How Is Constipation Diagnosed
The healthcare provider will ask about your childs symptoms and health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Depending on how old your child is, you might be asked questions such as:
- How old was your baby when he or she had their first stool?
- How often does your child have a bowel movement?
- Does your child complain of pain when having a bowel movement?
- Have you been trying to toilet train your toddler lately?
- What foods does your child eat?
- Have there been any stressful events in your child’s life lately?
- How often does your child poop in his or her pants?
Your childs provider may also want to do some tests to see if there are any problems. These tests may include:
How Do I Know That My Little Baby Is Constipated
Signs of constipation in babies vary depending on their age and diet. Thus, it can be hard to tell if they are constipated. Yet, its always helpful to provide some of signs that might be in common.
First but not least, parents should be constantly attentive to what their little one is doing. Noting the number of times the child defecates in the day and the time between each bowel movement. Gathering this information will help a lot in knowing what is normal from what is not. For example, if your child defecates three times a day, and the next day he does not defecate only once, you should pay attention and find out why this is happening, he may be constipated.
Other signs of constipation in babies are :
- Baby is crying before or while doing a poo.
- Poo smells bad.
- Baby isnt eating as much.
- Baby has a hard and bloated belly.
Nevertheless, parents should bear in mind that its normal for babies to strain and sweat when theyre having a bowl movement .
Its quite normal to panic when to see your babys face turning red, grunting or making other noises. But thats very normal, because defecation is more of a challenge for babies because they lie flat, so they dont have the gravity to help things move.
Baby Constipation Home Remedies
For baby constipation relief, you can try giving infants under 6 months with hard bowel movements some waterabout one ounce. Heard of giving apple or prune juice for baby constipation? Babies 6 to 12 months can have two to four ounces of apple, pear or prune juice a day until their stools soften. The sugars in juice basically bring water into the bowel to help soften the bowel movement, Santo Domingo says.
You may have been told that using a rectal thermometer can help offer some infant constipation relief, but Santo Domingo doesnt recommend any kind of rectal stimulation as a remedy. You always run the risk of perforation, especially given that that area could be irritated, she says.
She also discourages giving baby mineral oil or Karo syrup for baby constipation. Weve found that it doesnt help. Karo syrup doesnt soften the stoolit just coats it to make it easier to pass, but youre still passing a large stool. And with mineral oil, there have been some reports of aspiration.
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There Is An Open Wound On The Anus
The next signs a baby is constipated is that appears when a child is constipated is the appearance of sores in the anus.
This is a sign my baby is struggling to poop. Because the stool is very hard, it can cause injury.
You can see the sores in the anus and usually leave a small amount of blood on them.
This incident will make the baby even fussier often move his body due to feeling uncomfortable, crying, and other responses.
Infrequent Stools In Breastfed Babies
There are some situations, however, in which it is definitely not normal for a breastfed baby to have such infrequent bowel movements, including:
- A baby who has delayed passage of meconium during their first few days of life and who has had problems passing bowel movements since they were born can be a cause for concern as infrequent stools could be a sign of Hirschsprungs diseasethough this is uncommon, affecting only 1 in 5,000 babies. Evidence of constipation in this disease usually appears towards the end of the first month of life.
- Infrequent stools in a breastfed baby in the first few weeks or months of life can be a sign that they arent getting enough breast milk. In this situation, the baby would likely either still be losing weight or will not be gaining weight well and infrequent stools would also be accompanied by too few wet diapers.
- When infrequent stools in an older infant are accompanied by issues with gaining weight, it could be a sign that the baby isnt getting enough to eat, has a failure to thrive, or has some other medical problem.
In all of the above cases, its always best to keep an eye on your childs symptoms and communicate with your childs pediatrician.
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Baby Foods That Help With Constipation
In some cases, your babys doctor may want to consider eliminating cows milk for a short period of time to see if thats causing constipation.
For babies eating solids, you can also offer certain baby foods that help with constipation: Try feeding barley or oatmeal cereals, prunes, peaches, plums, apricots and most vegetables. Theres no need to completely eliminate binding foods like bananas and rice, but its a good idea to cut back on them if youre noticing baby constipation symptoms. Bananas and rice are common binding agents, because they are soluble fibers that soak up water as they pass through your system, and tend to bulk stools, Santo Domingo says.
Baby Constipation Remedies And Relief:
- Change formula. Starting a new formula may resolve constipation. Some infants have softer stools when they drink formula from concentrate versus powder-based . Ask your babys doctor for guidance.
