My son has recently started on solids, and he's getting constipated some times. I have some really good cures for constipation, but I'd like to just not have him be constipated to begin with. Any ideas?

We breastfeed still as much as we did before introducing solids, so hydration should not be the issue. He is eating well diluted rice cereal mostly with chickpeas or avocados, so fiber and water again, should not be the culprit. I've introduced small amounts relatively slowly, too, so speed should not be the factor. He loves food so much, and is so enthusiastic about it, I don't want to make this a negative experience for him, or me, frankly.

asked 29 Nov '09, 05:53

DarwinsMom's gravatar image

accept rate: 5%

+1 nice question

(29 Nov '09, 14:22) Emi

12next »

We had the same problem when we started introducing solid food to our daughter (now 9 months old). In her case, the main cause seems to have been that she was not drinking enough water. My wife continues to breastfeed her, just like you do, but since she learned how to drink from her cup, she is no longer constipated. Therefore hydration was the cause of the problem, even though we started out with only one solid meal per day, and breastfeeding all the other meals.

In order to help our child while she learned drinking (which took almost 3 months), we adjusted her diet:

  1. We are feeding home made mash of vegetables, so we are able to choose exactly what to feed her. If you rely on ready made food, this is more difficult.
  2. We only gave her food known to loosen up the digestion: Zucchini, pumpkin, green beans, lentils, pears, prune, parsnip, fennel, cauliflower and mango.
  3. Each mash was prepared by steaming the food for about 5 minutes, then mashing it in a mixer. We added a tea spoon of vegetable oil (there are special oils to use as supplement in baby food, take care no to use cold-pressed oil!)
  4. Each meal we took the time to give her water to drink, even though that was difficult (she liked more to play with her hands in the water, than to drink it).
  5. In the beginning, we also gave her additional water with a syringe into the mouth, which she accepted very well.
  6. Our paediatrician recommended adding half a tea spoon of lactose to each meal. At first we were very hesitant, because my wife is lactose intolerant. But the doctor explained why this is not a problem for the baby, and it really helped her a lot!

I realise that the addition of lactose will be highly controversial to many parents, but in our experience it was extremely helpful, so I will explain the reasoning of our paediatrician a little further:

Our daughter had no problem accepting mothers milk, which is very high in lactose. So she obviously has no lactose intolerance. The lactose sold as a food supplement is chemically very pure, and completely identical to the lactose in mothers milk. If your child has no problems with mothers milk, it will have no problem with small amounts of additional lactose.

The most common form of lactose intolerance presents itself during puberty, children before puberty generally have no problem processing lactose. What is often thought to be a lactose intolerance in children is more likely an intolerance to some of the proteins in the milk. As a general rule, if your baby has problems with one type of milk (be it mothers milk, formula, cow milk or some other variant) but not with another, it is a protein intolerance, since all types of milk contain lactose (even though in different amounts).


answered 29 Nov '09, 11:06

Bert's gravatar image

accept rate: 50%

+1 sharing your own experience so clearly and thoroughly. (I was not aware that lactose food supplement is completely identical to the lactose in mothers milk) –

(29 Nov '09, 15:34) Emi

Thank you for your response. The explanation of lactose intolerance was very helpful.

(29 Nov '09, 16:07) Tammy ♦♦

You're welcome - I found our doctor's explanations quite the eye opener, so I thought I'd share them.

(29 Nov '09, 16:20) Bert

What's the problem with cold-pressed oil? I was under the impression that cold-pressed oil is generally better (though I hadn't researched it with babies).

(29 Nov '09, 16:55) Kiesa ♦

I also had problems with constipation in my eldest and found the water helped. Great answer.

(29 Nov '09, 20:01) YMCbuzz

I was reluctant to hydrate with water, since my Public Health Nutritionist warned against it, but I'll go with that for now. Also, I'm going to switch from rice cereal to chick pea flour since (duh) Iron supplementation is pretty constipating. Hopefully this does the trick!

(30 Nov '09, 08:09) DarwinsMom

@Kiesa: The problem is that cold pressed oils are not pasteurised. Like all raw foods, they should be avoided for babies under 12 months (or under 10 months according to other sources, take your pick ;-)

(30 Nov '09, 12:14) Bert

@DarwinsMom: Which reason did your PHN give?

