Is Miralax Safe For Babies And Toddlers?


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When your baby doesn’t pass stool for days, you might try various remedies at home to relieve constipation. But sometimes, your baby may need medical intervention, and the doctor may prescribe a laxative such as MiraLAX.

But is MiraLAX safe for babies? Does it have any side effects? In this article, MomJunction tells you everything you need to know about MiraLAX and the correct dosage for your little one.

What Is MiraLAX?

MiraLAX is the brand name for the generic compound called polyethylene glycol 3350 (1). Polyethylene glycol has laxative properties and helps soften stool to relieve constipation.

MiraLAX is available in the form of a powder that is non-toxic, non-absorbed by the body, and is readily soluble in liquids, making it easily administrable to infants and toddlers (2).

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Is MiraLAX Safe For Infants?

Yes. Infants can have MiraLAX if the doctor prescribes it. It’s good not to give MiraLAX to an infant without the doctor’s consultation, as there are age restrictions about when to give the product to babies.

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When Can Babies Have MiraLAX?

MiraLAX should be given only to babies aged over 18 months (1.5-year-old) (3), although some doctors may consider it as a last option for babies aged 12 months or less.

Although some research notes that polyethylene glycol is safe even for younger infants (4), more research is needed to substantiate the safety of its use (5).

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Can You Give MiraLAX To Babies Without Prescription?

Yes, as long as it is not more than the recommended dosage. Polyethylene glycol is widely available over-the-counter. However, for the safety of your infant, you must always consult a doctor before giving it to your baby.

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What Is The Recommended Dosage Of MiraLAX For Babies?

The recommended dosage of MiraLAX depends on the baby’s age. See the table for dosage instructions (6):

Age Dosage
1 – 2 years 1/2 cap dissolved in 4oz (118ml) of water
2 – 3 years 1/2 cap dissolved in 4oz (118ml) of water
3+ years 1 cap dissolved in 8oz (236ml) of water

Note: 1-3 doses per day for two days is recommended for all age groups.

The bottle of MiraLAX comes with markings on the cap that let you measure the precise dosage. Only use the cap and do not use a spoon or other measuring cups.

Your baby’s pediatrician may prescribe a dosage different from the above, depending on the severity of constipation and the baby’s general health. Adhere to the doctor’s advice and prescription at all times.

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How To Give MiraLAX To A Baby?

Here is how you should administer MiraLAX to your baby:

  1. Dissolve the powder in water, not milk or baby food: Propylene glycol does not mix in well with milk. It may also not dissolve completely in baby food. So, it is best to use only clean drinking water to make a MiraLAX solution for the baby.
  1. Drink within 15 minutes: Make your baby drink the liquid in small sips, within 15 minutes of preparation. You can administer the medicine through a sippy cup, open cup or a spoon. If your baby is unable to have it through a cup or spoon, use a feeding syringe or a dropper.
  1. Discard any leftover liquid: If you prepared more medicine than needed, then discard it and avoid using it later.

At all times, stick to the prescribed dosage to prevent overdosing the baby.

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How Long Does It Take MiraLAX To Work In Babies?

It takes about 4-6 hours for MiraLAX to start showing effect. Constipation can be relieved within three days. In any case, do not give the medicine for more than seven days (7).

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What If The Baby Does Not Benefit From MiraLAX?

If your baby is not relieved of constipation from MiraLAX, then your doctor can extend the dosage for a few days. If MiraLAX does not work at all, then alternative medications could be suggested. Never increase the dosage or the duration of using MiraLAX without consulting the doctor. Also, avoid giving any other laxative to your baby without asking the doctor.

Excess or erratic use of this medicine can have adverse effects on the baby.

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Are There Side-effects Of MiraLAX On Babies?

Yes. The baby may display the following symptoms of MiraLAX allergy (8):

  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea, sometimes diarrhea with blood
  • Gas
  • Skin hives
  • Swelling of the face
  • Tingling in the mouth or throat
  • Trouble breathing

If you suspect your baby is having an allergic reaction to MiraLAX, then stop using the medicine and take the baby to the doctor immediately. Side-effects also disappear once you discontinue the medication, but you must still get your baby checked by the doctor.

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When Not To Give MiraLAX To The Baby?

Avoid giving the baby MiraLAX during the following conditions or situations:

  • If the baby is on another medication that could pose a risk of cross-reaction.
  • The baby suffers from gastrointestinal problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, Hirschsprung’s disease, etc.
  • The infant had recently undergone a gastrointestinal surgery for gastroesophageal reflux or pyloric stenosis.
  • The baby has a history of allergic reaction to other laxatives.

Your baby’s pediatrician ideally asks about the medical history of the infant before prescribing MiraLAX. Nevertheless, let the doctor know about any particular medical condition or allergies that the baby has before putting them on MiraLAX.

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Is MiraLAX Made From Natural Ingredients?

Polyethylene glycol is chemically-derived but is free of gluten, sugar, and preservatives, making it safe for infants.

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Can You Give Polyethylene Glycol With Electrolytes To The Baby?

Polyethylene glycol with electrolytes is used to empty bowels before conducting medical tests and procedures such as a colonoscopy (9). It is not meant for regular dosage to treat constipation in infants and toddlers.

MiraLAX can give your baby the much-needed relief from constipation, provided you adhere to the recommended dosage. Proper use of the medicine, as prescribed by the doctor, can ensure optimum efficacy without side-effects. Once MiraLAX does its work, the baby is going to feel a lot better with a regular and healthy bowel movement.

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Have you tried using MiraLAX for your baby? Tell us how it did or did not help, in the comments section.

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