51 answers

Constipation in 3 Month Old

I am looking for any suggestions to try for my constipated 3 month old son. For the past couple of weeks I have been slowly switching my son from breastmilk to formula. It seems like as long as he was getting at least 1 breastmilk bottle a day he was fine but now he is not having a BM for days at a time. You can tell as the days pass he gets more uncomfortable. I had the same problem with my 2 year old at that age and the only thing that worked for her was giving her BabyLax to make her go. I have spoken to his dr. about it and she told me to try Enfamil Gentlease. He wouldn't even drink any of it to give it a chance to work. He had a very painful BM tonight and it just breaks my heart so I'm just looking for any suggestions that other moms may have. THANKS!

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So What Happened?™

My son is doing much better! I took him for his 4 month check up and the doctor started him on rice cereal and Stage 1 baby food and he is doing great!!! No more problems so far with the contipation! Thanks for everyone's advice and suggestions!

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Enfamil didn't work for my daughter, either. I would try Similac or Nestle Good Start. My daughter uses Similac, but I've heard really good things about Good Start.

1 mom found this helpful

We dealt with this in my daughter we added prune juice to her bottle every day at the guidance of my physician. We bought the apple prune. hope that helps.

So glad things are better.... isn't that the worst feeling...knowing you can't do much to make it better right then!!!

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Enfamil didn't work for my daughter, either. I would try Similac or Nestle Good Start. My daughter uses Similac, but I've heard really good things about Good Start.

1 mom found this helpful

i had a bad problem with my son too when i started him on whole milk. the doctor put him on a prescription liquid that i added to his milk called lactulose. it worked great and now the problem has worked itself out and i dont have to use it anymore. talk to your doctor and see what they say about it.

Try Karo Syrup-Dark...work wonders on my daughter. The Gentlease work good as well.

Good Luck!!

So glad things are better.... isn't that the worst feeling...knowing you can't do much to make it better right then!!!

M., I had the same problem with my oldest son, (I was not able to breast feed due to medication from surgery. It turned out that he was "allergic" somewhat to the formula. We put him on a soy based formula like Isomil and it worked. My youngest son however could not drink regular milk and we had to buy a lactose free milk and cheese, thankfully they both grew out of that.

my son was plaqued with constipation and I tried EVERYTHING and nothing truly worked until i used a medicine called "GlycoLax" it is a prescription drug but it is NOT harmful. You can add it straight to food or liquids, as it is a powder. My son is on extra protien and calorie enhancers and it really makes having a "smooth" bm difficult, but using this is great. When he was first givin it it was every day until he had a good east " texture" bm then every other day and now once a week. It is NOT a laxitive but a VERY GENTLE stool softner. Until your little one get regular try using a supposatory. It is gross but anything to help save him pain . Hope this helps.


My oldest went through that at about that age. The nurse said to put about a tablespoon of dark Karo (corn) syrup in his bottle. Every bottle. It will take about 48 hours but then things will go more smoothly. After he goes that one time (it will be MESSY!) then back down to a teaspoon in every bottle. It worked and it made the formula taste better. Good luck!!

I had both of my sons on enfamil and they stayed having problems with bms and I gave them karo syrup sometimes it worked or in a baby feeder some kind of baby food thats fruit I know ur not suppoed to give a 3 month old babyfood but to me it was better then them hurting all the time and I finaly put them on Carnation dha and ara. Also water and juice helps. Thats what I started my 7 mth old on and she hasnt had a problem. I give her frut every day that helps alot. She was a early and u cant tell know she is a heathly butterball.

I would try if the Dr says its ok, a little bit of juice. Or to use a thermometer add somee vaseline to the tip and insert it rectally for maybe 15-20 seconds or as long as he'll let you. We had to do this too. It did help sometimes!

Why are you weaning from breastfeeding? Formula has a habit of constipating babies, something to do with the overload of undigestable iron in them.

