What Are The Symptoms Of Constipation In Babies
Now that you know some of the causes of constipation in babies, you would want to know the signs that indicate that your baby is constipated. Some of the main indicators that point to your baby being constipated include
- Delayed or infrequent passage of stools in babies
- The baby appears to be suffering from a lot of pain and straining while passing stools
- Hard and dry stools
- Urinary tract infections that keep reappearing often
- Baby refuses to eat and is irritable and fussy
- Foul-smelling stools or gas
Chia Seeds Flax Seeds Or Lsa
All these are great particularly if you have a fussy eater as they can be snuck into cereal, porridge, smoothies or even baked into muffins or slices and they are high in both soluble and insoluble fibre helping keep bowel movements regular. These are best given to babies over nine months, but always speak with your doctor if you are unsure.
Constipation Treatments For Babies
Younger infants and newborns with constipation should be carefully evaluated by their pediatrician. Poor feeding can lead to dehydration and constipation, so an evaluation of your infantâs feeding habits and weight is important. Infants who are exclusively breastfed rarely become constipated.
Remember, infrequent bowel movements do not mean constipation if your childâs stools are soft when they finally pass. Itâs possible that your little one is using every bit of what they ingest to support growth, and they simply donât have anything left over to produce waste.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests giving babies a small amount of apple or pear juice to loosen the stool and relieve constipation. They advise parents to offer 1 ounce for every month of life up to 4 months of age. Some pediatricians also suggest giving 1 to 2 teaspoons of corn syrup per day.
Always talk to your childâs pediatrician before taking any action to treat constipation, especially in young babies. Once your baby has progressed to solids, giving them more vegetables and fruits may help with 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.
Constipation In Breastfed Babies: Symptoms Causes And Treatment
Breast milk is easy for babies to digest. In fact, its considered a natural laxative. So its rare for babies who are breastfed exclusively to have constipation.
But that doesnt mean it cant happen.
Every baby poops on a different schedule even ones who only are fed breast milk. Read on to learn more about constipation in babies, including symptoms, causes, and how to treat it.
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Are There Baby Foods That Help With Constipation
While parenting brings many surprises, one of them is likely how much youll think about poop, or lack thereof, especially during that first year. But here you are worrying about your babys digestive tract and convinced that theyre constipated.
If youve recently introduced your baby to solid food, then your worries may be on target: solid foods can put a strain on your babys developing digestive tract and cause constipation. But there are things you can do to help!
Before you begin treating constipation you should determine if there is really an issue at all. So heres the scoop on poop and how to tell if your worries are founded and your baby is constipated.
Cut Down On Constipating Foods
This works for both the mother and the baby. If breastfeeding, cut down on dairy items like milk, cheese, and paneer. Replace refined cereals with cooked, high-fiber grains. If your baby is on solids, do not feed her raw bananas and rice cereal. Instead, offer baby barley or oatmeal cereals, fruits like prunes and peaches, and vegetables.
Let us now have a look at foods that can be provided for babies who are on solids:
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What Is Normal Baby Poo
Like babies, bowel habits are very individual and theres a wide range of whats considered normal. Its all about understanding whats typical for your baby.
Babies should be passing a stool on a consistent basis but some will be more regular than others.
Your little ones bowel movements can also change as they grow, a one month old is likely to poo more than an eleven month old. Typically babies poo less as they get older. Bowel habits are also affected by age, how babies are fed, what their weaning diet looks like, what their weaning stage is, illness and lots, lots more.
Stools can also vary in colour and texture from day to day.
There is a handy chart you can use called the Bristol Stool Chart which shows you images of different shapes and types of poo and likens them to foods! However, it can be quite hard to make a judgement when the poo is contained in a nappy, especially if its been sat on!
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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Newborn Puppy Constipated Causes And Help
When puppies are born, they often need help passing feces from their intestines. This is usually done when their mothers help them through stimulation.
When puppies do not have their mothers to guide them or the mothers are too gentle in their care, the newborn puppy may become constipated.
There are a few reasons why your newborn puppy may be constipated lets look at the causes and ways to prevent the issue.
