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 .
Why Do Babies Get Constipated
To understand the reasons of constipation in babies, you have to understand that disturbed bowel movements depend upon many factors like
- Type of milk you are feeding to your baby
- The introduction of solid foods.;
- Is any specific food you have introduced to your baby recently.
- Low water level: If your baby is suffering from cold, cough, throat infection, teething like problems then the water level in the body reduces drastically which can cause constipation.
- If your baby is under medication then intake of few medicines can cause constipation.
Causes Of Constipation In Children
- If a child is drinking too much milk and not getting enough solids, the lack of fibre can cause constipation.
- A tear in the skin next to the anus may be caused by doing a hard poo. This will make the child try to hold on for longer because it may hurt to go to the toilet.
- Some children ignore the urge to go to the toilet because they are too busy playing.
- Some children hold back when they are being toilet trained.
- Some children dont want to use school or preschool toilets for various reasons, such as lack of privacy or a smelly toilet.
- The child may not be getting enough exercise.
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Food Sensitivities And Allergies
While food allergies seem to be more common among children than they were in the past, no one knows the reason for this. We do not recommend restricting any specific foods for babies because of concerns about allergies, but if you have food allergy questions or a family history of specific food allergies, please discuss this with your provider.
Citrus fruits and tomatoes may cause a rash around the mouth in young children, but this is not a true allergy and is not dangerous; if it happens, you may want to cut back on these types of foods and try them again at a later time.
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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How To Soothe The Baby
When a baby briefly cries out in their sleep, they often settle on their own. Picking them up may wake them up, disrupting their sleep.
If the crying continues, try talking softly to the baby or rubbing their back or stomach. This can help shift them into a different stage of sleep and help them stop crying.
Breastfed babies who nurse in their sleep may find comfort from nursing. Caregivers should decide whether or not the baby is likely to awaken from nursing and assess whether they are willing to risk waking the baby.
It can also be helpful to simply observe the babys sleep pattern. Some babies let out a soft cry as they fall deeply into sleep, or immediately before waking. Identifying the babys typical sleep pattern can help caregivers assess the cause of crying.
Some babies might cry in their sleep when they are sick or teething, but pain that causes crying will usually wake the baby. Caregivers can talk to a pediatrician about how to ease the babys pain.
Although we do not yet know when nightmares start, a caregiver who thinks that they hear their baby having a nightmare can soothe them by talking calmly to them or rubbing their back. Babies who are still breastfed may also find comfort from nursing.
If a baby wakes up after having had a nightmare, comfort them and follow a soothing sleep ritual to get them back to sleep. Older babies and toddlers may need reassurance that the nightmare was not real.
Liquid Foods To Relieve Constipation
Constipation in breastfed infants could be a symptom of a milk protein allergy, says Diana Lerner, M.D., instructor of pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Everything Mom eats gets passed to the baby, so breastfeeding women might consider taking dairy out of their diet. Similarly, they can try eating foods to help baby poop, such as prunes and fiber-filled items.
Exclusively formula-fed babies are much more likely to experience constipation than breastfeed infants, says Jane Morton, M.D., a clinical professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. Some of the ingredients in formula might be more challenging to a baby’s digestive system and result in much firmer poops. Your pediatrician may switch your baby’s formula to one that isn’t milk-based.
Also, parents might also be tempted to switch to a low-iron formula if they suspect their baby is constipated, but Dr. Shu advises against it. Formula-fed babies need the extra iron, and although foods high in iron can cause constipation, the amount found in formula isn’t to blame.
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What You Can Do
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 :
- Offer extra water between their normal meals or diluted fruit juice , 1 part juice to 3 parts water.
- Try to encourage them to eat extra servings of fruit and vegetables that have been pureed or chopped . These can include stewed prunes, stewed apricots, and steamed vegetables.
- Add more water to your babys solids.
Other things to try:
- Gently move your babys legs in a cycling motion this may help stimulate their bowels.
- Gently massage your babys tummy.
- A warm bath can help the muscles relax .
When To Seek Help
Very rarely, constipation can be a sign of an underlying health problem. If a baby under 6 weeks is constipated, you will need an assessment by a doctor to exclude an underlying condition.
Take your baby to a doctor, or seek help from a midwife or child health nurse if:
- your babys poo is dry and crumbly or like pellets, or they seem to have pain and discomfort when doing a poo
- your baby is constipated and they are gaining weight slowly
- they have blood in their poo
You can also read more about constipation in children.
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That Said There *are* A Few Times When Switching Formulas Could Help Constipation
In these specific situations, pediatricians might suggest a formula change for constipation:
Your child has a milk allergy.;Signs of one might include blood or mucus in your baby’s stool or an extremely fussy baby, says Williamson . In the case of one , a doctor might recommend a lactose-free formula or a hypoallergenic option such as;Nutramigen.
