How To Treat Baby Constipation
A change in formula or in the nursing parent’s diet could help combat constipation in formula-fed and breastfed babies, respectively. Solid foods, which are often the cause of constipation, can also be the cure, Dr. Shu says. Several kinds of fruits and veggies, such as pears and broccoli, can get things back on track, along with fruit juice and water.
When a change in diet isn’t doing the trick, talk to your pediatrician before employing other methods. The doctor might suggest rectal stimulation with the use of a cotton swab or rectal thermometer. This usually produces a bowel movement within several minutes of stimulation, Dr. Shu says.
Another possible is a glycerin suppository. If it works, it could take about an hour to produce a poop, Dr. Shu says. Other suggestions may include Miralax, a tasteless powder you can mix into a drink senna, a natural vegetable laxative and lactulose, a synthetic sugar used for treating constipation. Ask your pediatrician before trying any of these treatment options.
Struggling To Get Your Newborn To Err Do A Number Two Learn How This First
Being a mum changes you in a way that youll never understand until it happens. From a kick in the womb to a kick to my face, Ive learned to love every moment even the poop-namis . Its a constant masterclass in learning how to take care of a baby. Unfortunately, learning how to bathe my son and breastfeed on-the-go are things you dont learn in mummy school. And of course, what do you do if your baby has constipation? What do you do then? Well, here are some things I learned about getting your little one to poop
Dont give your baby medicines for constipation unless they are advised or prescribed by a doctor.
If your baby is fed with breast milk:
- You may need to feed your baby more often. See your doctor or child health nurse for advice.
If your baby is fed with formula:
- It may be that his or her formula has not been made up correctly, so it does not contain enough water.
- Double check that you are following the instructions on the tin of formula correctly.
- Make sure you are using the scoop that is provided with the tin of formula you are using different brands can have different sized scoops.
- Make sure you are not packing the powdered formula too tightly in the scoop it should be loosely filled, and levelled off using the flat side of a knife or the leveller provided.
- Make sure you are adding water to the bottle first, then the powdered formula. If you add formula first you will be adding too little water to the bottle.
If your baby is eating solids :
Other things to try:
Do Probiotics For Baby Constipation Work
If youve tried the above changes, and still your baby experiences constipation, you may want to consider giving your child a probiotic.
Babies may have an imbalance in their gut bacteria that affects their GI tract. This in turn can cause constipation. Taking a probiotic for infants can reduce the onset of GI conditions, thus reducing the risk for constipation and acid reflux.
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Why Do Babies Get Constipated
So what causes infant constipation? Really, it could be due to a number of factors, from foods theyre eating to passing illnesses to family history. Here, we break down the possible reasons behind baby constipation.
Diet More often than not, a change in diet is the likely culprit causing baby constipationwhether its because youre shifting from breast milk to formula, transitioning baby to cows milk or introducing solid foods. The introduction of cows milk proteinand an allergy or intolerance to itis probably the largest contributor to baby constipation, says Santo Domingo. When baby has a cows milk protein intolerance , his or her immune system sees the milk protein as something bad it needs to fight off . This negative reaction to the protein is what leads to a constipated baby with an upset stomach and other intestinal problems. But the good news is that most babies will grow out of it50 percent of infants who have CMPI regain tolerance by age 1, and more than 75 percent will be back on track by age 3.
Illness When babys not feeling well, he or shes probably not eating or drinking as much as usual, which can throw his or her system out of whack and result in infant constipation.
Certain medications High-dose iron supplements or narcotic pain medication can lead to baby constipation. Your doctor can let you know if babys medicine could be to blame.
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Helping Your Newborn Get Through Painful Pooping
That constipated look your baby gives you when they cant poop can be entertaining to look at, but can be quite painful for your baby. Luckily, painful pooping, or infant dyschezia, is a very common, normal and curable problem. Dr. Cindy Gellner talks about what might cause dychezia and what safe methods you can use to help your baby.
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What Are Gas Drops
Gas drops contain simethicone. This active ingredient breaks up larger gas bubbles into smaller ones, which are more comfortable for a baby to pass.
Caregivers can give the drops directly to a baby or mix them in with formula or expressed breast milk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggest that gas drops are safe to give to newborn babies, and adverse side effects are rare.
However, if a baby is also taking thyroid hormone medication, do not give them gas drops as simethicone
What Causes Constipation In Babies
Constipation in babies is primarily caused by diet. Here are some things you might want to discuss with your pediatrician:
- Baby Formula: The intestines of some babies just seem sensitive to a particular brand of formula .
- Dairy or Soy Allergy: Babies that have a milk allergy can experience constipation, excessive gas, and other discomforts. A doctor can determine if your baby has a dairy or soy allergy.
