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Here’s the ultimate guide to toddler constipation. Dive into everything you need to know, from signs and causes to effective home remedies and top foods, including easy recipes to relieve constipation.

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Toddler Constipation

Dealing with toddler constipation can be particularly challenging and overwhelming for parents. Toddlers, who are still developing their communication skills, often struggle to effectively express their discomfort.

As a result, they can become cranky, fussy, and visibly show pain, which can tug at a parent’s heartstrings.

But I hope knowing that constipation in young children is a common issue will provide some reassurance and strength. Also, most cases are temporary and can be managed effectively at home.

And if you have a baby, here’s how to manage infant constipation.

toddler pushing bowl away

Is your toddler becoming picky?

Arm yourself with these strategies that will transform your mealtimes!

How Often Should Toddlers poop?

It is important to note that there is a wide range of “normal” when it comes to bowel habits in children. Just like adults, some toddlers may poop multiple times a day, while others may go every other day.

Instead of focusing so much on how often your child is pooping, the consistency of the stool is what you want to pay attention to.

As long as the stool is soft, easy to pass, and your child is not displaying any discomfort or other concerning symptoms, typically there’s no need to worry.

But as always, consult with your child’s pediatrician if you have any concerns.

Signs of Toddler Constipation

  • Large, hard stools
  • Accompanied by lots of abdominal pain and even bleeding
  • Less frequent than their normal pattern
  • Cramping, swelling, or bloating in their abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Loss or appetite
  • Avoiding the toilet
  • Soiling between bowel movements

Top Causes

  • Diet – too much dairy, sweets, and processed foods and not enough fiber.
  • Low fluid intake
  • Lack of exercise
  • Holding it in – very common during potty training or they’re too preoccupied with what they’re doing at the moment
  • Trauma from a painful past painful bowel movement
  • Change in routine or environment – such as going on vacation or starting school
  • Illness
  • Medication

Home Remedies


As a pediatric registered dietitian, I always encourage focusing on food first. Incorporate more hydrating and high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Here are top high fiber foods for babies and toddlers.


Drinking plenty of water is crucial, especially when following a high-fiber diet. Otherwise, the lack of water can make constipation worse, as fiber draws water into the digestive tract to soften the stool and promote regular bowel movements.

Also, don’t forget about hydrating foods. Fresh fruits and vegetables like watermelon, oranges, cucumbers, and tomatoes, as well as watered-down fruit juices (e.g. prune juice or pear juice), soups and smoothies will help ensure they are taking in enough fluids.

And if your child is still drinking breast milk, that is another great way to boost hydration.


Encourage your child to move their bodies as much as possible. It doesn’t always have to involve traditional outdoor activities like riding a bike. Think outside the box and make it fun!

Host impromptu dance parties in the living room, create an indoor obstacle course using pillows and cushions.

Build into Routine

Encourage your child to sit on the for a few minutes at the same time each day, preferably after eating. This can help establish a regular bowel movement pattern.

How much Fiber Do Toddlers Need?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends adding 5 to your child’s age. For example, a 3 year old would need about 8 grams of fiber each day.

This translates to about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day as well as fiber-rich foods.

Top Foods for a Constipated Toddler

Recipes to Help with Constipation

For smoothies, I recommend using water or fruit juice instead of milk, which doesn’t have any fiber. Although some non-dairy milk do contain fiber, like almond milk.

Two glasses of fiber smoothie.
5 from 6 votes

Fiber Shake

This creamy and delicious fiber shake or smoothie is made with high-fiber ingredients, like raspberries, oats, and chia seeds
View Recipe
A plate with pureed, mashed, flattened blueberries and blueberry spread toast.
5 from 1 vote

Blueberry Puree for Babies

Here's everything you need to know when it comes to serving blueberries to your baby, including when and how to introduce them safely as well as healthy recipes that are suitable for 6 months and up.
View Recipe
Pureed, mashed, whole, thinly sliced, and quartered strawberries on a white plate.
5 from 5 votes

Strawberry Puree

Learn how to safely prepare and serve strawberries to your baby as early as 6 months! You can puree, offer as a finger food for baby led weaning, or add to recipes.
View Recipe
Four ways to serve peach to babies.
5 from 5 votes

Peach Puree

Learn how to safely prepare and serve peach to babies as early as 6 months! You can puree or offer as a finger food for baby led weaning.
View Recipe
Pear hummus in a baby bowl and pear hummus on toast and cooked broccoli.
5 from 1 vote

Pear Hummus for Babies and Kids

Here's how to safely prepare and serve pear to babies 6 months and up! You can puree or offer as a finger food for baby led weaning.
View Recipe
An overhead shot of fun shaped mango popsicles on a plate.
5 from 8 votes

Mango Popsicles

These mango popsicles are naturally sweetened and made with just two ingredients! They are creamy, delicious, and perfect for a hot summer day or any time of the year!
View Recipe
Strawberry sorbet being scooped inside a container.
5 from 10 votes

