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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

The Best Baby Formulas For Constipation (2023 Guide)

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please read my disclosure.

This in-depth, parent-friendly guide will help you find and buy the best baby formulas for constipation. You will learn what types of baby formulas are available, what ingredients to avoid in formula, pros and cons of different brands, and where you can reliably purchase the best baby formulas for both preventing and managing constipation. I update this post monthly to ensure that all of the information below is recent and accurate!

photo of common US baby formula brands (similac, enfamil, etc) on drugstore shelf - best baby formulas for constipation

Finding the right baby formula is so important for your baby’s overall health, well being, growth and development, and general comfort! For parents that either can’t or don’t want to breastfeed, the ideal formula should provide all of the necessary nutrients to support your baby’s growth, while still being gentle on their digestive system.

But the thing is, most babies get constipated from time to time. While it’s more common in formula fed babies, sometimes, even exclusively breastfed babies get constipated (which was the case for my kids when they were about 4 months old!)

Constipation is a common problem for infants, because infant digestive systems are underdeveloped and can react sensitively to changes in breast milk composition, formula composition, or just overall digestive system development! But there are few things worse for parents that seeing your baby in distress, which is why, if you are using formula to either supplement or exclusively feed, finding the best formula for constipation is so important.

The right baby formula can either prevent constipation altogether, or can help improve symptoms or reduce constipation issues in babies. But the problem is, most commercial, non-organic formulas out there can cause digestive issues and baby constipation!

Thankfully, there are a number of high-quality, organic formulas that can be hugely beneficial for babies suffering from constipation. After researching the differences between the many infant formulas on the market, I have found the best baby formulas for preventing constipation – ensuring your little one will get the nutrition they need, while also being able to be content and comfortable after feeding.

Read on to learn all about constipation in babies, including finding the best baby milk for constipation, pros & cons of each, and how to know when you should switch formulas. I’ve also given some general advice to help you determine whether your baby is actually constipated, how to alleviate constipation symptoms, and how to make an informed decision around choosing a formula to support your baby’s digestive health.

Why Do Babies Experience Constipation?

There are 5 main factors that can contribute to constipation in infants:

  • Baby Formula Composition: Formula milk is made up of whey and casein protein, but casein is a much heavier, harder to digest protein than whey. Breast milk has a 60:40 whey:casein ratio, and the extra whey in breast milk makes it easier to digest. Formulas that have more casein than whey can cause constipation in babies.
  • Dehydration & Growth Spurts: Sometimes, when babies go through a growth spurt, their digestive system can slow down, causing more water to be absorbed from their stools in their digestive tract – which can cause constipation. Additionally, inadequate fluid intake can cause babies’ stools to harden, making them more difficult to pass.
  • Introduction Of Solid Foods: Transitioning from breast milk or formula to solid foods can temporarily disrupt an infant’s digestive system and result in constipation. Usually this is because the solid foods themselves are constipating, or because more water is needed to balance out the addition of solid foods in your baby’s diet.
  • Food Sensitivities Or Allergies: Intolerance to specific ingredients (typically the most common are: dairy, gluten, soy, corn, nuts) in baby formula or solid foods can lead to digestive issues, including constipation. While soy-based formula is considered an alternative to cow’s milk formulas for babies who can’t tolerate cow’s milk, soy formulas come with their own issues that can still sometimes cause constipation.
  • Other Medical Conditions: This is much less common, but sometimes other medical issues can cause constipation in infants.

How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Constipated?

Constipation in babies can be a tricky topic. It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether your baby is constipated, even when you are constantly involved in diaper duty!

Baby bowel movement frequency can vary pretty widely, and it is normal for some babies to go five or more days without a bowel movement.

Breastfed babies may need a diaper change after every feed, or they may go for up to a week without a bowel movement.

Formula-fed babies may pass stools anywhere from several times a day to several times a week. This usually reduces to one bowel movement a day after solid foods are introduced.

It’s also fairly normal for infants to strain somewhat when having a bowel movement, as long as the stool is soft.

So how do you know if you have a constipated baby, or if their bowel movements are just normal?

Here are the top signs of infant constipation:

  • Straining Or Crying During Bowel Movements: Hard stools can cause babies distress and they may arch their back, experience bloating, go red in the face, or cry when having a bowel movement.
  • Hard, Pellet-Like Stools: Constipated babies usually produce dry stools that resemble hard pellets or balls, rather than having a liquidy, peanut-butter-like, or pasty consistency.
  • Change In Frequency: Infant constipation is characterized by infrequent, hard, or difficult-to-pass bowel movements. While the frequency of bowel movements varies among babies, constipation is generally suspected when a baby goes more than a few days without passing stools or when the stools are notably hard and cause visible discomfort.
  • Bloated Or Firm Abdomen, Irritability, Discomfort: These are all signs of constipation — that your baby’s digestive system is impacted and they may be backed up.
  • Decreased Appetite: If your infant is really struggling to pass stools and is refusing to eat, he or she is probably constipated.
  • Infrequent Wet Diapers: This may indicate dehydration and not enough fluids, which in turn can cause constipation.

