What should we do when the baby is constipated?

Constipation is not a disease but a common symptom in children with obvious manifestations through a decrease in the number of normal bowel movements, difficulty and pain when defecating due to solid or too large stools.

There are two causes of constipation in children

Caused by physical damage to the gastrointestinal tract, this rare type usually accounts for only 5% of the causes of constipation, which are birth defects: Enlarged colon (Hirschsprung's disease), hypothyroidism (Myxoedeme disease) when suffering from these diseases, babies often suffer from constipation very soon after birth. 


In addition, due to acquired causes such as: children with anal fissures, hemorrhoids, so children have painful bowel movements, causing anal spasms. It may be due to a mistake in the diet, or the child has decreased intestinal tone due to some diseases such as rickets, malnutrition, anemia ... or due to the use of antibiotics to reduce cough with codeine. In older children, they are also affected by mental factors such as refraining from defecation due to fear of dirt, fear of rot or fear of defecation. At preschool age, children are afraid of teachers, so they do not dare to ask permission to defecate and do not practice the habit of going outside on time.


When a child is constipated, depending on the cause, there are appropriate treatments. Children need to eat enough daily, give them lots of green vegetables and fruits. If children drink milk with constipation, they should dilute milk a little more than usual or use porridge cooked with vegetables, mixed with milk for children from 5 months and up. Give your child more fruit and vegetable juices 3-4 times a day.

For nursing mothers, it is necessary to treat constipation for the mother: eat a lot of vegetables, drink a lot of water. It is possible to influence the outside by rubbing the baby's abdomen along the colonic frame from right to left 3-4 times a day at the interval between 2 meals to stimulate and increase bowel movements. Practice for children to defecate at the prescribed time, choose a time when the child is not in a hurry, usually choose after a meal because at this time the bowel movement increases, so avoid forcing the child to sit on the potty or sit on the toilet for too long.

When treatment with diet does not go away, it is advisable to use pharmaceuticals such as drugs and enemas as directed by the doctor such as giving children Paraffin oil in the morning, medicines containing magnesium sulfate which have a laxative effect. colon, or drugs containing live bacteria in the form of freeze-dried such as: Biolac microbial nuggets; EnteroGo probiotics, BioThymolus,... help balance the intestinal microflora.

Cases in which children must be taken to the hospital

  • Constipation lasts more than a week, changing diet without effect.
  • Constipation after a baby has just been born, abdominal distension.
  • Constipation affects health: poor appetite, weight loss, malnutrition, accompanied by vomiting.

Source: National Nutrition Institute