70 answers

Need to Unconstipate My Baby

my 6 and 1/2 month old just started eating baby food a month ago. he eats great and loves all the food we've tried. my problem is now he's constipated all the time. my pedia wasn't really concerned about it and told me just to give him some apple juice if it starts bothering him. he grunts a lot when he poops now and his poops are either one large pretty firm ball or occasionally it's one larger ball and several tiny balls. this last week i have given him more applesauce and even given him undiluted apple juice to drink but it hasn't helped. when he eats now instead of feeding him two containers of a fruit or veggie, i give him one of each to keep him balanced. i bought some apple/prune juice to try but i don't want to go too far and give him diarrhea. any ideas you ladies have would be appreciated. i just don't want my baby to have to struggle to poop. thanks in advance!

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So What Happened?™

wow ladies! i received sooo many responses it was amazing! thank you all so much for the advice. i found most of it very helpful and learned some things i did not know. i have started the apple/prune juice and it really kick started his system. hes having good bms now so i am going to keep giving him the juice once a day for a while just to make sure he gets cleaned out. i will definitly lighten up on the applesauce and apple juice now that i know it can actually make my little guy more constipated. thanks again moms! dont know what id do without you all sometimes!!

Featured Answers

We had the same problem with out now 20 month old. We tried prunes at first. Just give him a few spoonfuls each day until the jar is gone.

We also gave him about an ounce of prune juice mixed half with water when I noticed he was getting stopped up.

It may also be just his little system getting acclimated to a new type of food. Either way it's disheartening to have.

1 mom found this helpful

Not only in kids, apple is known to harden stools even for adults. I'd stick to the Ps- pear, prunes etc..

You can also try this. Mix 2 tsps of sugar in 2oz luke warm water and make him drink it after his meal. But just once a day, not more than that. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

A dab of dark Kayro syrup in the bottle or sippie cup usually does the trick. NOT the 'light' Kayro but the dark. Good luck!

More Answers

I learned something VERY interesting last night at a potty training class... Epson salt can work wonders.. Put a bit in your baby's little bath and his body will soak up all the magnesium he is missing which in turn will unconstipate him... I was also told that it makes one sleep really well. IT is all natural and can't hurt at all.. good luck. J.

1 mom found this helpful

Try baby foods that start with "P", prunes, pears, pineapples, etc...

1 mom found this helpful

We had the same problem with out now 20 month old. We tried prunes at first. Just give him a few spoonfuls each day until the jar is gone.

We also gave him about an ounce of prune juice mixed half with water when I noticed he was getting stopped up.

It may also be just his little system getting acclimated to a new type of food. Either way it's disheartening to have.

1 mom found this helpful

My pedi told us to put Karo syrup in the bottle/cup. The recommendation was a tbsp per 2 oz in 2 bottles a day. I started with 1 heaping tbsp per 4-6 ozs and that seemed to do the trick. You can start there and adjust up as/if needed. I used the dark syrup - I'm not sure if it matters.

1 mom found this helpful

Short and sweet:


mix with some water, strain out all minute peices and give the liquid in a syringe/baby feeder. all natural. check it out. It has been a God send for my family.

I also have a six month old son and just went through what you are going through. I know from experience that applesauce, apple juice and bananas constipate babies. My ped recommended pears and pear juice as well as stage 1 Gerber prunes. They all worked great. Hope this helps!

When we started solids our doctor told us to give our baby apple juice (half diluted) every 24 hrs in a cup ( never in a bottle). I asked her if everyday was too much for such a small baby and she said it helps her to go regularly. So far so good.

I ran across this with my daughter who was breaastfed and never constipated until she started eating food. I tried everything even going as far as giving her applesauce and juice at the same time and finally her pedi said that although it is unusual she might be one of those children who apple's constipate. She told me to try white grape juice and I found that peaches really help too. She will be 5 soon and she still gets peaches in her lunch or grapes. I have to limit her apple juice and apple intake. Hope this helps!

