It is common for babies to go red in the face, push and seem to strain when they are passing a motion even when they are not constipated. If the motions are soft your child is not constipated.
It is normal for a new born up until three weeks old to have several bowel motions per day and after this it should slow to once or twice per day.
Some babies go only once every 7–10 days and although this is considered normal it is not desirable. If your baby has not passed their first bowel motion by 24 hours after birth, you should see your doctor.
However many babies will strain excessively with crying while trying to pass a bowel motion or pass wind. This is not normal and occurs in breast fed or formula fed babies equally.
Osteopathic treatment may assist in the management of your baby's bowel function possibly by helping to relax the pelvis and coordinate the gut functioning.
In some instances the baby may have a food sensitivity commonly lactose intolerance or gluten which can cause constipation or irregular bowel movements. In this case consulting a naturopath may be useful.
In older babies starting on solids some foods are known to be associated with constipation. These foods often belong to a FODMAP group which have long chain polysaccharides and are difficult for the baby to digest. Pumpkin is an example of a food that may be a problem. Keeping a food diary and making your own baby food can be helpful in this situation.