Functional Constipation

Infant Constipation

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Functional Constipation | Paediatrics Healthcare

Constipation affects around 15% of infants in their first year of life.1 Diagnosing constipation can be difficult, as it requires a parent to assess what is considered normal for an infant’s stools and behavioural issues. Infant constipation can be very stressful to witness and manage as a parent. The challenge of diagnosing constipation surrounds what is considered normal. Symptoms can be as following:2 

    • Stomach cramps (pain that comes and goes) 
    • Infrequent stools 
    • Holding on behaviour to avoid painful poo 
    • Hard lumps of poo may be felt in the abdomen 
    • Hard lumpy poos 
    • Behavioural issues

Breastfed infants should continue with breastfeeding. If a baby is formula-fed, advise parents to look out for a nutritionally complete formula that’s specifically designed for the dietary management of constipation. 


¹ Vandenplas Y et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2015;61(5):531-537.

2 The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. Constipation. Available at: (accessed 16 March 2018).

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