Constipation (peds)

This page is for pediatric patients; for adult patients see constipation.


Clinical Features

Differential Diagnosis

Infant Constipation

Children (older than 1 year) Constipation

Pediatric Abdominal Pain

0–3 Months Old

3 mo–3 y old

3 y old–adolescence




Glycerin suppositories or rectal stimulation with a lubricated rectal thermometer can be used if there is very hard stool in rectum, but may cause irritation and develop tolerance.

  • Not yet begun solid foods
    • Sorbitol-containing juices (eg, apple, prune, or pear)
    • For infants four months and older, starting dose: 2-4 ounces of 100-percent fruit juice per day
    • Karo syrup, add 1 tsp to 4 oz cooled, boiled water; give 1 oz of solution to baby just before feeds twice a day until stool softens
  • Who have begun solid foods[1]
    • Sorbitol-containing fruit purees (e.g. pureed prunes).
    • Substitute multigrain or barley cereal for rice cereal

Toddlers and children

  • WITHOUT withholding behavior, bleeding, or anal fissure
    • Fiber: age + (5 to 10) grams daily
    • Adequate fluid intake: 32-64 ounces [960-1920 mL] per day
  • WITH withholding behavior, pain while defecating, rectal bleeding or anal fissure


  • Outpatient

See Also