Struggling…

I know I have seen several posts about getting SB kids off Miralax. I took others’ advice and starting the transition to Molasses and Fish oil. It was working great for the first 10 days but now it seems like nothing is moving. She is 13 months old. I have been giving her 10ml of fish oil and 5ml of molasses with a probiotic every day. She usually gets the probiotic and molasses in 1/2 cup of yogurt. Any suggestions on what to do? Should we up the molasses? Should we add something else to the mix? I would really love this to work so I am at a loss right now.

26 comments

  • Hi Erin,

    Welcome to SBN! My daughter is 13 months too, born on 11/19/13.

    How long since your daughter’s last BM?

    And what are you feeding her other than yogurt? Is it cow yogurt or goat yogurt?

    I see you are still online. I have to reboot my machine due to a printer problem. But I’ll be back in a minute.

    TSpar

  • Funny! My daughters birthday is 11/18/13.

    It is just yoplait greek yogurt. She eats pretty much anything we put in front of her. Any suggestions of what to stay away from / include in her diet?

    I should mention we just transitioned her from breastmilk to whole milk. I was not making enough for her anymore and she needs the calcium / vitamin D boost as she has low tone and weak bones.

  • My daughter is 4 and uses senna and enemas (and very careful attention to diet and water). For us personally, I can see how the molasses and fish oil portion would help with the diet aspect but for my daughter a stimulant is needed as well. Although senna isn’t the most natural, it is more so than miralax and other alternatives. And it regularly moves the stool through the colon–it causes the colon to contract. For my daughter, we have actually been able to significantly decrease the senna dosage over time. But its so important to keep the colon clear so it doesn’t stretch out so I have always erred on the side of caution and then slowly decreased when I noticed her motility had improved. Welcome to the board!

  • I have wondered in Senna was a good option. Might be worth a try. We have been struggling with constipation since they put her on ditropan at 3 months. We had no issues until then. It is very frustrating to put her on a medicine to manage the side effects of another.

  • I totally understand your frustration. We are looking into starting bladder medication soon and I’m not looking forward to it–constipation being one of the aspects I am most dreading since we have made such progress with her bowels, On a positive note, she and I are both excited that she will be in underwear soon!

  • Oh, wow. That makes sense then. Cow’s milk was constipating to even my non-SB kids. Does the timing of the transition to cow’s milk correspond to the molasses/fish oils no longer working?

    I also had problems with breastmilk supply and eventually changed to a homemade goat milk formula, meaning store bought goat milk with added supplements, like molasses, probiotics, etc. This has worked wonders for my daughter. I am happy to share the recipe if you are interested.

    And yes you do have to be very careful about diet. I’m hoping MrsK can jump in on this one as I don’t have a full understanding of the diet principles. I just know to avoid rice and apples. My daughter has been primarily drinking her milk and eating sweet potatoes with some occasional beets and kale. I’ve been really hesitant to branch out much and she really just loves her sweet potatoes. She has a few small pieces of chicken breast on her tray now, but she is just playing with them.

    That is funny! I checked into the hospital on the 18th. Little did we know! Where do you live?

    Tina

  • I probably should have mentioned that goat’s milk is easier on baby’s digestion because it is somehow much more similar to human milk than cow’s milk (can’t remember the details). I also put a children’s multi in the goat milk, which includes calcium and D, btw.

  • I live in St. Louis, MO. Her constipation has been a real battle for a while. The transition didn’t seem to matter much. She was doing fine until we starting switching her away from Miralax. Maybe I transitioned her too fast. We just stopped the Miralax one day and started up the molasses /fish oil. It was working for about 10 days and then things have been difficult. I have had to give her a few suppositories and those seem to work for her. I do not want those to be a permanent option though.

    I might try the goat’s milk and see if that makes a difference. Can you pass that recipe on? My mother in law watches her every day as I work full-time so I will probably have to mix this for her on a daily basis.

  • Another gal on this board, Tracy, weaned her daughter off Miralax, Perhaps she might have more insight for you on that transition.

    I mix up a batch at a time, but I’m trying to make it simple for you. If you make enough for just one day, you are just going to follow the label for the daily dose on whatever brand of supplement you buy:

    1 Tbsp unsulphered blackstrap molasses
    1g d-Mannose powder (to prevent UTIs)
    1 daily dose emulsified fish oil/cod liver oil/omega oil
    1 daily dose infant probiotics (powder or liquid)
    1 daily dose children’s multi (liquid or powder, (I use Thorne Children’s Multi and take them out of the capsules))

  • Oh gosh! Just saw this and not in a good place tomorrow reply, but will follow up in the morning. I second the senna and the suppositories, at least for now.

    More to come. So glad you’ve joined us!

  • Hi and welcome to the board!

    My daughter became constipated 2 days after starting ditropan when she was 4 months old. She was entirely breastfed at that point. Ugh!! I hate side effects, but certainly want to keep her kidneys and bladder healthy and growing properly.