It’s not always enough to switch to a soy formula either. Many kids who are allergic to milk are also allergic to soy, says;Arora. And it’s probably worth noting that if you’re wondering if a soy formula is making baby constipated, barring an allergy, it’s likely not, experts say.
Your child has acid;reflux.;Almost all babies have;some;amount of;reflux;or spitting up, says Dawkins . That said, there is baby formula for;reflux. These formulas usually have added rice proteins that thicken the formula up.
“The idea is that it’s harder for the formula to go down and come back up,” explains Williamson. “This won’t help all babies, but trying a specialized formula, under the supervision of your pediatrician, won’t cause harm.”
Babies Often Get Constipated When They Switch To Cows Milk
Once a Baby Starts Cows Milk At 12 Months of Age, they often get constipated. Cows milk is very constipating but is important for calcium and vitamin D in your babys diet. Are you considering another kind of milk for your baby or toddler, such as organic, raw, almond, soy, rice, or omega-3 fortified? Each of these has certain risks and benefits, so be sure to read up on milk before you make a switch.
As your one-year-old transitions off breastmilk or formula, be sure to include plenty of fruits and veggies in their diet as a natural laxative. Prepare toddler foods are convenient for traveling and time crunches, but research shows they contain high levels of salt and sugar. Dr. Sisk writes about how to be a savvy shopper for toddler food.;;
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Newborn Babies Poop Frequently
Newborn babies often poop after every feeding, about 6 times per day. In the first few weeks after delivery, your babys intestines are maturing and becoming more efficient at extracting nutrition from breast milk or formula. As their intestines get better at digesting food, the time between bowel movements gets longer and longer. Before you know it, you have a two-month-old that is going several days without dirtying their diaper.
How To Treat A Constipated Puppy
If, in spite of your best efforts, your pup becomes constipated there are some straightforward remedies that should get his bowels moving fairly quickly.
Adding certain things to their diet can often help a constipated puppy feel better.
Here are a few to try:
Petwellbeing Smooth BM Gold;is a;totally natural product that can help to relieve canine constipation and also maintain healthy bowel function, without causing your puppy any discomfort.
There’s also one more natural, gentle, herbal remedy that you might want to try…;Only Natural Pet Laxa-Herb Herbal Formula;which is a gentle, laxative herbal formula for overnight relief.
for an article on Puppy Constipation written exclusively for this website by Dr. Megan Teiber DVM
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When To See A Gp
Talk to your GP if your baby:
- does not poo in 2 to 3 days
- is very distressed
- shows the signs their constipation may be due to other medical conditions
Contact your GP urgently if your baby:
- is in severe pain and distress when doing a poo
- has bleeding after a hard poo
- has a fever
- seeming to be in severe pain
- any abnormalities of their bottom – for example, if it is closed over
- poos that are very pale in colour
Bring your baby to your GP urgently if they have any of these signs. If your baby seems very unwell or you are unable to get an urgent appointment, bring them to the nearest hospital emergency department.
Prune Juice For Infants
Infants range from 2 to 12 months old. Once your baby is at this stage, its still not recommended to give them any juice unless cleared by their doctor.
If your infants pediatrician gives the OK, they can provide guidance on how much prune juice is safe to give your baby. A good rule of thumb is 1 ounce of prune juice per month of life with a max daily dose of 4 ounces.
Administer the prune juice no more than twice per day to help relieve their constipation. You may also want to dilute the juice with water to help your baby hydrate. Continue formula- or breastfeeding as you normally would.
If your child doesnt use a cup, give them prune juice in a syringe or with a spoon.
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What Can You Give Your Baby For Constipation
If changes in your babyâs diet havenât given him relief from constipation, your babyâs healthcare provider might recommend an infant glycerin suppository, which is placed in your babyâs rectum. These types of suppositories are meant to be used only occasionally, and shouldnât be overused. Do not use mineral oil, enemas, constipation medicine, or any stimulating laxatives to treat your babyâs constipation. Always follow your healthcare providerâs advice.
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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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
When To Contact A Medical Professional
- An infant goes 3 days without a stool and is vomiting or irritable
Also call your child’s provider if:
- An infant younger than 2 months is constipated
- Non-breastfeeding infants go 3 days without having a bowel movement
- A child is holding back bowel movements to resist toilet training
- There is blood in the stools
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Peanuts And Peanut Butter
Recent research suggests that early and continued eating of peanut products decreases the chance of developing a peanut allergy. Some children will still be allergic to peanuts, but introducing peanuts at 4-6 months can prevent peanut allergy for many children. If your child has other food allergies or severe eczema, , please discuss blood testing for peanut allergy before you introduce peanuts.
Other infants should begin eating peanut products at 4-6 months. You can mix a small amount of smooth peanut butter into your infants baby cereal or pureed food. Bamba, a peanut puff product can be crumbled into baby cereal. Give a small amount the first few times, and if it is tolerated without hives continue to feed peanut containing products 3 times a week. Older infants and toddlers should continue to eat Bamba or smooth peanut butter 3 times a week.
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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