After a week on cows milk she started to get really constipated
I have a 14 month old girl. Just after she turned 1 I weaned her onto full cows milk. She took to it well, but after about a week she started to get really constipated. She went from pooping 2-3 times a day to not at all sometimes for 3 days and when she did it was very hard, like little pellets and screaming when passing them through! I tried increasing water removing things like banana and carrot from her diet, giving her more fruit and veggies, and prune juice, but nothing helped. I assumed it was the cows milk so I switched her back to formula, but it hasn`t helped she still wont poo regularly missing 2 days at a time, and when she does go she is in so much pain. I used a suppository but I don`t want to get her used to them, and I have been puting oil in her food etc. to make it more slippery I guess. That was a recomendation by my GP. But nothing is helping, and I am getting worried. She is a happy child otherwise, gaining weight and eating well. What should I do, but mainly what is causing this. The only thing I had changed was her formula to milk???
I would recommend continuing with the water and fruit and vegies (see the chart below re the different effects of different types of fibre). In particular offer water as often as you can, even at this age a toddlers thirst reflex may not have kicked in as yet.
You may also like to look at some milk alternatives. For example Vitasoy now have calcium-enriched oat milk and rice milk, of course soy is an option also. As long as the brand is calcium-enriched see how your toddler goes. These options are great for variety and also a good source of calcium and other compounds.
I have a tip sheet coming out very soon on constipation, if you wanted a copy contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can whip it off to you in an email.
You could also pop into a health food shop and ask about a suitable tea for a little one to help with constipation, they have a wealth of options for the whole family.
You may also find that the constipation can be a consequence of a fear of going to the toilet. Putting off going can lead to constipation, though often in this situation soiling can occur too. If you feel this is the case I would chat to your CHN about strategies to reassure you toddler that doing a poo won’t now hurt.
Lastly, you may find probiotics help soften stools, so again you could chat to a good health food shop about this for a little one.
Fingers crossed it resolves itself vey soon for you both.
All the best,
08 Jul 2009