Weaning From Breast Milk
Weaning your baby from breast milk is beyond doubt, a major change in the little ones diet, and is one of the most common factors that usually trigger constipation in babies after six months. Your babys tummy is so attuned to the digestion of just breast milk for such a long period of time, and the introduction of solids does make digestion difficult for the little one resulting in constipation issues for some babies.
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What Is The Best Baby Food For Constipation
This blog is all about poo!
Baby constipation a subject I get asked about a lot. Understandably it can cause some anxiety in parents. Ill talk you through whats normal in terms of the frequency, colour and consistency of your babys bowel movements and talk about baby constipation remedies.
This blog will attempt to get to the bottom , of what causes constipation, how to get things moving and how we can try and prevent it.
If you would like a PDF version of this blog delivered directly to your inbox, pop your details below.
Tips On Treating Constipation
Here are some tips on helping relieve constipation at home:
- lie your baby down and gently move their legs like they’re riding a bicycle â this can help get things moving.
- if your baby is happy lying down, give them a gentle tummy massage
- if your baby is bottle fed try giving them extra water between some feeds
- if your baby is on solids, make sure they are getting enough fibre – apples, pears and prunes are particularly good for constipation
It may take a few days to get things moving again, but if things do not improve, speak to your health visitor or GP. Your GP may prescribe a laxative or want to double check that it’s not being caused by any underlying medical conditions.
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Iron: Food Sources + Supplements
The first food introduced to baby should be rich in iron. Its an important nutrient, and one of the reasons for introducing solid food, to complement milk around 6 months of age!
If youre feeding iron-enriched infant cereals, you might find that your baby is sensitive to it and experiences constipation. One suggestion is to vary the food sources of iron: meat, fish, eggs, nut butter, beans, legumes, tofu .
If your baby is taking an iron supplement, talk to your doctor about potentially lowering the dose, and be sure to discuss the pros and cons of continuing to take the supplement. You will have to make some adjustments to ensure that your baby receives enough iron while avoiding constipation.
What Causes Constipation
The most common cause is when a child will not pass a stool because they expect pain so they delay toileting and the problem gets worse.
When constipation occurs in a baby, it is often because they are not getting enough fluid in their diet.
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A Warm Bath + Massage
If you know how to give a baby a massage, then this is a great time to give them one. Health Visitor with a Bachelor of Science in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing, Harriet Gibbs says to try a warm bath first in an article on BabyCentre. The warm water may help his or her tummy and maybe loosen things up a little bit. If they have tense tummy muscles, it can also be hard for them to go. But more importantly, the bath helps them to relax, which may also help them go. Then, it would be a good time to give the baby their massage, focusing mainly on their stomach and body.
How Often Should My Breastfed Baby Poop
Just like their formula-fed counterparts, breastfed babies produce a lot of poopy diapers during their first few weeks, often moving their bowels after every feeding. Beyond that, bowel movement frequency in breastfed babies can run the gamut! Your little one may dirty their diaper five times a dayor only poop once every few days.
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How Liquid Foods Affect Constipation
Constipation in infants can be a symptom of an allergy to the protein in cow’s milk, says Diana Lerner, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Both breastfed and formula-fed infants can be affected. If you suspect a cow’s milk allergy , the first step is to eliminate it from your baby’s diet to see if the change relieves their symptoms.
If your baby is breastfed and you’re the one nursing them, removing cow’s milk from their diet ultimately means removing cow’s milk products from your diet to avoid passing those proteins along. To replace it, try adding foods that help your baby poop, such as prunes and fiber-filled items.
Exclusively formula-fed babies are more likely to experience constipation than breastfed infants, says Jane Morton, M.D., an emeritus adjunct clinical professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. Some ingredients in formula might be more challenging to a baby’s digestive system and can result in much firmer poops. Before switching infant formulas, however, it’s always best to consult with your child’s pediatrician.
What Causes Constipation In Babies
Before you ascertain the causes of infant constipation, first understand what is normal for your baby. Does she have a bowel movement every time she feeds? Or does she wait for a day or two in between it?
