Infrequent bowel movements don’t necessarily mean your baby’s constipated. However, straining until they’re red in the face may be a sign that they are.


Is my baby constipated?

Many people think that a baby not passing stools frequently in the day is a sign of constipation. However, it's not the frequency of bowel movements that matters, but the type.

A baby who strains to pass small, hard stools is constipated. While a baby who goes easily but not that often, isn't.

  • Infrequent bowel movements are not a sign of constipation
  • It’s rare for a breastfed baby to be constipated as breastmilk is easily digested,however, they may pass stool less frequently
  • Constipation can cause colic pains
  • Overfeeding/Underfeeding may lead to constipation, so make sure they get enough milk/food
  • Constipation can cause your baby to stop feeding
  • Some babies subconsciously try to stop making bowel movements because they hurt
  • Speak to your doctor if you’re worried about your baby’s health

3 things mums ask about constipation

  • 1

    What causes it?

    Constipation may be caused by a number of things, such as a change in diet, dehydration or a minor illness like a cold.

  • 2

    What can I do to help?

    A warm bath, moving your baby's legs in a cycling motion, or gently massaging their tummy in small clockwise circles can help relieve the symptoms. Only continue with the massage if your baby likes it.

  • 3

    Can diet help?

    Drinking cooled, boiled water can keep your baby properly hydrated and help to soften the stools. High-fibre foods like plums, figs and dates can help to get things moving too. Remember, not getting enough food or milk can lead to constipation.

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