Dear M.,

Aside from using the Babylax this soon, my suggestion is that you have to change your formula. For whatever reason, your son is not tolerating the formula you are using currently. I went through 3 or 4 different kinds of formula (to transition from breastmilk) before I was able to get my daughter and son to actually drink it and for the formula to work well with their system. I am out of date with which formulas are on the market now (my youngest is 4 now) but I used Isomil and Enfamil Lacto-Free for my children. Don't get discouraged if your son will not accept the formula your pediatrician suggested at first. I know its heartbreaking to think your child is hungry, but it sounds like you will have to choose to either deal with his discomfort with constipation for who knows how long or deal with him getting used to the new formula which may only take a few days. Your son knows he needs to eat to live and he will eventually accept the Gentlease...just give him some time to adjust.

i have a 7 month old that has had the same problem i have used a half teaspoon of dark karo corn syrup mix with 8oz bottel of water or try gerber pear juice only use 3oz of the pear juice useually works with in a few hrs hope it helps ,A. Ashline

Hi M.. My daughter went through the same thing. We actually gave her the dark karo syrup (half eydropper to whole)for her constipation. We tried the half prune and half water with her but she didn't want anything to do with the juice. Now that she is on baby food, we give her either applesauce or pears which loosens up the bowels. I hope this helps! Good luck!

Hi M., when my son was that small he had trouble with BM too. My dr. suggested diluted prune juice to see if that will help "loosen things up". I put about 1/2 juice to 1/2 water. I hope this helps.


I have four children (15,13,11,and 5) and they all had this same problem as infants, especially my middle two. I found that adding a little bit of Fletcher's castoria (you can buy this at the drug store or grocery store) to a bottle of formula/breastmilk will help them have a bowel movement usually within 24 hours. I also have put a little bit of dark Karo syrup or just pancake syrup in a bottle with formula/breastmilk to help produce a movement. If they haven't had a bowel movement in a while, watch out! Make sure you keep plenty of towels, etc. around to avoid a mess! It really works!

Good Luck!

Just use a little bit of Karo Syrup Dark in his bottle. Works great.


Straight Baby pear juice (either Gerber or Beech Nut). We have five children, which includes twins, one of our twins still has that problem and he is three. He ended up having to take a laxative when he turned 1, until then the pear juice, with no water worked great. Just once a day about 2 oz. or a little more. Good Luck!

When my daughter was that little she, if she had trouble I would mix a little dark Karo syrup in his milk. also if your giving him juice yet, apple juice and white grape is good for softening the bm's

My daughter got very constipated when she was around that age. her doctor told me to give her a baby laxative. I used a product you can find at walmart called fleet. It worked like a charm. You stick it up your sons booty and squeeze the bulb that holds the laxative. In a few seconds your son will let it all out. Just make sure you have A LOT of wipes and towels around or there will be a big mess to clean up. Hope it helps. :-D

When I was pregnant with my daughter and even after I had her I suffered from extreme constipation. My daughter had problems with it too. My OB/GYN's nurse told me that the dark Karo syrup would work. She suggested putting a small amount in her bottle. It does work but I would consult your baby's doctor first to see what she/he thinks. Hope this helps. I hope your little angel feels better soon.

Hi M.

My name is Lori I am a 34 year old mom with a 6 month old. Though we take our daughter to a specialist since she had the same problem, we have her on "Lactalose" or "Emulose" which is bascially the sugar found in breastmilk which makes them go. My advice, take her to a gas specialist if his insurance allows since there may be another problem.

If not, my mom gave me "Kayo Syrup" when I was young as an old remedy. It's found in the supermarket, it's just corn syrup. A teaspoon of it in every bottle til he goes then every other bottle to get him on a schedule. This might not be right for you but I know tons of parents that used it on their kids as an alternative or as I said old remedy. If he is really constipated you can go up to 2 teaspoons, no more then that I would say as it can lead to diarreaha{sp?} and we don't want that.

