Children deal with many issues as they grow, and one of the more painful ones is constipation. Constipation typically results in difficult to pass, painful, or infrequent stools. It is very common. In fact, according to research done by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it is one of the ten most frequent issues pediatricians deal with and accounts for 25% of referrals to pediatric gastroenterologists worldwide.
What We'll Cover
- Top Stool Softener Options of 2021
- Best Overall: Culturelle for Kids Probiotics for Regularity
- Best for Babies: Mommy’s Bliss Baby Constipation Ease
- Quickest Fix: Pedialax Liquid Glycerin Suppositories
- Most Natural: PottyWise Liquid Stool Softener for Kids
- Other Good Options to Try
Once you’ve identified that this is your child’s issue, there are many things you can do to treat it. From increasing fiber and fluid to trying various home remedies, the most effective and often necessary treatment is stool softeners for kids.
Top Stool Softener Options of 2021
Stool softeners, also called laxatives, add moisture to the stool to allow it to pass more easily. They are available in liquid, tablet, suppository, or enema options. It’s not always easy to know which stool softener is best for your child, but this list of the best stool softeners for kids will help you make your decision.
Best Overall: Culturelle for Kids Probiotics for Regularity
FROM THE #1 PEDIATRICIAN RECOMMENDED PROBIOTIC BRAND, Culturelle Kids Regularity Probiotic & Fiber Packets provide a safe, gentle and drug-free way to help restore regularity and keep kids’ digesti...
This product comes in individually-dosed powder packets that you can mix in water, juice, or food such as yogurt, so it’s easy for kids to take. However, this also means you need to stir well to avoid any problems with the product dissolving well. It is touted as more of an ongoing, long-term solution for kids that deal with constipation and isn’t an instant fix. It can be used by kids older than one year of age and works well for kids with autism, ADHD, and anxiety. It is drug and dairy-free, which many parents prefer. This stool softener for kids works by adding good bacteria to the intestines while also giving a gentle laxative boost.
Culturelle also makes one especially for babies to help with digestive support. Geared toward colic, gas, and general digestive issues, it can provide relief for constipation as well. It does take longer to work, just like the kids’ version, but can be a long-term option for chronic issues.
Best for Babies: Mommy’s Bliss Baby Constipation Ease
Gentle Herbal Liquid Supplement: Containing organic fennel and dandelion, our bestselling Constipation Ease formula is there for mothers with constipated babies in need of digestive health and regu...
Products that provide natural relief without added chemicals or drugs are becoming more popular, which is how this product ended up at the top of the list. It is vegan made using organic vegetable products. Because there is no alcohol or dyes, it’s gentle enough to use on babies. An added benefit is that it includes probiotics, so your baby is getting even more digestive support. The natural laxative effect can take up to 12 hours to take effect, so you still need to be patient. Mommy’s Bliss also makes gripe water, which is another popular option to help babies dealing with digestive issues, although not necessarily constipation.
Quickest Fix: Pedialax Liquid Glycerin Suppositories
Quick, gentle, and safe constipation relief that works in minutes
Designed for kids ages 2-5
Convenient, no-mess applicators
Works more quickly than traditional suppositories
Sodium free solution
If your child is in pain and needs the relief of a bowel movement sooner rather than later, suppositories are the way to go. While they may not be the most fun option among stool softeners for kids, they work with no lasting effects. With these suppositories, your child will see instant relief within minutes. It is recommended for ages 2-5 and works quickly. Some moms and other reviews say that it can be used on infants as well, but be sure to consult your doctor if using outside the recommended ages.
Most Natural: PottyWise Liquid Stool Softener for Kids
Quick Gentle Laxative for Kids: Stimulant-free & made using only natural herbs, our liquid laxative for children gently & quickly loosens & relaxes the bowels to relieve tummy cramping, painful dis...
This stimulant-free liquid option is made from natural herbs. If you need to have a stool softener free of sugar, preservatives, gluten, and additives, this is the laxative for you. It is gentle and relatively quick-acting and is considered safe for all ages. It relieves tummy cramping and discomfort while working, so kids feel better while they are waiting to have a bowel movement.
Other Good Options to Try
While they don’t top the list, these are also among the top trusted options of 2021 for kids’ laxatives.
Pedialax Saline Laxative Tablets
Oral laxative for kids for gentle relief from constipation
Promotes regularity with a gentle, easy-to-use formula
Provides quick relief in as little as 30 minutes
Delicious watermelon flavor
This laxative is quick-acting without being in suppository form. Although it comes in a few flavors, it doesn’t reportedly have the best taste. The taste may be manageable, though, since it gives relief without cramping and works within a few hours. It’s safe for toddlers and comes with no side effects. It has been shown to work when other methods don’t show improvement and can even help keep the bowels regular if used routinely.
Fletcher’s Laxative for Kids
GENTLE RELIEF FROM OCCASIONAL CONSTIPATION*: Fletcher's Laxative gently causes bowel movement in 6 to 12 hours.
MADE WITH NATURAL SENNA: Natural Senna provides gentle, effective relief from occasio...
Using natural plant ingredients, this product is gentle yet effective. Even adults have seen benefits from using it and might even remember it from when they were kids, as it’s been around for a long time. It offers a distinct root beer taste that may help some kids find it easier to take, but it does include some artificial ingredients. It is one of the faster-acting laxatives, as it can work in as little as six hours.
Wellements Organic Constipation Support
Move it or lose it... our herbal remedy is formulated with organic prune concentrate and organic chicory root fiber (a prebiotic) to promote regular bowel movements without the use of harsh laxativ...
This is another all-natural option for parents. Using organic prune concentrate and organic chicory root fiber, it promotes regular bowel movements without hard chemicals. It is safe for babies six months and older. There are some limits because it is organic and preservative-free; it must be kept in the fridge and thrown out four weeks after opening.
Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
Miralax is an all-ages powered laxative that can be used by kids. It is sugar, gluten, and preservative-free. It can be used daily and is useful for those that need ongoing relief. Kids may not even notice they are taking it, as it is a tasteless powder that easily mixes with food or drink. Miralax used to only be available by prescription, but it now over-the-counter. While there is still some research being done to determine if there are lasting effects on kids, it is still a go-to for pediatricians.
Now that you know what stool softeners for kids are available, you can be prepared for the next time your child deals with struggling to go.