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How Often Should a Toddler Poop?

How often should a toddler poop?
ByMichael Lee, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center and pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center Dallas
Pediatrician
Updated
March 2, 2017
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When it comes to toddler poop, consistency counts much more than frequency. Some toddlers poop once a day, and that’s fine. Others poop every three days or so, while still others poop three or more times per day.

Instead of focusing on the number, take a look at the consistency. You want to see “a reasonable amount that’s reasonably soft and does not cause bleeding,” says Michael Lee, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. You don’t want to see very small, hard, ball-like stools that may or may not cause bleeding with defecation — those are signs of constipation. Very runny, frequent, watery poops are a sign of diarrhea.

If you do notice signs of constipation, try cutting back on the milk. Milk (and other dairy products) are often the chief culprit in toddler constipation. Substitute water or juice for some milk, and your toddler may soon find relief. If not, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

If your child has diarrhea, he probably has a stomach virus. Offer fluids frequently to prevent dehydration. Avoid sugary juices or sodas, though, as the sugar in the drinks can actually increase the number of stools. Water and milk are fine. If your child is up to it, he can also have small amounts of soft, bland foods such as crackers, rice and yogurt.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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