3 year old has severe constipation

Hi Misty,

My 3 year old niece has severe constipation. She cries and panics whenever she goes to the bathroom and her stools are rock hard. It is causing her so much distress!

My sister has given her prune juice but it isn't helping much. I saw you recommended coconut oil and probiotics for babies who are constipated, is that advice the same for older children? How much should she give her and are there other foods that you think would help? Her children are picky eaters, so I am not sure if she would be successful incorporating coconut oil into their diets, unless we could sneak it in with her other foods somehow.

Thank you so much for your help! You are soooo appreciated! :)

Comments for 3 year old has severe constipation

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Nov 18, 2010
Free Healthy Diet Plans
by: Misty

I am so sorry your niece is suffering so! I have experienced a few children now in my practice with severe constipation. It begins as constipation and turns into a "with holding" due to fear. Pain is fearful and most particularly in private regions of the body which can turn into an emotionally charged situation for the child and consequently, the parent as well.

Our standard American diet dictates this. Not enough bacteria int he intestines, lower fat and a higher intake of processed foods like breads, crackers, pastas and cereals.

My advice is to pick up a probiotic that contains a L acidophilus and B. Bifidum.

The best delivery for the probiotics as well as coconut oil is a smoothie. A nice addition might also be a fiber that contains a fat such as that of chia seeds. Begin slowly at 1 tsp. for both CO and Chia and move up every 2 days until 1-2 tbs. have been added to the childs diet

Yogurt, chia, a bit of spinach, frozen raspberries, probiotics, coconut oil and coconut milk will make a nice smoothie.

I would continue this regimen until the child is going nicely on her own and working on improving the diet with small changes is a good idea.

Do let me know how it goes!

As Always,
In Good Health

Nov 22, 2010
something else to consider
by: Mary TItus

Of course, Misty nailed this one, in my honest opinion. I'd like to add that if your niece takes iron or iron fortified formula this can also cause constipation.She could be dealing with a double edged sword.

Sep 16, 2011
Same problem :0(
by: Anonymous

My three year old daughter has the same issue I give her 4 tablespoons of miralax a day mixed with juice one tablespoon at a time. I also give her a tablespoon of mineral oil in apple juice once a week if she hasn't gone and that usually does the trick because it makes her have to go and she can't hold it in anymore.

She will do the same thing she will cry and panic when she has to sit on the potty to go I hate it so much that my baby has to go through this.

I hope this helps!

Oct 05, 2011
Healthy Transitions
by: Misty

Thank you for your comments.

I always discourage the long term use of Miralax. The active ingredient is Polyethylene Glycol. This petro chemical will disturb bacterial balance for the long term so in cases of a severe bout this might be a good extreme choice however, for long term digestive health, I discourage it.

In good health

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