Constipation occurs when stools become hard and are difficult to
pass. A child may cry because he or she is constipated. A crying episode
usually occurs while the child is trying to pass a stool and normally will stop
when the stool is passed.
Some parents are overly concerned about how often their child has a
bowel movement because they have been taught that a healthy child has a bowel
movement every day. This is not true. The frequency of bowel movements is not
as important as whether the child can pass stools easily. If your child's
stools are soft and pass easily, he or she is not constipated, even if it has
been a few days since the last bowel movement.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.