Strawberry Sorbet

This strawberry sorbet is a perfect summer treat, refreshingly smooth and creamy. With just 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep, it’s so quick and easy to make!
View Recipe
Overhead shot of two mango puddings in glass containers.
5 from 1 vote

Coconut Mango Pudding

You need just 3 ingredients to make this creamy coconut mango pudding! It is velvety smooth with each spoonful bursting with sweet and luscious mango flavor.
View Recipe
A close up overhead shot of chocolate pudding in a glass bowl with three raspberries.
5 from 23 votes

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

A close up overhead shot of chocolate pudding in a glass bowl with three raspberries.
View Recipe
An overhead shot of juice.
5 from 2 votes

Strawberry Juice

This fresh strawberry juice is made with just 2 ingredients! It's a vibrant and nutrient-packed drink that is sure to quench your thirst and satisfy your sweet tooth.
View Recipe
Peach smoothie in a glass jar.
5 from 3 votes

Peach Banana Smoothie

Creamy and perfectly sweet, this 5-minute, high-protein peach banana smoothie is the perfect breakfast or snack for the whole family!
View Recipe
Smoothie in glass cup with mangoes and broccoli in the background.
5 from 2 votes

Broccoli Smoothie

This easy broccoli smoothie is the perfect breakfast or snack and is delicious, creamy, and healthy! It's made with simple ingredients, and no, you can't taste the broccoli.
View Recipe
Stacked bliss balls with a bite taken out of one on the top.
5 from 4 votes

Bliss Balls

These bliss balls are so easy to make and with simple ingredients and no added sugar. Loaded with protein, healthy fats, and fiber, they are the perfect make-ahead snack for toddlers, kids and adults.
View Recipe
Baked cookie with a bite taken out of it.
4.99 from 84 votes

Peanut Butter Chickpea Cookies

Made without flour and sugar, these peanut butter chickpea cookies are so easy to make with just 5 ingredients.
View Recipe
An overhead shot of chickpea dough with chocolate chips.
4.91 from 10 votes
This delicious chickpea cookie dough is loaded with the goodness of chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and dates. It is a creamy and wholesome treat that will leave you feeling nourished and satisfied.
View Recipe
three sweet potato cookies for babies stacked on a wooden board
4.99 from 69 votes

Healthy Sweet Potato Cookies

These super moist sweet potato cakes made with just 5 simple ingredients, including chickpeas, oats, and chia seeds, are perfect for babies and toddlers.
View Recipe
A close up shot of scooped banana chia pudding in a glass bowl.
5 from 9 votes

Banana Chia Pudding

4 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time are all you need to make this banana chia pudding. It's the perfect make-ahead breakfast or snack that's packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats!
View Recipe
beet hummus in a white bowl with hemp seeds and cilantro sprinkled on the left side
5 from 13 votes

Beet Hummus for Babies

Made with just 5 ingredients, this nut-free beet hummus is great for spoon feeding or baby led weaning.
View Recipe
close up shot of broccoli hummus in a white bowl with drizzle of oil.
5 from 5 votes

Broccoli Hummus Dip

If your child won't eat broccoli or you've been looking for different ways to serve it, give this hummus a try! It's also a great way to pack in a lot of nutrition for babies and kids.
View Recipe
beetroot muffins on a wire rack with a spoonful of peanut butter, chickpeas in a bowl, and uncooked beetroot
4.95 from 113 votes

Healthy Beet Muffins for Babies

Made entirely with healthy ingredients, like beans, peanut butter, and no added sugar, these beet muffins can be enjoyed as breakfast, snack, or added to lunchboxes!
View Recipe
a toddler's hand dunking the chickpea patty in pizza hummus
4.98 from 44 votes

Chickpea Patties (gluten free)

These flavorful chickpea patties with quinoa are easy to make with simple pantry staples. Shape them into patties or even nuggets.
View Recipe

What foods should be Avoided for Constipated Toddlers?

  • Highly processed and packaged foods, such as chips, crackers, cookies, and fast food
  • Foods made with refined grains – such as white bread, white rice, and regular pasta
  • Dairy products – while dairy can be a part of a balanced diet, excessive consumption of dairy products like cow’s milk and cheese can sometimes lead to constipation. Although probiotic-containing products, like yogurt or kefir may be helpful.
  • Unripe bananas – ripe bananas are ok!

What about laxatives and Miralax for toddler constipation?

In more severe cases of constipation that are not easily resolved through dietary changes or home remedies, some doctors may consider prescribing laxatives.

They will determine the most appropriate type of laxative and provide instructions o dosage and duration.

Regular communication with the doctor i essential to monitor the child’s progress, ensure the effectiveness of the treatment, and address any concerns or potential side effects that my arise.

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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