- Slightly dilute the mix. Your babys poops may improve when you add a tablespoon of organic adult prune juice or one ounce of water into the formula, once or twice a day .
- Give a bottle of water. If the weather is very hot and your baby is showing signs of dehydration, depending on your baby’s age, you can give a few extra ounces of waterjust be sure to check in with your doctor before offering water.
- Open the door. Babies trying to poop often have a hard time squeezing the stomach muscles and relaxing the rectumat the same time. They accidentally tighten the anuswhen they should be easing itand consequently, they strain to push the poop out the door! To relax your babys anus, bicycle her legs and gently press her knees down to her stomach, a few times. If this fails, you might insert a Vaseline-greased thermometer or cotton swabjust one-half to one inchinto the anus. Babies usually respond by bearing down to push the object outoften pushing the poop out at the same time.
- Change up solid foods. White foods bind a baby up. But, certain fruits and veggies like broccoli, plums, prunes, prune juice or fresh aloe juice can help get pooping back on a regular schedule.
Note: Never give honey or corn syrup as a laxative, before the first birthday.
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Improper Formula Milk Feeding
In newborn babies, milk is their main food for growth. However, what happens if the food is not suitable?
There will be rejection naturally in the body, namely in the form of difficulty defecating.
Formula milk has a difference from breast milk. If giving it is not right for your baby, then you can see them showing a number of signs of constipation.
The formula that is not suitable can be difficult to digest and interfere with the digestive process.
What Are Some Home Remedies For Baby Constipation
If your baby becomes constipated once heâs started on solid foods, check in with your healthcare provider, who may recommend any of the following changes or additions to his diet to help relieve constipation:
Water. If your baby is over 6 months old , offer him a little water in a sippy cup with his meals. This shouldnât replace breast milk or formula, however.
Fruit juice. A few ounces of 100 percent fruit juice such as apple, pear, or prune juice can also help your baby. These juices contain sorbitol, which works like a natural laxative.
Certain fruits and vegetables. Once your baby is eating solid foods, give him pureed foods such as prunes, pears, peaches, and peas. These can help with constipation since they contain more fiber than other fruits and vegetables.
Infant cereals. Try feeding him whole-wheat, barley, or multigrain infant cereal once he is eating solid foods. These three types contain more fiber than rice cereal and may help get things moving.
If the above dietary changes havenât given your baby relief, contact his healthcare provider again for guidance.
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What Can I Do If My Baby Suffers From Constipation
- 4 glasses of water a day keeps the doctor away. Give your child more liquids. Mainly, drinking enough water help poop moves more easily and smoothly in bowls.
- make sure your baby eats enough fiber. High-fiber foods can help prevent constipation.
- Help your baby exercise more. Physical activity help the bowls get into actions. Moving a babys legs while they are lying on their back can help relieve constipation
- A swollen belly.
- A blood in the poop.
In this case, talk to your doctor, who may recommend some changes in your babys nutritional routine such as adding a little extra water or a small amount of pure fruit juice to soften hard poop.
Home Care For Constipation In Babies
- If you’re bottle feeding, try a different brand of formula — after you check with your doctor. Constipation should never be a reason to stopbreastfeeding.
- Add a little dark fruit juice, like prune or pear, to your baby’s bottle.
- Give them some extra water if theyâre older than 4 months — no more than 1-2 ounces per day. But check with the doctor first.
- If your baby is eating solid foods, try some that are higher in fiber, like pureed prunes or peas, or cereal with barley or whole wheat.
- Try bending your babyâs knees toward their chest. Itâs easier to get poop out in a squat posture than lying flat. It may also help to exercise their legs gently in a bicycle motion.
- A warm bath can help your babyâs muscles relax and release poop.
- Gently massage their belly.
- Taking your babyâs temperature with a rectal thermometer may stimulate their bowels.
- Remember that most babies who donât poop a lot are not truly “constipated” and donât need anything different from normal.
OTC medications for constipation in babies
If home remedies donât work, there are some over-the-counter medications you can try. Ask your doctor first.
- Glycerin suppository. This is placed directly in your babyâs anus to stimulate a bowel movement.
- Laxatives. Only use a laxative if your doctor tells you to.
“Clinical manifestations of gastrointestinal disease.” Wylie R. in Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 17th edition. Behrman R, Kliegman R and Jenson H , Saunders: 2004.