- Change in Diet: Sometimes when babies are given the green light for baby food they can struggle with regularity. Many first-time foods are very starchy and if your baby isnt getting enough water this can lead to poop troubles. Check with your pediatrician on the best first foods to help avoid constipation and how much water Baby needs in a day.
- Iron Supplement: Vitamins with iron can make poops into hard little black-green colored pellets.
- Dehydration: If a baby is not getting enough to drink, stools can get drier and harder. Its super easy to check for this problem: The inside of the mouth will get dry and sticky your baby will pee fewer than six times a day the urine will become much more yellow and a bit smelly.
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Baby Massage For Constipation
Want to know how to relieve constipation in babies quickly? One of the easiest things you can try is giving baby a massage. Blythe recommends trying a gentle tummy massage of the left side of the belly to help stimulate the colon. And you can do exercises with baby as well. Bicycling the hips and holding the knees up in a squat position helps simulate the movements needed to have a bowel movement, Blythe says. You can also try a warm bath.
Three Ways To Relieve Infant Constipation
Lyndsey Frey – WriterMay 10, 2017
During your infants first few months of life, his bowel movement pattern will change often as his digestive tract matures. At first, infants may have a dirty diaper after every feeding. At about 2 months of age, they may transition to twice a day and by 4 months of age, most babies go every day or every other day.
Also, any time an infants diet is changed, he may experience a temporary change in his pooping pattern, said Dr. Emma Raizman, a pediatrician at Akron Childrens Hospital Pediatrics in Medina. Introducing solids or switching to formula from breast milk can change the frequency in your babys bowel movements.
So, how can you tell if your baby is truly constipated? Constipation is based on consistency and frequency. Signs of constipation include infrequent bowel movements especially if he hasnt gone in more than 4 or 5 days and hard, pellet-like stools that are difficult to pass.
Even infants on a liquid diet can get constipated, she said. Poop should always be relatively soft. It should not be pellets or formed stool like youd see with older kids or adults.
If you think your infant may be constipated, contact your pediatrician. In the meantime, Dr. Raizman offers 3 tips to help relieve his discomfort and get things moving.
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Formula Fed Newborn Constipation
Constipation can occur rarely in babies who are formula-fed. Although the problem might lie with the babys digestive system, it tends to be with formula preparation. Make sure you contact your midwife or IBCLC to help you identify what the problem might be.
For more information about possible problems with regard to formula preparation, you can read Baby Constipation Remedies And Causes.
How Is The Constipation Treated
Treat the Cause
What to do if your 5 month old constipated? First treat the underlying causes. Note that you should not give your baby any medicine for constipation unless your doctor has prescribed it.
When you are breastfeeding your baby, constipation is very rare. If constipated, you should feed your baby more often.
If you feed your baby with formula milk, there is a greater possibility for your baby to get constipated. Here are some tips how to solve this problem:
- Choose another brand for formula milk, instead of the one you are using so far.
- Make the formula milk correctly, by making sure it contains enough water.
- Use the scoop which comes together with the milk tin. Do not use the scoop of another brand or do not use a teaspoon or tablespoon.
- Dont pack the powder too tight on the scoop as this could lead to thicker formula milk than desired, leading to constipation.
If your baby eats solid foods or if you are just introducing solid food to your 5 months old, there is a great possibility of getting constipated. Here are some tips how to solve this problem:
Constipation in 5-month-old babies also results from dehydration, so make sure to give your baby water between two meals. Prune juice or peach juice can also help.
Seek Medical Help
Talk to your doctor or midwife about your babys problem with constipation and the treatment available.
Other Ways to Help Relieve the Constipation
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How To Tell If Your Baby Is Constipated
Newborn bowel movements vary from one baby to another depending upon their milk intake and body. Some babies pass stool many times a day while some can hold the stuff in for as long as 3 days. If you are breastfeeding, you may notice a frequent newborn bowel movement as compared to that of a fully formula-fed baby.
Your newborn is constipated if
- He hasnt had a bowel movement for 3 days or more.
- Even if he has passed stool, the stool is dry and harder than normal and the baby finds it difficult to pass it. You may find your baby making disgruntled faces while passing stool.
- Sometimes after days of dry spell, you notice a watery stool and may confuse it with diarrhea. It is actually one of the symptoms of constipation in newborns, i.e., liquid stool seeps out of the blockage in the small intestines and end up in the diaper.
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Why Does My Newborn Have Hiccups
Newborn hiccups are most frequently caused by baby overfeeding, eating too quickly or swallowing a lot of air. Any of these things can lead to stomach distention, Forgenie says. When the stomach distends it actually pushes against the diaphragm, which causes it to spasm, and voilàhiccups!
