Constipation affects around 15% of infants in their first year of life.1 Diagnosing constipation can be difficult, as it requires a parent to assess what is considered normal for an infant’s stools and behavioural issues. Infant constipation can be very stressful to witness and manage as a parent. The challenge of diagnosing constipation surrounds what is considered normal. Symptoms can be as following:2
- Stomach cramps (pain that comes and goes)
- Infrequent stools
- Holding on behaviour to avoid painful poo
- Hard lumps of poo may be felt in the abdomen
- Hard lumpy poos
- Behavioural issues
Breastfed infants should continue with breastfeeding. If a baby is formula-fed, advise parents to look out for a nutritionally complete formula that’s specifically designed for the dietary management of constipation.
¹ Vandenplas Y et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2015;61(5):531-537.
2 The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Constipation. Available at: https://www.rch.org.au/clinicalguide/guideline_index/Constipation/ (accessed 16 March 2018).