Baby Constipation Remedies

Baby constipation is troublesome and uncomfortable for the infant. Learning to recognize that an infant is constipated is the first step to relieving their discomfort. Being aware of why a baby may become constipated will alert you to methods of alleviating the condition. Treating the condition results in a much more content baby.

Recognize Baby Constipation

Constipation in babies means that stools are hard, and stools are dry. Different babies pass stools with different regularity. Some babies will pass a stool after every meal, others may have a dirty diaper only once a day. Some babies may not be that regular. Recognize changes for your baby’s regularity.

Liquid stools may mean diarrhea. However, a constipated baby may pass a liquid stool which is finally let loose after passing a blockage. In other cases, liquid stool may escape around a stool blockage. Watch if baby is uncomfortable when having a bowel movement.

Know Why Baby is Constipated

A very common reason for constipation in babies is a change in diet. Breastfed babies are rarely constipated. A change to formula may make baby’s bowel movement irregular. Your pediatrician may advise a change in the type of formula.

When feeding your baby formula, mix it precisely according to the instructions. Too much powder is not good for the baby’s digestive system.

Change of Baby Diet

Constipation in babies may also be caused by a change in diet when they start eating solid foods such as rice cereal at six months of age. When starting infants on solid foods, do not put rice cereal into the baby bottle or combine rice cereal with formula in the baby bottle. Such a feeding processes does not allow regulation of solid and liquid in the baby’s diet.

Baby Constipation From Binding Foods

Not having enough liquid, and more importantly not having enough fiber, in the diet may cause constipation in babies. Foods which can cause constipation are bananas, rice, applesauce and toast; the very foods which are used to relieve diarrhea. Additionally, for a baby with constipation reduce cooked carrots, pasta, and white potatoes.

Excessive amounts of dairy in the diet may also cause the problem as well. Cow’s milk is not recommended for infants under a year old.

Treatment of Baby Constipation in Formula Fed Babies

For a formula fed infant, use a small amount of Karo brand Corn Syrup (less than two teaspoons from a brand new syrup bottle) in the bottle of formula.

A formula fed baby may need to switch to a soy based formula. Check with your pediatrician.

Between formula feedings, check if baby will sip a small amount of water. Use boiled water which has been cooled down. Warm the water to the same temperature as you would the formula.

Change the feeding schedule for a formula fed infant. Feed baby the same amount of formula as you have been, but try smaller amounts at more often intervals throughout the day.

Increase Exercise to Treat Constipation in Babies

If baby does not crawl, exercise the infant by rotating the legs in the air gently by holding his feet. This would look like the baby is lying on his back riding an invisible bicycle in the air. If baby is crawling, encourage crawling exercise.

Gentle Tummy Massage or Back Massage

Give baby a warm bath to relax tense muscles. Gently massage tender tummy muscles if not painful. When drying baby massage the lower back gently. Between baths hold baby resting on a warm adult’s chest, baby’s head on adult’s shoulder and gently massage lower back.

Treating Constipation in Babies Starting Solid Food

If your baby is older than six months and starting on solid food, switch to oat cereal or barley cereal rather than rice cereal.

Add baby fruits and vegetables to the cereal after he has shown he can digest cereal well. For a baby with constipation, add baby pears, baby peas, baby apricots, baby prunes, baby peaches or baby spinach.

Add diluted grape juice, diluted prune juice or diluted apple juice between baby feedings. Only introduce one new food or new juice at a time to monitor baby’s reaction to it.

Alleviate External Discomfort

For any baby diaper rashes which appear on baby’s skin, apply zinc ointment liberally to relieve any pain caused by diaper rash.

Check With Baby’s Pediatrician

On your pediatrician’s advice add a small amount of bran to the baby’s solid food diet if older than six months old.

Glycerine suppositories may relieve constipation in babies. Suppositories should be used on your pediatricians advisement. Infant suppositories should not be used continuously as they can produce sluggish bowels in baby.

Taking a Constipated Baby to the Pediatrician

When going to the baby pediatrician be ready for their questions. Write down the solid food and liquid intake of the infant. Know the number of bottles baby drinks a day, and the quantity baby drinks if he does not finish the bottle.

Also the baby’s pediatrician will appreciate knowing how many wet diapers and how many dirty diapers baby has in a day. Note the type of stool formation as well for the baby’s doctor.

Baby Constipation Remedies

These dietary changes are for your personal reference and provided as an advisory service. Please consult your baby’s pediatrician for individualized medical treatment.

Knowing how foods affect baby constipation assists in alleviating infant discomfort. Avoiding dehydration and binding foods decreases baby constipation. Increasing fiber and exercise relieves constipation for baby.

Sources:

Health-cares.net. “What’re the Treatments for Baby/Infant/Child constipation?” (Retrieved December 19, 2010).

Wholesomebabyfood.com. “Baby Constipation – It’s heartbreaking When Your Baby is Constipated,” 21 June 2010 (Retrieved December 19, 2010).

Baby Center. “Constipation,” May 2006 (Retrieved December 19, 2010).

Dr. Stephen Cos, G.P., ed (04.01.2005) “Baby Constipation “(Based on article by Jane Tanghøj). Netdoctor.com (Retrieved December 19, 2010).

Parents’ Common Sense Encyclopedia. “Constipation, Infant” (Retrieved December 19, 2010).