Bowel habits of healthy Australian children aged 0-2 years

J Paediatr Child Health. 1996 Dec;32(6):504-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1996.tb00963.x.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Defecation / physiology*
  • Diet
  • Digestive System Physiological Phenomena
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology
  • Habits*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Reference Values