Health Advice



Mayo Clinic Q and A: Constipation in children

Cynthia Weiss, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Parents often ask what a normal bowel movement should look like. A breastfed infant will have stool that can look more yellow and seedy. A formula-fed infant will have a peanut butter-consistency stool. As a child ages and solids are introduced, the stool can vary dependent on diet. As a child ages and becomes potty trained, a soft, formed banana-shaped stool each day is common.

Concern arises when bowel movements become hard or pelletlike, or they cause straining and discomfort. Talk with your daughter and ask her to share the specifics of her recent experiences.

Other common signs of constipation include:

•Abdominal bloating.

•Blood in the stool or underwear.

•Blood on the toilet paper, which can be due to straining.


•Changes in appetite.

•Frequent complaints of stomachache or abdominal discomfort.

•Painful bowel movements.

•Infrequent bowel movements (less than once a day).


swipe to next page
©2021 Mayo Clinic News Network. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.