I used to give my little one prunes (pureed) from the baby food jar. He loved them and they worked - very gentle - no diarrhea.

Hey J., my first little boy had problems with constipation and my second one does occasionally. My pediatrician suggested we give him one ounce of pedialite mixed with one ounce of prune juice twice a day everyday to keep him regular. Once we got it into his system it worked well. When he was around one she said we could change it to one ounce of water and one ounce of prune juice. When we took out the pedialite he didn't like it as much (I'm sure the prune juice taste was much stronger). Pedialite is expensive and once you open the bottles you're supposed to use them within 24-48 hours so a lot would go to waste since I was only using 2 ounces/day so I found the powder kind that comes in little packages (try Babie's R Us). I would divide it out and only mix what I needed for the day.

I did give my son prune juice but I also sometimes fed him prunes sauce instead of applesauce. I changed it up. Also, pears seemed to work sometimes too. Hope that helps.

Hi J.,
We had the same problem with our son. Get 100% prune juice. Start with mixing 1 ounce of the prune juice with 3 ounces of water. If that doesn't work increase the amount of prune juice until he's getting the right amount. I promise, this really works & is a great natural remedy.

i had and still occasionally have the same problem with my son who is now 10 mo. i make 90% of his food, but to fix the issue i bought the Gerber prunes. And they did the trick and the other extreme wasn't too bad. Now that he is older i feed him yogurt regularly and that helps a great deal. Good luck!

A dab of dark Kayro syrup in the bottle or sippie cup usually does the trick. NOT the 'light' Kayro but the dark. Good luck!

hi J.,,
my granddaughter had the same problem,,,we where to by the babys Dr to but Benifber in her bottle at nite it's tastless not griddy you might give it a try ,,it worked for her
good luck L.

I don't know that all babies poop becomes hard once they begin solid foods (see Leslie's comment below). My baby girl, London, is 7 1/2 months and has been on solids for about 1 1/2 months now. Her poop is still mushy. She is breastfed, however, which is a natural laxative for baby. If your baby is on formula (especially soy formula), he is probably more prone to constipation. The juices, as I've heard, are helpful in combatting this, but as with adults, if you increase his water intake, this should also be a great help to his intestines. If he takes water, try to increase his water intake a little, too. =) Hope this helps! God bless!

hi J.,
we had a very similar issue when my son started going to real foods. i actually started stewing prunes and mashing 1 up with his cereal and using some of the stewing juice instead of water and formula to mix it all together. when that wasn't enough I added flax oil to his cereal. about a tbsp twice a day. this may sound like a lot but it was what he needed. you just have to expierament until you find the right balance. the flax oil was good for his bowel movements and it is also great for their brain development. it is all a process, i feel your pain. no mother likes to watch their child turn beet red just to poop out a golf ball! good luck. -S.

I completely know how you feel! My son is 9 months old and I have had to deal with constipation for quite a few months. I have found that prunes work the best. I don't give him the juice, I just buy the prune baby food. He doesn't really care for just the plain prunes but there's one with apples and he will eat the entire container. He cleans my sons system out completely. Depending on how backed up he is, he may be a couple days of pooping but that's worth it for him to feel 100% better :-)
Good Luck!

1/2 tsp. of dark Karo syrup, molasses or undiluted prune juice :) Oh yeah, and you can use 1/4 of a glycerin suppository-they are harmless as far as "getting addicted."

Apple/prune juice does work, just takes a little while to work. (I prefer the apple/prune juice) It doesn't have enough prune juice to give him diarhea. A bottle of water with a tbsp of dark karo syrup works. With mine bananas seemed to help loosen em up. (mine get diarhea if they eat too many.) If it has been 2-3 days a glycerin suppository works also. This should really be your last resort. Good luck. My last one is always having poopy issues. Good luck!

Prune baby food.

I could be wrong on this but I believe apple sauce constipates. I have the same problem with my 6.5 month old too. I just give her the pureed prunes every other day and it seems to keep her regular.

