Does Rice Cereal Cause Constipation in Babies?

Rice Cereal and Constipation

Does or Can Rice Cereal Cause a Constipation in Babies?

Rice Cereal and Constipation
Rice Cereal and Constipation

This kind of question usually asked when parents start giving theirs babies rice cereal (read:solid foods).

The transition from only “liquid foods” (breast milk or formula) to “solid foods” sometimes make babies constipated.



A mom on the forum asked a question: Rice Cereal, Does it cause constipation?
She state that her baby used to poop 2-3 times a day when she receive rice cereal once a day and she said it is normal for her. But when she start give her baby 2 times a day, 2 table spoon rice cereal each, her baby seem to be constipated.

Other mom share that when she giving her baby son rice cereal for the 1st time, her baby son was up almost entire night gassy and constipated.

Infant constipation usually begins when a baby transitions from “liquid foods” breast milk or formula to solid foods. Once solid food been given to a baby, the stools that usually soft are start to become more formed. The bowel movement frequency also beginning to lessen. That’s normal. But if babies start having difficulty to do a poo, crying and discomfort on their bowel movements, having less than 3 bowel movements a week, that are the sign of baby constipation.

So, rice cereal, does it really cause constipation in babies?

Well, the short answer is: rice cereal can cause constipation in babies. But the condition is not the same to every babies. And not only rice cereal, other foods that low in fiber that given on the “transition period” can cause constipation on babies. In fact transition between breast milk to formula can also cause constipation in babies.
That is why when you start introducing solid foods, you should give one new food at a time, and start with small amount first. So if there is a health issues such as constipation, you could identify which food that seem to cause the problem.

But if rice cereal is seem to be the culprit, do not suddenly stop it without consult it first with your babies pediatrician.
Rice cereal (white rice cereal) is said consist of 94 percent starch, (read it on other article: Rice Cereal For Infants: Is it true that white rice cereal make your kids fat?). But perhaps there is a reason why your babies pediatrician recommends rice cereal, so if you want to change it then you should consult it first with your baby pediatrician.

World Health Organization said that age 6-24 months for babies is very vulnerable period so the foods that given to infants in that period must meet the infants nutritional needs (read : infant feeding schedule). So for examples if rice cereal is given because it is iron fortified then if you want to change it then you need alternative foods with iron fortified also, or something that can prevent Iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can cause anemia to an infant. That is why you need to consult it first with your baby pediatrician if you want to change your babies foods intake.

Is there a way to treat constipation in babies?

Well other than change the food that cause the constipation, give the baby water or diluted fruit juice is said can help to prevent the constipation. The bath (warm bath) and bowel movement technique also said can help ease the constipation (although it’s a bit messy). But whatever you decide to do, please consult it first with your babies pediatrician.