The Bottom Line For Constipation
The best thing you can do is focus on fiber, fluid, and movement for your child. From the diet standpoint, try the foods Ive mentioned here but know that they are not going to work for everyone! Keep your focus on serving a varied diet to your children to help cover all your bases.
Have you found that any of these foods work for your baby? Or do you have another food that you have found to work better?
Foods To Relieve Constipation In Babies
As new parents, we quickly learn that poop becomes part of ones daily conversation. You start to calculate how much and how often baby poops. The doctor will ask you what it looks like and smells like.
When a baby is suddenly not pooping, we start to get concerned. Especially if he becomes cranky or cries while pooping. This can be a sign of constipation.
It can happen to breastfed or formula fed babies and often begins when switching to solid foods. When their digestive systems are only used to breast milk or formula, solid foods can be tough to digest.
The frequency of bowel movements, or the lack of, is not the only clue your little one might be constipated. If your babys poop is very hard or seems difficult to pass he may also be suffering from constipation.
There are certain foods that are more likely to cause constipation and discomfort. If you suspect your baby is suffering from constipation, read on. We will run through the foods that can trigger constipation and foods to relieve constipation in babies.
Solid Foods That Cause Constipation
Once solid foods are introduced into your baby’s diet, their poop is going to change. More formed food usually means more formed poop, Dr. Shu says. Also, the intestines are maturing now, so they can compact things and hold on to them longer. And because the body is taking longer to process the food, you’ll likely see one less poopy diaper a day.
Food can be both friend and foe. For starters, certain foods could be making it harder for your baby poop. Consider the ABCsor applesauce, bananas, and cereal, Dr. Morton says. Too much of any of these, especially cereal, could cause constipation in your baby. Also, keep an eye on dairy products that are popular first foods for babies, such as cheese and yogurt. Low-fiber foodsincluding white rice, white bread, and pastacan also bind babies up.
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Easy Baby Constipation Relief
If you’re reading this at the time your baby is struggling with constipation, it might seem that there is little you can do to help them. But don’t stress. In reality, there are little things you can do to actually help them a lot. And fairly quickly.
Beginning with food. And the easiest adjustments to baby food is in baby food purees.
The main reason for this is that you can get more of those foods and nutrients you want to sooth your baby’s symptoms in a baby food puree than you would get out of finger foods.
So it’s just a matter of removing the foods that can cause constipation and replacing them with the ones that can relieve it.
Baby Massages To Relieve Constipation
Giving your baby a tummy massage can be an easy and practical way to ease their discomfort. It may help to stimulate their digestive system and get rid of trapped wind.
When giving your baby a tummy massage for constipation, be sure to:
- Work in a clockwise direction.
- Avoid the ribcage and make sure all strokes are on their tummy.
- Lighten the pressure when you stroke over their bladder.
An easy and relaxing massage technique which might help relieve baby constipation is to gently use your fingertips to stroke a large, circular motion around their tummy to soothe them9.
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Know More About Constipation
Unwillingness to pass stool due to limited bowel movements is known as constipation. To treat the cause, you need to know the etiology of the disease. Depending upon the etiology, experts classify it into two groups.
What Can I Give A Constipated Baby
If youre wondering how to help a baby with constipation, depending on whether theyre breast fed, bottle fed or weaning, there are a few things you can give them in order to ease the symptoms10.
- Offer solely breastfed babies plenty of feeds to keep them hydrated.
- If your baby is formula fed, offer them small amounts of water in between their regular feeds.
- Once theyve started weaning, offer your baby a variety of fruits and vegetables to get plenty of fibre into their system.
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When To Visit A Doctor
Constipation is rarely caused by a serious condition, but if your tamariki hasnt improved after a few days, or youre worried, call PlunketLine or visit your doctor.
If the constipation lasts a long time or keeps coming back, talk to your doctor – they may prescribe a medicine to help soften the poos.
Prunes For Constipation Relief
- Prunes were grandmas remedy. They could be yours, too. Prunes are high in insoluble fiber as well as the natural laxativesorbitol, which can help you go.
- Researchers at the University of Iowa tested dried, pitted plums against psyllium in 40 adults who were constipated. Those given the plums had measurably higher spontaneous bowel movements than those given the laxative.
- Prunes juice is also helpful at relieving constipation in babies.