While occasional constipation is generally not a cause for concern, make sure to consult your baby’s doctor if:

  • Constipation becomes chronic or severe
  • Your baby is experiencing significant pain or discomfort
  • There’s blood in your baby’s stool
  • Your baby is not gaining weight appropriately
  • Home remedies and adjustments to the baby’s diet do not improve the situation

Your pediatrician will help determine the underlying cause of constipation and recommend appropriate treatments, such as adjusting the baby’s formula or suggesting other dietary changes.

Does Formula Feeding Make Babies More Constipated?

It depends! While it is not a definitive rule, formula-fed babies can be more prone to constipation compared to breastfed babies. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Overall Composition: Breast milk contains the perfect balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates for an infant’s digestive system, making it easily digestible. It also has prebiotic fibers and probiotics that promote healthy bowel movements and prevent constipation. Formula, on the other hand, is designed to mimic breast milk but may not contain the same unique properties, which could make it harder for some babies to digest.
  • Protein Structure & Fatty Acids: Some formulas have more longer chain fatty acids and more casein protein than breast milk, which can be harder for babies to break down and digest. Constipation can sometimes be a symptom of cow’s milk protein allergy, which is estimated to affect between two and seven percent of infants. However, there are some excellent formulas that contain partially or extensively hydrolyzed (broken down) proteins, which are much easier to digest and are less likely to have an allergenic effect. Here are my recommendations for the best hypoallergenic formulas – these can be considered “formula that doesn’t cause constipation.” If you are looking for US-made formulas specifically, take a look at this post on the best baby formulas made in the US.
  • Variation In Ingredients: Ingredients like soy, palm oil, and more processed ingredients may not always align with an individual baby’s digestive needs. This can sometimes lead to constipation in formula-fed babies, especially if they are sensitive to specific ingredients or if the formula lacks components that promote gut health.
  • Over-Concentration: If a powdered or concentrated liquid formula is not prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it might become too concentrated. This can lead to dehydration, as the baby may not receive enough water, which can contribute to constipation.
  • Slower Digestion: Infant formula is thicker than breast milk, and generally takes longer to digest, which can result in a slower transit time through the digestive system. This can make stools harder and more difficult to pass, potentially causing constipation.

Note: You may have heard that iron-fortified formula can contribute to infant constipation, but clinical studies conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics have shown that this is not true. On the contrary, iron is very important for preventing anemia in babies and it contributes to the creation of red blood cells.

Also keep in mind that your infant could briefly experience constipation if you are switching from breast milk to formula for the first time. Introducing solid foods can also result in constipation. However, this can usually be resolved quickly and naturally by making sure that your infant is eating plenty of fiber and staying hydrated. 

So overall, while some types of baby formula may contribute to constipation, it’s important to note that not all formula-fed babies experience constipation. By choosing a formula that is suitable for your baby’s age, sensitivities, and specific needs, you can minimize the risk of constipation.

If your baby is formula-fed and experiencing constipation, it is recommended to consult your pediatrician for guidance on selecting an appropriate formula or making adjustments to your baby’s feeding routine.

How To Know When To Switch Baby Formulas For Constipation

If your baby is struggling with constipation or tummy troubles, you might be wondering, “should I switch formulas if my baby is constipated?” The answer is, it depends! Switching formulas may help. However, it’s important to rule some things out before switching out your current formula, as understanding why your baby is constipated is important before switching formulas. Here is what to do to determine whether it’s necessary to switch formulas for constipation:

  • Check Bottle Preparation: The first thing to do is to make sure that you are correctly following the instructions for preparing a bottle and ensure that you aren’t using too much powder, as this could lead to dehydration.
  • Conduct Regular Stomach Massages: Gently massaging your baby’s stomach in a clockwise direction can also be very helpful for their digestion, as can giving them a warm bath and making sure that they are doing plenty of rolling and moving their legs. 
  • Check With Your Pediatrician: It’s often a good idea to consult with your pediatrician in order to rule out lactose intolerance or allergies, or rarer medical conditions that could also be the culprit behind the constipation symptoms. It’s also a good idea to discuss your baby’s diet with your pediatrician, including when you are thinking about changing formula.
  • If Your Baby Is Eating Solids, Try High Fiber Foods And Water: For older babies who are already eating some solids, introducing high-fiber foods such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, broccoli, pears, beans, and prunes can help. A small amount of water or prune, apple, or pear juice may also help to ease infant constipation. 

