Breast milk is best for your baby.

Health Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the Dietitians of Canada recommend that you exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months and that you continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years or longer along with complementary foods.

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Constipation

Stool patterns vary from baby to baby. As long as your infant’s stools are soft and appear normal, there is no need to worry. However, if your baby’s stools are hard and difficult to pass, then she may be constipated. You can spot this by keeping an eye out for your baby straining and turning red during bowel movements, passing small, hard, dry stools, and showing signs of general discomfort and pain at poop time.

To learn more about your baby’s stools, check out our Stool Tool. You will be amazed just how much your baby’s poop can tell you.

Helpful tips for dealing with constipation include gently moving your baby’s legs in a bicycling motion, massaging her tummy in a clock-wise motion, 3 or 4 times a day, and making sure her diaper is not too tight (this may affect bowel movements). If it does seem too tight, undo the diaper on one side and lay your baby on her back until she poops. Some doctors recommend adding 1 to 2 ounces of prune, apple, or pear juice to formula or breast milk. The sugar in these juices will help to loosen the stools. However, do not give your baby over-the-counter stool softeners unless advised by your pediatrician or health care professional.

Be aware of what can cause baby constipation

Several factors can lead to your baby becoming constipated, having difficulty passing stools, passing stools that are hard and dry, or having bowel movements less frequently than usual:

  • Eating solid foods for the first time: it is possible that some of the foods you feed your baby for the first time — such as rice cereal and oatmeal — do not provide enough fibre to promote regular poops.
  • Dehydration: your baby's body, when not properly hydrated, absorbs fluids from whatever she eats and drinks, including fluid from waste.
  • Illness or other medical conditions: some babies develop diseases or have underlying medical conditions that result in chronic constipation. Check with your doctor if your baby has difficulty passing stools.

Which formula may help my constipated baby?

Breast milk contains oligosaccharides. Similac® Advance® contains galactooligosaccharides (GOS), a type of oligosaccharides and dietary fibre. Similac® Advance® has been shown to help babies have softer stools, similar to breastfed babies.

Should you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s condition or diet, contact your health care professional.

References:

Health Canada. List of Dietary Fibres Reviewed and Accepted by Health Canada’s Food Directorate. December. 2013. Accessed April 2017 athttp://www.gftc.ca/pdfs/2-listofdietaryfibresreviewedandacceptedbyhealthcanada_dec%202013.pdf.(PDF, 200KB )

Williams T et al. Tolerance of Infant Formulas Containing Prebiotics in Healthy, Term Infants. JPGN 2014;59(5):653-8.

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