Your baby’s health, comfort, and safety are a priority. As a parent upgrades to different forms of food for their young, constipation may occur.
That is why it is important to know how to relieve constipation in babies quickly. Is there a home remedy for constipation in babies?
Constipation is the condition of being unable to have a bowel movement easily. This can cause serious discomfort and uneasiness for both you and your baby.
To know how to relieve constipation in babies quickly, it is important to understand first what causes it.
There are many tips for constipation in babies that parents swear by, but the key lies in finding what method is BEST for your baby. | image courtesy: shutterstock
What Causes Constipation in Babies
Constipation is more common in young children or toddlers. Infants usually poop once a day. But as they age, babies tend to have a bowel movement in between days or even a week for some.
Older babies are more prone in getting constipation due to difficulty in passing stools. Their abdominal muscles are still weak. That is why they tend to strain when they have a bowel movement. However, that is not always the case. If your baby’s poop is soft, then they do not have constipation.
What are the causes of constipation in babies? According to Medline Plus, when a baby starts eating solid food after months of consuming just milk, constipation may occur. Aside from that, switching from breast milk to formula milk can also cause constipation in babies.
On the other hand, older babies or toddlers may experience constipation due to a lack of fibre in the food they eat. In addition, not drinking enough fluids, stressful events, ignoring the urge to use the toilet, and travelling may also cause constipation in young children.
Furthermore, there are also medical causes of constipation in babies and children. Diseases that affect the bowel muscles or nerves may also cause constipation in kids.
Besides understanding the causes of constipation in babies, to know how to relieve constipation quickly, it is also essential to recognise the symptoms of constipation.
How will you know if your baby is constipated? Here are some clues to look for.
Is Baby Constipated? 3 Things to Remember
There are several factors that will help determine if your baby is constipated. Let’s talk about some of the things that you need to watch out for, namely: frequency, consistency, and baby’s antics.
Is your baby breastfed or formula-fed? Take note that breastfed babies do not have bowel on a daily basis since almost all of the nutrients are absorbed. Another reason to promote breastfeeding!
Formula-fed babies, on the other hand, may have up to three or four bowel movements in a day, or have a bowel movement every few days so it will greatly vary. The frequency of bowel movement is mostly affected by the type of milk, whether solids have been introduced, and what specific foods are being consumed.
If your child goes more than a few days without a bowel movement and then has a hard stool, he may be experiencing constipation.
Photo from Freepik
Does your baby’s stool turn into little clay balls? Is it colour black or does it have streaks of red?
Due to newly introduced food types, your baby’s stool form may change into something harder which will be more difficult to pass.
Harder poops can stretch the anal walls a bit, which causes bleeding and a small streak of red blood in the stool.
Is your baby fussy or does he strain when the poopy time comes? Does he lose appetite because of growing discomfort? Is your baby’s tummy firm or is he bloated?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, your child may be constipated. Keep a watchful eye on your child’s behaviour, even a tiny twitch on his face during poopy time may be a sign that needs medical attention.
Symptoms of Constipation in Babies
It is paramount to observe your baby’s poop to look for signs of constipation. Here’s a quick rundown of symptoms of constipation in babies:
- Spitting up more often and feeling irritated
- Hard, dry, large, or wide stools
- Feeling of pain while pooping
- Less than 3 bowel movements in a week for older children
- Difficulty in passing stools or straining
- Crying due to discomfort while pooping.
- Blood on the stool
- Hard or firm belly
- Traces of liquid or poop on their underwear.
- Lack of appetite
As soon as you notice symptoms of constipation in your baby and determine what causes it, you can find the right ways how to relieve constipation in babies quickly.
Home Remedy for Constipation in Babies
How to relieve constipation in babies quickly? Here are five home remedies for constipation in babies that you can try!
If your baby is breastfed and over 6 months old, you may try adjusting your food choices. This is an important tip for constipation in babies since it is rare but your baby might be sensitive to what you eat. If your child is formula-fed, you may want to switch up the milk until constipation clears.
Yes to high-fibre foods! Solid foods commonly cause constipation yet they can also be the cure! Several kinds of fruits and veggies, such as pears and broccoli, can get things back on track. Other foods that are rich in fibre that you can give your baby are peaches, plums, spinach, apricot, beans, and prunes.
If your baby has not made the transition to solid foods yet, try some of the foods listed above in their pureed (crushed cooked food) form.
For older children, on the other hand, you can give whole grains. Whole grains are rich in fibre and can help ease your kid’s constipation. In addition, avoid giving your child processed foods, fast food, meat, ice cream, and cheese. These foods may worsen their constipation.
Provide fruit juice, water, and milk to hydrate your baby only if they are above 6 months of age if breastfeeding. These will speed up your baby’s colon contraction, which may help their bowel movement go quickly.
Gently massage your baby’s stomach area or lower abdomen. Doing this help stimulate bowel movement. Massage your baby’s stomach, several times throughout the day until they can have a bowel movement.
Help speed up your baby’s bowel movement by promoting gentle workouts. Leg bicycle can improve digestion and make poop time fly by easily! Another way how to relieve constipation in babies quickly!
Why not turn your bonding moments into Mum and Baby massage time? Soft massages on your baby’s stomach or lower abdomen may stimulate their bowel movement.
Photo from Freepik
Paedia Time: How To Relieve Constipation in a Baby Quickly?
How to relieve constipation in babies quickly if the home remedies are not effective?
If the steps above do not work, your baby may need more specialised medical attention. Visit your child’s paediatrician as soon as you can to get your baby’s constipation cured. Your baby’s doctor may recommend the usage of glycerin suppositories and laxatives which are clinical remedies for constipation.
There are various over-the-counter laxatives for babies under one year old. However, remember that laxatives with malt-barley extract or psyllium powder can help ease constipation in older children but they cannot be used for babies. These kinds of laxatives are not recommended for babies.
Consult your paediatrician first, before giving laxatives to your baby. Your doctor will recommend options of laxatives that are safe for the baby to take.
If you noticed signs of an anal tear such as a hard stool with streaks of bright red blood, talk to your doctor. Your paediatrician may recommend you glycerin suppository to help ease bowel movement out of your baby’s body.
The suppository can be bought over-the-counter in pharmacies. You can purchase a baby’s suppository and use it at home. Ask your paediatrician what is the proper way of using a suppository depending on the age of your child. It is important to follow instructions to avoid more problems regarding your baby’s constipation.
It’s also important to consult your paediatrician if aside from other symptoms of constipation, your baby experiences vomiting. They may also be able to further check if the symptoms can be indications of a bigger problem that requires immediate medical attention.
The steps above are ways how to relieve constipation in babies quickly. Take note of the clues to guarantee your baby’s safety and try the steps above for possible remedies.
Republished with permission from theAsianparent Philippines.
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