I hope this helps and good luck.

My baby (Jacob) had this problem when I started supplementing when he was about the same age. He would scream & cry because it hurt so bad and curl up in a ball. My doctor told me to put karo syrup in his formula bottles until he was regular again. 1 tablespoon for every 4 ounces. After that to start giving him apple or prune juice. Jacob has never drank juice, he doesn't like it. I had to add karo on 2 seperate occassions for a couple days each time. Now, if he's having problems with constipation (he's 7 months) I add prunes to his cereal for a few days.

I'm not a doctor and any advise should be checked out first to make sure it's safe. This is a little tough for me since my baby is now 6. I just had my first grandbaby Sun. Anyhow, I breastfed all my children. I didn't see any mention of water. Does your baby get a bottle of water here and there to flush him out? Also, at what age do they start drinking the diluted apple juice? (The apple juice would do the trick for sure. If you're first starting him on it, you should dilute it w/ water by half.)Something else is inserting a sliver of soap into the rectum and holding it there to make it easier on the bowel movements. It works like a laxitive. It's an old wives tale, but I did try it. I am the mother of 5, but always check with your doctor before trying anything suggested to you. Good luck.

you could try some castor oil in small doses, even adding some to a bottle that might help, but any laxative can become dependent so only use when necessary. The formula could be causing the added stress on the bowels, we used a soy formula and never had a problem with constipation so you might be able to switch to that, soy will help with the constipation.

Hey M.,

Enfamil with iron will bind a child up in a heartbeat. I have used Karo Syrup, light, 1 teaspoon to 4 oz of water and it has worked every time. Also, I switched all my children to Isomil or Prosobee. Try to get the baby to take plain water too as a small "snack" in between bottles. Not too much because you don't want the water to take place of the formula. Seriously, I am a big fan of Karo and soy formulas. Once my children were on soy, constipation was no longer a problem. Good luck!!

Hi I have a 9 year old a 3 year old and a 6 month old.My fist child I breastfed for 3 months and it was too much for me.He ened up being on a formula called Alimentum cause he was constipated.My second child went on soy formula and that didn't work so we went with the Alimentum.My 3rd child now 6 months old we tried Carnashion soy and it seemed to work but then she got costipated so we tried different things to help her go but she still was always constipated.Her bowles were so hard she got what is called a Fisher which is a little tear so I said that's it were puting her on Alimentum.THe reason we waited so long to go straight to the Alimentum is bcause it cost so much.But it's really worth trying.

I know that some doctors say that babies should not have water but giving my kids a bottle of warm water always did the trick.

Ok I am not sure how much help I'll be but, Isabella drank enfamil lipil w/iron or something like that. She'd get constipated so bad. I've had to stick stuff up her booty. We switched her to parents choice in the same brand and she didn't get constipated as bad and it shook up soooooo much easier not clumpy. Also I would give her maybe a teaspoon of juice that I got on wic with a bottle of water and it would help with constipation too. I gave her mylicon sometimes too. Hope that I helped. Take care.

Well, I never had that problem with my two, but when I decided to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula, to help them wean off of the breast I would half and half breastmilk and formula. It made the transition easier on them. Another thing is try adding maybe a 1/2 an ounce to maybe a full ounce of water more to the bottle than what your using. Sometimes extra water will do the trick. I hope everything goes better for you and the baby. Good Luck! keep us posted!

My question is, why are you switching him to formula at all? If the formula is making him constipated and you have been breastfeeding, why stop? Breast milk is best, and formula is hard to digest.

hey there hun ... dont be discougaged by the neg responses to stopping breatfeeding im sure you have your reasons :)he got the most important part of the breatmilk anyway the first few months..anyway my daughter had the same problem she would get so consitpated when she did go she would tear and i would have to help her.. her dr gave me 2 remedies.. 1st,she was not alergic to milk base formula so this is what we tryed, makeing her formula 1/2 simalac and 1/2 isomil(soy base)the soy base soften her stool and got her regular and she continued to get the benifit of the milk base..
2nd was gramma's recipe of karo syrup boiled water and evaporated milk..
talk it over with her peds dr and suggest this but it really does work hun ... J.

