Careful observation should help you tell whether your baby is constipated.

How to Tell if Your Newborn Is Constipated

by Kathryn Hatter

Even in a newborn, bowel patterns can vary from one baby to the next, making it a challenge to determine whether your baby’s elimination schedule (how often he poops) is appropriate. With careful observation of your newborn’s behavior and schedule, you should be able to figure out whether your baby is constipated. If you detect a problem, your pediatrician can provide recommendations for resolving any issues.

Pay attention to your newborn’s usual schedule. Some newborns -- particularly breastfed babies -- have several bowel movements each day. It’s also normal for a breastfed or formula-fed baby to pass stool only once a week if the child has a slower digestive system, according to Note your baby's typical schedule to discover a pattern.

Observe your newborn to determine whether she seems uncomfortable or in pain. You may notice that your baby strains when trying to go or has difficulty passing stools, which may result in crying and fussing.

Check the consistency of the stools your child passes. If the stools appear soft, your newborn is likely not constipated. However, if the stools appear firm or even hard, it’s possible that your newborn could be constipated.

Contact your pediatrician if you think your little one may be constipated. She can diagnose constipation and provide recommendations for easing your child’s symptoms.


  • If you feed your newborn formula, your pediatrician may recommend that you try a different type of formula. She may also recommend adding fruit juice to formula to ease constipation, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Constipation should not require you to stop breastfeeding your baby.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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