Which Foods Cause Constipation In Babies?

Constipation is a big source of discomfort for babies and can be a difficult moment for parents too. Slow or infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stools often makes babies cranky. There are several attributions to constipation, including medical causes and foods, and as as regards this article, we are going to look into which foods cause constipation in babies.

Understanding which foods cause constipation in babies will empower you to take good care of your baby’s digestive health. This article will address the foods that may cause constipation in babies as well as foods that can help alleviate it.


What Usually Causes Constipation in Babies?

Occasional episodes of constipation is generally considered normal. However, being able to identify triggers and remedies will save your baby from the difficulties that come with this.

Diet and Fluid Intake

The most common cause of constipation in babies is an improper diet and fluid intake. When babies are born, they are breast fed exclusively and passing thick and infrequent stools are normal. As they grow older and get introduced to formula, fluid intake may become insufficient. This may be because of the transition to solids or a lack of consumption of adequate fluids.

Introduction of Solid Foods

At some point in their transition to toddler years, babies will start taking solid foods. Their body’s reaction to the new change could lead to constipation. Some solids like rice cereal, and banana can contribute to slower and less frequent bowel movements. This is why parents are advised to make the transition to solids a gradual process. Also, foods rich in fiber like, fruits and vegetables are better options at the beginning.

Lack of Physical Activity

Another thing that can contribute to constipation in babies is lack of physical activities. When babies spend most of their awake times sitting in a place or lying down, bowel movement may become infrequent. This is because movements helps with stimulation. Come up with activities and schedules for these activities. This can be playtime, tummy time, or just any kind of movement. This will ensure the baby’s digestive system gets stimulation and hence healthy bowel movements.

Medications and Medical Conditions

Some medications like certain antacids and iron supplements can lead to constipation in babies. If your baby is on medication while facing bowel movements trouble, you may want to see a pediatrician to confirm if it is contributing.

Also, some conditions like hypothyroidism can lead to constipation in infants. After trying out changes to diet and physical activity, ensure to consult a medical professional to be sure they are no underlying conditions.

Emotional and Behavioral Factors

Emotional health can affect physical health and this is true for babies. Issues like stress, anxiety, or routine changes can affect the frequency of your baby’s bowel movements. This is typical when they are starting new phases like resuming daycare, or changes in the family dynamic. Babies are quite sensitive so it is essential to maintain a calm environment of comfort. This will take away the stress and promote regular bowel movements.

Also Read: Home Remedies for Constipation in Babies


Which Foods Cause Constipation in Babies While Breastfeeding?

The natural source of nutrition for babies is breast milk. It provides them with all the needed nutrients for proper growth and development. Foods eaten by breastfeeding mothers could also cause constipation in their babies. Although every baby has a different reaction to foods available to the mother, some foods have been noted to give constipating effects.

Dairy products

Dairy products and Cow’s milk are commonly associated with constipation in babies. This is because dairy is difficult for babies to digest because of its high fat and protein content. Also, if the baby is lactose intolerant, these food sources can cause serious discomfort.

Processed foods

Most highly processed foods cannot meet the nutritional dietary fiber that the body needs. An insufficient amount of fiber in the diet can result in constipation. In addition, processed foods tend to contain additives and preservatives that may affect the digestive processes.

Cereals and grains

Cereals and grains can also cause constipation. This is because they are low in fiber and could possibly slow down the movement of bowels.


Bananas may be a common fruit choice but they also have the potential to cause constipation. The higher the amount of bananas consumed, the higher the risk of constipation.


Baby Foods That Help With Constipation

Dietary adjustments to your baby’s foods go a long way in relieving the condition. Foods high in fiber help to promote healthy bowel movements. Some of these foods are:


Prunes are considered laxatives. They are commonly recommended for the management of constipation in babies. Prunes owe their mild laxative effect to the sorbitol it contains. Puree or juice made from this fruit can be given to babies to help soften the stools.


