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17 month old with constipation, plz help!
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17 month old with constipation, plz help!

My son is 17 months old.  He has never had any issues with constipation.  He was nursed up until 1 year, then switched to cow's milk, which he has tolerated relatively well.  He also was such a good eater of fruits, veggies, etc. up until about 2.5 weeks ago.  

For the past 2.5 weeks he has had HORRIBLE constipation.  The first bout with it I had to assist him in getting rid of his stools and they were so big and hard I don't even think an adult could have passed them without trouble.  I was told to change his diet, less milk and more water.  Did that.  Then I was told just to push the fiber - but how do I do that with a kid who just plain refuses most food out of the blue?  How can I change a diet with a kid who just refuses to eat most healthy items?  

I had to start giving him laxative strips just so he would poop, but I don't want him to become dependent on them.  He cries whenever he poops.  Again, no issues with bowel movements until 2.5 weeks ago.  We saw a Dr. on the 24th and the Dr. felt he had a slight internal tear from the first large bowel movement and prescribed a cream that we apply twice daily to his rectum (internally).

My question, surely there are others whose 17 month olds have quit eating healthy and have constipation.  What do I do?  I have tried pushing all the right foods on him, but no luck.  Should I try mirlax?  Is that habit forming for the body?  Someone said Karo Syrup, but I read that only helps infants, not toddlers.  Please help, I am so frustrated with this.  Thanks!
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168006_tn?1241016561
I wish I had more information to offer, but my son had severe constipation as a newborn and after he passed the initial meconium, he did not poop on his own until about four months old.  I used glycerin suppositories to induce per the doctor's instructions, but the doc did say to not use them more than once every three days to help prevent dependency.  Eventually his system figured it out on its own.  I would not use miralax.  It's very strong.  
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148057_tn?1231430591
Thanks for the information.  I guess I just keep thinking that his system would figure it out again too!  Do you think it's normal that he just stopped eating "good" foods??  What about mineral oil?  Also, I forgot to mention that he WILL NOT drink juice, so that's out.  Only will drink milk and water!
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93532_tn?1349374050
No on the mineral oil. You have to keep pushing the healthier foods and the water.

Even a small glass of pear juice should help and it much more palatable than prune juice.

Hold the milk, push the water. Hold off on cheese.

Kids will not starve themselves in most cases. I fell into the trap of thinking my firs would not eat something, by the time my second came around I knew better. Now I have kids that inhale eggplant and spinach like it is going out of style. Of course neither will touch steak or chicken unless cloaked in something ;-)

Also try applesauce, that can be a great way to add some fiber in a great tasting and kid friendly way.
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168006_tn?1241016561
Well, water will help.  You may also try "disguising" some prune juice in his milk.  It typically doesn't take much prune juice to make a difference.  My son is a very picky eater, too, and it is very common in kids his age, so I wouldn't worry about that too much.  Will he still eat baby food?  If so, you can try giving him prunes, apples, pears, or veggies, and also use baby food to supplement his diet until he tries more things.  

A lot of people on this forum insist on the "healthy food or no food" method.  I tried this, and my son went several days without eating, before a friend of mine pointed out that all people grow up and eat many foods, and that the important thing is to OFFER a variety of healthy foods.  Eventually he will choose to eat them.  In the meantime, you can take steps to disguise healthy food in his diet.  I think that if you really consider it, you will probably find that he does eat all the major food groups.

I want to stress to only use suppositories if he is in discomfort or pain, and not because it makes you feel better.  His system does need to be challenged to digest on its own.  
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