(30 Nov '09, 12:17) Bert

@Bert - To my knowledge, oils aren't ever pasteurized. Wikipedia has a list of "products that can be pasteurized", and oil's not on it, nor is any mention made in the article on cooking oil. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasteurization#Products_that_can_be_pasteurized

(30 Nov '09, 15:21) ceejayoz

@ceejayoz: Even though the process may not follow the exact definition of pasteurisation, non cold-pressed oils are heated when extracted from the plant matter. The heat kills most bacteria, which is the same effect a pasteurisation has.

(01 Dec '09, 16:06) Bert
showing 5 of 10 show 5 more comments

As in Bert's case, we found that keeping our baby well-hydrated really made a positive impact on the problem.

We also were told by our pediatrician to administer one teaspoonful of Lansoyl as required (which did help but was greasy on the way in and on the way out).

When the problem became very bad, I had to administer glycerine suppositories in order to stimulate my daughter's bowels.

I also remember reading this article on healthy alternatives for baby on the YummyMummyClub site, which mentioned massage helping with baby constipation, so maybe that's something you could try.

As with fever and dehydration, constipation is extremely dangerous in little ones, and you shouldn't let the problem get to a point at which the child's bowels become impacted, as their colon may rupture (in Diverticulitis cases), causing lifelong problems. Here is a great WebMD article on babies and constipation, which includes this section which may help:

When to Worry About Baby's Constipation

Contact your pediatrician if the infrequent, hard stools seem to be causing significant discomfort to your baby. But keep in mind that infrequent but soft, easy-to-pass BMs are not constipation and rarely require intervention.

Hope this helps! @YMCbuzz


answered 29 Nov '09, 20:15

YMCbuzz's gravatar image

accept rate: 12%

My naturopathic doctor gave us some powder probiotics to give to our boys to help aid their digestion and regulate their systems. We had issues with my one son having irregular bowel movements when he was only 3 months old and this seemed to help him alot. They get 1/8 teaspoon of powder a day, which I usually mix into their infant cereal, and they have not had any constipation issues at all and have several bowel movements a day at 10 months old.


answered 29 Nov '09, 16:33

Shannon%20B's gravatar image

Shannon B
accept rate: 9%

Shannon do you know what the powder is called?

(29 Nov '09, 16:49) Tammy ♦♦

Its a pediatric formula of "Probiotic 123" which is made by Pure Encapsulations.

(29 Nov '09, 20:20) Shannon B

We use Miralax which I've found at lots of places to include, Costco, Target, drug stores and even the grocery store: http://www.miralax.com/miralax/consumer/default.jsp

(01 Dec '09, 03:09) Sabrina



answered 13 May '15, 22:39

Bernert%20Chim's gravatar image

Bernert Chim
accept rate: 0%

Hi everyone, I'm so worry on my 5YO son right now. He complaining to me that he can't go for toilet to poo for few days and stomach is not feeling well but I had no idea to help him. I think he is facing constipation right now. So anyone can suggest me that what sort of remedies can prevent the issue. Thanks


answered 18 May '15, 06:17

JudeGan's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Hey Jude, i think you should try giving them those home remedy or chinese medicine, less chemical!!! This would help her to prevent constipation problem.


answered 19 May '15, 03:19

Apa%20Guna's gravatar image

Apa Guna
accept rate: 0%

I advise u all better dont simply try try all la.... bcos my LO went in hospital bcos all these traditional herbs remedies! my SIL la! simply ask my MIL give her try all these nonsense! I advise u all better seek proper medical advise 1st la before anything bad happen!


answered 20 May '15, 06:28

EbingChe's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I have the same problem, my neighbour shared that mamil help. So i decided to switch but once I switched to Mamil for a week, it really works! Because it contains no sugar and high DHA, no need to worry about that will have a hyper active kids! But, the pre-biotic in Mamil help to solve constipation problem!


answered 20 May '15, 08:14

Michelle%20Lee's gravatar image

Michelle Lee
accept rate: 0%

As what I knew, Mamil is one of constipation remedy. But I heard that it is quite expensive, not every family can afford it.


answered 21 May '15, 04:02

Jenny's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Jenny, actually you should understand that most of the mothers in this world will not really concern with the price because health is priceless. We would rather spend more money to help our children to stay healthy.


answered 21 May '15, 04:04

JudeGan's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

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Asked: 29 Nov '09, 05:53

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Last updated: 30 Nov '15, 15:43