Disponible En Espanol

Care at Home

  • NORMAL STOOLS: * Once children are on a regular diet, their stool pattern is like adults. The normal range is 3 per day to 1 every 2 days. * Kids who go every 3 days often drift into longer times. Then symptoms start. * Kids who go every 4 and 5 days almost always have pain with passage. They also have lots of straining.
  • DIET FOR INFANTS UNDER 1 YEAR OLD: * For infants over 1 month old only on breast milk or formula, add fruit juice. Give 1 ounce (30 ml) per month of age per day. Pear or apple juice are okay at any age. (Reason: Treating a symptom.) * For infants over 4 months old, also add baby foods with high fiber. Do this twice a day. Examples are peas, beans, apricots, prunes, peaches, pears, or plums. * If on finger foods, add cereals and small pieces of fresh fruit.
  • DIET FOR CHILDREN OVER 1 YEAR OLD: * Increase fruit juice (apple, pear, cherry, grape, prune). Note: Citrus fruit juices are not helpful. * Add fruits and vegetables high in fiber content. Examples are peas, beans, broccoli, bananas, apricots, peaches, pears, figs, prunes, or dates. Offer these foods 3 or more times per day. * Increase whole grain foods. Examples are bran flakes or muffins, graham crackers, and oatmeal. Brown rice and whole wheat bread are also helpful.  Popcorn can be used if over 4 years old. * Limit milk products (milk, ice cream, cheese, yogurt) to 3 servings per day.
  • STOP TOILET TRAINING:   * Put your child back in diapers or pull-ups for a short time. * Tell him that the poops won't hurt when they come out. * Praise him for passing poops into a diaper.   * Holding back stools is harmful. Use rewards to help your child give up this bad habit. * Avoid any pressure or punishment. Also, never force your child to sit on the potty against his will. Reason: It will cause a power struggle. * Treats and hugs always work better.
  • SITTING ON THE TOILET (IF TOILET TRAINED): * Set up a normal stool routine. * Have your child sit on the toilet for 10 minutes after meals. * This is especially important after breakfast.
  • WARM WATER FOR RECTAL PAIN: * Warmth helps many children relax the anus and release a stool. * For straining too long, have your child sit in warm water. * You can also put a warm wet cotton ball on the anus. Move it side to side to help relax the anus.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Constipation lasts more than 1 week after making changes to diet * Your child becomes worse 
  • FLEXED POSITION: * Help your baby by holding the knees against the chest. This is like squatting for your baby. This is the natural position for pushing out a stool. It's hard to have a stool lying down. * Gently pumping the lower stomach may also help.
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Constipation is common in children. * Most often, it's from a change in diet. It can also be caused by waiting too long to stool. * Passing a stool should be pleasant and free of pain. * Any child with pain during stool passage or lots of straining needs treatment. At the very least, they need changes in diet.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * Most often, changes in diet helps constipation. * After your child is better, be sure to keep him on high fiber foods. * Also, have your child sit on the toilet at the same time each day. * These tips will help to prevent the symptoms from coming back.


The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

If you think that your child is having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!

And when in doubt, call your child's doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.

The search for nearby emergency and urgent care facilities is based upon Google search parameters. You will get results based on how facilities manage their website information.

By using this website, you accept the information provided herein "AS IS." Neither publishers nor the providers of the information contained herein will have any liability to you arising out of your use of the information contained herein or make any expressed or implied warranty regarding the accuracy, content, completeness, reliability, or efficacy of the information contained within this website.