As a parent, you want your baby to be cheerful all the time. Bowel movements play a significant role in determining your baby’s mood, sleep, and appetite. So, when your baby is around 6 months old or less than 12 months of age, you must observe its poop minutely. How can you figure out your little may be constipated? What are the most effective newborn constipation remedies? Today we’ll tell you everything you need to do when your baby has constipation.
What is Constipation in Babies? Signs of Baby Constipation
What is constipation?
Constipation is a condition which makes it painful for a person to pass stool. If your baby strains a lot and struggles to have a bowel movement, it indicates the baby is constipated. Having dry and hard poop is a recurring issue in babies less than one year of age. So, instead of getting alarmed, learn the basics of newborn constipation relief.
Causes of newborn constipation
These are the common reasons why constipation might happen:
- Formula-fed babies suffer from constipation when parents make alterations to their diet.
- Switching from breastmilk to formula can be a cause.
- Not getting sufficient liquid (water/ formula/ breastmilk) leads to constipation.
Signs of constipation in babies
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, these are the common signs of constipation:
Infrequent and irregular bowel movements
When someone is constipated, it becomes difficult to pass stool. Hence, if your baby does not poop even once in a day, it is evident that constipation is the reason behind it.
Major signs of constipation include infrequent and bloody poop. So, take note if the baby passes stool with blood, resulting from minor tears around the walls of the anus.
Refusing to have food
Young babies need food now and then. If your baby does not have appetite, it’s stomach may not be empty. What should you do then? Stay tuned to know about newborn constipation relief.
Breastfed babies may have a taut tummy when the poop is not clear. So, notice if your infant’s stomach feels stiff or full.
How to tell if your baby is constipated?
Before knowing about infant constipation treatment, it is important to know the key facts about constipation.
How to realize your baby may be constipated?
While all babies are different, most of them poop after every meal. But if your baby’s bowel movements are not regular, constipation might be the issue. Here’s how you will know your baby has constipation:
- Your baby may be irritated or fussy.
- You may see a crack or tear in the skin around your baby’s anus.
- Your baby is eating less than it usually does.
- Your baby seems to be in pain when passing a poo.
How to Help Your Baby Overcome a Battle Against Constipation?
It can be stressful to see your baby cry each time it passes stool. We have some amazing tips for infant constipation relief.
What are some home remedies for baby constipation
Unsure how to help relieve constipation in your baby? When it comes to dealing with constipation, the following newborn constipation remedies work like magic.
- A warm bath is quite effective in relieving discomfort when a baby is constipated.
- If your baby is not too small and can drink water, give enough water. First, bring the water to a boil and then cool it before offering the baby. You can also give milk as it is like a natural laxative that smooths bowel movements.
- Ensure that the instant formula your baby eats has proper water-to-formula ratio.
- Refrain from giving pureed peas or prunes to a newborn to treat constipation.
- Stools that are difficult to pass cause abdominal pain. So, you must know how to massage a constipated baby. Gently massage the stomach and use mineral oil to manage your infant’s and stimulate its bowel.
Constipation Due to Breastfeeding
Does breastfeeding sometimes cause constipation?
Breastmilk is the easiest thing for babies to digest. So, infants that nurse don’t have constipation due to breastmilk. But if a breastfeeding baby is still constipated, you should make some dietary changes.
Tips for breastfeeding moms to prevent constipation
Make some dietary changes
- You can give fruits and vegetables to a baby in purred form and in small portions. If your baby is already taking solid foods, give 1 to 2 ounces of fruit juice as juices contain sorbitol. In addition to breast milk or formula, bring some baby cereals that contain more fiber than rice. Pureed carrot, barley, broccoli, whole grains, and oatmeal are some other options.
- You already know that movement and exercise stimulate bowel movements in adults. The same rule applies to babies. As a newborn can neither crawl nor walk, you have to help your baby exercise. Try pumping your child’s legs back and forth as if it’s riding a bicycle. You can also hold your baby’s feet and knees together and gently push the two legs towards the belly.
- Massage the area below the baby’s navel in circular motions with the help of a finger. This will relieve constipation within a few minutes. Follow a clockwise pattern when massaging for the best results.
When to consult a healthcare professional
Constipation is babies is not a serious concern and it will pass without medical intervention. However, if it’s chronic, it can be caused by an underlying condition. As your baby can’t communicate its problems orally, it is better to consult a doctor. So, book an appointment with an esteemed child specialist when the constipation does not disappear in two weeks or is accompanied by:
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody stool
- Weight loss
- Rectal prolapse
- Abdominal swelling or bloating
- Whatever the issue, you should never give medicines to your newborn before discussing with a healthcare professional. The doctor will prescribe medicines if he deems right. He will also make alterations to the diet. Based on the circumstances, the doctor might suggest medical treatments.
Preventing Constipation in Babies
How to Establish a Healthy Pooping Routine for Your Baby
Even when your baby is not constipated, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is compulsory to keep constipation at bay. You may give mango, guava, or raspberry juice as they contain more fiber than other fruits. Warm baths and leg exercises also help.
The Bottom Line
So, as a first-time mom, caring for your baby might be overwhelming. Just follow the abovementioned guidelines and visit your baby’s pediatrician for monthly check-ups. You’ll soon understand your baby’s language. Once the baby starts eating solid foods, your baby won’t be so fragile anymore. Commence feeding more fiber than rice, cereal, and the issues will subside.
Frequently Asked Questions on Constipation in Infants
Q. What are the natural remedies for newborn constipation?
Giving enough fluids like water and 2-3 ounces of 100 percent pure fruit juice are excellent when it comes to treating newborn constipation.
Q. How can I help my newborn with constipation?
Massage your constipated baby’s belly in a clockwise direction, increase the intake of fluids, and make your baby do some light exercises to get rid of constipation.