How To Treat Your Child’s Constipation
If you think your child may be constipated, take them;to a GP. The treatment for constipation depends on your child’s age.
The longer your child is constipated, the more difficult it can be for them to get back to normal, so make sure you get help early.
Laxatives are often recommended for children who are eating solid foods, alongside diet and lifestyle changes.
It may take several months for the treatments to work, but keep trying until they do. Remember that laxative treatment may make your child’s overflow soiling worse before it gets better.
Once your child’s constipation has been dealt with, it’s important to stop it coming back. A GP may advise that your child keeps taking laxatives for a while to make sure their poo stays soft enough to push out regularly.
Constipation In Babies And Children
This page provides information about constipation in babies from 0 to around 6 months. For information for older babies on solid food and children, see constipation in children.
Constipation is when it is difficult for your baby to poo or when they are not pooing as often as normal.
Some babies have several poos each day. Others poo only once a day or once every second day. What is important is that the poos are soft and that they are easy to pass.
Breastfed Babies And Constipation
Breastfed babies rarely get constipated because breast milk contains a natural laxative. They tend to have yellow-coloured seedy poos that are often quite soft.
Newborn breastfed babies may poo after every feed. Older breastfed babies may go up to a week without pooing. This is not constipation if the poo is soft.
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Best Home Remedies For Constipation In Babies And Kids 2021
Are you looking for;how to relieve constipation in babies quickly?
Constipation in babies is common and curable. During constipation, your baby is in discomfort and pain. In the first six months, when your baby is exclusively on breastfeed then its normal if your;baby is not passing stool every day.
But when your baby started the solid foods then it is very important that your child has gut balance and bowel regularity for healthy bowel movements. Few babies have loose motions when we start solid foods while other face constipation issue.
Its not easy for parents to see their child in pain and discomfort. Sometimes, parents visit the pediatric to cure this problem through medications. I always try home remedies first as it doesnt have any side effects on childs health.There is no specific rule to consider your baby has healthy bowel movements because the frequency of bowel movements depends on your child age and what he is eating at that age.
What Are The Symptoms Of Constipation
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They may include:
- Not having a bowel movement for a few days
- Passing hard, dry stools
- Having belly bloating, cramps, or pain
- Not feeling hungry
- Showing signs of trying to hold stool in, such as clenching teeth, crossing legs, squeezing buttocks together, turning red in the face
- Small liquid or soft stool marks on a child’s underwear
The symptoms of constipation can be like other health conditions. Make sure your;child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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Thingsnot To Do In Constipation
- Do not feed the bananas, it can cause constipation.
- Avoid White Toast, rice cereals in babys diet.
- Avoid cows milk for your baby as it is difficult to digest for still developing a digestive system.
- Avoid cheese, ice cream or any milk based products while the baby is constipated.
- Avoid carrots, potatoes, pasta, all other kinds of processed foods.
- Dont give any kind of medication to a baby without consulting with pediatric.
- Regular usage of ragi/finger millet can cause constipation in your baby so avoid to give it in excess.
If your baby is suffering from constipation then try above-mentioned home remedies before consulting the doctor. These home remedies are safe and easy to use. Just try one home remedy at a time, dont use all remedies together. ;
Leave a comment if you have any query related to baby health and food.
Things To Do In Constipation
- Guava is a very effective remedy for constipation. You should eat it with its seeds.
- Few moms use the Vaseline trick to lubricate babys anal.
- Few people suggest to use the castor oil but I dont recommend. Its not a right choice for your little ones still developing tummy.
- Keep your baby active so that his bowel movements can be more regular.
- Give all the fruit juices in a diluted form otherwise, it can cause diarrhea.
- Try to keep your baby as relax as you can.
- If you are a breastfeeding mom then limit dairy intake in your diet.
- Make a routine of going to the toilet as first thing in the morning. Encourage your child to poop in the morning.
- Ground flaxseed can be used as supplemental fiber.
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Preventing Constipation In Babies
If your baby is exclusively breastfed, its very unlikely theyll become constipated. Be sure to include plenty of water in your own diet if youre the one providing the babys breast milk.
Babies can become constipated because of medications or sensitivities to ingredients in infant formula. Consult your childs pediatrician if you believe this is a possibility.
Babies and toddlers who experience frequent constipation may need to drink more water or have more fiber added to their diet.
Having your child sit on the toilet at the same time each day can also help regulate their body as they get used to this routine.
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.
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What Can I Give My 5 Month Old For Constipation
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Treating Constipation With Soiling
Getting constipated and soiling their clothes is not something your child is doing on purpose, so there’s no reason to get cross with them.
You may both find the situation stressful, but staying calm and relaxed is the best attitude to help your child deal with the problem.
A health visitor or GP can offer helpful tips.
Read about soiling .
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Foods That Help Relieve Constipation In Infants
Now that you know which foods cause constipation in babies, so avoid incorporating them into your babys diet. If your baby is already suffering from constipation, then include these high-fibre foods in your babys diet. These foods will not only relieve the condition but also prevent it from occurring in future.
