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Help your baby's constipation

Author Philippa Murphy

Help your baby's constipation

Constipation can be an awful experience for a newborn, causing great discomfort at times while worrying for parents. This article gives you a few options to help constipation naturally.


  • arching backwards
  • pedalling legs
  • unsettled sleep
  • heightened crying, or screaming
  • not wanting to feed, or bopping on and off the breast as they react to their discomfort
  • bloated tummy – often hard 



  • too many carbohydrates in a breastfeeding mother’s daily diet
  • changing a baby from breast milk to formula
  • introducing solids
  • not enough fluids, although this has to be significantly low for a baby
  • illness that causes constipation

Natural tendency

  • some newborns just have a harder time passing motions


  • some illness cause constipation so if your baby is having other symptoms like high temperature or vomiting, please consult with your doctor

Treatment for mild constipation

This is for newborns that haven’t had a bowel motion for a day.

  • a tummy massage – with some grapeseed oil on your hand massage your baby’s stomach in a clockwise direction
  • a warm bath can help 

Treatment for serious constipation

If your baby is having a hard time passing a bowel motion, hasn’t done so for three days or more and is in obvious distress then I advise you stimulate release by using these steps.

  • Within half-an-hour of a feed, when babies are often at their calmest, lay your baby down and take off their nappy.
  • Have someone at their head, gently holding their hands on their chest, so they feel secure, while talking and soothing them through this.
  • Gently hold their ankles and bend their legs so their knees touch their stomach.
  • Place some of your own saliva onto your finger to use for lubrication, and place your finger over the anus with a downward and slightly inward pressure.
  • You are not wanting to go into the anus however, as your baby pushes to release, the anus will open. At this stage you still keep the pressure on as it may take numerous times of them pushing against you to release.
  • If your baby doesn’t release after five to ten minutes of trying this method, I recommend you re-try after the next feed.

If you still have no joy then either see your doctor, or alternatively contact me.


Last Updated: 17 March 2016