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
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.
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.
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.