Baby Constipation

Constipation in Babies: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

October 6, 2019


Being a new parent, there are lots of things you need to be monitoring about your baby to ensure that he/she grows without and complications. Among the things you should be observed include the smile, laugh, and chuckle as well as other unpleasant such as poop and urine.

There is nothing wrong with your baby pooping regularly. This simply means that he or she is taking in the right amount of food and disposing of the unnecessary. On the other hand, irregular or absent of poo can raise some concerns.

It may be constipation. But don’t panic, as this is a common problem in children.

A constipated child experiences hard and dry stools or irregular bowel movements. The most common causes of constipation in children include dietary changes and early toilet training. Constipation is never a major concern as are only temporary.

There are many ways to treat or prevent constipation in babies, both home remedies and doctor meeting. For home remedies for baby constipation, you can regularly feed your baby with food rich in fibers as well as vegetables and lots of fluids. You can also use laxatives to treat your baby’s constipation provided you have your doctor’s approval.

Causes of constipation in babies

Constipation is a phenomenon where stool or waste takes longer than usual to move through the digestive tract, making the stool or waste to becomes dry and hard. There are many factors that can lead to constipation in children.

  • Toilet training. Starting to train your baby how to use the toilet too soon may make him or her rebel and hold the stool in. Therefore, avoid engaging your baby in battles of wits when it comes to toilet training as a voluntary decision to refuse to have a bowel movement may become an involuntary practice that won’t go away easily.
  • Constipation may be caused by your child’s ignoring the urge to poop. This can be caused by many factors including the child’s refusal to take a break from playing or he or she is afraid of the toilet, especially if you have just started making him or her use the toilet.
  • Dietary changes. This is one of the most common causes of constipation in babies. As your child grows, you will be bound to change the diet to ensure he or she gets the best beneficial meal. However, while this is in good faith, the meal you change to may not have sufficient fiber or fluid.
  • Sometimes, it could be because of medication such as antidepressants or any other prescription medicines.
  • Changes in routine. This is quite evolutionary and can happen to adults too. Any change in routine can impact the bowel movement of your baby. Things like hot weather, travel, and stress can cause constipation in your child.
  • Cow milk. Your baby might be allergic to cow milk, thus too much of it or any other dairy products like cheese can result in constipation.
  • Medical conditions. In some rare cases, your child might be suffering from digestive or metabolic system complications called anatomic malformation.
  • Family history. It may also be a heredity thing or environmental factors.

Symptoms of constipation in babies

Check out for the following signs and symptoms for constipation in children:

  •  Hard and dry bowel movement that is hard to pass
  •  Three or fewer bowel movements in a week
  •  Abdominal pain
  •  Big stool that may block the toilet
  •  Pain during bowel movement
  •  Blood on a dry, hard stool
  •  Clay-like stool in your baby’s underpants or traces of liquid in the stool.
  •  Your child’s stomach becomes hard

Sometimes a child mat avoids passing bowel movement because maybe it hurts. But you should be able to notice this because your child will be restless and cross his or her legs, twisting his or her body, clenching on the buttocks, or making faces when trying to hold stool.

Constipation is something you can easily deal with, as there are numerous home remedies for baby constipation you can try.

When to see a doctor


Constipation with babies can sometimes get out of hand but on rare occasions. If that is the case, you may need to see a doctor, especially if it persists for more than 14 days, or is accompanied by:

  • Blood in stool
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Intestinal protrusion or rectal prolapse
  • Painful tears around the anus or fissures

The risk factors of constipation in babies

This condition is more likely for babies who:

  • Don’t eat enough fiber
  • Don’t drink enough water or drinks
  • Are sedentary
  • Have a family history of the condition
  • Take certain medications such as antidepressants
  • Have a medical condition that makes it painful to make a bowel movement.

Complications of constipation

Constipation in children is never serious condition, though may be uncomfortable. In rare instances, it may get serious and becomes chronic. If things turn to the worse, the complications may include the following:

  • It may lead to anal fissures – painful breaks in the anus skin
  • Stool withholding
  • Rectal prolapse – this is a condition that causes the rectum to come out of the anus.

