7 Effective Ways on How to Make an Infant Poop When Constipated 

Do you know that switching your baby’s diet from breast milk to formula or solid foods can cause constipation?

Maybe you already know that. Perhaps you don’t.

But I’ll tell you what…

Dealing with a constipated child is one thing.

But knowing how to make an infant poop when constipated is a different ballgame altogether.

You see, sometimes you’re just a parent trying to provide the best care for your baby, but it’s difficult to tell what that even means.

Since you always have to walk on eggshells with every parenting step, you’re always on the lookout to avoid any misstep because we both know that even the slightest mistake could significantly affect your baby.

That said, CONSTIPATION is one of those moments in your child’s life where you must be extremely cautious because many complications could arise if it is not handled correctly.

That is precisely why, as a parent, knowing how to make an infant poop when constipated is a skill needed to ensure your baby’s safety and endure the demanding nature of infancy.

What Is Constipation

Constipation is a condition that makes bowel movement difficult – a dysfunction that renders bowel movements infrequent.

Such a condition makes poop challenging to pass.

It makes poop hard and dry.

And bowel movements don’t happen often.

For this reason, the baby will have difficulty passing out poop.

“When your baby is pooping regularly, it’s likely a sign that they’re taking in enough food and disposing of the rest.” Jennifer Shu, M.D, said, an Atlanta-based pediatrician and coauthor of Food Fights.

In other words, it is okay for parents to be worried in the absence of poop because this could be a cause for concern.

Babies often have three to four bowel movements daily, while young children typically have two to three per day.

Babies of 0 to 4 months poop on an average of three to four times a day, but when solid food is introduced, it reduces to one bowel movement per day.

Solid food changes the frequency, form, and color of the poop.

The point is that constipation in babies can be challenging, even for their parents, since it brings discomfort to an extent, causing the baby to cry when trying to poop.

During the first month of babies’ existence, they tend to have bowel movements about once a day. Afterward, they can go a few days or even a week between bowel movements.

Babies tend to strain, cry, and get red in the face when they have a bowel movement because of difficulty in passing out stools due to weak abdominal muscles.

If this happens, it doesn’t mean they are constipated. But you can consider applying some of the solutions mentioned in the next section of this guide to help your baby relieve the pains.

If your baby is formula-fed, pooping at least once in a couple of days should be expected, while breastfed babies do not stool much, which could be mistaken for constipation.

Some exclusively breastfed babies poop after every meal, but some have been known to hold out for a week or longer.

Both situations can be expected, as long as their bowel movements look healthy and your baby does not appear uncomfortable or in pain.’ Dr. Shu explained.

Not all parents understand how to deal with a constipated child; talk more about knowing how to make an infant poop when constipated.

But all that changes today.

Because in the next section of this guide, we’ll explore options for making an infant poop when constipated.

I must also mention that there are medical conditions that could cause constipation.

Medical conditions like congenital abnormalities of the intestinal tract, problems with the nervous system, endocrine issues, and many more can cause constipation in babies.

But we’ll talk more about that in the upcoming sections of this guide.

How To Make an Infant Poop When Constipated

Like I said earlier, knowing how to make an infant poop when constipated is not your regular DIY exercise—one must be careful while dealing with children under such conditions.

So, in this section, we’ll discuss six practical ways to make an infant poop when constipated.

Use of Vaseline

Gently rub Vaseline around the anus of the baby. The Vaseline serves as a lubricant, allowing for smooth passage of poop from the anus.


Mother massaging her baby.

A stomach massage can help your constipated baby poop. Gently place your hands on the belly or below the belly button and massage.

A foot massage can also help relieve your baby’s discomfort, which usually comes with constipation.


Mother doing exercises on her little baby

Exercise in adults can help to stimulate the bowels, but in the case of babies who are not yet walking or even crawling, you can exercise them by gently moving their legs.

Exercising your baby a little will help stimulate the baby’s bowel, thereby relieving constipation.

To do this, make them lie on their back while you move the legs gently in a way that mimics riding a bicycle.

Warm Water Bath

baby having a warm water bath

It helps to relax the anus and hence, enhances the removal of waste from the system of your baby.

Giving Water to Your Baby

Giving water to cute baby boy

Giving water to your baby can help make your baby poop easily when constipated. Many fruits and vegetables can equally help because of the high fiber content.

Apple Juice

Mother giving apple juice to her baby

As long as your baby is two months old and above, you could also give them a small amount of apple juice to help relieve constipation.

If the juice is too concentrated, consider diluting it with water to neutralize the components.

According to experts, the right amount of juice to start with is about 2-4 ounces.

In this case, giving fruit juice to babies shouldn’t be done without consulting a pediatrician.

Q-Tip (Cotton Buds)

Cotton buds paper stick in a cardboard box

Listen up. The Q-tip method is one of those methods you don’t want to do at your discretion.

