Can Milk Powder Cause Constipation In Newborns And Infants?

Can Milk Powder Cause Constipation In Newborns And Infants

Infants eat, sleep, cry, and play. These are some activities every infant does until he gets mature. A newborn might poop 4-12 times a day. A baby’s bowel movements get reduce to 2-3 times after a few weeks.

Pooping is quite an important activity for every child. It is an indication of a health issue if your child is not pooping at least twice a day. Some parents don’t pay attention and it eventually troubles the infant.

Formula milk-fed babies have at least 1 bowel movement a day. The pooping frequency majorly depends on your child’s age. Health issues like constipation can affect that frequency and cause so much discomfort. Some parents think milk powder is better. They believe if the baby drinking milk powder for constipation, he will be fine.

Things are not that simple! Continue reading to learn more about constipation in babies and how to treat it.

What Are the Symptoms of Constipation in Babies?

The following symptoms indicate that an infant is suffering from constipation:

Fussy behavior

Healthy babies look pretty calm. They look pretty happy when the tummy is full. You can see the child and say he is healthy. Constipation severely affects a baby’s mood and behavior. He won’t look calm at all!

The child becomes quite fussy and cries a lot. It indicates something is wrong with the baby. Mothers try to feed the baby, but he doesn’t show interest in feeding. Parents should immediately take the child to the doctor if it happens several times a day!

Spitting frequently

Babies spit milk when they consume excess air with milk. It is normal if the infant spits a few times after feeding. Suppose a child is spitting more often than normal, it can be due to constipation. Check other signs to diagnose the issue and treat it in time.

Hard dry stools

Infants usually discharge smooth and soft stool. That stool turns drier and harder when the child is suffering from constipation. You should confirm if this sign comes with other signs of constipation in infants.

Painful bowel movements

Even adults experience pain due to constipation. The problem is not any different for newborns and infants. The hard stool can be tough to pass out. Consequently, babies experience a lot of pain. They cry a lot when having bowel movements. It is a sign that your child needs immediate treatment.  

Reduced bowel movements

Children with constipation have quite difficulty passing stools. Consequently, they do not pass stool as frequently as they do when they are healthy. Besides, babies with constipation pass wide and large stools.

There might be blood on the stool and it’s a sign that your child needs quick treatment. If the child is having less than 3 bowel movements a week, it’s a concerning situation. Parents must take the child to a pediatrician and provide the proper treatment to cure this painful health condition.

What Causes Constipation In Infants?

It isn’t always constipation responsible for the child’s reduced bowel movements. As mentioned earlier, babies may absorb all the milk they consume. Your child may discharge a very small amount of stool or not at all.

It is constipation if the child seems uncomfortable. The following things might be responsible for this troubling problem in babies.

Solid foods

Babies can consume complementary meals after 6 months of age. That doesn’t mean you should feed him solid food. Your child should consume mushy foods, baby formula, smoothies, juice, and breast milk. Solid food chunks are quite tough for a child to digest. Babies should consume only fiber-rich mushy foods. It’s ideal to strengthen their digestive system.


Breast milk is the best source of liquid for all newborn babies. This nutrient-rich food provides everything an infant needs, along with the water! However, some babies experience dehydration even if the mother breastfeeds exclusively.

An infant’s body starts absorbing more water from the bowels in such conditions. As a result, poop hardens and causes constipation problem in infants. The doctor may suggest feeding lukewarm water in small quantities to hydrate the child and cure constipation.

Parents should not start feeding water to a newborn child without consulting with the doctor. Feed it only when the pediatrician suggests!

Baby formulas

Formula milk may contain protein component, which is infamous for causing digestive system-related health issues in babies. You should always use a brand that suits your child. Do not change formula milk brands quite often because it can affect his health.

Suppose the chosen formula milk is causing such troubles, switch to a milk powder brand that doesn’t contain palm oil. Thus, it will be quite easy to pick a healthy alternative to breast milk when your child is 6 months old.

Hormonal imbalance

Some babies suffer from constipation because of the imbalanced release of some hormones in their body. This particular problem causes various symptoms in infants, kids, and adults. Constipation is one of those symptoms, along with fatigue, slow growth, dry skin, etc.

It is not easy to assess that constipation is caused by hormonal changes or something else. There are some home remedies to cure this health issue. However, you should first take the child to the doctor.

Let the doctor assess your child’s health condition and provide proper medication. Try home remedies only if the doctor recommends.

Do Babies Have A Few Normal Stools While Suffering From Constipation?

Baby drinking milk powder for constipation or not, this disease can affect the child. Some babies can absorb all the milk they consume because it is quite nutritious. A very little amount of milk is left in the digestive tract. Therefore, some babies poop less often than others.

The slow digestive system also reduces the bowel movement frequency in babies. Hard stools may occur time and again, but the child will not experience pain. If the child is crying while pooping, it is time to contact the doctor.

A child may have normal poop once in a while when he is suffering from constipation. That doesn’t mean you should stop feeding medications. Follow the doctor’s suggestions to treat this problem quickly.

Does Milk Powder Cause Constipation In Babies?

Babies suffer from constipation when there are insoluble substances in the stool. Breast milk is quite easy to absorb. Therefore, most breastfeeding babies do not suffer from constipation. Milk powder can cause this health issue, especially if it contains palmitic acid and stearic acid.

1. Why milk powder is responsible for constipation in infants?

Not all milk powder brands are bad for your child’s health. Brands, which blend stearic acid and palmitic acid in formula milk are harmful to your infant. These acids are insoluble substances that cause constipation.

A baby’s intestines cannot absorb such acids. These acids get mixed calcium and become harder. Consequently, the baby passes hard and dry stool. You should ensure the formula milk does not contain palmitic and stearic acids.

2. How to avoid palmitoleic and stearic acids in milk powder?

Many brands do not disclose all the ingredients they use to produce their products. It also happens with the baby formula brands. Parents should do comprehensive research online to reveal some facts.

Look for palm oil as an ingredient in the milk powder. If it exists, this baby formula can cause constipation. Switch to a baby formula, which uses vegetable oil. It is more nutritious and easy to absorb for your child.

3. Can you feed water to a formula milk-fed infant?

Poor quality formula milk can cause constipation in babies. Health experts suggest feeding clean and lukewarm water to the child several times a day. Mothers should also gently rub the child’s belly in a clockwise motion to increase the bowel movement frequency.

You should also feed nutritious complementary meals to the child with water if he is 6 months old. Greens, cabbage, spinach, and fruit smoothies help cure constipation. These veggies and fruits will quickly improve your child’s health condition.

Should You Change Your Infant’s Milk Powder If He Is Suffering From Constipation?

You should breastfeed the child as often and as long as possible. Newborns can easily digest breast milk. Suppose it is not feasible to breastfeed, pick a formula brand that resembles breast milk perfectly. It should be easy to digest and absorb.

If the baby drinking milk powder for constipation, change the brand. It is important to feed high-quality food to the baby if breastfeeding is not an option. Switch to a top-rated product chosen by thousands of other parents. It will keep your baby healthy and provide ample nutrition to fight other health issues.


Newborns and infants can’t express the discomfort levels. You should constantly observe your child’s health condition. Do not ignore the symptoms of constipation. Contact a doctor quickly if the child is not having normal bowel movements. Thus, you can reduce the discomfort levels and comfort your child!

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