If you have tried all of these and your baby is still experiencing constipation, then it may be a good idea to try a new formula, especially if you aren’t yet using an organic European formula like HiPP Baby Formula, Holle, or Lebenswert.

It’s important to remember that when you switch formulas, your baby’s digestive system has to adjust to a brand-new composition of nutrients. Which is why switching baby formulas should be done gradually to allow your baby’s digestive system to adjust.

Start by mixing the new formula with the old one, gradually increasing the ratio of the new formula over several days. Make sure to closely follow the instructions for preparing a bottle, especially the proportion of powder to water, to ensure that your baby doesn’t become dehydrated. 

Keep an eye on your baby’s bowel movements and overall well-being during this transition period. If the constipation persists or worsens, consult your baby’s pediatrician for further guidance.

Quick Picks: Best Baby Formula For Constipation

This is our “at a glance” view of the best formula milk for constipation. Looking for a budget friendly formula? The best overall? A goat milk formula? We have you covered.

We chose these formulas based on: over 100 hours of research, speaking with thousands of parents on what has worked for their children (along with personal experience with my own two kids), reviewing the ingredients of every goat formula brand on the market, and speaking with doctors and pediatricians.

Further down in this guide you will find a detailed list of the best formulas that help with constipation, and why we love each of those options.

Types Of Baby Formula For Constipation

There are many different kinds of baby formula to prevent constipation and gas in babies. Here are some common types to consider:

  • Organic Formulas With Prebiotics: Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, while probiotics are live bacteria that can improve gut health. Formulas containing prebiotics and/or probiotics can help maintain a healthy digestive system and support regular bowel movements, reducing the risk of constipation. This type of milk-based formula can be a good option for babies who experience constipation due to an imbalance in gut bacteria or those who need additional support for their digestive health.
  • Hydrolyzed Protein Formulas: These hypoallergenic formulas contain proteins that have been broken down into smaller molecules, making them easier to digest. Extensively hydrolyzed formulas are especially beneficial for babies with allergies or sensitivities to cow’s milk protein, as they reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction. By improving digestion and reducing the risk of inflammation, this type of formula can help alleviate constipation in some infants.
  • Vegan Baby Formulas: Some babies can’t tolerate any kind of dairy or have a sensitivity to lactose, which can cause constipation. In that case, vegan baby formulas can be a good option since they, by definition, will be dairy-free and lactose-free.

How To Choose The Best Baby Formula For Preventing Constipation

There are a few things to look for when choosing the best baby formulas for constipation:

✅ Ideally organic, or at least Non-GMO. If the milk is imported from the EU or NZ that’s even better, because you end up with higher standards for the treatment of animals and the processing of milk. Holle Formulas, Jovie and HiPP are all organic.

✅ Primary carbohydrate is lactose. No syrup solids, sugar, glucose syrup, maltodextrin, or other added sugars used.

✅ 60:40 whey:casein ratio. Breast milk has a 60:40 whey to casein ratio, so it’s ideal for formulas to mimic this same ratio to avoid digestion issues, constipation, gas, discomfort in babies. Goat milk naturally has a 20:80 whey casein ratio, so many goat milk formulas will also end up with that same ratio. Breast milk contains more whey than casein – and goat milk contains much more casein than whey – so a formula that adds goat whey protein will be easier for babies to digest. An alternative is for formulas like Jovie which don’t have a whey:casein ratio that matches breast milk to add other ingredients like healthy fats and prebiotics that aids in digestion.

✅ Addition of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids (DHA/ARA). For healthy brain development, and to match what’s naturally found in breast milk.

✅ Prebiotics added. For gut health, as well as immune system support. Ideally, probiotics are added as well, but you can also supplement with probiotics for formulas that don’t contain it (but it’s much harder to supplement with prebiotics for infants). Prebiotics such as galacto-oligosaccharides and fructo-oligosaccharides are soluble fibers that help probiotics (beneficial microorganisms like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus) to thrive in baby’s digestive tract. In addition to preventing constipation, a healthy gut microbiome in infants has been linked to the prevention of food allergies, colic, eczema, and infectious diarrhea. Research indicates formulas with prebiotics can help infants have softer stools, more frequent bowel movements, a lower stool pH, and more “good bacteria” in their intestines than babies receiving standard, non-speciality formulas. Essentially, prebiotic/probiotic formulas are designed to help make the gut microbiota of formula-fed babies as healthy and as similar to those of breastfed infants as possible.

✅ No highly processed ingredients. This includes: carrageenan, soy protein (soybean oil is ok), no nutrients extracted with hexane (this applies to DHA, but also any other nutrients added to the formula), etc.

Ingredients To Avoid In Formulas For Preventing Constipation

❌ GMOs: Look for formulas that are certified non-GMO. If you buy organic baby formulas, they will be automatically non-GMO. GMOs are concerning because they are genetically engineered crops that are made to be resistant to glyphosate / roundup – the residue of which can end up in food.

