Mum with frowning child on her lap looking to ease baby constipation or other digestion issues

Rapid change, amazing milestones, and surprises (both delightful and worrisome) are all part of a day with your little one. Fueling this remarkable growth is your child’s nutrition, which goes hand-in-hand with their digestive system. In line with this, dealing with baby constipation can be a concern for many moms, as it can leave both you and your little one feeling uneasy. Understanding the causes, signs, and gentle remedies for relieving constipation in babies is essential to ensuring their comfort and well-being. In this article, we will walk you through what you need to know about addressing:


Understanding Toddler Digestion Issues: Causes and Common Challenges

As your child’s world and capabilities expand, so much is developing within. But with things in constant motion, both externally and internally, challenges are inevitable. Some issues as your toddler’s digestive system continues to mature while reacting to new stimuli could be baby constipation, diarrhoea, and gas pains or discomfort.

Baby Constipation

If your child has not passed a stool in a few days or it comes out hard or marble-like, baby constipation is the likely cause. Blood in the stool and strain or pain during bowel movement1 are the other symptoms of baby constipation.

Holding in stool; inadequate fibre or fluids; medication; and significant changes to the child’s routine (e.g., travels, starting daycare) are some causes behind baby constipation.


A watery stool passed frequently2 is a clear indication of diarrhoea.

As the little ones explore their surroundings with their senses, which includes putting things in their mouth, intestinal infections could arise from germs and pathogens entering their system.

Boosting gut health and immunity by promoting a healthy balance of good and harmful bacteria can help prevent diarrhoea (and baby constipation too).

Monitor what they are consuming and introduce new foods or drinks gently into their diet, as allergies and intolerance to foods are also known causes.

Gas Pains/ Discomfort

Similarly, changes in the child’s diet and lactose intolerance can lead to gas and bloating. Although burps and passing gas are typically not bothersome, discomfort can arise when a child experiences pain from trapped air bubbles in the belly.

While intestinal gas is naturally produced during digestion, certain foods cause excess gas.3 Swallowing air while crying also adds to the trapped wind.


Remedies for Baby Constipation: Effective Strategies for Relief

Is your baby struggling with constipation? Explore these effective remedies that can provide much-needed relief and comfort.

Broccoli, Peaches, Apples (skinless)

These are easy, tasty home remedies for baby constipation. Fibre-rich fruits and vegetables help stimulate the bowel.4 If your child is new to solids, serve these pureed.

Whole Grains

For younger children, try cooked grains like quinoa or oats. For older kids, bran cereals, whole-grain breads/crackers are quick snacks that add bulk to stool and help it pass.

Massage and Movement

These remedies for baby constipation help with digestion. Gently cycle the legs with the baby on their back or do some light exercises with your toddler.

To massage, trace soothing strokes on the tummy and lower abdomen a few times a day for relief from baby constipation.

Water, Juice (Prune/Pear)

For babies just starting on solids, these homemade remedies for baby constipation aid in hydration, which is crucial for regulating bowel movements. Prunes and pears, in particular, assist in contracting the colon. However, it's important to dilute juices to at least 1:1 to prevent a preference for sweet beverages and to administer them only once a day.


The Importance of Gentle Nutrition: Exploring the Benefits of Formula Milk Made for Delicate Tummies 

Another change in diet that is often overlooked but has clear benefits is switching the little one’s formula milk to one that is made specially for delicate tummies. Formulas with smaller, easily digestible protein particles, scientifically known as partially hydrolyzed proteins (PHP), have demonstrated5 various benefits, such as:

  • Decrease gas production and bowel distention (swelling), leading to less discomfort and fussiness

  • Reduce symptoms of food intolerance

  • Promote stool patterns that are consistently softer, which helps prevent baby constipation

In addition, some formulas incorporate Milk Fat Globule Membrane (MFGM), a breakthrough ingredient that boosts IQ, and immunity.6 Look for higher DHA content versus other or previous formulations, as it is a key building block for brain and eye development in the earliest stages of life. 


