How to Relieve Constipation in Babies

      How to Relieve Constipation in Babies

      Find out what’s normal—and what’s not—when it comes to baby bowel movements. Plus, discover tips for getting your irregular baby back on track with ways to relieve constipation in babies.

      Smart ways to help relieve your baby’s constipation.

      It’s not unusual for babies to experience irregular bowel movements. The key is to recognize when you need to act. Here are tips on how to relieve constipation in babies and to help you manage your baby’s unpredictable BMs in a safe and effective way. If you’re concerned about your baby’s stool pattern, be sure to check with his pediatrician for advice.

      Know what’s normal for baby’s bowel movements:

      • Breast-fed babies tend to have bowel movements daily (or even multiple times a day) until 3 to 6 weeks, when they might pass stools only once or twice a week.
      • While most formula-fed babies tend to have a BM at least once a day, having them less often is also normal.
      • It’s not necessarily how often your baby has a BM that’s the issue; as long as his stool is soft, he’s probably fine.
      • Infants have weak abdominal muscles, so it’s not uncommon to see them strain when they’re having a bowel movement. Straining alone doesn’t necessarily signal anything unusual.

      Watch for signs of constipation in your baby:

      • Your baby is crying or having an unusually tough time when having bowel movements
      • Your baby arches his back or squeezes their buttocks
      • Your baby’s poop is hard, like little pellets

      Ways to Relieve Occasional Constipation in Babies

      Try a formula that’s designed to promote comfortable stools. Sometimes simple diet changes can make all the difference. Ask your doctor if switching formulas could help. Enfamil® Reguline® has prebiotics to help promote good digestive health and comfortable poops and has all the same great nutrition as Enfamil regular formula.

      Help soften stools with food choice. If your baby is on solids, ask your doctor about trying pureed peas or prunes, and offering barley cereal instead of rice cereal.

      Find some comfort in movement. Try moving baby’s legs by gently pushing his knees toward his stomach one at a time. Movement can help ease bowel movements.

      She'd squint her eyes and then she would cry and we "You know, we noticed that color and form, and even smell of poop is important to monitoring her health. If I would have known about a formula like Reguline®, I would have switched earlier. And in the last few weeks, we've had more stools, and softer stools, and less gas.”
      Enfamil Reguline Mom

      Don’t attempt to manage constipation on your own. Never give a baby laxatives, suppositories, or enemas unless instructed by your doctor.

      Call your doctor if your baby:

      • Starts vomiting
      • Has abdominal pain
      • Shows loss of appetite
      • Bleeds from their rectum

      But remember, it’s not unusual for babies to have unpredictable bowel movements. In many cases, a few simple changes to their diet and an increase in their activity level can help your baby experience more regular BMs. Learn more about how to navigate what you find (or don’t find) in your little one’s diaper.