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What To Do When Your Baby Strains
It’s not necessary for you do anything when your baby strains while trying to poop. However, if you feel he is straining because of constipation you may find lifting his knees to his chest, which is a natural squatting position, by holding his ankles can help him to exert enough pressure to push it out.
Alternate this with gently moving his legs backwards and forwards in a ‘bicycle’ movement. Also try…
Does Bottle Feeding Cause Baby Constipation
2AH4A92 Mother bottle-feeding baby boy on a park bench
All babies can get constipated, but exclusively breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from constipation. As a general rule breastfed babies do poos that are loose, squirty, and dont smell too unpleasant. One of the reasons for this is that when breastfeeding your milk contains a hormone called motilin which aids bowel movements.
Bottle-fed babies can be more likely to get constipated. Formula milk can be harder for babies to digest and their stools tend to be firmer, darker and smellier. Its easy to not add enough water to formula milk, which can subsequently lead to dehydration and constipation.
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How To Recognise The Signs Of Constipation
The main signs of constipation are hard, dry poos. The following are other signs of constipation:
- Your baby may show signs of straining when trying to pass a poo.
- Your baby may be unsettled, may seem fussy or irritated.
- Your baby may be eating less or feeding less well than usual.
In some cases, if your child is constipated, they may look bloated or their stomach may appear larger than usual. It can be possible to feel their poo while pressing softly on their stomach.
When Is Baby Constipation A Sign Of Something Serious
After the first couple of weeks, babies usually settle into a pretty good pooping routine. For bottle-fed babies, that schedule is one to two times a day. Breastfed babies may actually skip a day or so in between bowel movements. In fact, by 1 month of age, they sometimes go a week without having a stool!
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Baby Constipation Home Remedies
While all medical remedies should first be vetted by the babys primary care physician, Sneed shared that there are home remedies for baby constipation.
At less than one month of age, we normally start with one to two teaspoons of dark Karo syrup mixed with formula daily, as well as a good probiotic. Sneed said. After a month of age, I would try one ounce of 100-percent pear, apple, or prune juice a day, increasing it by one ounce per month to a maximum of four ounces per day by four months of age.
Dr. James Hahn, a pediatrician with St. Elizabeth Physicians in Greendale, Indiana, added that simple interventions like warm baths, bicycle kicking a babys legs, and belly massages can also be useful.
As a last resort, parents may use a glycerin suppository to help their babies if immediate relief is needed, but Sneed cautions use of suppositories without consulting a doctor.
What Not To Do For Your Constipated Baby
- Give laxatives, suppositories or enemas unless youve been advised to do so by a health professional.
- Sit them on the toilet or a potty believing this will help. Toilet training is a developmental stage in the toddler years and requires a complex sequence of nervous system maturity.
- Compare their bowel habits with other babies. Every little person is an individual and there are too many factors which play a role in bowel habits and frequency.
- Make too many changes to their milk or solid food intake. Lots of changes at one time can have a negative effect and the baby may start having very loose poos.
- Massage their tummy very firmly. A babys gut is still immature and easily damaged through rough handling. Always be gentle.
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How Can You Tell If A Newborn Is Constipated
Sneed shared that parents experiencing newborn constipation may see different signs.
Parents may encounter Infant Dyschezia where their babies scream excessively and strain for ten minutes, only to produce loose stools, she said. These infants have not figured out how to simultaneously relax their pelvic floor and push stool out at the same time.
Another recognizable instance of constipation is when foods are introduced into the diet. To avoid constipation problems, Sneed recommends giving babies foods higher in fiber.
This age group should receive a recommended five grams of fiber daily, she said. The best fiber-rich foods are peas and prunes, which have two grams of fiber per serving, and whole wheat, barley or mixed grain baby cereals, which have one to two grams of fiber per serving. The worst options are rice cereal and bananas.
Causes Of Infant Constipation
It is often frustrating for parents to try to understand the causes of their childs constipation. Although some parents understand the role that too much cows milk, a diet low in fiber, and not drinking enough fluids have in contributing to constipation, they may have other children with the same diet who arent constipated.
In addition to your childs eating habits, the other main factor that contributes to constipation is infrequent bowel movements. This can occur after a child has had a large, hard, and painful bowel movement. Because they may associate going to the bathroom with pain after this experience, they will try to hold their stools.
This creates a vicious cycle. Bowel movements are painful, so the child holds them in, causing stools to be even larger and harder, which causes more pain when they finally pass. Another common cause of constipation and infrequent stools is having a bad experience with potty training.
Although rare, there are some medical causes of constipation, such as Hirschsprungs disease, cystic fibrosis, and hypothyroidism. Constipation is also often found in children with special needs, such as spina bifida, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy, and it can be a side effect of many medications.
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