As a parent, your child’s health and well-being are always on your mind – and that includes their pooping habits.

At some point, you may notice your child hasn’t had a bowel movement lately, and you might even notice some signs of discomfort. Is your child constipated? How can you tell? And how do you help your constipated baby, toddler or school-age child?

Constipation is common among kids of all ages. About 30% of children experience constipation at some point, accounting for up to 5% of all children’s doctor visits, according to pediatrician Brian Cress. But how it’s identified and treated depends on your child’s age and diet, among other things.

We recently discussed constipation in children with Dr. Cress on the For Health’s Sake podcast. He explained some of the causes of constipation in kids, as well as symptoms and treatments for different ages. Some of the topics covered include:

  • What constipation is
  • How many bowel movements per day is considered normal for babies, toddlers and school-age children
  • Types of constipation
  • Signs of constipation in babies, toddlers and bigger kids, and possible causes
  • How to treat constipation in kids
  • Potty training tips
  • What’s considered normal pooping for babies, toddlers and school-age children

Get things moving again

If you think your child is constipated, call your child’s doctor or clinic’s nurse line. You’ll likely get tips on home remedies for constipation.

If your child doesn’t respond to at-home treatments, Dr. Cress recommends making an appointment with your child’s doctor. The doctor will talk with you about your child’s symptoms and past treatments, do a physical exam, and work with you to create a treatment plan. If needed, your doctor can refer you to a gastroenterologist who specializes in digestive health issues.

Make a primary care appointment for your child

If you’ve already seen your child’s primary doctor, you can make an appointment with a gastroenterologist directly.