    She was on Miralax from 4-10 months old with so-so effects (probably because I hated giving it so never really gave the right dose). I learned about the molasses from Tina and decided to give it a try. I gradually weaned off the Miralax and onto the molasses/fish oil by decreasing the Miralax by 25% every few days and increasing the molasses by 25% every few days until she was on only the molasses/fish oil. It works really well….mostly. Sometimes she still needs a glycerin suppository, likely depending on what she has eaten (ie sweet potatoes are not constipating but oatmeal is for her – she is generally not a very good eater and just does not seem to care about food, but so was my first daughter at this age!).

    I still have Miralax on hand and will certainly use it if we are having trouble with constipation. Fortunately I have not had to give her any since 10 months old (she is 15 months now).

    Great that you mentioned about the switch in milk. This is something I never considered, even knowing that Tina has said goat’s milk is better than cow’s milk. Caroline is still breastfed from me and from a cup (I have a very large supply of expressed milk in the freezer, fortunately). I am sure we will have another battle when we have to switch milk away from breastmilk. Anyways, just throwing that out there since maybe the breastmilk is helping Caroline too.

    Hope this helps. Keep us posted!
    Tracy

  • Another thought – I recently got a new bottle of molasses and it did not seem to work as well as the previous bottle (even though both were organic blackstrap), so I switched back to the other brand. So – maybe try a different brand?

  • This does help. I am going to up her molasses to 1tsp and see if that makes a difference. She had a decent movement yesterday but it was harder than I like. So maybe giving her more will soften things up a bit. We will see. Thank you all for the help. I hope I can figure out the magic combination for her. I really do not want to use Miralax if at all possible.

  • Well I see I am very late to this party, but Tina asked me to chime in about foods so here is what I know.

    Breastmilk really does help, Tracy. So be aware at whatever point you switch/wean that you need to be on the look out for changes with Caroline.

    Grain/Bread:

    We steer mostly clear of all grains, especially rice. Oats can also be a constipating commodity. Once every couple of weeks, if we are having rice with dinner I give Z fewer than a dozen grains. Go easy on toast and cheerios and little toddler snacks where rice flour is the number one ingredient. They are EVERYWHERE, because normally they are very mild on little tummies, but theyare problematic for SB digestions.

    Fruits:
    Apples and bananas. Apples are super high in pectin and bananas (except for super ripe ones, which are fine) are super high in carbs. Both of those can lead to almost instant constipation. Apple juice is ok, but there are better choices (pear, grape) and really ripe bananas have tons of fiber, so they are ok, and can even be helpful. Ideally I wouldn’t use prepackaged foods with bananas. They are so easy to feed anyway. But the mixed fruits, even if they contain banana, I worry about less, and are a convenient treat sometimes.

    Veggies:

    Mostly these are fine, but anything that is high in starch should be given in moderation. So go easy on the potatoes and lima beans and such.

    FWIW I do think you switched too quickly. Most of our kids have a much slower digestive cycle. So what you or I might “process” in 24 – 36 hours may take our kids two or three days or more. Probably the first three of the days you were off Miralax you were still benefiting from it. All that means is you need to give things extra time to accommodate whatever changes you make. If you up her molasses dose it could still take 3 days or more for you to see the results. So don’t give up too quickly.

    Also I really strongly recommend only changing one thing at a time. I know it is tempting to “dive in” to a new routine. But, whether its kids or cars you are fixing, if you make several changes all at once there is no way to know which of those things is really helping. So… if you decide you want to increase her fish oil too, for example, I would wait until you’ve increased the molasses and given it a week or so to see how it is really going to work. That way you will be able to know what works best for her with a real certainty.

  • Oh PS – I don’t think orgainc matters over much. They use sulpher in molasses to preserve its shelf life. I do think the un-sulphered works better, and I prefer organic, but of the two un-sulphured, non-organic would be my choice over non-orgainic and sulphered.

    And watch those expiration dates!

  • I’m not sure why I never thought of that before, but it makes perfect sense that those still on breastmilk would need a much smaller dose than those without breastmilk!

  • I upped the molasses to 10ml last night and I will see if that makes a difference. I will have to make a few food adjustments as she loves bread, pasta and cheese. We try to keep it whole grain but that isn’t as easy as you would think. We already stay away from apples and bananas so that won’t be hard. We try to stay with pear and prune juice for her. She loves either so that isn’t hard. We do give her yogurt everyday as well as a probiotic. I am thinking we make a few adjustments and things will start moving again. Until then, I will have faith that there is a magic combination. Thank you all for your help.

  • Keep us posted. I’ll be excited to hear what combination works for you.

  • Erin,

    We have been having big discussions about bowels on another group over on Baby Center. We are trying to help some other moms wean off Miralax as well.

    I’m wondering how its going for you?

    Thanks,
    Tina

  • So…. We ended up back on the Miralax train again. In February, we thought she was malfunctioning again. After a battery of tests, it was determined that she was really backed up. We cleaned her out and have been doing fine with a daily dose of Miralax, fiber, and a probiotic. It has been a long road but that is where we are right now. We are planning to start a bowel management program at 3 years old but not right now. We are so focused on getting her mobile that one more things might be too much for this momma to handle. Thanks for checking in!

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