It’s SUPER IMPORTANT that you talk to a doctor before using the Q-tip method on your baby because it could cause tears and fissures if not correctly done. That’ll be bad for your baby.

That’s said, let’s continue.

You could also stimulate the urge for your baby to poop by gently inserting a rectal thermometer or a Q-TIP coated in Vaseline or k-Y jelly.

“Q- tip stimulates the rectum. The stimulation engages a peristaltic reflex in the rectum that causes the colonic muscles to start pushing the poop out.” Thomas R. Jackson said.

“I won’t advise anyone to try this method because it could result in a serious injury. It is advisable to ask a doctor before trying out this method.” Dimita Britton, a mum, shared her experience after successfully using the method under a pediatrician’s direction.

“As for saying that this method can cause tears or fissures, so can very hard stool result to tears.

I watched my daughter cry so hard that her whole body would turn blood red at seven days old. She had her first tears from the pain of trying to defecate.

So yes, I did use a Q-tip and Vaseline to make it easier on her body. Before using a Q-tip, she would have a small amount of blood while trying to poop or shortly after.

The parent has to use a little common sense and if you’re not comfortable doing that, find a different way to ease their pain.”

Causes Of Constipation in Babies

One of the significant causes of constipation in babies is a change in diet.

Although other medical reasons can cause constipation, reasons include congenital abnormalities of the intestinal tract, problems with the nervous system, etc.

Change In Diet

When your baby’s diet routine changes, from breast milk to solid food, it could be the reason for constipation.

A breastfed baby is less likely than a formula baby to have constipation.

Babies Not Getting Enough Fiber

Constipation could be caused by a lack of fiber in your baby’s food. If you notice this, ensure to give your baby fiber-rich foods like whole grain cereal (this is a big part of your baby’s diet.), Oatmeal (it is one of the easiest ways to improve your baby’s diet), pears, and many more.

Congenital Abnormalities of The Intestinal Tract

This occurs when the organs of a fetus don’t develop while in the womb. This condition is severe and rare.

It can occur anywhere from the esophagus to the anus, and it mainly causes blockage of the digestive tracts.

One of the common abnormalities is ‘Hirschsprung’s disease.

Hirschsprung’s Disease

Typically, the large intestines rely on the nerves within the walls to contract and push foods to the anus, but when a baby has this abnormality, the nerves within the walls haven’t formed in a section of the large intestine.

As a result, it prevents the intestine from contracting normally, causing food to build up and blockages to form, leading to constipation.

Problems With The Nervous System

Nerve disease or a spinal cord injury can damage the nerve that helps control the lower part of the colon (it is a part that sends solid waste out of the system).

This disrupts the average ability to store and eliminate waste, leading to constipation in babies.

Most times, constipation in babies is not a result of health diseases but a lack of fiber in their diets.

Adding too much milk than required to their food, making it thick, could also cause constipation.

Signs Of A Constipated Baby

Here are some signs of a constipated baby;

  • The baby becomes fussy
  • Experiences difficulty in passing out stools or seeming uncomfortable.
  • Hard, dry stools/poops
  • Pain when having a bowel movement.
  • Belly pain and bloating: If you touch your baby’s stomach and notice your baby wince in pain, it could be a sign of constipation.
  • Change the poop, like the color, shape, or size.
  • Blood in their poop: The poop becomes hard, forcing them to struggle. This could cause an injury in their anus, resulting in blood.
  • Not pooping in a long time: The absence of poop in your baby for an extended period could be an obvious sign of constipation.

When To See A Doctor?

Pediatrician examining baby

It is common for babies to experience hard poop from time to time. If the baby seems too uncomfortable or in pain, it is advisable to visit a doctor.

But in some cases where constipation could result from medical reasons, there are signs you should look out for.

When you see these signs, it’s most likely a serious issue, and you should call the pediatrician as quickly as possible.

The signs include:

  • You should seek medical services when your baby’s constipation continues for days without stopping.
  • When your baby’s belly becomes bloated
  • Blood in their stools
  • When constipation develops into vomiting.

As I said, if you spot any of the above signs, call the pediatrician immediately and get directives on how to proceed with the situation.

Food/Fruits Choices for Babies with Constipation

  • Broccoli
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Apricots
  • Beans
  • Whole grains, like oatmeal or whole-grain bread
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Peaches

The lists above are fiber-rich foods that are very important in babies’ diets.

Foods That Are Plausible to Cause Constipation in Babies

They include;

  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • White bread
  • Formulas: Some formulas contain complex proteins leading to constipation and hardened poops.


The importance of knowing how to make an infant poop when constipated can’t be overemphasized—every parent or caregiver out there should know it.

Constipation in babies is discomforting, but it isn’t usually serious. However, if it gets chronic, it could result in complications like breaks in the skin around the anus.

And in situations where you’ve done most of the solutions mentioned earlier, and nothing seems to be working, please call your baby’s pediatrician for further guidance.


Good luck, and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have a question, you can also leave us a message.

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