How often should my child have a bowel movement?
- In the first week of life, most babies have 4 or more bowel movements each day. Thy are soft or liquid
- After the first month, some babies have 2 or more bowel movements each day. Others have just 1 each week. It is important they are soft or liquid.
- By age 2 most kids have 2 or more bowel movements each day. They are soft but solid
- Every child is different. Some have bowel movements after each meal. Others have bowel movements every other day.
How will I know if my child is constipated?
- Two or few defecations for week
- Bowel movements that are hard or bigger than normal
- History of pain when having a bowel movement
- Volitional stool retention
- Leak small amounts of bowel movement into the underwear (if toilet trained)
What if my child is constipated?
- The best treatment is prevention by eating more fruit, vegetables, cereal, and other foods with fibers
- Drink some sorbitol containing juice (prune, apple, pear)
- Don’t drink excessive cow’s milk and other dairy foods
- Sit on the toilet for 5 to 10 minutes after meals if toilet trained. Offer rewards just for sitting there
- Stop potty training for a while if you are working on it.
When should I take my child to the doctor?
- If the baby is younger than 4 months
- If he or she gets constipated often
- You have been trying the steps listed above, but your child has still not had regular bowel movements
- There is blood in the bowel movement or on the diaper or underwear
- The child is in serious pain.