Home remedies for baby constipation

It is not nice when your baby writhes in pain because of constipation. It is every parent’s nightmare. Thankfully, there are home remedies that you can use to cure the condition.

Easy home remedies for baby constipation

  • Avoid foods that cause constipation such as cheese, bananas, potatoes, pasta, and rice cereal, and start serving foods rich in fibers.
  • Start serving purees that are digestible easily, such as sweet potatoes and avocado purees.
  • Start serving your baby ‘P’ foods. These include prunes, pears, peaches, plums, and peas. These foods are known to aid the digestion process as well as relieve constipation.
  • If your baby is 9 months and above, consider adding some pinch of ground flaxseed in finger food or puree.
  • Give your baby a warm bath to facilitate digestion
  • The most important home remedy perhaps is to give you baby plenty of water during the day. The recommended amount is 2 to 4 ounces in the morning and evening.
  • Start gentling rubbing your baby’s tummy to allow things inside to move. If you don’t know how to perform this exercise, there is a lot of useful information online. Just search for baby tummy exercises.
  • Take the rectal temperature with a neat, well-lubricated thermometer when your baby is constipated. However, this method is not advisable as a regular constipation remedy.

Constipation is a very common condition in with babies, but that has not stopped many people to come up with myths surrounding it.

Here are some of the most common myths about constipation that you should shun away from.

  • Your baby should have “x” number of bowel movement each day. This is the most propagated myth about constipation in babies. But every child is different. Some may go four times a day, others three times, while some can even go three times a week. Either way, it still normal unless it is 3 times in two weeks.
  • Constipation creates toxins in the body of a baby. It is the belief of many that constipation can result in absorption of toxic substances by the body in the stool, thus causing diseases like asthma, arthritis, and colon cancer. The fat is, there is no any evidence that supports this myth.
  • The cure is just more fiber. While it is true that lack of fiber in food can lead to constipation, starting feeding your baby with fiber-rich food is not going to immediately relieve constipation. You need to add fiber gradually in your baby’s meals so that his or her body gets used to it.
  • Vacation causes constipation. Change of environment may lead to changes in your baby’s daily routine and diet. But you can avoid the implications of these by ensuring you have packed enough food that your baby always eats.
  • All fiber is the same. There are two major types of fiber, insoluble fiber, and soluble fiber. The insoluble fiber, as the name suggests, is not soluble in the fluid, and it helps pass stool through the intestines faster. The sources of insoluble fiber are cereal. The soluble fiber dissolves in water and is found in peas, beans as well as other plant foods.
  • Colon cleansing helps. Colon irrigation and enemas are perfect for removing body waste but are not the ideal solution for preventing constipation. Colon irrigation can damage the colon and as well as causing many other problems.
  • Laxative work instantly. This is not true as it depends on the type of laxative you are using.


Constipation is a very common condition in babies. In most cases, the best treatment is a change in diet as this may include lots of fluids. If that does not work, there are more you can do at home to treat the condition in babies, including tummy massage, warm bath, and taking a rectal temperature among many others.

If these don’t do the trick, consider taking your baby to a pediatrician. At the hospital, your baby may be put under rectal stimulation to produce bowel movements.

Constipation, while is common, can be a painful experience to your child. As a parent, don’t let your baby go through such as ordeal. There are many red flags you can look for if you suspect your baby is suffering from constipation. Studying the bowel movement will not give you a definite conclusion as sometimes babies can pass a bowel movement after every meal.

As you look for the signs and symptoms of constipation, the key thing is consistency. Every child is likely to pass speedy or pasty stools, but an only constipated child will pass stools resembling little clay balls.


Recent Posts

Need the fastest hosting?

Web Hosting

Related Posts

Car Seat Safety for Babies : Do’s and Don’ts

Car Seat Safety for Babies : Do’s and Don’ts

Infant car seats can significantly reduce the chances of a possibly fatal injury for young ones as well as for toddlers. Despite being a common device, many parents tend to use the baby car safety incorrectly

Tips for How to Travel with a Baby

Tips for How to Travel with a Baby

Babies usually love to travel and watch the world, meeting new people. There must be some tactics and tips for traveling with babies so that not only us but other people traveling with us might feel comfortable.



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Our Newsletter

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This