Objective: To define the bowel habits of healthy Australian children aged up to 2 years.
Methodology: One hundred and forty children were recruited in six age categories with a minimum of 20 children per category. Data on bowel habit was recorded by parents daily for 1 week.
Results: Stool frequency decreased with age. Ninety-five per cent of infants 0-14 days passed more than two stools per day compared with 21% at age 13-24 months. Breastfed infants passed more frequent and looser stools than children fed infant formula and solids and also showed a wider variation in frequency.
Conclusions: Mean stool frequency decreased with age as did the variation. This is a combined effect of age and feed type. These data can be used as a guide to the bowel habit of healthy Australian children.