Hi M., my name is A.. I also had a problem like that with my daughter when she was 9 months old. I gave her a table spoon of prune juice in one of her bottles. It doesnt matter if it is juice, formula, breast milk, just give him a little bit and see if that helps him. It helped my daughter but as we all know all kids are different. I hope that helps! Good luck! A.

hi M. i had the same problem with my daughter. Try giving him a teaspoon of dark Karo syrup in his bottle. make sure its the dark though

I had a similar problem with my son. When we went to his Doctor he suggested we try using kayro syrup or prune juice mixed in his formula to help loosen the stool. it worked for us maybe it will work for you to.

Hi M.
We went through the exact same thing, once we started to switch to formula our son Gabriel (now 6 mo. old) had the hardest time pooping. The dr. told us to put 1 teaspoon of dark karo syrup in 4 oz of formual two times a day. His first bottle in the morning and his last bottle at night. It really really really helps. The karo makes his stool soft so he can go. She also suggested juice. I give Gabriel 2 oz of appleprune juice mixed with 2 oz of water and that really seems to help also.
If you are still having trouble try the infant suppositories. You have to cut them in half twice (ask the pharamacist), but they work immediatley so your child doesn't have to suffer all day long.

Hope this helps.

I am so glad that things are better for you and your son! I went through the whole constipation thing with my youngest (actually, she is still having problems with it). If he gets constipated again you could try about adding about a tablespoon of dark Karo Syrup to his bottles. This helps my baby when she is really having a hard time.

My mom used a little Karo syrup or sugar mixed with water for us when we were babies and I used it with my kids it never hurt us or them. Just don't go too heavy with the sugar part. Prune juice will work too but it can cause a tummy ache if they drink too much.

We dealt with this in my daughter we added prune juice to her bottle every day at the guidance of my physician. We bought the apple prune. hope that helps.

There might be to much iron in the formula that you are giving him. Try switching to something that has less. Good luck

I always did what my grandmother did. Just put a tsp of dark Karo syrup (not the white...it doesn't work) in a water bottle with just a drop or two of olive oil and shake it up real good. The syrup loosens the stool and the oil acts as a lubricant. If that one doesn't work try 1 oz of pure not baby prune juice. Only an oz. After 30 minutes if no bm try another 1/2 oz every 20 minutes for an hour.If still no bm seek medical attention. Good luck sweetie but one of these always worked on both my boys.

If you are staying at home, what is the reason for switching to formula at such a young age? Why not continue to breastfeed, instead of going through the pain of trying this and that to get rid of a problem that breastfeeding, as you said yourself, didn't cause?
We don't reccomend kayro syrup at all. Your doctor will probably, if not already, suggest prune or apple juice. Other than, I'd keep giving at least some breastmilk. There's really no reason to stop breastfeeding at only three months, and if you know it will help your son, and would be far easier than switching formulas and adding things to bottles, I would think that would be the wisest decision.

Hi M.! My name is Jennie and I also have a three month old who had the same problem. I was told by my mother to make a fennel tea and put two tablespoons of it in their formula. It helped Brennan have a bm and it also eased his discomfort. He also slept for over 6 hours.

Fennel Tea
1 cup boiled water
2 tsp crushed fennel seeds

Pour boiling water over fennel seeds. Let stand ten minutes.

If this doesn't help you can always put two ounces of prune juice in a bottle. I recomend using the gerber juice. It doesn't have all the extra sugar added to it. My doctor said it was fine to do this. Just not to do it too often.

Hope this helps!

Hi, I has the problem w/ gas in my daughter when I was breastfeeding and ate certain veggies. I did this massage and it worked wonders. It can work for constipation as well.Good luck! R.

