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  1. #1
    TTC
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    Constipated 3 year old - please let me know what I can do for her

    I have a 3 yo daughter who is getting worse and worse about constipation. We definitely think she is trying to hold it in. She has often gone 3-4 days w/o making a BM and when she does, she cries and it is painful. We started giving mineral oil to her in her food at the suggestion of friends and our pediatrician - about 1 tsp a day. We were told that this makes for softer stool so that she won't be scared to go. Seemed to work for a while, but now the problem is back again. Last week, she had one big BM in the bathtub (we think the warm water relaxed her muscles and so she couldn't hold it - she freaked out and cried and was so upset). Then a day or so later, once she was kind of "flowing " again, she had a BM in the middle of the night - and woke up crying because she was scared, it was big, etc. I don't even think it's that painful for her, because the mineral oil does soften it- it's just that the whole process suddenly seems to terrify her.

    She is in daycare during the week, where they are trying to potty train the kids. I think this is probably causing some of her anxiety, although her fear of having a BM started even before daycare started w/ the training.

    Today is now the 6th day since her last BM. She did have a stomach bug (at least we think that's what it was - she got sick once on Sat. morning) so she didn't eat much the rest of Sat. Her appetite is down, and she told me yesterday "boo boo belly" because I am sure she must be in some pain.

    We have tried suppositories in the past, and they never seem to work for her. We tried a children's enema last night, which our pediatrician told me in the past I could try as sort of a last resort if it had been a long time. We were shocked when it didn't work. I think I got most of the liquid in, but she was hysterical the entire time, and cried for half an hour because she was so traumatized, and I wanted to cry when after putting her through all of that, it didn't work. Nothing came out. I am now terrified that it is all so impacted that it's going to take some serious intervention to get it out.

    I called the pediatrician again this morning and they said to really bump up the amount of mineral oil that she's getting in her food - to perhaps 2 tablespoons a day. But since her appetite has gone away, it's hard to even get her to eat anything the past couple of days. Last night she was just lying around and didn't want to do much, and same thing today. I feel terrible for her, and she normally is so lively and has so much energy.

    Longer term, I know we have an issue - we can't be going through this every week. But DH leaves for a business trip tomorrow and is gone for a week, so I need to have this resolved ASAP - I don't know how I'll deal w/ this when he is gone. She so hates the enemas, suppositories, etc. that I don't know how I'll handle it with just me - it takes 2 of us to get them into her.

    The pediatrician didn't have much other advice. They did say I could bring her by tomorrow if the mineral oil didn't work, and they could try something like Miralax, which I think is a laxative. However, I read on some website that Miralax could take 2-4 days to work??? Is there anything more immediate? Would it make sense to try another enema tonight? I hate to put her through it, but I don't want her to end up in the hospital over this.

    Sorry for the long winded email, but I am really starting to panic over this, especially leaving me to deal with this while he travels (and I have an infant at home w/ a horrible ear infection at the moment as well, so I have 2 children who are not doing well).

    Thanks in advance for any advice....


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  3. #2
    Dr. Pam
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    My experience is that Miralax works alot faster than that, usually in 6-12 hours.


  4. #3
    NJ-DawnCuba
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    We use Miralax to keep stool soft and easy to release. For us it does take at least 2 days to work when we first took ds to Dr, for the problem she had me give him one teaspoon dosage twice a day until he became regular then every other day once he became regular.
    Right before this we were desperate enough to give him babylax as he spend all night crying and saying, caca, caca. Just had to get it done and fast but I know it is a last resort.
    Dawn
    Blessed twice-
    DD born 5-02 from first IVF at 40 years old
    DS born 12.03 adopted former foster child.

    My mother is a travel agent for guilt trips.


  5. #4
    TwoQTs
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    Get the Miralax.

    Emily used Lactulose (similar) for several years. Exact same story. Now, when she needs it, if I give it to her that night before bed, she goes in the morning or before. It is very mild, not really a laxative & is very safe. No longterm effects & no dependency. Your dd's story is Emily's.. except Em was younger when she started on it. By age 4 (after 2 yrs use) she was able to go w/o it but still needs it from time to time. (Emily started at 4 tsps twice a day.. that's how bad she was. I've never seen such huge BMs in a kid.. WAY bigger than adult ones. I would obviously follow ped's instrcutions, but mine suggested 2 tsp to start then to go up to as many as 4 twice a day to get her regular. Then I was able to cut back to 2 at bedtime. Less than that & she was in trouble again. Just so you know.. it may work faster if you use 2 tsp instead of just one. One may be a good maintenance dose)
    Last edited by TwoQTs; 01-15-2008 at 02:31 PM.
    Kristin single mom to
    Emily & Alison Nov. 29/00
    June/03
    Daniel James, July 29th, 2004 stillborn at 32.5 weeks (cord accident)

    Walk softly and carry a big stick.


  6. #5
    annie-s
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    I also recommend Miralax.....

    Good Luck...poor baby
    Annie
    DD Abigail,9 years old!


  7. #6
    njmama
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    Potty training stopped up my DD, too, at about 3.
    She used Kondremul - it's behind the pharmacy counter, but not prescription.
    The gastroenterologist gave it to us - use a little bit, like 1/2 tsp at a time.
    It may take a day to work.
    What has worked really fast with us are those "Fiber One" tablets. She would go almost immediately after one of those.
    Have her chew one.
    njmama


  8. #7
    robin
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    100% grape jce, white or purple.
    ~Robin~
    DD through adoption-8
    DS through IVF-6
    DS though FET-1
    3 angels in heaven


  9. #8
    mmi
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    Get the miralax and also add fletchers castoria. It is a mild stimulant, find out walmart, for kids. It is rootbeer flavored and my kids took it well. I had problems with both my kids withholding, the one nearly ended up with encopresis... so great for you to know you need to do something about it. The pediatric GI was who put my daughter ont he fletchers, my peds did not like it... but she really needed it. We first gave her a teaspoon or so to get the big stuff out, then we gave her both the miralax and 1/2 teaspoon of fletchers daily(for nearly a year!). Also, we had to let my daughter call the shots, so she would only poop in a pullup... and that is what we would do. I hated it, but pushing her to go, only makes matters work. She is now 8 and has no problems, so there were no ill effects from the laxatives.
    3 years and 15 medicated cycles(clomid, injections, iui's, ivf's, fet, you name it) and 2 angels before finally getting princess 1 (1999)

    2 injection cycles for princess 2(2002)
    Truly miracles!

    "Life isn't measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."


  10. #9
    CathyNY
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    I don't know if this is too mild, but prune juice has worked for my son very well. He too had some problems with stoppages as he was working out the pooping-on-the-toilet thing.
    Cathy
    and Nicky, seven years old

    There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.
    --Beverly Sills


  11. #10
    MarieL
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    I agree with getting the Miralax. Marielle was on it all through treatment, as it can be dangerous for the kids to get constipated while on chemo. It's tasteless and odorless, you just add it to water, juice, whatever. No hassle on your end, no pain on your DD's end. Start with a full dose (capful) then go to half dose daily for a week or so. If she's regular then you can cut back to half dose every other day.
    Marie L, Mama to Marielle, 9 and Rico, 8
    Mom to cancer SURVIVOR!


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