried many laxatives but he was allergic to so many of them. Now he takes milk of mag and fletchers laxative at night, which doesn't help. How many enemas can a little guy take? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Tried everything mom!

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Hi my little girl is 2 years old our diet is 1/2 cup bran, 1 wheetbix, prune juice and warm water mixed together for breakfast then she has 20 ml of parachoc (laxative) then 10 ml actilax (laxative) then serakot (laxative) then a supoistory up the rectum. I hate it as she is scared i hate doing it. We still dont go for 4 days. Her moods understandably are awful due to the toxins in her body. I get grumpy and mad and cant stop crying and have become a yelling mother and we sit on the potty for hours and hours to no avail. Until after the 4th to 5th day it just comes out as diarroha and then we start the process again. HELP my doctor says this is normal and have you ever seen a constipated 10 year old. She is only 2 in January 2008 so I dont want to have to wait 8 years with this as my enticement to wait. HELP mum going crazy and not enjoying motherhood.

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Hi, just came across your post I know this was awhile ago u posted it, but I thought in case u still have this problem with ur daughter, i would let u know what works very well for my daughter and now it is over the counter in stores and is safe. it is called GLYCOLAX u put it in whatever they drink make sure it is mixed up etc.. i have to give my daughter 17 grams of it.. she is much better.. now as long as she gets this my daughter sweated and jumped around and cried and everything and i felt horrible also. just a mom concerned here.. hope alls well

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my daughter is 3 and has the same problem you should try PEG FLACKS you can buy it over the counter. email me for more info _[removed]_ i give this to her every 3rd day and it helps a lot just put it in her juice 2 table spoons full, it has no taste or smell.

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My daughter has been having difficulties since I stopped breast feeding when she was 14 months old. Almost immediately, she became constipated. The first couple of movements were very hard and she had some blood. Took her to the ped's office and there was a small tear. She gave us a prescription for lactulose which worked for a bit, but not for long. The ped recommended 1/2 capfull of myralax every day. Since then, we've found ourselves in the same situation. She only goes every other day when things are good. We stopped giving her favorite fruit, bananas because I read they can constipate. I am now wondering if the milk is causing all of her issues. God knows I am at my witts end. I am about to call a pediatric gastrointerologist for help. I'm not sure the ped knows what she's talking about any more. It breaks my hear to see my baby having such issues pooping and even blood in her stool. I think she must have hemrroids.....has anyone had a similar experience? Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading!

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Hi Thank goodness for this forum. My daughter will be 2 tomorrow. At 1 she was constipated and had a partial rectal prolapse with the passing of the stool. It was horrible. We have had this happen about 11 times now and have seen GI specialist and a General Surgeon. The surgeon has determined that she has an anterior anus (meaning the anus and vagina are too close which causes her rectal line to bend almost with a shelf that will hold the stool causing constipation), he would like to look at several surgical options, none that my husband or I feel are acceptable and all are very severe. She is on miralax and this helps and she is pooping almost daily....but now she cries and tries to hold her poop in and then eventually she just gives in. We have her well-baby tomorrow and I would like to see if this is just indeed a sympton of all she has been through. Are we the only ones who have had the rectal prolapse issue? I just can not see surgery as an option if we can manage her constipation with diet and miralax I would prefer to go this route. I just wonder if the crying is now due to all the memories of the bad pooping experiences. Right around Christmas she had a week with 4 prolapses and it was very stressful......praying we are doing better, we are at almost 3 weeks with no incidents. I just wish she would know that it is okay to poop and that mommy and daddy will protect her and do all we can to keep her from hurting. THOUGHTS?

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Flax seed is the answer! To all of you still trying to help your child, please try it ASAP:

Mix 1 teaspoon of flax seed oil with 3 teaspoons of prune sauce preferably (or your child's favorite fruit sauce if he/she won't take the prune sauce). Give this TWICE a day (evening and morning) for the first week, then switch to ONCE a day every second day for the next week and see how is going. If all is OK by then switch to twice a week.

They sell flax seed oil at Health Food Stores, Specialty stores and even supermarkets. Buy organic if you can and without any flavor, and for the prune sauce Heinz sells an organic kind that tastes really nice.

The poop will be nice and soft and your child will loose the fear to poop. The first few days it may take some convincing on your part , just reassure him/her not to be afraid and that you have fixed the poop and it will come out nice and soft and it won't hurt anymore (keep reassuring this constantly until your baby believes you!).

I also told my 3 year old that the prune sauce was the secret to make her poop soft and that's why she must eat it sometimes. Now she even asks for when it's time to poop!. She is so happy now, and so proud she can poop on her own!, and we are so happy and relieved after 2 painful years.
Please update your info and let everyone know how it working out for you.

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lax seed is the answer! To all of you still trying to help your child, please try it ASAP:

Mix 1 teaspoon of flax seed oil with 3 teaspoons of prune sauce preferably (or your child's favorite fruit sauce if he/she won't take the prune sauce). Give this TWICE a day (evening and morning) for the first week, then switch to ONCE a day every second day for the next week and see how is going. If all is OK by then switch to twice a week.

They sell flax seed oil at Health Food Stores, Specialty stores and even supermarkets. Buy organic if you can and without any flavor, and for the prune sauce Heinz sells an organic kind that tastes really nice.

The poop will be nice and soft and your child will loose the fear to poop. The first few days it may take some convincing on your part , just reassure him/her not to be afraid and that you have fixed the poop and it will come out nice and soft and it won't hurt anymore (keep reassuring this constantly until your baby believes you!).

I also told my 3 year old that the prune sauce was the secret to make her poop soft and that's why she must eat it sometimes. Now she even asks for when it's time to poop!. She is so happy now, and so proud she can poop on her own!, and we are so happy and relieved after 2 painful years.
Please update your info and let everyone know how it working out for you.

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:-( I am having the same problem with my daughter! She will be 3 in March and for the past few months she has had trouble pooping! We thought it was just due to potty training and her being stubborn. When she get's the urge to have a BM she will hold it. Of course she will let a little bit out on her panties and we may go through 15-20 pairs a day. I took her to the doctor a little over a week ago and they did a stomach x-ray and said it showed constipation. She was given Kondermul (mineral oil) which isn't doing a thing. I was then told to give her a glycerin suppository and that didn't work. Now I have been told to give her Milk of Mag...which has not helped! I don't know what else to do for her!! The doctor says it's common for kids to hold their BM's and need a good clean out! The only problem is nothing is cleaning her out!! I don't know what else to do..any suggestions???

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Our 2 and 1/2 year old granddaughter has started to hold her poopie "in". She got constipated about 3 months ago and passed a huge hard, lump in her potty chair. As I looked closer, it was bloody. She cried from the pain and since then is terrified of pooping. I told my son (her father) that we should try to give her watermelon, apples, and dried fruits and we have tried but she goes to stay with her mama and they are not on the same page as we are. Yesterday and today she would stop playing every few minutes and cry out saying it hurts and would hold her legs and buttocks closed until the pain passed. Since it had been 3 days without a movement her dad administered a gycerin suppository but hours later nothing happened. She was about to go to sleep and I got this idea of putting her in a warm bath and that did the trick. She went after about 15 minutes in the tub. She passed a poop about the size of her arm! It was horrible she almost stopped breathing. We are going to stay away from pasta and sugar as we have heard they contribute to this problem. I will check back to see what other ideas I can get from you all.

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