Massage of the abdomen can help relieve gas and constipation. This can be especially good for colicky babies.
-Gently spread oil down abdomen from rib cage
-Circle around belly using a clockwise motion.
-Using your right hand, make a single stroke from bottom of rib cage toward pelvic area. Then stroke the area between the navel and the ribcage from your left to right. Finally, stroke baby's right side from pelvic area to rib cage. Essentially you're making a big circle in stages.
-Using your fingertips, circle around the belly going clockwise.
-Trace lower rib cage and stroke sides of torso (like the "So Big" game)
-Gently stroke down the torso with fingertips.



When my son was constipated on a recent trip to Florida (yeah dumb me for taking a 2 month old on a 12 hour car ride) I mixed in a teaspoon on Karo syrup with his formula. That worked but it only worked once. The next week we were in the same situation. My best friend, a childbirth coach, gave me a hint. This may sound terrible but it worked and I haven't had a problem since. I took the end of his rectal thermometer, placed it inside his little bum and GENTLY moved it to the side to force his little muscles to relax. He was not happy about it and as terrible as it sounds, it worked. It made his muscles relax and he hasn't had a problem since. My doctor also said to go ahead to start him on diluted apple juice. Apple juice has really been my lifesaver. He now gets 2 ounces of apple juice a day so I never have to force him to go again. But if I do, I know that the thermometer trick works. You may get nervous in doing it but Aiden is now almost 4 months old and we're not having "the potty dilemma" anymore.
Sorry this is all sounds kind of crazy. I'm TIRED! LOL If you have anymore questions, or need me to clear anything up, let me know. I will probably be able to explain it better once I've woken up some more. LOL

Hi M. just thought I would share a tip that worked for my little girl when she was about the same age I would use a half teaspoon oo clear karo syrup it's sweet so it mixes well with the formula and makes the flavor drinkable. When he has a BM you dont have to use it anymore and usually would take about 6-8 hrs if no BM after that try a little more. Hope this helps. K.

Hi M.,
I also had this problem in my 3 month old when we had to immediately switch her from breast to soy milk. The steps we took to remedy were as follows. First try 1/2 apple juice, l/2 water, if this doesn't work after a day try 1/2 prune juice, 1/2 water (neither of these worked for me). Next we used a tried and true method that my mom recommended with is to go out a buy some dark karo syrup and mix about a tbsp with his formula or juice or anything he'll drink. This should work within 8 hours has been my experience and discontinue use of any of these once you've had the desired effects. I actually had to get to the point where we used glycerine suppositories (they make them especially for kids now). But that was definitely a last resort method not be used alot otherwise the kids won't ever be able to do it on their own! Good luck to you. Hope this works--I'm guessing karo syrup is your best bet though! K.

Have you tried giving him a little juice(prune)? you can get it in the baby section at any store and half it with water. Like half and half. That way it won't be strong tasting to him but still give him the same results.

To sound like a broken record, I had the same problem when I started giving my baby formula. Try alternating the enfamil with the parents choice formula from walmart every 4 or 5 bottles. It worked for me! Now, she has 1, 2, or 3 BM a day. I give her one bottle of parents choice and the rest enfamil. The content and nutrients are EXACTLY the same for the two, but for some reason, the parents choice helps my girl "go"!!

Here is a list of things I've tried with my kids that has worked (I've had 2 with this problem) I didn't do them all at one time, but sometimes things stopped working. Some of them are things the pediatrician had me yrt, some are things a midwife had me try.

1. Karo syrup
2. Little Tummies laxative with natural vegetable senna
3. There is a catnip and fennel mix
4. give him a few bites of prunes, or siluted prune juice
5. let hime slobber and suck on a square of chocolate
6. give him some water
Hope something helps!

Hi M.. One thing you might want to try is giving him plenty of water to help him along the way. Another thing to try is juicy juice or baby juice that helped my son when he was consitpated. Hopes this helps and best of luck with the little ones.

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