When my baby started eating baby food, he got constipated. My pediatrician told me to give him fruits that start with the letter p: prunes, pears, peaches and any green veggie. She also told me (this worked the best) to dilute 1 tsp of DARK karo syrup to 1 oz of water. It worked wonderfully, and my son loved it! My pediatrician told me to make sure to use dark syrup, not light. The light syrup is too close to honey. Good luck! I hope this helps!

J. Hi
I used to give my son Prune Juice mixed with a little of water (2oz juice 1 water). Also, I got to the point of getting a baby supository and it helped a lot!!!
Good luck.
A. L.S.

try some Karo syrup white helped mine just a teaspoon in his bottle... not much as you don't want him to have diarrhea, sorry the apple juice is not working you can also try white grape... good luck poor little guy...

A lot of people don't know this, but too much apple juice can cause constipation. I ended up giving my son pare juice.

We had the same problem with my 7 month old grandson and his pedi suggested fruit in the mornings. We give him prunes, pesrs, or peaches. He does not get dirrehea but does stay regular and proper consistancy.

Hi J. this is M. Garcia and i've had the same problem as you with all of my kids and i have nine when nothing else would work i would give them syrup with water just one bottle should do keep up with the apple juice as well, cause i've tried all of the medicion's you can think of, good luck let me know how your baby boy is doing.

I think two jars of food at a sitting may be too much, but you'd know that answer better than I would. I suggest giving him a jar of the prunes at one sitting. My 7mo daughter absolutely loves them and they always clean her right out. My mother in law also tells me to put about 1 tbsp of Karo syrup in the bottle. I've never tried it, so I can't attest to its effectiveness, but it's another idea to try, anyway.

While apple juice will loosen a baby's stools, applesauce is more likely to constipate him. Try "p" foods: pears, peas, peaches, prunes are all good for helping babies poop. And for what it's worth, pooping may continue to be an issue. My now 6-year-old had some trouble pooping as a baby, and he still doesn't like to go because he says it hurts. We give him Miralax at least every other day to help loosen things up, but I don't know at what age it is recommended. He started taking it when he was 4 (I think).

Dear J.,

I have four children age's 8 to 20. What I did to help was give them a feeding of baby oatmeal with every other meal until they had a healthy one. It seemed to work for me every time.
Good luck

Try mixing a little bit of oat meal in with his fruits. And give him lots and lots of water. Just let him have water all day long. If you fill him up on juice he'll be getting to much sugar.

The apple juice is the best just keep it up.

J., we had the same problem when we started foods. Prunes and prune juice work for us. what i have finally figured out to consistently work is half prune (i buy plum smart) and half water - about 3-4 ounces total - every day. he usually drinks a little at breakfast and the rest later on. the other thing is i don't give him much banana any more as they are constipating. Now his BM's are soft and pasty about twice a day. good luck.

warm apple juice will help dialate those blood vessels and get things moving as well. My son had this issue as an infant as well and I used glycerin suppositories that you can get at cvs or kroger. I think it is pretty normal but us moms, we love to worry!! LOL Just use them occasionally if you do use them.

Try pureed prunes from Gerber.

Hi J.,

If your baby is on formula you can put like 1/2 tsp of Karo Syrup (clear one) in his formula and he will poop. OR you can give him a 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil. But you have to be fast because he will more than likely spit it out because of the taste. You can give him some apple/prune juice (gerber)or you can buy a large bottle of prune juice and delute it. Let say you give him 6 oz of juice a day (then put 3 oz of prune juice & 3 oz of water)...well, J. I hope these tips help your little one.

I would try veggies with lots of fibers--carrots, spinach, green beans, etc. and lots of water. YOu can steam cook all these veggies individually until tender and make pulp by adding some water if needed. Always feed him when its warm. I tried green beans with my daughter once when she was one and half years old and it worked very well. I do not think apple sauce/juice can help you in this situaltion. Hope this will help!

Here's what I did and my daughter LOVED it. I made my own applesauce and then used it in her cereals. Just cut up some apples (KEEP THE SKINS ON!)and put them into a crock pot on high. pour just a little orange juice over it and a tiny bit of cinnamon and let it go 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Then throw it in a blender or processor then you can jar it or if you want to make a lot at once put it in ice cube trays and freeze it. Then when they're frozen store them in baggies and you have your servings all seperated and ready to go! Homemade applesauce is so pure in form that it keeps the natural aid for the body in tact. You could also let him chew on prunes (keeping a close eye on him), I'd help my little girl out by cutting it up a little.
I hope this was a little helpful. Best wishes!
It's a little nerve racking huh?

You may have to use a dispository. You have to buy some at the pharamcy and then get one out slice it in half with a blade just a few second and it will work. I tried also kero surup in the water too 3 small drops. But the dispository gave my 2 month old faster relief. Good luck.

I'm a parent of three boys and I started them on solids pretty early. What I did, instead of feeding them the jar stuff, I would take the time to make them fresh food. I learned that if they had sweet potatoe, mashed potatoes, fresh peas and carrots and noddle soup (I would mashed it up for them too), it was easier for them to poop. I only gave them the baby desert (banana pudding from the jar).
let me know if this advice helps.

Our pedi said a teaspoon of light corn syurp mixed with his formula would do the trick and it has. I did read where it said not to feed them corn surp or honey in the first year due to some sort of bacteria that there little developing bodys dont handle so well. But I read this after we had given him this form of "medication" for constipation a few times. I would call your doctor and ask him if this would be ok. Also consider switching doctors. It is ok to give them water to drink now...something I didnt know because when I left the hospital they were adimant about not letting him have water...wasnt told it was only for the first couple of weeks!!! Sorry your little one is having tummy troubles. God bless.

i would mix my daughters rice or oatmeal cereal with 1/2 apple juice and 1/2 prune juice. she never minded the flavor and it worked almost instantly. i did that every morning so she rarely got constipated again.

baby pear juice was recommended to me by our ped. when my now 13yr was a baby. Workded like a charm!

At any age it is good to have prune juice on hand and give a small amount to unconstipate the little one by adding it to his/her apple or other juice. You can soon gauge how much a "small amount" is by noticing the ease of elimination.

It works, J., so I hope you will give it a try. Simple & natural.

Sincerely and God bless you,
M. T

Not only in kids, apple is known to harden stools even for adults. I'd stick to the Ps- pear, prunes etc..

You can also try this. Mix 2 tsps of sugar in 2oz luke warm water and make him drink it after his meal. But just once a day, not more than that. Hope this helps. Good Luck!

When that happened after I started my daughter on solids, I always gave her a container of prunes each day for 2 or 3 days. That would soften up the poops a lot - definitely not fun ones to change but they were far from diarrhea.

Good luck! :)

Have you given him sweet potatoes or eggplant? Those are the two foods that eliminated this problem for both of my kids when they were this age (and a little beyond). I actually don't believe in giving babies, infants or toddlers juice as they don't get enough nutrients from them...However, in dire circumstances, i did try very diluted applejuice, but not until my daughter was well over a year.

When my son was a baby, I was told to mix a teaspoon of dark Karo syrup (don't use molasses becauseit could have botulism spores in it) in with his formula or juice when he was constipated. It worked wonders!

My son had the same problem. I gave him prune juice or gave him prunes in the baby jar. He loved it! He never had diarrhea from it and I gave it a lot. It did help with his pooping. It made it more comfortable. Applesauce and juice are good but it has a lot of sugar and given a lot could cause a rash or diarrhea. Best of luck!

What you need to do is give your baby a consistent diet. This way he will being to have regulated bowel movements. There are baby fruits that contain prunes...or just mix a prune jar with pears or peaches.
I am a pharmacist and through my studies and life experience I can guarantee that apple juice is not the answer.
I would feed the baby the prune/fruit mixture with the breakfast meal everyday. Alternate the mixed fruit choice daily to keep him interested.
You will notice that his body will regulate over time and his bowels will follow the same pattern.
For very hard bowels, or 36 hrs without a bowel movement ALWAYS keep babylax glycerin liquid laxative on hand. This is medication free, harmless and safe. It will conclude in a BM within minutes.
Good luck and always remember that as the mother your instinct is usually right on cue.

One of my kids had lot of problems, too, and the nurse helpline told me to give her applejuice. Applesauce on the other side is not helping. What works very well are prunes. Mix it in with the cerial and also prune juice. I used to mix aplle juice and prune juice and water for her to drink.

Just start with a small amount of prunes and see how your baby is reacting.

Give him the apple/prune would be my advice. I had a constipated baby and it is not fun. Warming the juice is helpful as well.


I have the most wonderful country momma babysitter to watch my baby boy and she uses old fashioned methods to treat everything, which is wonderful avioding drugs and chemicals but she used to put a teaspoon of mineral oil in about half a botttle of formula or juice after he would finish drinking it she would let him finish with the other half of the bottle of juice or formula. This method always worked it doesnt give them diariha or cramping like allot of drugs do it just kind of gets everything moving and greased up inside so they dont have to strain or hurt themselves. SHe would start by giving him one bottle a day until he dot to moving freely, I also found prunes to help too I would mix apple sauce and prunes together and give to him everyother day to keep him regular. The juices didnt work on my baby. Best wishes I hope everything gets to moving better for your little one!

My baby has the same problem. Give him 2-3 ounces to start with. It usually takes 12 hours but is a world of difference. I give prune juice to mine every other day and everything works just fine.

Increase his water intake. Apple juice can constipate as well.

My daughter was the same way when we went to 3 foods a day. I just give her water with each meal, every 2 to 3 days (all together she drinks maybe 1 to 2 ounces) and it helps her digest her food. At 6 months old he should only be eating solids twice a day. He may need more of a range of foods. Apples and carrots are high in fiber, so lay off that a little and spread out when he eats it. Try doing one fruit or veggie and one cereal, you could mix the juice (this would be great with the prune b/c you only use a little) with the cereal instead of giving it straight. Babies shouldn't be drinking straight fruit juice.

You need a new pediatrician. Juice is generally a bad idea. My boys are 15 months old now and I still only let them have 4 ounces of juice (w/o sugar) mixed with 4 ounces of water once a week or so. It's bad for their digestion and bad for their teeth. Also, please note that, unlike apple juice, which has a laxative effect, apple sauce is often used when a child has diarrhea to help stop things up.

You say he's constipated all the time, but you don't indicate whether he is pooping less than once per day. Was he a breastfed baby? Breastfed babies poop more often than formula fed babies, so what you may be thinking of as constipated is simply the normal changes in poop now that food is being introduced. If he is pooping less than once a day and the poop is firmer than peanut butter, try the "P" foods first - pears, peaches, prunes. Keep in mind that most babies grunt, turn red in the face, etc. when they poop. It does not necessarily mean the baby is straining. The more important things to keep an eye on at this age are the firmness factor and whether he goes less than once per day.

Try a little Karo syrup. Either dark or light. Just add a little to his food. For my sons, I used the dark syrup in their cereal. Barely a tablespoon. Worked like a charm.

Some babies are just prone to be that way no matter what you do. Try feeding him squash or spanich for his veggie and prunes for his dessert at the same meal and see if that helps. Try putting dark karo syrup in his formula or food. There are aids you can get across the counter (with Dr. approval,of course), but when all is said and done, don't be surprised if nothing helps. Been there, done that.


Hi. I am not sure if your baby is on formula or not. If you are not breastfeeding than maybe your baby is taking in to much iron.
I nursed my daughter and she did not have this issue, unless I substituted formual.
What I did was water down the formula. Just until they were regular again. This would help resolve their issue. Most pedis will frown on that, because they will say that the baby doesn't get the developmental nutrients they need. Rest assured both my children are advanced beyond their ages. Remember you should not do this indefinetly, it is only to get them regular. The juice might help, but it is also loaded with sugar. You may want to water it down too. The straining is not good for them. It can cause them a herniated belly (outie belly button.) Good Luck and I hope this info. helps.

Try pears..baby food of course..that seemed to always "loosen" them up when my babies were little. Although this is definitely an old remedy...my Mother used to add a little syrup to our cereal when we were small too - she said it worked wonders.Good luck!

I use pear juice. You can get single cans of it in the juice aisle of Walmart. I use the canned kind instead of the baby food kind because the baby food kind is strained. Regular pear juice has 7 grams of fiber per can...that is a lot! Plus my kids always liked it. Fiber is great for preventing constipation, and for catching it before it becomes too bad. If baby is already constipated, I would look into getting baby glycerine suppositories made by fleet (also at Walmart). Ask the pharmacist about your baby's age but I think they are fine for 6 monthers. They are really gentle and get the poop out really fast...I don't think there is any cramping or discomfort, there wasn't for my son who got pretty clogged up once. Oh, watch out..if your baby starts having watery stool or diarrhea, there may be a stuck piece of stool in the intestine, only the watery stool can get by it. That happened to us and to another MOM who just posted. We used Miralax, but check with DR if that happens. Good luck.

Apple juice constipates and is harder to digest. Bad advice from your ped!grrrrrrr. The easiest juice to digest is white grape juice. Buy organic if possible (Wal-mart sells the least expensive not-from-concentrate apple juice on the market, can't remember if it's organic, just want to mention it--I think it's Sam's Choice Brand and it sells out constantly). Drinking water won't create the hard stools apple juice will. Have you given your baby fresh mashed bananas? Tried prune juice yet? Don't worry about creating diarrhea, these should make soft stools and relieve baby's discomfort from being plugged-up. You can relieve discomfort (and possibly help hasten the constipation ending) with warm bath and good massage and exercising the legs. This is all I can think of off the top of my head. Best wishes.

Not sure if this was already suggested, but we used to give my son mashed ripe bananas. It worked great for him. I also read up and realized he was getting too much starch. Potatos, crakers, etc.

It doesn't sound like your baby is constipated at all. When they eat solid food, their poop gets solid. They all grunt and turn red when they poop. That's normal.

Both of my kids had problems with constipation when they were babies. The thing that worked the best for me was feeding them jars of prunes baby food twice a day and giving them apple juice(undiluted)a couple of times a day. It helped the situation and seemed to soothe their tummies. The jars of prunes baby food helped more than the prune juice. Good luck.

My son had this problem when he was supposed to start cereal. We ended up having to skip cereal (eating) but he had it in his bottle for acid reflux. We did juice everyday, twice a day and just made sure it didn't have any added sugar, which is also why I wouldn't do Karo syrup, I thought it was way to sugary. We put him on Pedia-lax stool softener by Fleet in his bottles & gave him a Pedia-lax liquid glycerin supossitories about every 2 days if he didn't go. One we started the stool softener he did well and after about a month and a half to 2 months he didn't need it anymore.

I have 4 kiddos and only 1 who had this problem (my 4th, of course). She had major problems around 9 months old. She had just started cow's milk and the nurse said that it tends to cause constipation for some kiddos. The nurse suggested sticking with the P's--peaches, pears, prunes, peas, plums, etc. I made sure my daughter ate 1 of the P's at lunch and dinner and it made a HUGE difference. She only struggled with this for a few months, and at nearly 15 months now I don't have to worry about the P's at every meal. Every now and again if she gets backed up, I fall back on the P's. I have also used suppositories as needed, but haven't had to use them more than once or twice. Good luck!

I gave my little man prunes about three times a week at that age, it did the trick! :)

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