Few things are more daunting for a parent than trying to comfort their child when they’re uncomfortable, especially if it’s the middle of the night and you’re both exhausted. But if you’re dealing with constipation in your infant or toddler, fear not! Here’s a helpful guide to understanding why babies can be constipated, what signs to look out for to know if your baby has the problem, and five simple tips from pediatricians that can provide quick relief.

My baby is constipated: What are the possible reasons?

Constipation in babies is a common problem and can be very concerning for parents. It is important to know the causes in order to be able to remedy them appropriately. Here are some possible reasons for your baby’s constipation:

Diet is one of the main causes of constipation in babies. Changing from breast milk or formula to cow’s milk, or solid food, can cause changes in stool consistency and stool frequency in babies.

Dehydration can make stools harder and harder to pass. Make sure your baby is sufficiently hydrated by regularly offering water or milk.

Inadequate intake of dietary fiber can cause constipation in children. Make sure your baby’s diet contains enough fibre, especially when introducing solid foods. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are good sources of fibre.

  • Food intolerance :

Some babies can be intolerant to certain foods, which can lead to digestive problems, including constipation. Dairy products, for example, can cause constipation in some children.

  • Changes in routine:

Changes in the daily routine, such as a new sleeping pattern, a trip or a move, can affect your baby’s digestive system and cause temporary constipation.

Certain medications, especially those containing iron, can cause constipation in babies. Consult a pediatrician to discuss options and possible alternatives.

In some cases, constipation can be linked to more serious medical problems, such as electrolyte imbalance, hypothyroidism, or anatomical abnormalities. It is important to see a doctor if your baby’s constipation persists despite home treatments.

Here are some key indicators that show your baby may be constipated.

Hard and dry stools:

If your baby has hard, dry, hard-to-pass stools, that’s a sure sign of constipation. These stools can be small and pebble-like or, in some cases, can be larger and harder.

Stool frequency:

A constipated baby may not have a bowel movement for several days, which is unusual for him. Newborns, especially breastfed babies, can normally have a bowel movement several times a day, while older babies may have a bowel movement once a day or every other day. If your baby’s stool frequency drops dramatically, it may be a sign of constipation.

Bloating and abdominal pain:

A constipated baby may have abdominal pain or a hard, swollen belly. He may be irritable and squirm due to discomfort. In some cases, you may be able to feel hard lumps in your baby’s abdomen, indicating the presence of compacted stool.

Traces of blood in the diaper:

If you notice traces of blood in your baby’s diaper when he poops, it could be a sign that constipation is causing painful anal fissures or hemorrhoids.


In more severe cases, a constipated baby may vomit due to the pain and discomfort caused by the buildup of stool in the bowel.

You just noticed your baby is constipated, here’s what you should do.

It is important to take steps to help ease his discomfort and facilitate bowel movement. Here are some tips recommended by a pediatrician to achieve this:


Make sure your baby is sufficiently hydrated. For infants who are still exclusively breastfed or formula fed, there is no need to add additional water. However, if your baby has already started to diversify his diet, giving him a small amount of water can help ease bowel movement.

Gentle belly massage:

A gentle belly massage can help relieve constipation. Place your hand on your baby’s tummy, just below their navel, and gently massage in a clockwise direction. This movement can help encourage bowel movement.

Leg movements:

To help stimulate bowel movement, you can place your baby on their back and gently hold their legs. Next, move your legs in a pedaling motion, alternating legs smoothly. This movement can help relieve constipation by putting pressure on the intestines.

Warm bath:

A lukewarm bath can help relax your baby’s muscles and promote bowel movement. Make sure the bath water is at a comfortable temperature and let your baby relax in the bath for a few minutes.

Appropriate diet:

For babies who have started to diversify their diet, it is important to give them foods rich in fiber and fruit purees such as prunes, pears or apricots which have natural laxative properties. This can contribute to a better evacuation of the stools

Consult a pediatrician:

If constipation persists despite these tips, it is important to consult a pediatrician to assess the situation and determine if it is necessary to take medical measures. In some cases, a pediatrician may recommend the use of a laxative appropriate for your baby’s age or other treatments to help relieve constipation.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.