How To Relieve Constipation In Babies?

What Is Constipation In Babies?

Constipation can affect adults and babies alike. However, it is not a common feature in infants or babies. So, identifying whether your baby has constipation or a problem with similar symptoms can get hard. The role of a pediatrician in such a case proves to be highly beneficial.

Since your child’s well-being remains your top priority, you need to understand the problem at hand. Babies that feed on breast milk absorb all the nutrients. They may not have a bowel movement as frequently as those babies that also have the formula. Therefore, deciphering the signs and symptoms may help you to figure out whether your baby has constipation or not.

Mainly, the signs of constipation in your baby include a firm belly, no hunger, blood in the stool, and infrequent bowel movement, among others. So, make sure that you relieve your baby of this problem before it becomes a permanent issue. Get in touch with the pediatrician once you see signs of constipation.

But, before you get in touch with the expert, you need to understand the signs, causes, and different treatment methods that can help your baby feel better in the comfort of your home. Today, you will learn all that you need to know about constipation in babies and its relief.

Signs Of Constipation In Babies

Constipation in babies remains uncommon. However, as a parent, you want to make sure everything is fine. Usually, your baby will pass soft stool. But it can be irregular. However, irregularity is not the only indicator of constipation. But, some signs may point towards constipation, which you will learn all about below. If you find most of these to hold, you can contact the pediatrician for further treatment.

Here are signs of constipation in babies may include:

  • Hard or pellet-like stool, soft and mushy or wide and large bowel movement
  • Straining too hard to pass stool that causes your baby to arch their back or cry
  • Liquid stool (like diarrhea) that remains inside and passes around the solid stool
  • Infrequent or less frequent bowel movements
  • Abdomen gets swollen with gas
  • Painful cramps that make your baby cry frequently

If you notice any of these signs, get in touch with your medical expert to make sure your baby remains and grows healthy.

What Causes Constipation In Babies?

More often than not, constipation in babies gets cured by natural methods. However, its cause can get hard to determine. You can find several factors to influence your baby’s bowel movement, whether regular or irregular. Therefore, the root cause can remain a mystery if there’s no clear sign of it.

Constipation in children may be caused by:

1. Infants have weak abdominal muscles and need to strain during bowel movements, weakening them further.

2. You will find that infant constipation often begins when the baby starts eating solid foods.

3. In some rare cases, a medical problem could cause lasting, grave constipation in your baby. Like, if the intestinal muscles do not work the way they should, or if there’s a blockage in the digestive tract, it could cause constipation.

4. Sometimes, lack of nerves or structural problems in the lower large intestine can cause constipation in babies.

Therefore, only an expert pediatrician can identify these causes and share the best possible treatment for your baby.

Foods That Cause Constipation In Babies

As you may know, what we eat has a direct impact on our health. Similarly, what you feed your baby does affect your baby’s overall health, including bowel movement. While breast milk remains the most nutritious diet for newborn babies, you will find some specific foods that may not have such a healthy undertone to them.

Here’s a list of foods that may cause constipation in babies when given in excess or even otherwise:

  • Rice cereal
  • Cow’s milk
  • Bananas
  • Low-fiber foods like white rice, white bread, and pasta
  • Dairy products like cheese and yogurt

These foods can induce constipation in babies and can cause intestinal-related issues in the future as well. Therefore, avoid feeding your babies an excess of any of these foods and increase fluid intake.

Foods To Eat To Avoid Constipation In Babies

Since you already know the list of foods that cause constipation in babies, it’s time you go through the list of foods that help relieve it. If your baby already has constipation, include the below-mentioned foods in their daily diet to provide relief from the condition and prevent it from recurring.

Here’s the list of foods to feed your baby to avoid constipation:

  • Prunes
  • Beans
  • Green Peas
  • Apricots
  • Pears
  • Oatmeal
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Whole Grain Bread
  • Berries

Avoid feeding your baby apples, potatoes, and carrots to prevent constipation. The foods mentioned above, along with fluid intakes, will help ease the pain, if any.

How To Prevent Constipation In Babies?

If your baby already suffers from constipation, you can nurse them back to good health by making a few changes in their diet and with the help of natural remedies. Usually, a proper diet will do the trick. However, if you find constipation becoming a recurring problem for your baby, you can make use of the below tips

Here are a few tips to prevent constipation in babies:

Add high-fiber foods to the diet if your baby’s begun eating solid foods. You can switch to barley instead of rice cereal. When you do start introducing fruits and vegetables, add high-fiber ones like prunes and peas.

Encourage bowel movement through different activities. You can pump your baby’s legs back and forth, as though riding a bicycle. You can also put them on their tummies along with some toys and allow them to squirm and reach.

Give your baby a massage on their tummy. You can place your hand just below their navel and gently massage the stomach in a circular motion for a minute or so.