❌ Carrageenan: This ingredient has been banned in Europe but is still used in formulas in the US. It is know to cause inflammation in the intestines.

❌ Soy or Soy based products: Too much soy given to infants can lead to health complications in the future.

❌ Palm Oil: Palm oil is in most US formulas. It is not environmentally friendly, and can cause digestive issues in some babies. But this one is hard to avoid for the most part!

Here are the best baby formulas for constipation, and below I’ll give a little more detail about why I have chosen these options!

Some of the items below were given to me to review by the manufacturer or as part of an affiliate program. I may receive commissions if you make a purchase through the links provided. I only recommend products I’ve actually evaluated, I believe are the highest quality, and can do the most to help you and your family. By purchasing any of these products from the links below, you help keep this blog running, so thanks for your support!

Keep in mind that every person & situation is different, especially yours, so make sure to talk to your doctor and see how these guidelines and tips can help you. These tips are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard or delay in seeking professional medical advice because of something you read here!

My recommendations are based on the manufacturer’s claims and ingredients list, and what I feel best giving to my own family. Your individual results may be different based on your overall diet, exercise, age, weight, family history, or pre-existing conditions.

The Best Baby Formulas for Constipation in 2023 (Details)

Bobbie Organic Infant Formula

Can of Bobbie organic infant formula.

Bobbie is made from grass-fed milk from pasture-raised cows, and is the first USDA Organic, European-Style Infant Formula that meets FDA requirements. It’s great if you want a formula with no palm oil, no soy oil, no maltodextrin, and that doesn’t have any pre or probiotics added. Bobbie does have DHA added, extracted with water (no hexane!) This baby formula is also Pesticide-Free Certified and received the Clean Label Project Purity Award. (Learn more: Bobbie Formula Review, Palm Oil In Baby Formula).

Price: $30 per can without a subscription, or $23.50 with a subscription. Also, you can try their formula for only $20 per can with their starter bundle!

Best Formula To Prevent Constipation:

  • 100% organic ingredients
  • No palm oil, no soy oil
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
  • 60:40 whey:casein ratio to match mature breast milk creates a baby formula that supports easier digestion
Pros
USDA Organic And Non GMO
No palm oil, no soy oil
No maltodextrin
Gentle whey:casein ratio, matches breast milk
Healthy fats, vegetarian friendly DHA added
Affordable
Made in the US
Cons
No prebiotics
No probiotics
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HiPP Dutch

HiPP Dutch Stage 1

HiPP Dutch Combiotic Formula is nutritionally-complete and is one of the closest formula alternatives to breast milk. It’s a great choice if you are starting your baby on formula and want to prevent constipation or digestive issues to begin with.

This baby formula that helps with constipation is free from starch, gluten, maltodextrin, corn syrup, GMO ingredients, synthetic ingredients, and synthetic preservatives. All HiPP Dutch formulas are made with high-quality organic skimmed milk, organic whey powder, organic vegetable oils, and organic lactose. They contain essential vitamins, nutrients, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. HiPP Dutch Combiotic formula includes both prebiotics (galacto-oligosaccharides) as well as a probiotic (Lactobacillus), thus providing beneficial microorganisms and the dietary fibers that will help those bacteria flourish in the intestines.

Price: $48 per can without a subscription, or $45 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Best Formula To Avoid Constipation

  • 100% organic ingredients
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
  • 60:40 whey:casein ratio to match mature breastmilk
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Contains probiotics
  • Contains DHA & ARA
Pros
Organic and Non GMO
No maltodextrin or syrups added
Whey:casein ratio that matches breastmilk
Prebiotics & probiotics added
DHA & ARA added
Cons
On the more expensive side
Contains palm oil
Buy Now

HiPP PRE

hipp pre baby formula

HiPP PRE is made in Germany, but is virtually identical in ingredients and in composition to HiPP Dutch, so I’d rank it just as highly as HiPP Dutch here! It is meant for any formula-fed baby aged 0-3 months, so it’s great for newborns or preemies who are either exclusively formula fed or for parents needing to supplement.

Price: $41 per can without a subscription, or $38 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Best For Preventing Constipation:

  • 100% organic ingredients
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
  • Gentle on newborn tummies
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics – which helps create a baby formula that doesn’t cause constipation
  • Contains DHA & ARA
Pros
Organic & Non GMO
No maltodextrin or syrups added
Super gentle, as it’s designed for newborns
Contains prebiotics & probiotics
Contains DHA & ARA
Cons
On the more expensive side
Contains palm oil
Comes in a cardboard box vs. a can which can be harder to store
Buy Now

Kendamil Organic

kendamil organic constipation formula

Kendamil is made from grass-fed cows and comes from the UK. It’s great if you want a whole milk option, instead of skimmed milk for your little one. This milk for constipated babies has DHA, ARA and prebiotics added, and contains no palm or soy oil – which makes it super gentle on a baby’s digestive system! And thanks to operation fly formula it’s available in the US (online or in stores!)

