Constipation In Babies: Best Tips To Quickly Relieve Your Struggling Baby

Are you looking for real ways to relieve constipation in babies?

A few days before I gave birth to my older baby, I remember lying down and thinking about how I will be changing soiled nappies in a few days’ time. 

I panicked.

Little did I know that I am also going to struggle with persistent constipation. Unfortunately, most moms experience the same thing at some point. 

I bet you are also struggling with it, or you are one step ahead and looking for ways to prevent constipation. 

I have been through mild constipation on a breastfed baby, constipation because of baby formula, and extreme constipation that needed medical intervention.

From all these experiences, I have learnt ways to really relieve constipation in babies before it gets serious.

I am going to share all of that with you.

You are going to discover simple ways to relieve baby constipation in newborns, breastfed babies, formula-fed babies, and babies on solids.

These are tips to follow to avoid baby constipation in the future so that you will never have to worry about your baby getting constipated ever again. 

Related

Why Giving Babies Water Could Do More Harm Than Good

12 Foods To Totally Avoid For Babies Under 1 Year

Crucial Dos And Don’ts For Introducing Solids To Your Baby

What Causes Constipation In Babies

Constipation is a common condition where a baby passes very hard and dry stools. A baby will take longer than usual to pass stools.

Common causes of constipation include

  • not drinking enough water
  • not eating enough high fiber foods
  • not passing stools when it is time to or ignoring the urge to pass stools.

Other causes are diet changes such as introducing solids to your baby, stressful events such as potty training, starting daycare, or traveling, too much cow’s milk or overly concentrated formula, and not being active enough.

How often should babies poop?

Well, all babies have unique bowel patterns. 

While one baby may have bowel movements daily the next one might have a bowel movement every two to three days. 

The key is knowing what is normal and what is not.

So if your baby passes stools every day and then all of a sudden you are on day three and you haven’t seen them poop, it’s time to look into it.

Signs of Constipation

So how do you know your baby is constipated?

Here are common signs of constipation in babies: 

  • Passing hard, dry stools (use the Bristol Chart to see if your baby’s stools are normal or not)
  • Difficulty in passing stools or pain and straining when passing stools
  • Abdominal pains bloating cramps
  • Blood on the stool or when wiping 
  • Not passing stools for a long time

How To Relieve Constipation In Babies Quickly

Although there are different ways to relieve constipation in babies, depending on whether they are breastfed, formula feeding, or already on solids, you will realize that they usually lead to two things, altering the baby’s diet and hydration. 

Let’s dig in.

Relieving Constipation In Newborns 

Whether your baby is a newborn or 2 months old, you do not really have the option to simply give them anything else besides milk. 

You may hear that you can give your baby water, but this is not necessarily safe. 

Only do so with the advice of a health professional after they have assessed your baby.

It is not advisable to give a baby younger than 6 months any water. 

I have dealt with constipation a lot of times and I have never given a baby water before they turned 6 months old. 

So there is a way to relieve baby constipation without having to resort to giving your baby water.

The following are tips to relieve constipation in breastfed and formula-fed babies.

Related: Why Giving Your Baby Water Could Do More Harm Than Good

How To Relieve Constipation In Breastfed Babies 

Breastfeeding a baby

Although it is not common for breastfed babies to get constipated, it does happen. 

Breast milk is a natural laxative on its own.

That is why it does not happen often that a baby on breast milk gets constipated. 

So if your baby does get constipated when you are breastfeeding exclusively try increasing the number of feeds per day.

If your baby doesn’t want to take the breast right maybe they are full or something, pump the breast milk and give it to them with a syringe.

It is also wise to make sure your baby does not have a cow’s milk allergy as this can also lead to constipation. 

This would mean you cannot and should not increase the number of feeds as you will just make the problem worse.

You will have to remove cow’s milk from your diet so that your baby does not get it from breast milk. Read this post on what to do if your baby has a cow’s milk allergy.

Another thing you can try is giving probiotics

Make sure that you speak to your doctor before giving your little one probiotics. 

I gave my 2 months old breastfed baby probiotics to help gas and to restore the gut after an episode of diarrhea. 

That is when I learned that probiotics help with regulating the stomach and help ensure that everything is working properly in there.

Relieving Constipation In Formula-Fed Babies 

Unlike breastfed babies, formula-fed babies are more prone to constipation. 

This is because formula milk is hard to break down compared to breast milk. 