This fruit is also known for its high fiber content and mild laxative properties. It can be served cooked or pureed to help prevent or resolve constipation.


Peaches are delicious and very rich in fiber. They help to soften stools and maintain regular bowel movements in babies. Peaches can be served pureed.


Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable and it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. It helps to prevent constipation by regulating bowel movements. Babies can be fed broccoli in a steamed or pureed form.

Also Read: How to use Vaseline to Treat Constipation in Babies


Which Foods Cause Constipation in Babies?

Asides the foods mentioned above, the abrupt introduction of solid foods can cause constipation. Solid foods should be introduced slowly and in little amounts. It should also not be given to infants too early as the digestive system is still developing and their systems may be unable to handle certain solids.

Also, fluid intake must be monitored especially after the introduction of solids. The body needs fluid to stay hydrated. Water should be introduced along with solids to balance things up.

Also, be open to learning your baby’s unique reactions to solids as no two babies are the same. What results in constipation for one baby may have no effect on another. Above all, seeking the consultation of a pediatrician or a healthcare professional will help you understand the situation better. You will also get all the guidance you need.


How To Relieve Constipation in Babies Quickly?

There are lots of safe ways to resolve constipation in babies within a short period. Here, we would be looking at ways to restore comfort and alleviate constipation in babies.

Increase Fluid Intake

Fluid helps a great deal. In fact it is the most effective way to resolve constipation in babies. Simply increase your baby’s fluid intake to ensure your baby is well-hydrated. You can offer breast milk, water or formula. If your baby is well-hydrated, stools would soften and it would become easier to pass.


Gentle massage in the abdomen area can offer stimulation for bowel movement. To do this, lay your baby on their back. Start massaging from the side and move in one direction making circles. As you continue applying pressure, your baby is likely to release gas and stool afterwards.

Tummy Time

Tummy Time is a good form of physical exercise that can stimulate the bowels. In addition, it helps the body to develop their muscles. Tummy time is a simple activity, place your baby on their tummy and leave them for some minutes before picking them up. Do this a couple of times daily.

Warm Bath

Warm baths are quick relieves from constipation even for adults. It helps in relaxing your abdominal muscles therefore stimulating bowel movements. You can gently massage your baby’s tummy during the bath. This may provide additional relief.

Bicycle Legs Exercise

Bicycle legs exercise involves laying your baby on your back and then slowly moving the legs. You have to move the legs in a circular pattern, like they are paddling on a bicycle. This stimulate bowel movement and induce the release of gas.

Dietary Adjustments for Breastfed Babies

If your baby is experiencing constipation despite being on exclusive breastfeeding, you may want to tweak your diet a little bit. You would want to avoid foods that cause constipation in babies while breastfeeding.

Fiber-Rich Foods for Older Babies

Older babies who no longer rely fully on breast milk can benefit from the introduction of foods rich in fiber. These foods include high fiber cereals, pears, peaches and more. They would help in regulating the movement of bowels.

Monitor Medication

If your baby is on medication, see a doctor to ensure the medication is not the actual cause of the constipation as constipation is a side effect for some medications. In that case, the doctor would prescribe alternative medications or advice on how to manage the situation.

Glycerin Suppositories or Pediatric Enemas

This is often the last resort and should only be used with the directive of your pediatrician. This is because incorrect use can lead to more serious complications.

Consult a Pediatrician

Pay attention to other issues your baby may be having along with constipation. If all the methods for relieving it fails, there may be an underlying condition. A consultation with a pediatrician will provide the right diagnosis and method to handle the situation.


Conclusion: Which Foods Cause Constipation In Babies

Constipation is a common problem in babies and this gives both the baby and the parents a hard time. Since food is common cause of constipation, avoiding foods that cause constipation in babies  while breastfeeding helps. Adding high fiber foods to the diet of older babies is also helpful. And, if you notice other symptoms accompany the constipation, see a professional as quickly as possible.