Preventing Toddler Indigestion: Dietary Tips and Lifestyle Practises

A toddler’s food and playtime adventures may sometimes end in a tummy ache. If there is burping, “burn” or pain in the upper abdomen, bloating, or even nausea, it may be indigestion (dyspepsia).7

To help prevent this discomfort:

  • Serve well-portioned meals at proper intervals. (No bedtime snacks!)

  • Avoid acidic or greasy foods and carbonated drinks

  • Limit their chocolate consumption

  • Make sure they have enough sleep and exercise


Navigating Digestive Health: Creating a Holistic Approach for Your Toddler

Investing in good nutrition and healthy habits is vital to preventing baby constipation, diarrhoea, and other tummy issues. Run through this quick checklist for your toddler’s better digestive health:


  • Not too big or small, with a variety of nutrients

  • Plenty of fibre (fruits, whole grains, veggies) and fluids

  • New foods to be introduced gently over the course of many trials

  • Milk with a gentle formulation (check with a paediatrician)

  • Include prebiotics (found in berries, asparagus, etc.)


  • Sanitised area for play and rest

  • Clothes should not be tight (especially around the tummy)

  • Warm baths, regular massages

  • Rest between meals and active play (but not lying down)

  • Must stay well hydrated at all times

Potty Time

  • Observe the consistency of the stools

  • Encourage regular bathroom visits (even while travelling)

  • Teach hygiene must-dos and regular hand washing


In conclusion

Remember, your little one’s digestive system is still developing, and too many changes (diet, exposure, potty, activities) all at once can be overwhelming. Baby constipation and other digestive health hiccups will occur, but easy preventive measures and remedies are within reach.

Know more facts and common misconceptions about children’s digestion, and check out these healthy toddler-friendly recipes for better daily nutrition. Join the Enfamama A+ Club today for free samples and learn tips to improve your child's eating habits and digestive development with exclusive club content, plus other amazing club benefits!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Read on for frequently asked questions about confusing symptoms and terms related to children’s digestion:

1. Is daily bowel movement but hard stools still baby constipation?

Yes. Stool colour and consistency are important factors, along with frequency.

2. Is a prebiotic the same as a probiotic?

Prebiotics are fibres that feed the naturally occurring “good bacteria” in our body called probiotics. Prebiotics are indigestible, so they move to the lower digestive tract, where they strengthen the population of protective microorganisms (probiotics). 

3. My child is often gassy. Is this normal?

If you feel that your child is burping excessively or experiencing gas or pain frequently, consult your paediatrician. Watch for other symptoms such as low weight gain, diarrhoea, black, white or red stool, vomiting, rash, a cough or wheezing.

Related articles:

  1. 6 Things to Know About Baby Digestion

  2. Prebiotics: Improve Your Toddler’s Gut Health

  3. MFGM and Milk: The Child Nutrition and Brain Development Link

  4. Why is DHA Important for Your Child?

  5. Toddler Food Recipe Favourites for Picky Eaters

  6. Delicate Tummy? Fussy? Gassy? Crying


Expert Resource:
Dr Nancy Tan
Consultant Paediatrician; Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition
MBBS (Singapore), MMED Paediatrics (Singapore), MRCPCH (UK), Dip (FP) Derm (Singapore)

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  5. Berseth, Carol Lynn, et al. Clinical response to 2 commonly used switch formulas occurs within 1 day, Clinical pediatrics (2009), doi:

  6. Colombo J, et al. Improved Neurodevelopmental Outcomes at 5.5 Years of Age in Children Who Received Bovine MFGM and Lactoferrin in Infant Formula Through 12 Months of Age: A Randomized Controlled Trial, The Journal of Pediatrics (2023), doi:

  7. Nemours KidsHealth. Indigestion. J. Fernando del Rosario, MD. May 2023. Retrieved from: