Constipation isn’t directly related to teething. But if your little one doesn’t want to nurse, eat a balanced diet, or drink enough liquids because their mouth hurts from teething, they may develop constipation.

baby chewing on a teething ring-1Share on Pinterest
Chalit Saphaphak/Stocksy United

Dirty diapers aren’t something many parents enjoy. If you notice that you haven’t seen a poopy diaper in several days, though, you may begin to worry. You might even question if your baby’s constipation is related to teething.

Although there’s no direct link between constipation and teething, constipation can result from a lack of fluids or fibrous foods. If your child isn’t drinking much or avoiding certain foods because their mouth hurts, their bowel movements may be harder and less frequent.

Learn more about constipation in nursing babies.

Two potential reasons for constipation in babies are a lack of fluids and too little fiber in the diet of those old enough to eat solid foods.

When babies experience pain related to teething, they may not want to drink as frequently or nurse for as long. They may also avoid eating some foods that hurt their mouths. These changes can cause their poop to become harder.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are many other health reasons why your baby may be having constipation, though. For example, infants are also at increased risk of constipation when weaning or ill. it’s important to tell their doctor if constipation continues to be a problem or your child appears to be in pain.

Symptoms of teething can include:

  • drooling
  • red and sore gums
  • facial rashes
  • rubbing or grabbing at their ear
  • trouble sleeping
  • desire to gnaw or chew on things
  • fussiness

It’s important to remember that every baby’s experience with teething can look different, and your child’s symptoms may differ from one tooth to another.

Symptoms of constipation in babies can include:

  • dry, lumpy, hard, or pellet-like bowel movements
  • fewer than three bowel movements in a week
  • unusually smelly gas or bowel movements
  • less interest in eating
  • firm-feeling stomach
  • distress when pooping
  • larger-than-usual bowel movements

If your child is uncomfortable due to teething, it may help to try:

  • offering teething rings for them to chew on
  • talking with your pediatrician before using pain meds and teething gels
  • gently rubbing their gums with a clean finger
  • keeping your baby close to your body in a carrier or by cuddling them
  • using a bib or clean cloth to help keep their face and clothing free from extra drool

If your baby is experiencing constipation, there are things you can do at home to help. These include:

  • giving your baby a warm bath
  • gently massaging their stomach
  • lifting their legs in the air while they lie on their back and moving their legs like they’re riding a bicycle
  • serving food options high in fiber, like apples, pears, and prunes, if your child is old enough for solids
  • watching the foods you consume, if you’re nursing, to ensure that your diet isn’t contributing to gastric distress
  • changing formulas, if your little one is formula-fed

If you’re worried that your baby may become constipated again, you can try:

  • regularly performing infant massage
  • offering your child plenty of opportunities to be mobile
  • stretching their legs with bicycle kicks
  • asking their doctor about adding more water or prune, pear, and apple juice to their diet
  • making sure a doctor treats any underlying health conditions

How often should my baby poop?

Nursing babies between 4 days and 6 weeks old typically have at least two bowel movements a day. After 6 weeks, babies may have fewer bowel movements, but every baby is different. After you get an idea of your child’s rhythms, it should be easier to determine what’s regular for them.

What does a baby’s poop look like when they’re teething?

You can learn a lot from your baby’s poop. It may look no different when they’re teething, especially if their teething pain doesn’t affect their diet.

What can cause constipation in babies?

Illness, a lack of fluids, and insufficient fiber are a few common causes of constipation. Travel can also affect bowel movements.

Teething and constipation aren’t directly linked. However, if your little one avoids fibrous foods because it hurts to chew them, or if they don’t consume liquids because their mouth hurts, they may become constipated.

Teething toys and other soothing measures can help reduce teething-related discomfort. If your little one is constipated, increasing their fluids or fiber may help. If their bowel movements continue to be difficult, or if you’re concerned about your child’s pain, it’s important to talk with their doctor.