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. 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

MAL2244083 15 AUG 2022