Typically, a formula-fed baby passes at least one stool every day, while for exclusively breastfed babies, the pattern is quite irregular. However, you will be able to tune in to her digestive behavior after a little observation. Some food to relieve constipation in babies.
Constipation can be triggered by various factors that include:
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Is Your Baby Drinking Enough
Poo needs fluid to be soft enough to move through the bowel. Often enticing your little one to drink can be the problem. Water and milk are the best fluids to offer your baby but if they arent keen to drink, get creative! You could try ice lollies made up with diluted fruit juice and frozen or homemade fruit jellies which are great fun and often readily received by little ones.
Between 0-6 months: Babies require 150ml/kg of fluid per day. So if your baby is 7kg she will need 1050ml fluid per day.
7-12 months: They require 640-800ml of water from drinks each day
1-2 years: They require 880-960 ml water from drinks each day
Dont think they have to drink this amount, sauces, soups, yoghurts and custard, vegetables and fruits all contain fluid and so contribute towards their fluid intake.
What To Feed Your Constipated Toddler To Get Things Moving
Lets face it, if your toddler is unhappy, everyone is unhappy, and nothing makes a toddler more unhappy than being constipated. Constipation is quite common for toddlers as they experiment with new foods because everything wont always agree with their digestive system.
- Consult your doctor
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Thankfully, there are lots of different options to feed your constipated toddler that will help get things moving. If your little one has been irritable lately and you just simply want to help them feel better, here are some ideas of what to feed your constipated toddler to help bring them some quick relief and make everyone feel a lot happier.
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How To Help A Constipated Baby
No parent likes to see their child in discomfort and distress, so knowing how to help a constipated baby can make a world of difference. First and foremost, though, its important to realize that constipation in newborns can be a different issue than constipation in older babies. If your baby is not even a month old yet, talk to your pediatrician right awayat this age, constipation could be a sign of an underlying issue, such as Hirschsprungs disease, a rare congenital condition that happens in about one out of 5,000 births and typically requires surgery.
Additionally, if youre exclusively breastfeeding, its important to count those dirty diapers each day because infrequent stooling might actually be a sign of not enough feeding volume, says Blythe.
But if youve spoken to your pediatrician and ruled out other issues, there are some baby constipation home remedies and treatments you can turn to. Here are some things you shouldand shouldnt try to help a constipated baby:
Inadequate Intake Of Fluids
This is one of the main culprits behind constipation issues. Most babies suffer from it. Once the baby starts solid food after six months, you also need to ensure the little one is getting an adequate amount of water and additional fluids like juices at regular intervals.
It will keep the little one well hydrated and also keep his stools soft and easy to pass. You should even know that the frequency a baby passes stools also depends on her activity levels and how quickly she digests food.
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How Can You Tell If Your Baby Is Constipated
If you suspect your baby may be constipated, ask yourself the following questions:
Is she more fussy than usual?
Is she spitting up more often?
Is she having significantly fewer bowel movements than at other times?
Are her stools harder than usual, and/or are they bloody?
Does she strain for longer than 10 minutes when she needs to poop but still not pass anything?
If you answered âyesâ to any of these, your little one may be constipated.
Dangers Of Infant Constipation
Parents should always remember warning signs related to constipation for which they should seek immediate medical treatment for their infant, including: abdominal distension and/or tenderness, rectal bleeding, and vomiting bile or blood.
If constipation issues are severe or start early in the neonatal period it could be a sign of a more serious problem, like Hirschsprung disease, anatomic anomalies, hypothyroidism, and cystic fibrosis, Hahn said. Your pediatrician is your best resource to help decide if your baby needs any tests or imaging studies to evaluate the constipation.
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Fluid: Water + Breastmilk/formula
Continue to offer breastmilk or formula, and introduce water with meals. It will help get things moving while teaching your child to drink from an open cup.
We recommend to introduce cows milk at around 9 months of age, so stick to breastmilk/formula during the transition between exclusively milk fed and established solid foods intake.
The fluid baby drinks ensures that their stool isnt too dry, which makes it easier to pass.