Price: $46 per can without a subscription, or $43 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Best For Preventing Constipation:

  • 100% organic ingredients
  • Made with whole milk
  • No palm oil
  • No soy oil
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Contains DHA & ARA
Pros
Organic and Non GMO
Made with whole milk instead of skimmed milk for more healthy fats
No palm oil or soy oil
No maltodextrin or syrup solids
Contains prebiotics
Contains vegetarian friendly DHA & ARA
FDA regulated as part of operation fly formula
Cons
No probiotics
On the more expensive side
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HiPP UK

HiPP UK Stage 1 formula

HiPP UK Combiotic is very similar to its Dutch counterpart, with the key difference being that it does not contain probiotics. However, this formula to help with constipation does contain prebiotic fibers in the form of galacto-oligosaccharides from lactose, just like HiPP Dutch, and is a more affordable option.

Price: $42 per can without a subscription, or $39 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Best For Preventing Constipation:

  • 100% organic ingredients
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Contains DHA & ARA
Pros
Organic and Non GMO
No maltodextrin or syrups added
Contains prebiotics
Contains DHA & ARA
Cons
Contains palm oil
No probiotics
Comes in a cardboard box vs. a can which can be harder to store
Buy Now

Lebenswert

Lebenswert Stage 1 Organic baby formula

Lebenswert formulas are made in Germany and are Bioland certified. This means that they adhere to very strict organic standards, exceeding the EU’s minimum requirements for organic certification. This formula that helps with constipation is made with organic skimmed milk, organic whey powder, a blend of organic vegetable oils, organic lactose, and a healthy proportion of vitamins and minerals. Lebenswert formulas are great for preventing constipation and have a very simple list of ingredients — they do not contain pre/probiotics, nor omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids such as DHA/ARA. Lebenswert formulas do not contain maltodextrin, corn syrup, or starch and they are always free from synthetic and GMO ingredients and preservatives.

Price: $31 per can without a subscription, or $28 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Best For Preventing Constipation:

  • 100% organic ingredients
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
  • No starch
Pros
Organic and Non GMO
No maltodextrin or syrups added
Budget friendly
No starch
Bioland certified
Cons
Contains palm oil
No prebiotics
No probiotics
No DHA or ARA
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Holle PRE

Holle PRE is another excellent German formula that can help prevent infant constipation. Like Lebenswert, Holle PRE does not contain “extras” such as pre/probiotics, DHA, or ARA. Holle formulas are especially notable because they are made with biodynamic organic milk from Demeter-certified farms. Biodynamic farming standards go a step beyond even Bioland standards in terms of their emphasis on self-sustaining and chemical-free agriculture, ecosystem preservation, and animal health and welfare. This best milk for a constipated baby uses lactose as its only carbohydrate source, rather than maltodextrin. It also contains more milk fat than most other formulas, which rely mainly on vegetable oils. Holle PRE undoubtedly contains some of the highest-quality organic ingredients in the world and is an all-around excellent infant formula.

Price: $29 per can without a subscription, or $26 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Best Milk For Preventing Baby Constipation:

  • 100% organic ingredients
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
  • No starch
Pros
Organic and Non GMO
Demeter certified, bioland certified
No maltodextrin
No starch
Affordable option
Cons
No prebiotics
No probiotics
No DHA or ARA
Contains palm oil
Buy Now

Kabrita USA (Goat Milk Formula)

best baby formula kabrita

Kabrita USA is a goat’s milk toddler formula from the Netherlands that may be helpful for toddlers experiencing constipation problems, as well as conditions such as gas, diarrhea, eczema, or reflux associated with cow milk. One of the main reasons for its success is that goat’s milk protein is easier to digest than cow’s milk protein.

Goat milk products are not suitable for children with a confirmed cow’s milk protein allergy, but it may be appropriate for children with cow’s milk sensitivity and it can be particularly useful during weaning or as a breast milk supplement. Although it is labeled as a toddler formula due to FDA regulations about clinical studies, Kabrita Goat Milk Toddler Formula meets FDA nutritional guidelines for infant formula. The whey: casein ratio and the use of lactose as the main carbohydrate make Kabrita USA more similar to breast milk than many cow’s milk formulas.

It also contains a premium fat blend, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, and the fatty acids DHA and ARA. Although Kabrita USA is not designated as organic by the USDA, it is non-GMO according to EU standards and certified glyphosate residue free. (Learn More: Benefits Of Goat Milk Formula).