Medically Reviewed on 3/25/2021Aliment Pharmacol TherJournal of Nutrition
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Foods That Cause And Relieve Constipation In Babies
If your baby is backed up, you may need to examine their diet. We rounded up foods that trigger digestive issues in babies, as well as ones that relieve constipation quickly and effectively.
When a baby is pooping regularly, it usually means their digestive system is working properly and they’re getting enough to eat. So it’s understandable that the absence of poopor noticeable changes in consistency of poopcan stress parents out. But relieving baby constipation is sometimes as simple as changing up their diet. Keep reading to learn about foods to help baby poop, as well as ones to avoid.
Keep A Symptom Journal
An IBS symptom journal can help you and your doctor figure out which foods may trigger your symptoms. Make a habit of writing down any symptoms you might have, along with what and how much you ate beforehand. If you see a pattern with certain foods, see if you feel better when you dont eat them, or cut back on how much of them you eat. But cut foods one at a time. If you cut several foods at the same time, you wont know for sure which one may be causing your symptoms.
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Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your childâs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
How To Help Constipated Babies
How to help a constipated baby is a question many parents find themselves asking. If youre one of them, youre most definitely not alone. But what are the best forms of baby constipation relief?
Here are a couple of practical tips on how to relieve constipation in babies2:
- Gently move your babys legs as if theyre riding a bicycle.
- You could also try a baby tummy massage for constipation. This involves gently and carefully massaging your babys tummy to help stimulate their bowels.
Physical exercise also helps to get your childs digestive system moving, so encourage active play, followed by a nice warm bath – another way to ease the symptoms of baby constipation.
These steps can be really helpful in getting things on the move, but if you dont see any improvement, have a chat with your GP or health visitor.
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When To Call The Doctor
- Your baby is irritable and seems to be having abdominal pain.
- You see blood in your baby’s stool.
- Your baby’s constipation does not improve with current treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns, call your baby’s doctor at ___________________.
HH-I-14 7/84, Revised 3/14 Copyright 1984, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Taking A Rectal Temperature
When a baby is constipated, taking the babys rectal temperature with a clean, lubricated thermometer may help them pass stool.
It is important not to use this method very often, as it can make constipation worse. The baby may start not wanting to pass a bowel movement without help, or they may begin to associate having a bowel movement with discomfort, leading them to fuss or cry more during the process.
Anyone who feels as though they often need to use this method to help the baby have a bowel movement should talk to the babys doctor.
As infants may go for extended periods without a bowel movement, it can be hard to tell if they are constipated. Signs that indicate constipation in a baby include:
- infrequent stools that are not soft in consistency
- clay-like stool consistency
- long periods of straining or crying while trying to have a bowel movement
- streaks of red blood in the stool
- lack of appetite
- a hard belly
Signs of constipation in babies vary depending on their age and diet. A normal bowel movement before a baby begins eating solid food should be very soft, almost like the consistency of peanut butter or even looser.
Hard baby stool prior to solid food is the most obvious indication of constipation in babies.
At first, breastfed babies may pass stool often since breast milk is easy to digest. However, once a baby is between 3 and 6 weeks old, they may only pass a large, soft stool once a week and sometimes even less.
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Which Types Are Healthiest
Whichever kind you choose to eat, keep the skin on. Thats where most of the antioxidants are.
The seeds? Do not eat! Apple seeds contain cyanide.
As far as which varieties have the most antioxidants according to their ORAC value, heres a run down:
- Red Delicious with skin 4,275
- Granny Smith with skin 3,898
- All apples with skin 3,049
- Gala with skin 2,828
- Golden Delicious with skin 2,670
- Fuji with skin 2,589
The exact value for Honeycrisp hasnt been published, though internal documents for the industry have mentioned it was measured and found to have a value similar to Red Delicious. Pink Lady, McIntosh, Braeburn, and Empire have not been measured.
I can not thank you enough for the provided information. Apples and bananas. I have learned so much. The information was so beneficial.
What Foods Help Relieve Constipation
Once your baby is on solid foods their poop schedule might change drastically, again the most important thing is not how often they poop, but more so how hard or soft it is. A constipated baby will often show pain or discomfort or strain, and they may have a hard or bloated tummy.
