Infant Constipation Remedies

Constipation in breastfed infants

Looking for infant constipation remedies?

Parents who worry about their babies sometimes wonder if they are pooping enough. Constipation is rare among breast-fed babies. It is more common in babies who are fed with formula or infants who have started to eat solid foods.

Because breast milk is almost totally digested, there is little left to move through the digestive tract. According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Children’s Health, infants who are still exclusively breast fed may go as long as seven days without a bowel movement.

Some infants have a slower but completely normal gut, which is why they don't go as often.

Moreover, according to Nationwide Children's Hospital, a baby must be given time to set its own schedule for having a bowel movement. Therefore, though an infant’s bowel movements may be irregular it does not necessarily mean that the baby is constipated.


How is the baby doing?

David L. Hill says, "For constipation concerns I always come back to the question of how the baby is doing. If your baby is well, not having pain and is not vomiting, then long periods between bowel movements should not be a concern.

However, if there is a big change in your baby's normal bowel pattern with fewer bowel movements, it is time to look for other clues of baby constipation.  

  • Does he spit up more than usual?

  • Has his frequency of bowel movements noticeably increased or decreased?

  • Does he have hard, dry stools, or are you seeing any bloody stool?

  • Do you see him straining for 10 minutes or more without passing stool?

  • If your baby shows these signs, 

If your little one seems to be in pain or has repeated bouts of constipation, please tell your doctor. If there should happen to be a problem, early detection might prove very helpful.

Infant constipation remedies

  • If your baby hasn't yet started on solids, you can try adding 1 or 2 ounces of apple, pear or prune juice to the diet.

  • If a baby’s stools are dry and hard, valuable trace minerals.

    This mineral supplement is designed for daily use, and is not a habit forming laxative.

  • If your baby has recently made a change from breast milk or formula to cow's milk, that might be the problem. In pasteurized cow's milk, the enzymes needed for digestion have been killed, making the milk proteins harder to digest.  This can lead to constipation in both children and adults.

If your baby is eating solids, check out these baby constipation remedies.

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