How to Relieve Constipation for Babies with Coconut Oil

Why do babies get constipated so easily nowadays?

Baby constipation

Thanks to the infant formula that contains little or no dietary fiber and medium-chain fatty acids that are critical for infants to move their bowels regularly.

In contrast, exclusively breastfed infants are rarely constipated because breast milk has got a good amount of medium-chain fatty acids that almost always help to soften stools and stimulate bowel movement for infants.

So, if you exclusively feed your baby infant formula, you need coconut oil since coconut oil has considerable amount of medium-chain fatty acids (especially lauric acid) that are also present in breast milk. Here are the 3-step guide to help your baby relieve constipation with the correct use of coconut oil.

Step 1: Choose Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil carries the best nutritional structure for both health improvement and bowel movement. And if it's organic, that will be even better for infants since you wouldn't want to expose them to pesticides, unknown substances or artificial chemicals. So, make sure you choose only organic virgin coconut oil for your baby.

Side note: You can also use deodorized organic coconut oil (RBD), which carries almost the same constipation-relief benefit as that of virgin coconut oil.

Step 2: Test for Allergic Reaction

Unless he or she is born allergic to coconut, virgin coconut oil should not trigger any allergy-like reactions on your baby (at least so far I have not heard of anyone suffering allergy from eating virgin coconut oil).

But to play safe, perform a quick test by gently rubbing a dab of the oil on the inside of your baby's elbow area. Let the oil seep through the skin.

If your baby is allergic to virgin coconut oil, it should appear within a few minutes. But it's good to make sure virgin coconut oil is good on the infants externally for at least 12 hours before starting it internally on them.

Step 3: Start Little and Increase Progressively

Virgin coconut oil can be powerful in moving bowels. So, the first thing you need to do is to start with just half a teaspoon (NOT tablespoon) on your baby.

Mix ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) of virgin coconut oil in your baby's breakfast. And make sure he or she drinks enough fluid as well because adequate fluid intake is still necessary for bowel stimulation.

After 4–5 hours if your baby still shows no signs of moving bowels, pour another 1 teaspoon into his or her meal (if your baby has past lunch time, then give him or her some snacks along with the oil).

For the first 5 days, keep the maximum daily intake of virgin coconut oil at just 3 teaspoons, spreading throughout the day. Then on the 6th day if your baby looks fine with virgin coconut oil, up his or her intake by teaspoonful like this – instead of ½ teaspoon added to breakfast, make it 1 or 1½ teaspoon. Lunch will be 2 teaspoons and so on. Maintain maximum daily intake of 6 teaspoons for another 5 days before you increase the amount again.

When I say maximum, I do not mean that you need to give your baby that much. If let's say he or she can move bowels with just 5 teaspoons per day, then keep to that amount.

There's no one standard dosage for all infants since each baby has a different body constitution and may react differently with virgin coconut oil. You just have to find and fine-tune the right dosage for your baby that will help him or her relieve constipation.

Please bear in mind not to feed virgin coconut oil when your baby's stomach is empty. Also, never attempt to feed him or her straight from the jar. Always mix coconut oil with food. This can help to prevent him or her from getting the runs too frequently and suffering from bad stomach cramp.

The key to treating constipation in infants with virgin coconut oil is to start with a small amount first (just to be on the safe side) and then increase the amount gradually and progressively. At the same time, monitor closely for any peculiar reactions on your baby and respond accordingly based on your own judgment.

This 3-step guide on constipation relief with coconut oil works for toddlers as well.

Note: In case you start breastfeeding your baby but your baby is still not moving bowels smoothly, you can actually consume virgin coconut oil to increase the production of medium-chain fatty acids in your breast milk. Same thing as feeding your baby virgin coconut oil, you need to start with a small dose first and then increase the amount of virgin coconut oil gradually to avoid diarrhea-like effect on you.

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10 thoughts on “How to Relieve Constipation for Babies with Coconut Oil

  1. I have eased my newborn with terrible gas by putting him on Babies magic tea. I was mixing one oz of this tea in 8oz formula and was giving it twice a day and twice in the night for the first two days and after that just two times in the night.

    • Hi Jaylene, don't rush and start giving a tablespoon of coconut oil or more. It'll cause great discomfort when she experiences stomach cramp. Start her off with 1/2 teaspoon of virgin coconut oil first and build up the amount from there. Follow the instructions under Step 3 (above).

      And yes, you can mix the oil into her milk. You can also add coconut oil to fruit juice if you happen to feed her that. Coconut oil is versatile.

      One thing worth mentioning is, many infants do not drink adequate amount of water. Coconut oil helps to gather water to soften the stool. So, if water intake is not enough, she might have problem relieving her constipation. Remember to let her drink enough water.

      At 2 years old, her abdominal muscles are weak and she's not able to push the stool out. So, adequate water intake is crucial for her to have an effective constipation relief.

  2. I tried giving my 6 month 3 weeks old baby 2.5ml virgin coconut oil in his milk this morning and it helped a lot in softening his stool. How many days should I give him virgin coconut oil? How can I encourage my baby to drink more water? Thank you!

    • Hi Julie, instead of treating virgin coconut oil as a constipation relief, why don't you give it to your little baby every day to keep him healthy and safe from germs? 2.5 ml is a good amount to start with for a 6-month-old.

      To get him to drink more water, just add a little more water to his milk. That's the easiest way I can think of.

      If you're beginning to give him solid food, make the food more runny by adding a bit more water. This not only makes it easier for him to swallow but also offers him more opportunity to consume more water.

      • Do I need to increase the volume of virgin coconut oil as he grows older? Yes, he is already starting to eat solid foods. Thank you for your suggestions.

        • Hi Julie, yes, you should raise his virgin coconut oil intake as he grows older. But do it gradually and progressively and not shoot up to 15 ml per day all of a sudden.

          For example, when he turns 9 months old and you think it's time to increase his intake of virgin coconut oil, then apart from the morning 2.5 ml, you can also mix another 2.5 ml in his lunch. That way he'll have 5 ml altogether for the day.

          Make the transition seamless and smooth for him so that virgin coconut oil will become a staple in his diet.

  3. hi i got my 6 weeks girl she dont have to much wind buy she is constipatit.what can i use to help her as i have fone the warm bath baby tommy message.

    • Hi Viola, first, let me get this correct. You've done the warm bath baby tummy massage, right? She's still constipated.

      In my opinion, I'm afraid she's too young to be fed coconut oil for constipation. She probably just needs to drink a bit more water to get her bowels to move. Anyway, please bring her to a pediatrician and seek advice.

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