Give your baby a warm bath as it can help their muscles relax and release stool.

These measures can prevent constipation from happening in the first place or its recurrence. Either way, you will find that it will help your baby a great deal.

How To Treat Constipation In Babies?

Mostly diet changes can help your baby with constipation. In rare cases, the pediatrician may prescribe medical therapy. However, some of the best ways to treat constipation in babies are to adopt a few at-home treatment measures that will save you a trip to the doctor and work wonders for your child’s overall health.

1. Give your baby strained foods if he or she is ready for fruits and vegetables.

2. You can add fruit juices to your baby’s daily diet. It could either be prune, pear, or cherry. If the stools become too loose, reduce the amount of juice.

3. Avoid rice cereal at every cost if your baby has constipation. Switch to oatmeal or barley cereal instead.

4. In the case when dietary methods do not work, your baby may need enemas, laxatives, or suppositories. However, avoid any over-the-counter medicines unless you run them by the doctor, and only when prescribed.

Remember not to give your baby medications at your whim as it can cause side effects that you might not think of earlier. Speak with their doctor before feeding them any foods or medicines.

Natural Remedies For Constipation In Babies

Going natural when it comes to treatment can garner better and long-term results. Therefore, if your baby has constipation, natural remedies will work in his or her favor as it can have lasting effects on your baby’s health.

Here are some of the natural remedies that you can adopt if you notice signs of constipation in babies:

1. Change up the milk – If you breastfeed your baby, adjust your diet, and avoid foods that may cause constipation in your baby. Although such a phenomenon is uncommon, risking it can get you nowhere. If your baby is bottle-fed, choose a different formula that avoids constipation.

2. Add solid foods to diet – High-fiber foods like peas, prunes, pear, broccoli, oats, whole-grain crackers and bran cereals help clear constipation for a proper bowel movement.

3. Use pureed foods – You can use the above foods in the pureed form to feed your baby if your baby hasn’t transitioned to solid food yet.

4. Increase fluids intake – Water, milk, and fruit juices will keep your baby hydrated and keep the bowel movement regular.

5. Massage your baby – Tummy and lower abdomen massages will help stimulate the bowels for stool to pass. You can massage your baby several times in the day.

If these dietary and lifestyle changes do not work, consult a pediatrician at the earliest. If your baby finds it unable to pass stool for days together, you must get them checked before it gets worse.

When To Call Doctor For Constipation?

If you find your baby showing any signs or symptoms of constipation, you should consult a doctor before trying any medications. In addition to that, if the natural remedies do not work, your baby has a fever or vomits, or has a hard, swollen belly, the pediatrician will need to examine for intestinal blockages.

So, call the doctor when nothing works and before giving your baby any laxative or suppository.

Top Baby Constipation Related FAQs

When it comes to caring for your baby, several questions arise, and it’s no different if your baby has constipation. So, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions related to constipation in babies.

1. Can lactose intolerance cause constipation in babies?
Milk and other fluids help clear constipation. However, if your baby is lactose intolerant, you can check with the doctor about different ways to make sure they get the nutrition they need.

2. Can cow’s milk cause constipation in babies?
Yes! There could be a chance that your baby may not adapt to the cow’s milk and get constipation in the process. So, avoid feeding your child cow’s milk to prevent its occurrence and recurrence.

3. Do bananas cause constipation in babies?
Bananas can cause constipation in babies, a reason why most parents are told not to feed their baby bananas, among other foods. You can instead feed your baby prunes or pear.

4. Can carrots cause constipation in babies?
Not unlike bananas, carrots, too, can cause constipation in babies. Therefore, avoid adding it to their food altogether. You can instead add high-fiber foods to your baby’s diet.

5. Can a mother’s diet cause constipation in a breastfed baby?
Although unlikely, there is a chance that the food a mother eats indirectly impacts the baby’s health. Therefore, you need to watch what you eat if you are breastfeeding your baby.


Overall, your baby needs the utmost care in the initial stages of growth. To avoid constipation, make dietary and lifestyle changes that leave a positive impact on your baby’s health.

Constipation in babies is uncommon. But, if accompanied by other issues like fever and vomiting, it requires immediate attention. Therefore, seek medical help if you feel your baby keeps showing signs of constipation or any other health-related problem.

Aims Healthcare makes sure that your baby receives proper treatment at the hands of highly qualified and certified medical professionals. So, if you seek our Doctor on Call service, you will find our doctors at your doorstep within minutes to attend to your baby’s health problem. We make the best healthcare professionals accessible and just one call away. So, to receive personalized medical care, comprehensive diagnosis, treatment, and after-care exclusively at your doorstep, get in touch at +971 505 136 505 or fill this form and one of our dedicated team members will contact you at the earliest.

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