The browser you are using is too old for our website. Please visit from Chrome and you will be able to browse normally.


      Constipation in babies

      Baby crying in bed 2

      Constipation in babies

      If you feel your little one is experiencing constipation, it is important to remember that it is  the consistency of a baby’s stool rather than the frequency that determines whether they actually have constipation or not.


      There is no need to be worried if your baby does not pass stools every day. Be reassured that it is perfectly normal for babies to go up to 3 days without having a bowel movement.

      You will be able to recognise if your baby has constipation because they will have small pellet-like poos in their nappy.

      Straining can be common in babies when they are trying to pass a stool and may not necessarily mean they have constipation; however, straining combined with crying can be a sign of constipation.

      What causes constipation?

      • Any changes in your baby’s diet can trigger constipation; this is because your baby’s little digestive system is immature and still developing and will be sensitive to new foods or a change of formula. Watch what they are eating and note if any particular food is causing problems.
      • Dehydration or poor fluid intake can be a cause of constipation in babies. Talk to your doctor or local health nurse if you are worried that your baby is not taking enough fluids.
      • If a baby’s feed is not prepared according to manufactures instructions and your baby’s bottles are too concentrated it can lead to constipation. Bottles should be made up in the following way: one level scoop of powder per 1 fl. oz. /30mls of water.

      How can I treat constipation?

      • Offer your baby bottles of cooled, previously boiled water twice a day between feeds.
      • If constipation persists babies that have already been introduced to solids can be offered very diluted fruit juice and fruit and vegetable purees. Well diluted fruit juice (1 part juice to 4-5 parts water) which can be offered to babies suffering from constipation should be pasteurised, unsweetened and diluted.
      • A gentle tummy massage, warm bath or moving your baby’s legs in a circular motion can be very soothing and can help your baby pass stools more comfortably.


      Important notice

      Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a varied, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breastmilk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. The social and financial implications of using an infant formula should be considered. Improper use of an infant formula or inappropriate foods or feeding methods may present a health hazard. If you use an infant formula, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully – failure to follow the instructions may make your baby ill. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health visitor for advice about feeding your baby.


      Brighter futures start here

      Discover more about infant development to help shape your baby's future

      Join now for free

      Brighter futures start here

      Discover more about infant development to help shape your baby's future

      Join now for free

      Your privacy is important to us and therefore we would like to explain how we use cookies on this website. With your consent, we will use cookies to measure and analyse how our website is used (analytical cookies), to tailor it to your interests (personalisation cookies), and to show you relevant advertising and information (targeting cookies) we think you will like. For more information please read the cookie statement.

      Privacy Settings

      You can choose your preferences anytime for cookies and tracking. For more information please read our cookie policy.

      • Strictly necessary

        They are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services (setting your privacy preferences, logging in, filling in forms, etc.). You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work.

      • Analytical cookies

        They allow us to count visits and traffic sources, to measure and improve the performance of our site. They show us which pages are the most and least popular and how visitors move around the site. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

      • Personalisation cookies

        They enable website’s enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by us or by third parties whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

      • Targeting cookies

        They may be set through our site by our advertising partners, to build a profile of your interests and to show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.