You want to make sure your baby is eating a high fibre diet to help keep their bowel movements regular. The top foods for managing and relieving constipation are:
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Alternative Baby Constipation Remedies For Babies 10
Keep in mind that you do not have to feed your baby anything in order to relieve constipation! There are alternative baby constipation remedies which do not have any side effects and can be applied straight away.
If you like, check out my advice at the end of this blogpost!
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- Chia Seeds
Best Foods To Eat When Constipated
Use this quick pick list of high-fiber foods, and then explore more in-depth about why these foods will help your constipation. You will also find precautions for those who may be sensitive to some of the foods on the list.
- Fruit: Berries, peaches, apricots, plums, raisins, rhubarb, and prunes are some of the best high-fiber fruits. For a fiber boost, eat the peel as well.
- Whole Grains: Steer away from white flour and white rice and enjoy whole grains instead, which provide more fiber. Whole grains include oats, brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, barley, and rye.
- Vegetables: Whether youre eating the leaves, stalks, or roots, youll get fiber from vegetables, including what is in potato skins.
- Nuts: Walnuts and almonds will also add fiber to your diet.
- Seeds: Several kinds of seeds are excellent sources of fiber. You can add them to your smoothies or sprinkle them on yogurt or salads. Chia, ground flaxseeds, and psyllium are some of the most touted.
- Beans and Legumes : Legumes such as chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, navy beans, and kidney beans are good sources of fiber. However, they have a well-earned reputation for being gassy. If you have irritable bowel syndrome , beans and legumes are on the list of high FODMAP foods that may exacerbate IBS symptoms.
- Hot Tea: An herbal tea made with anise or fennel might be a soothing way to ease your constipation.
In this guide, youll find:
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Why Do Some Babies Get Constipation
There are lots of reasons your baby might become constipated. Some of the reasons why babies suffer from constipation include
The early days of weaning, it can be common for babies to become constipated for a few days whilst their digestive system adapts to having food. This normally settles once their digestive system adjusts to regularly having solid food.
Not eating enough high fibre foods like fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses and wholegrains.
Eating too many processed or refined foods in the diet, for example, white bread, cakes, biscuits, crisps, pastry snacks, fast foods.
Drinking large amounts of milk each day, meaning food intake is low
Not drinking enough fluids
Allergies or intolerances – less commonly, persistent constipation can be one of the symptoms of Cows Milk Protein Allergy . This can affect both breast and bottle fed babies. It is estimated that 2-3% of babies under 1 have CMPA .
Generally, CMPA develops when cows milk is first introduced, either as formula or when weaning . CMPA is rare when exclusively breastfeeding although not unheard of as cows milk protein is passed from the mothers diet through breastmilk. You can read more about CMPA here.
There are often other symptoms of CMPA alongside constipation, if your baby suffers from persistent constipation, speak to your GP for advice.
Constipation In Weaned Babies
If your baby has started weaning, you might find that the change in their diet results in a change to their toilet habits, too. So if you suspect that your baby is constipated and youve just started the weaning journey, this could be a contributory factor as your babys digestive system gets used to the change7. Its very important that your baby gets enough fibre in their diet, so if your baby is constipated, you could try adding more fibre in the form of cereals, prunes and peas alongside their regular breast or formula milk intake8.
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Get The Recipe: 6 Baby Food Purees Will Help Relieve Babys Constipation
Pears + Prums + Cloves Baby Food Puree
- 2pears, cored and roughly chopped
- 4dried prunes, pitted
Fennel, Peach + Pea Baby Food Puree
- 1fennel bulb
- 2cupspeaches, fresh or frozen, pitted and sliced
- 1cuppeas,fresh or frozen
Roasted Pear + Date Baby Food Puree
- 3pears,peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 1/8tspcardamon or fresh ginger
Pumpkin, Yogurt + Prune Baby Food Puree
- 1/2smallpie pumpkin , peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2cupfull-fat plain yogurt
- 3dried prunes, pitted
5-Minute Pear + Blueberry Baby Puree
Fodmaps And Gassy Foods
If you have IBS, you may want to avoid foods that are high in short-chain carbohydrates , even if they are good for other people who have constipation. FODMAPs are carbohydrates found in ordinary foods that have been found to exacerbate IBS symptoms.
Although eating more fruits and vegetables can help to ease your constipation, some of them have a gassy reputation. It may be a good idea to choose foods that are less likely to give you gas until your system is working more readily. Once your acute constipation has passed, you can widen your choice of produce.
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