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Can Switching From Formula to Whole Milk Cause Constipation?

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated April 18, 2017
Switching from formula to whole milk might cause tummy issues.

When your baby celebrates her first birthday, it’s usually time to say goodbye to formula and make the switch to whole milk. If you notice changes in your little one’s stool pattern, it’s possible that the dietary change could be causing constipation troubles. You have some options for resolving these issues to help your youngster feel better.

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Symptoms of Constipation

Assess your little one to determine whether he shows signs of constipation. If your child experiences pain when passing stools or cannot pass stools, he might be constipated. Stools that appear very hard or resemble small pellets also indicate constipation. If your child has fewer than three stools in a one-week period or if you notice runny stool residue in your little one’s diaper, this might also indicate constipation, according to physician Donna D’Alessandro, published on the Virtual Pediatric Hospital website.

Dairy Intolerance

It’s possible that a dairy intolerance could be causing your little one’s constipation discomfort, advises pediatrician Alan Greene. Other symptoms of a dairy intolerance include a runny nose, dry skin or eczema, wheezing and increased incidence of ear infections. Your little one might show other symptoms of dairy intolerance or constipation could be the only symptom.

Fats in Whole Milk

Children between the ages of 1 and 2 should have whole milk, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP indicates that some youngsters might benefit from low-fat milk instead of whole milk if a family history of heart disease, obesity or cholesterol problems exist. Some children might react to the fats in whole milk by becoming constipated, advises the Andorra Pediatrics website.

Other Milk Options

Sometimes switching to soy milk can resolve constipation problems, advises Greene. It’s possible that your little one may also have a soy intolerance, however. If this is the case, the problems will persist, despite the dietary change. To alleviate constipation symptoms, try feeding your little one a hypoallergenic formula for two weeks. If the constipation resolves, you can surmise that your child has a dairy and/or soy intolerance. Rice or almond milk might be viable alternatives for your toddler in this circumstance.

Consult Your Physician

Whenever health issues such as constipation occur in your child, call your physician to receive support and recommendations. The result of ongoing constipation could involve stool impaction and anal fissures, which could lead to your little one trying to withhold stools due to fear of pain. To avoid these undesirable issues, seek assistance for resolving constipation.

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About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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