Are you wondering if you have a constipated baby on hand?
The one thing no one tells you about being a new parent is how much you will obsess over baby poop.
Most new parents are freaked out about the slightest irregularity in the babies bowel movement.
If you are looking for remedies for constipation in babies, you are at the right place. Read on, to find out how to relieve a constipated baby.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CONSTIPATED BABY
Normal bowel movements are different for each child.
In the first month, infants tend to have one bowel movement a day. Constipation in breastfed babies is uncommon. After the first month, babies can go a few days or even a week between bowel movements. Formula fed babies can have 3-4 bowel movements a day or a bowel movement every few days.
Since their abdominal muscles are weak the baby may have difficulty passing stools at this stage. Babies tend to strain, cry, and get red in the face when they have a bowel movement. This does not mean they are constipated. It is important to note that as long as bowel movements are soft, the frequency should not matter.[Source]
In most cases, if the baby is passing infrequent stools that are hard and dry then the baby is constipated.
Some of the first signs of a constipated baby are,
- Baby is visibly uncomfortable, and cranky when trying to pass stools
- Hard and dry stools
- Bloated or swollen belly
- Blood in the stool (a sign that the child is straining too hard.)
REASONS FOR CONSTIPATION IN BABIES
- Change in the type of formula or switched from breastmilk to formula
- Started solid foods
- Introduced to travel or new and potentially stressful situations for baby. In stressful situations, the baby may learn how to hold poop in.
Related reading: Natural Remedies To Treat Cold And Cough In Babies
HOW TO RELIEVE CONSTIPATION IN BABIES QUICKLY
1. Change the formula/or your diet if breastfeeding
Though it is rare that babies on an all liquid diet suffer from constipation, exclusively formula fed babies may suffer from constipation. In this case, talk with your pediatrician and look for an alternate formula for the baby.
In the case of breastfed babies suffering from constipation, the mom can consider changing her diet to check for any change in babies bowel movements.
Removing dairy from mothers diet can help since excessive dairy consumption is known to cause constipation. And if this is passing through milk to baby maybe it is causing baby some discomfort.
2. Baby exercise
Try the cycle legs exercise. For babies that are not yet walking, try keeping baby on back and moving his legs in the cycling position.
3. Baby massage
A gentle massage on babies tummy moving the palm of your hand in the clockwise direction can help ease some of the bloating the baby is feeling and get bowel movements started.
4. Warm bath
Sometimes a warm bath followed by tummy massage can help baby feel less bloated and restart bowel movements.
5. Increase fluid intake
Increase water and breast milk intake. Be careful when offering water that you don’t fill the baby on water and displace breastmilk. A few sips of water every few hours can help baby stay hydrated and ease bowel movements.
Remember water and solid foods are to be offered only after completing 6 months of age. The WHO recommends babies be exclusively breastfed or formula fed the first 6 months of life.
For babies above 6 months of age, you can give a little pear juice or prune juice. Once again be careful not to fill baby up on juices. Limit juices to 60 ml-120 ml a day. [source]
6. Foods that relieve constipation in babies
Certain high fiber foods can help relieve constipation in babies above 6 months of age.
- Prunes: Can be offered as a puree.
- Raisins: Can be offered as a puree too. If the baby is good with a pincer grasp and self-feeding then raisins can be offered as finger foods too. Take care to slice the raisins vertically in halves or to mash them and then offer.
- Whole wheat pasta
- Brown rice
- Beans: Mash the beans and offer the baby.
- Broccoli: Steamed broccoli florets as a finger food or broccoli puree can be offered to baby.
- Pears: Steamed pear slices, pear puree or thick pear juice can be offered to baby.
- Oats: Make a simple oats porridge for baby.
- Green peas: Green peas can be offered as a soup, puree, green pea fritters or simply by mashing individual green peas and offering as finger food.
Avoid offering too much bread, white pasta, applesauce, rice cereal. All these foods are low in fiber and can cause constipation. For a more detailed look at foods that relieve constipation in babies and toddlers, read this post of mine.
When all these options do not work, and it’s been more than 8 -10 days that baby has passed a motion, you may want to talk with your pediatrician to see if further medical help is needed. Until then, do not stress continue giving baby lots of exercise, massage, and fiber-rich foods.
Do you know of home remedies for constipation in babies? Leave me a comment with what remedies worked for your baby.