Price: $23 per can without a subscription, or $19.50 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Best Milk For Constipated Toddler:

  • Non GMO
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
  • Easier to digest A2 goat milk protein
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Healthy fat blend
Pros
Non GMO, certified glyphosate residue free
Goat milk can be easier to digest for some babies
Contains prebiotics
No sugars or syrup solids
Very affordable
Cons
Not organic
Designed as a toddler formula, not an infant formula (even though it meets the nutritional requirements for infant formula)
Contains palm oil
No probiotics
Buy Now

Aussie Bubs Goat Milk Formula

Aussie Bubs Goat Milk Baby Formula Can

Bubs Goat Milk Formula is exclusively formulated for babies aged 0-6 months and 6-12 months, and their goat milk is sourced from Australian goat dairy farms. They have two stages (Stage 1 and Stage 2) to match the two stages of development – early infancy to later infancy! Their formulas include DHA, ARA and prebiotics (GOS) to support gentle digestion and is one of the best formula milks for a constipated baby. Their DHA and ARA is also vegetarian friendly, and is derived from plants instead of fish. Their formulas are non-GMO and contain no corn syrup, maltodextrin, growth hormones, artificial sweeteners, chemicals, pesticides, colors or preservatives, and they are clean label purity project certified!

Price: $44 per can without a subscription, or $40 with a subscription (includes shipping). Use the code BUBS20 to get 20% off your order!

Best For Preventing Constipation:

  • Non GMO
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
  • Clean label purity project certified
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Contain DHA & ARA
Pros
Non GMO, clean label project certified
No sugar, maltodextrin, or syrup solids added
Vegetarian friendly DHA & ARA
Prebiotics added
Made with full fat goat cream, easier to digest A2 milk protein
Formula is made in Australia, but is produced in a US FDA registered and fully company owned facility.
Cons
On the more expensive side
No probiotics
Technically not organic
Contains palm oil
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Jovie Goat Milk Formula

jovie organic goat milk formula

A great option for a goat milk formula, Jovie is made in the Netherlands, and is committed to producing high quality, 100% organic whole goat milk formulas that meets babies and toddlers nutritional needs. It truly is one of the best best baby formula choices you can make for your little one! This formula for constipated babies comes in 3 stages: Stage 1 is from birth to 6 months, Stage 2 from 6-12 months of age, and Stage 3 for age 1+.

Price: $63 per can without a subscription, or $60 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Baby Milk That Helps With Constipation:

  • Organic & Non GMO
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Contain DHA & ARA
  • No palm oil
  • Made with whole cream, easier to digest goat milk
Pros
Organic ingredients, Non GMO
A2 goat milk proteins are easier to digest
Made with whole goat milk / full fat goat milk cream
No palm oil, no coconut oil
Added prebiotics
Added DHA & ARA
Cons
Very expensive
Doesn’t contain probiotics
Doesn’t have the same whey:casein ratio as breast milk (instead of 60:40, it’s more like 20:80)
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HiPP HA PRE

hipp ha pre baby formula for constipation

HiPP HA PRE Germany Combiotic formulas include both prebiotics (galacto-oligosaccharides) and a natural probiotic (Lactobacillus) just like HiPP Dutch. However, there is one major difference: the HiPP HA Germany formula is also hypoallergenic, which means that the cow’s milk proteins are extensively hydrolyzed (broken down into smaller protein chains) and are easier to digest. This makes it a great baby formula option for constipation. This formula also has 0% casein, and is 100% whey. It is an ideal choice for infants with milk protein sensitivity because the hydrolyzed proteins are much less likely to cause an allergic reaction. HiPP HA isn’t technically organic, because you can’t create organic hydrolyzed protein, but it still adheres to the strict EU guidelines and in some cases a hypoallergenic formula may be the best option for babies with digestion problems.

Price: $43 per can without a subscription, or $40 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Best For Treating Constipation And For Preventing Constipation:

  • 0% casein
  • Hydrolyzed proteins
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics
  • No starch
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
Pros
Much easier to digest whey:casein ratio
Hypoallergenic formula with hydrolyzed milk proteins
No starch
No maltodextrin
Contains prebiotics and probiotics
Cons
Not Organic
Contains palm oil
On the more expensive side
Only for young infants (0-3 months)
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HiPP HA

hipp ha baby formula

HiPP HA is a identical to HiPP HA PRE, except that contains starch to help babies feel more satiated and full. It is one of the best formulas for babies with constipation, as the hydrolyzed milk proteins can help alleviate constipation

Price: $43 per can without a subscription, or $40 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Best For Treating Constipation And For Preventing Constipation:

  • 0% casein
  • Hydrolyzed proteins
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics
  • No starch
  • No maltodextrin or syrups added
Pros
Much easier to digest whey:casein ratio
Hypoallergenic formula with hydrolyzed milk proteins
Designed for older babies (3-12 months)
Contains prebiotics and probiotics
Contains DHA & ARA
Cons
Contains starch
Contains palm oil
On the more expensive side
Not organic
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HiPP Comfort

hipp comfort baby formula

HiPP Comfort is a specialty formula for infants who are already experiencing constipation, as well as other digestive issues, allergies, or colic. This is one of the best formula milk for constipation brands, as is is made with ingredients such as small, easily digestible proteins and a special fat blend that can help soften stool and make infants more comfortable after feeding.

