The causes of constipation in babies

The causes of constipation in babies:

Constipation is one of the main causes of discomfort in babies and also a big cloud of anxiety for parents. To reduce the risk of this condition, read this article, and discover the causes.

If your baby is upset and crying, it may be constipated. In this article, we are going to take a look at the most common causes of constipation in babies, so that you can alleviate its discomfort.

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What is constipation in babies?

The fact that toddlers’ intestines are undeveloped is one of the main causes of constipation.

Constipation is a common problem in children and a common reason for parents to talk to a pediatrician, as up to 8% of all children are affected.

There is no clear definition of what constipation in babies includes, but as a rule of thumb  a baby is considered constipated when:

  • Its daily bowel movements are reduced. Some children poop 4-5 times a day while others do it once a day or even every other or every third day.
  • The baby has trouble pooping because the stool is too hard.
  • The baby experiences pain when it poops.
  • There is a change in the consistency of the stool. Generally, it comes out in small balls.
  • Your baby has gas and colic.

So what are the common causes of constipation in babies? After all, the problem can only be treated if you know what is causing it. Let’s take a look.

The causes of constipation in babies

It is important to note that most breastfed babies do not suffer from this condition. They usually poop several times a day and their stools are generally liquid or very soft.

The causes of constipation include:

  1. Milk substitute

Milk substitute Images

Some children are at higher risk of developing constipation in response to the proteins found in milk replacers. According to a study issued in the  Journal of Pediatrics:

“Children who ate artificial diets were 4.53 times more likely to develop constipation than infants who were mainly breastfed.”

Changing your baby’s diet to a milk replacer can also generate this discomfort, but some alternatives are suitable for mild constipation.

Talk to your doctor to choose a milk replacer that best suits your baby’s needs. In many cases, after all, you have to turn to milk substitutes rather than breast milk.

  1. Complimentary food

Another cause of constipation in babies is that they have started to supplement the diet of a breastfeeding baby. Adding new foods can cause constipation.

Remember that the first foods you should include in your baby’s diet are vegetables and fruits. Follow your pediatrician’s advice to prevent constipation and food allergies. We recommend you to read another article from which is about Learn which fruits are safe for babies.

  1. Weaning

Weaning children from diapers is a common cause of constipation. Having to use the toilet or potty can lead to stress,  and some children refuse completely. This in turn can lead to self-induced constipation by sticking.

  1. Dehydration is one of the causes of constipation in babies

When parents start supplementing their baby’s diet, they must also start giving their baby water. However, some do not want to drink, and reduced milk consumption can lead to dehydration.

If the baby does not get enough fluids, the stool may become harder,  making it harder to expel. Small wounds may even appear around the anus (watch out for blood when you dry).

  1. Medical problems

Here are some of the most serious causes of constipation in babies:

  • Botulism: This disease is caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and is potentially fatal. One of its symptoms is constipation.
  • Congenital hypothyroidism: The baby either has a thyroid gland that is not sufficiently developed, does not function properly, or does not exist at all.
  • Metabolic disorders: Some inherited diseases that involve some reduced mobility may be an indirect cause of constipation.
  • Food allergies: An allergy is the body’s exaggerated response to what it thinks is a seizure. Symptoms can include everything from hard stools to diarrhea.
  • Hirschsprung’s disease: It is a disease of the colon that makes it difficult to poop.

Four tips to relieve constipation in babies

If the child is upset or in pain, do not hesitate to take it to a pediatrician. There you can get the right recommendations to help it.

However, here are some tips you can use for preventive or treatment purposes:


Massaging the baby’s stomach can help improve bowel transit. Apply gentle but steady pressure to your baby’s tummy with the palms of your hands. Be very careful not to push too hard.

Encourage your child to exercise

If your baby knows how to crawl, let him do it. All types of movements will help improve bowel transit. You can even help it by moving your arms and legs up and down as if it were cycling.

Vegetables, fruits, and fiber

If you have started supplementing your baby’s diet with vegetables, fruits, and fiber,  while avoiding foods that can lead to dry stools, such as bananas and rice.

Make sure it drinks enough

How to make more breast milk?
Kids Rush Images

Make sure your baby drinks enough milk and water. Remember that the stool can otherwise be hard and difficult to get out.

The causes of constipation in babies vary greatly and can sometimes be difficult to detect. Do not hesitate to talk to a doctor to get the correct diagnosis and treatment.