How can I help my constipated baby?

My baby is constipated. What can I do to help him?


To properly answer this question, I would need your answers to more questions. How old is your baby? Is he breastfed? How do you define constipation?

The North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition defines constipation as “a delay or difficulty in defecation, present for two or more weeks, sufficient to cause significant distress to the patient.” While often suspected by parents, constipation is seldom a problem for babies who are not yet on solid foods. Constipation is particularly rare for exclusively breastfed babies.

As with all issues regarding your baby’s health, consult his caregiver with your concerns.

For babies around three to four months of age, the usual recommendation is to offer extra drinks of plain water. If the baby continues to have uncomfortably hard stools, then fruit juice (apple, prune or pear) diluted with an equal amount of water is suggested once or twice a day.

For older babies who have started solid foods, try:

  • Adding more water to the baby’s diet
  • Decreasing constipating foods (rice cereal, bananas).

Do not use rectal stimulation, glycerin suppositories or any other treatment without your baby’s caregiver’s advice. Overriding your baby’s natural bowel rhythms can create further problems.

For more information, please read What's the best Way to Cure Constipation in a Child?.

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