Constipation in babies
Constipation in babies is very common, affecting up to 40% of infants11 and there are many possible causes. But sometimes there is no obvious reason.
Common causes include:
- Changing from breast milk to a milk substitute (infant formula) or cow’s milk12
- Introducing processed foods3
- Fever, diarrhea and vomiting can reduce hydration levels. This can increase the risk of constipation12
Spotting the symptoms of constipation. Things to look out for include:
- A lack of energy3
- Being irritable, angry or unhappy3
- Decreased appetite11
These symptoms may disappear immediately after having a bowel movement.11
In much rarer cases, constipation may be caused by a medical condition.3
Remember, it’s not unusual for a breastfed baby to go a week without having a bowel movement.3 And constipation is common if you’re changing to formula or cow’s milk.12
3. NHS. Constipation. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/. Accessed 12 Nov 2019.
11. Tabbers MM, DiLorenzo C, Berger MY et al. Evaluation and Treatment of Functional Constipation in Infants and Children: Evidence-Based Recommendations From ESPGHAN and NASPGHAN. JPGN. 2014;58: 258-74.
12. Leung AK, Chan P, Cho H. Constipation in Children. Am Fam Physician 1996;54(2): 611-8