I have never in my life had poop be such a commonly talked about topic as now. Little Miss appears to have a milk sensitivity. She drinks both almond milk and soy milk, and we avoid cheese like the plague.
When she was 'diagnosed' (if you can call it that) she was 16 months. Ever since we'd switched her to whole milk at 1 yr, she had been having trouble with pooping. She'd go days and days without going, and then when she did, it was so painful. i tried twice to suggest to her doctor that I thought it might be milk. It all seemed to correspond. "Nope" I was told. Milk doesn't do that - she would have diarrhea.
But my mommy instincts kept telling me otherwise. The end of the road came the week I had to give my poor girl an enema. She had been struggling for days, bearing down, clenching her legs, screaming, then - no poop. Five min later it would happen again. Giving a 1 yr old an enema is terrible. Basically I straddled her on the floor and tortured her - but it worked, and worked well. When she did poop it was bigger than an adult sized poop. Poor kid screamed to the point of almost vomiting.
That day I swore off milk for her - and but for a few smaller incidents, she's had easier bowel movements since then. Every so often though, we have a flare up. All last week she seemed to be having difficulties, but then would pass a small BM. On Sunday afternoon, she woke from her nap screaming like she was in pain. She was in the process of passing a monster sized, solid poop. Over then next few hours, she had four more. All caused her to cry, probably because she was already so very sore. We have no clue what caused it this time. We haven't cut out all milk (such as when I am cooking) but now I am thinking of completely cutting everything. Hopefully she'll outgrow it as many kids do, but with my son also having milk problems at age 18, I suspect our life without milk will continue.
The bigger problem I foresee is that she is afraid to poop. Completely. Even when it's soft, she clenches her legs together tightly when she feels the need to poop. She has expressed an interest in potty training, and will pee on the potty but Will. Not. Poop. I can't say that I blame her but I do think that at some point she will have to learn. For now, we leave her be, because we don't want to increase the trauma...someday though, she'll have to poop in the potty!