Compared to other HiPP formulas, HiPP Comfort contains comparatively less lactose, and it does contain some starch and maltodextrin to promote digestion. This formula includes prebiotics (galacto-oligosaccharides) as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Although the use of hydrolyzed proteins in HiPP Comfort means that this formula can’t be officially certified as organic, it contains high-quality ingredients that have been specifically included to help ease your baby’s constipation and promote better digestion.

Because this is a specialty formula for managing health issues, I would recommend consulting your physician before introducing your infant to HiPP Comfort.

Price: $40 per can without a subscription, or $37 with a subscription (includes shipping).

Best For Treating Constipation And For Preventing Constipation:

  • Hydrolyzed proteins
  • Reduced lactose
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Designed to reduce constipation and gas in babies
  • No starch
Pros
Specifically formulated to reduce constipation and gas
Easier to digest hydrolyzed milk proteins
Reduced lactose
No syrup solids or added sugars
Contains prebiotics
Cons
Contains maltodextrin
Contains palm oil
Not organic
No probiotics
Buy Now

How To Introduce A New Formula To Your Baby

Introducing any new formula to your baby should be done gradually to allow their digestive system to adjust to the change.

To ensure a smooth transition, start with gradual introduction: Instead of switching formulas right away, gradually mix the new formula with the old formula over the course of a week. This will help your baby’s digestive system adjust and can minimize potential adverse reactions. For example:

  • Day 1-2: Mix 25% of the new formula with 75% of the old formula.
  • Day 3-4: Mix 50% of the new formula with 50% of the old formula.
  • Day 5-6: Mix 75% of the new formula with 25% of the old formula.
  • Day 7: Offer 100% of the new formula.

These proportions and the duration of each stage can be adjusted based on your baby’s reaction and individual needs. As you’re introducing the new formula, monitor your baby’s reaction – including any changes in bowel movements, appetite, mood, and sleep patterns. If your baby experiences any adverse reactions, such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, or rash, consult your pediatrician for guidance.

During the transition, maintain feeding routines. Try to keep your baby’s feeding routine as consistent as possible. Maintain the same feeding times and amounts, and ensure that the new formula is prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Be patient: It may take some time for your baby to adjust to the new formula. If your baby initially resists the change, remain patient, and continue to offer the mixed formula until they become accustomed to the taste and texture.

Follow up with your pediatrician: Once your baby has fully transitioned to the new formula, keep your health care provider informed of their progress. If any concerns or issues arise, your pediatrician can provide guidance and support to address these challenges.

Tips For Preventing And Relieving Constipation In Infants

Tips For Preventing Constipation In Babies

  • Ensure Proper Hydration: Offer your baby the appropriate amount of water, formula, or breast milk to drink based on their age. Adequate hydration can help soften stools and promote regular bowel movements.
  • Encourage Movement: Gently move your baby’s legs in a bicycle motion to help stimulate bowel movements and relieve constipation. You can also try giving them tummy time or a gentle abdominal massage to promote digestion.
  • Make Sure Your Baby Is Getting Enough Fiber: When introducing solid foods to your baby, start with small amounts and gradually increase the quantity. Offer high-fiber foods like pureed fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to help prevent constipation. Remember to introduce new foods one at a time to monitor for any adverse reactions.
  • Make Sure Formula Preparation Has Enough Water: When mixing powdered or liquid concentrate formula, ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions accurately. Over-concentration can lead to dehydration, which can contribute to constipation.

Tips for Treating Constipation in Babies

  • Constipation-Friendly Formula: If your baby is formula-fed, consider choosing formulas to help with constipation or one containing ingredients that promote gut health, such as prebiotics, probiotics, or hydrolyzed proteins.
  • Massage: Massaging your baby’s abdomen in a clockwise motion can help move things along and alleviate constipation.
  • Prune Juice Or Apple Juice: The sugars in fruit juice (primarily prune and apple juice) can help pull water into the digestive tract and stimulate a bowel movement in babies. Often you only need 1-2 ounces mixed with water to treat constipation.
  • Warm Bath: A warm bath can help relax your baby’s muscles and potentially alleviate constipation. Gently massage their belly during the bath to encourage bowel movements.
  • Rectal Stimulation: In some cases, gentle rectal stimulation using a lubricated thermometer or cotton swab can help induce a bowel movement. However, this should be done only under the guidance of your pediatrician, as improper technique can cause harm.
  • Talk To Your Doctor: If your baby has chronic constipation or none of these treatments work, talk to your pediatrician so they can examine your child.