Another reason is that sometimes parents don t prepare formula milk according to instructions. Sometimes they add more powder than recommended for a smaller amount of water. 

So if you are certain that you do prepare your baby’s formula correctly, speak to your health medical professional and they will be able to advise you on the type of formula your baby can drink for constipation. 

My bottle-fed baby got constipation around 2 or 3 months old. 

The doctor suggested that we give Novalac IT. This type of formula milk is specially made for babies who are constipated. It is not as thick as regular baby formula.

Related: How To Choose The Right Formula For Your Baby

How To Relieve Constipation In Babies Over 6 Months Old 

I find that relieving constipation in babies who are 6 months older is much easier than for babies who are younger and are limited in terms of what they can and cannot eat. 

I will share with you the best ways to relieve baby constipation for a baby who is on solids.

6 Month Old Baby Constipation Remedies

Here is how you can help your constipated baby if they are 6 months and older.

Give Your Baby Water

Water keeps your baby hydrated and helps the movement and breaking up of food inside the intestines. 

Warm water does an even better job. 

Give your baby warm water in the morning and throughout the day.

If you realize that your baby is struggling to poop, give them a sip of warm water (about 2 oz – 3 oz or 60ml – 90 ml) a few times during the day. Do not give your baby too much water as this can lead to serious complications.

If their constipation is mild, you will see that your little one will be able to poop on the same day after drinking water. 

Related: Why Giving Babies Water Could Do More Harm Than Good

Give High Fibre Foods

Preventing constipation in babies on solids

Eating high-fiber foods encourages regular bowel movement and prevents constipation. Adding more fiber to your baby’s diet will really soften those hard stools.

What Are The Best High Fiber foods To Help With Constipation In Babies?

Prunes are on the top of my list of foods to ease constipation. 

I usually puree them to make it easier for a baby to eat them. You can also give prune juice which is also very good in relieving constipation.

Other foods that have worked for me in preventing baby constipation are leafy green vegetables. 

Kale and Spinach are both good. 

If your little one does not enjoy them, making a puree mixing the vegetables and fruits does a great job of sneaking them into your baby’s diet. 

Other foods that are great for relieving constipation are: 

  • Pears
  • Plums 
  • Peaches
  • Oatmeal
  • Legumes 
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Green Peas

Foods To Avoid If Your Baby Is Constipated

The following foods are known to cause constipation in babies. Avoid giving them to your little one.

  • White foods such as rice, cereals, potatoes, bread.
  • Milk and milk-based products such as cheese and yogurt
  • Certain fruits like bananas

Altering your baby’s diet to add more high-fiber foods and water will definitely improve your baby’s constipation.

Related: Foods To Totally Avoid For Babies Under 1 Year

Give Your Baby Probiotics

Probiotics are good bacteria that balance the good and bad bacteria in the gut. They help with digesting food and keeping the digestive system healthy.

Basically, probiotics help the gut function well. If the gut is healthy there is less chance for a baby to be constipated.

First, speak to your doctor about giving your baby probiotics as they will assess your little one’s constipation. It has been reported that probiotics might not be suitable to help ease chronic constipation. 

You can give your baby probiotics in the form of supplements or give foods that are high in probiotics.

Examples are yogurt, soft cheeses, and buttermilk. 

More Remedies To Ease Constipation

Try these extra tips to help your baby:

  • Get your baby moving. Bicycle their legs, let them jump on your lap, etc.
  • Give your baby a massage 
  • Encourage regular toilet time if your baby is older

Constipation in babies is common but relieving your baby can be a struggle. Follow these tips and end your baby’s agony. Establish that your baby is indeed constipated then apply the relevant tips for your baby (breastfed, formula-fed, or older than 6 months).

Managing constipation is an ongoing process. 

You need to make sure your baby’s diet always includes high fiber foods and that you keep them hydrated. Otherwise, it will be a continuous cycle.

If your little one struggles with frequent episodes of constipation despite using the tips on this post, they might be suffering from chronic constipation. Your doctor will advise on a way forward as your baby may need suppositories or laxatives. 

Read Next:

Why Giving Babies Water Could Do More Harm Than Good

12 Foods To Totally Avoid For Babies Under 1 Year

Crucial Dos And Don’ts For Introducing Solids To Your Baby

9 Bottle-Feeding Safety Mistakes: How to Stop Making Them

Baby Food Allergies: Quick Guide for New Moms

The Best Way To Relieve Constipation In Babies
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