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How To Treat Newborn Constipation
Fortunately, there are many ways to help relieve the discomfort and get things moving again. Here are a few home remedies that are proven to help:
Sometimes a baby might have severe constipation that doesnt clear up with any home remedies in that case, the doctor might need to intervene to help your child pass stools. This might include medications or other remedies that you cant try at home.
The following video has even more information on how to treat newborn constipation:
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How Can I Tell If My Baby Is Constipated
It seems like my baby has trouble passing his poop. His face usually turns red and sometimes he grunts or makes other noises. He has BMs regularly, but I’m still concerned. Could he be constipated? Keisha
It’s normal for infants to strain when they’re having a bowel movement . Pooping is more of a challenge for them because they are lying flat, so don’t have gravity to help move things along.
At first, breastfed babies tend go more often than formula-fed babies because breast milk is more easily digested. At around 36 weeks of age, though, breastfed babies may start having fewer bowel movements, sometimes only one or two a week. Formula-fed babies usually continue to have daily BMs.
Your little one probably isn’t constipated if the stool is soft, no matter how often the bowel movements happen or if your baby strains to pass them.
Babies who cry when having a bowel movement or have hard or pebble-like poop might be constipated. In that case, talk to your doctor, who may recommend giving your baby a little extra water or a small amount of 100% fruit juice to soften hard poop. Never give your baby laxatives, suppositories, or enemas unless your doctor tells you to do so.
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How Can I Treat Newborn Constipation
Constipation can be a hard cycle to break, but when the poop gets tough, the tough gets going! Heres how you can get rid of the constipation in newborn babies:
- If you have introduced bottle, make sure the formula milk is luke warm when you feed your baby. Breast-milk already has the perfect temperature.
- Hold your newborns feet and move them gently as if s/he is riding a bicycle. The pressure between his/her thighs and tummy may trigger the bowel movement.
- Massage the tiny belly gently in circular motion, ideally with some warm baby oil .
- Measure three-fingers width down the newborn navel area. Gently press it till you feel a firm spot/ mass. Continue pressing it for a couple of minutes, then release. Your baby may fart and/or pass stool after this.
- Brown sugar works great to relieve newborn constipation . Whether your baby is newborn or is few months old, dissolve some brown sugar in one ounce of water and give it to him/her through a dropper .
- Glycerin Suppository is the 100% proven way to get the poo moving! I tried it with my newborn . It is inserted in the rectum and within half an hour a bulk of stool is out! However, only use it if you have tried all the things stated above. If you make a habit of giving a suppository every time your baby is constipated, the tiny body will get used to it.
Older Child Constipation Signs:
Teach your kids to look in the toilet bowl. Use this handy poop chart to start the dialogue so that your children know how to talk with you about their poop shape.
- 1: Jelly beans or rabbit droppings
- 2: A nut bar or a bunch of grapes
- 3: A corncob or chocolate-coated, nut-filled candy bar
- 4: A snake or sausage . This is considered normal. Its okay if it has a few cracks on the surface or if its a bit softer.
- 5: Marshmallows or chicken nuggets
- 6: Oatmeal, frosting, or peanut butter
- 7: Milkshake or gravy
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What Causes Baby Constipation
Although it’s rare for a baby on an all-liquid diet to experience constipation, it can happen. Exclusively formula-fed babies are much more likely to have trouble from constipation, Dr. Morton says. Formula can firm up poop much more than breast milk can, Dr. Shu adds.
If your baby has a milk-protein allergy or intolerance, they could end up constipated. A milk-based formula could cause this, as well as the dairy in Mom’s diet that’s passed through the breast milk. This also carries over to any other kinds of dairy an older baby could consume, such as yogurt and cheese.
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When a baby is around 6 months, pediatricians often give parents the green light to offer an array of foods. What your infant eats will largely determine the kind of poop you can expect, Dr. Shu says. And many different foods could contribute to constipation. Start by considering your ABCsapplesauce, bananas, and cereal, Dr. Morton says. Too much of any of these, especially rice cereal, can get you into trouble. When you start introducing table foods, it might be even harder to pinpoint the constipation culprit.
How To Treat A Constipated Bird
Its rare for a pet bird, especially a pet parrot, to get constipated. But once a bird suffers a constipation, the bird will often strain to defecate, and become very inactive or irritable with fluffed feathers. Its a very bad health problem that needs to take immediate attention and action.
The birds constipation can be caused by:
- The bird does not have enough exercise.
- The bird has a poor diet: The bird food is with low fiber and/or lack of oil Eat a lots with little water.
- The bird suffers gastroenteritis.
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