Best Formulas For Constipation: FAQs

Is European Formula Better Than US Formula?

The answer is, it depends on which formulas you’re comparing! In general, organic European formulas like HiPP, Lebenswert, Loulouka, Kendamil, or Holle are healthier and better for your baby than standard, non-organic U.S. formulas.

This is because:
** Organic European baby formulas are subject to much stricter regulations than U.S. formulas, particularly when it comes to restricting the use of refined sugars such as corn syrup, maltodextrin, and glucose syrup. 
** Unlike many U.S. formulas, European infant formula brands such as HiPP, Lebenswert, and Holle are all considered lactose-based formula, and have a whey:casein ratio that mimics breast milk. 
** European formulas have an optimal blend of fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients such as long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, prebiotics, and probiotics. 
** European Union regulations has strict organic farming practices, and prevent the inclusion of GMO ingredients, hormones, synthetic nutrients, and synthetic preservatives. 

In contrast, most U.S. formulas have many of the synthetic ingredients listed above, don’t have an optimal whey:casein ratio, and contain added sugars — all of which can cause both constipation and digestive issues in babies. 

What is the best formula for constipated babies?

While there is no one-size fits all answer for babies who are constipated, my top three recommendations for the best infant formula for constipation include:
1. Bobbie Organic Formula – for its whey:casein ratio, affordability, closeness to breast milk, and organic certification.
2. Aussie Bubs or Jovie Goat Milk Formula for their prebiotics and easy to digest A2 milk proteins.
3. HiPP HA or HiPP Comfort for their hydrolyzed milk proteins and hypoallergenic formulation (which can sometimes be the best formula for a constipated baby).

What causes constipation in formula fed babies?

There are typically a few reasons that cause constipation in formula fed infants. They are: formula composition & whey:casein ratio not matching that of breast milk, added starches or sugars in the formula that are hard to digest, milk protein intolerance, over-concentration of formula, inadequate water intake, and formula taking longer to move through your baby’s digestive tract, since it’s “heavier” than breast milk.

What causes constipation in breastfed babies?

There are typically four main causes of constipation in a breastfed baby. They are: dehydration, introduction of solid foods or any diet changes, foods or allergens in the mother’s diet that transfers to her breastmilk, and underlying medical conditions (in very rare cases).

More Helpful Baby Formula Guides!

Final Thoughts

Constipation in infants can be challenging for both babies and parents! No parent ever wants to see their child in distress, but constipation can happen. If it does, try to stay calm and be patient — it usually doesn’t last long. Providing your child with the best formula available will go a long way towards your peace of mind, and will ensure that your baby is getting the closest possible alternative to breast milk. 

And, by understanding the causes and identifying the most suitable baby formulas for constipation relief, parents can help support their baby’s digestive health and comfort.

I hope this helps you find the best formula to alleviate your baby’s constipation or other tummy troubles! If you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below – I respond to every single one! 🙂

46 responses to “The Best Baby Formulas For Constipation (2023 Guide)”

  1. I really feel like I’m not being heard by my sons dr. So my sons always had a pooping problem, he never poops (not exaggerating) unless i give him prune juice and the Karo syrup and even now it seems to not help or make much of a difference. It seems as if he can go past 6 days without pooping and when he finally does it’s clay like at first and then it’ll sometimes get liquid seedy yellow. I’ve also noticed that he spits up A LOT, right after he eats and even hours after and he seems SO uncomfortable and sometimes it’ll smell like his formula and others like soury And sometimes it’ll be liquid and others it’ll be kinda like chunky. He’s gassy and He doesn’t like being laid down or on his tummy and hardly being in a sitting position, I always have to have him standing up. He’s constantly crying and fussy like he’s in pain and makes these weird noises that sometimes result in him spitting up. It’s hard to get him to sleep and to stay asleep, like we have to rock him to sleep and keep him in our arms. He is 4months and is currently on Similac Total Comfort. What formula would you recommend?

    • Hi there! I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s digestive struggles! That must be so stressful! At 4 months, that type of severe constipation is often linked to some sort of allergy. Has your son been tested for a cow’s milk protein allergy, or other allergies (gluten, corn, soy, etc.)? That would be the first thing I’d do — and if your pediatrician doesn’t want to give your son an allergy test, I’d get a second opinion from another pediatrician! Without knowing more about the underlying causes for his digestive issues, it’s hard for me to make a direct recommendation other than to tell you that HiPP Comfort is meant for babies with constipation. I’m happy to chat more once you have his allergy test results back to help you find a formula option that works!

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