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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Is This Your Child’s Symptom
- Can’t pass a stool or pain when passing a stool
- Crying when passing a stool or
- Can’t pass a stool after straining or pushing longer than 10 minutes or
- 3 or more days without passing a stool
- Caution: any belly pain from constipation comes and goes. Most often, it is mild. Use the Abdominal Pain care guide if there is constant belly pain.
Transient Neonatal Pustular Melanosis
Transient neonatal pustular melanosis is a common skin condition in newborns. It appears as small pus-filled spots. It is harmless and will go away by itself.
This skin condition is more common in newborns with black skin. The spots usually disappear within , but they may leave dark marks on the skin for several months.
The spots usually appear on the following body parts:
- small of the back
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How Can You Treat Constipation
You can usually treat constipation at home with high-fiber foods and lots of fluids. Do not use any suppositories, laxatives or enemas without first consulting your childs doctor or nurse practitioner.
Youll also need to base your treatment on your childs age.
If your child is younger than 4 months old, try:
- 1 ounce of prune juice ;in 1 ounce of water, one or two times a day
If your child is 4 months to 1 year, try:
- High-fiber baby foods, such as cereals, fruits , vegetables, spinach and peas
- Prune juice
If your child is 1 year or older, try:
- Feeding him raw, unpeeled vegetables and fruits at least three times a day
- Increasing the bran in her diet by offering her graham crackers, bran cereal, oatmeal and whole-wheat bread
- Increasing the amount of water and juices she drinks
- Having your child sit on the toilet for 10 minutes after meals, especially after breakfast, to encourage a regular bowel pattern
When should you call the doctor?
Most of the time, home treatment will help. If not, contact your pediatrician to develop a plan for your child.
Call your childs doctor or nurse practitioner immediately if your child is in severe pain or has blood in his stool. You should also talk to your childs doctor or nurse practitioner if:
- Your child doesnt have a bowel movement after five days.
- He develops any tears in the rectal area that dont heal.
- She is soiling herself despite being toilet trained.
Contributed by: Patrick;S. Pasquariello, MD
Other Treatments For Baby Constipation
If youre caring for a constipated baby or toddler, prune juice isnt your only home treatment option.
Newborns, infants, and toddlers may benefit from a relaxing, warm bath. Bathing your child may help them relax their muscles and release a bowel movement.
Babies 6 months and older can be given water to drink. Hydrating the digestive tract is a simple way to get things moving and soften stools.
Massaging your childs stomach in a clockwise motion, or holding your childs knees together and pushing their legs up gently, may release gas and help with passing stool.
If your toddler is constipated, they may need to try several different positions on the toilet to get enough leverage to release a hardened bowel movement. Try adding a small stool underneath your childs feet or propping their legs up to help them get this leverage.
Give your child plenty of time to pass a bowel movement and tell them so. Getting nervous on the toilet is common for toddlers and can make symptoms of constipation last longer. Bring some of their favorite books to the bathroom to help pass the time and make if fun.
Constipation in babies and toddlers most often develops from one of the following:
- sensitivities to infant formula
- a low-fiber diet
- not taking in enough water
Since constipation is common in infants and toddlers, your best bet is to be vigilant about the symptoms of constipation. Symptoms to look out for include:
- a fever that lasts longer than 24 hours
- sudden weight loss
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What Causes Constipation
Stool gets hard and dry when the large intestine takes in too much water.
Normally, as food moves through the colon, the colon absorbs water while it makes stool. Muscle movements push the stool toward the rectum. When the stool gets to the rectum, most of the water has been soaked up. The stool is now solid.
If your child has constipation, the colon’s muscle movements are too slow. This makes the stool move through the colon too slowly. The colon absorbs too much water. The stool gets very hard and dry.
Once a child becomes constipated, the problem can quickly get worse. Hard, dry stools can be painful to push out. So the child may stop using the bathroom because it hurts. Over time, the colon will not be able to sense that stool is there.
There are many reasons why a child may become constipated. Some common diet and lifestyle causes include:
Where To Buy Prune Juice
If you have a child in the infant or toddler range, consider keeping prune juice on hand to treat constipation. Having it ahead of time will give you the best opportunity to use it.
You can find prune juice at many grocery and health food stores. Make sure the prune juice is pasteurized. This process kills any harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella.
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Should You See A Doctor About Constipation In Children
You should take your child to the GP if your child:
- needs a laxative more than a few times a year
- has constipation that doesnt get better after you give them a laxative
- hasnt done a poo for seven days
- poos in their pants without meaning to
- has constipation and also fever, vomiting, blood in their poo or weight loss
- has painful cracks in the skin around their anus
- has constipation and youre worried they arent eating or drinking enough.
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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What Is Constipation
Constipation is when a child has very hard stools, and has fewer bowel movements than he or she normally does. It is a very common GI problem.
Signs that a child has constipation include:
- Having fewer bowel movements than normal. Constipation is often defined as having fewer than 3 bowel movements a week. The number of bowel movements may be different for each child. But a change in what is normal for your child may mean there is a problem.
- Passing stool that is hard and sometimes large
- Having bowel movements that are difficult or painful to push out
How To Treat It
A change in formula or in Mom’s diet could help combat constipation in formula 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.
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