Constipation, no parent wants to witness this happening to their child, it is certainly not something we want to happen to our babies. Even though we do not like it; it still happens sometimes, it happens to many of our baby’s. Sometimes our baby’s poop looks and is harder than normal. Sometimes the baby does not have a bowel movement for a whole day and sometimes the baby’s stool is hard and dry. These are all signs of constipation and it is heartbreaking to know that this can cause your child a lot of pain. No parent wants to see their child in this terrible situation, but what to do when you notice that your child may be constipated? You try a remedy. Of course, there are many home remedies for constipation, but first, let us look at what may cause constipation.
Signs that your baby is constipated
It is important to know that every baby is different, so when it comes to the frequency of bowel movements there is no comparison. Some babies have bowel movements after every meal, others have a bowel movement 2-3 times a day. To be able to quickly notice when your baby is constipated you should know how frequent your child has a bowel movement. By knowing this, it will be easier to conclude that your child is constipated or not. If you notice that your child has less frequent bowel movements than usual and has not had one or more than 3 days or if you notice that your child has a hard and dry stool that it is difficult to pass no matter the frequency, then it is possible that your child is constipated. If you are not sure, it is better to consult your doctor for clarification.
The causes of constipation
It is very rare that a baby that is only fed breast milk will constipate for they do not use solid food or any formula yet. Here are some possible causes of constipation:
Rice Cereal; Often parents give their baby rice cereal when introducing their child to formula. This can cause mild constipation for it does not contain much fiber. Oatmeal cereal, on the other hand, does contain a lot of fibers so I would recommend parents to use oatmeal instead of rice cereal.
Formula: There are many different brands of formula out there. It is possible that an ingredient or just something in the formula you use causes constipation. If you notice this, it is better to talk to your doctor about this before switching brands.
Dehydration: babies that are solely breastfed do not have this problem with breast milk contains the perfect balance of fat, protein, and liquid. When your baby is on solid food your child can become dehydrated; if this happens the baby’s system will absorb fluids from the waste in his bowels, which will result in a hardened and dry stool.
Bananas; I’m sure your baby loves banana, but you should go easy on the bananas for it can firm up a stool and cause constipation. Applesauce should also not be given too much to babies. If you want to incorporate foods that loose stool gives your baby prunes, peaches, pears, and plums.
What to do when you find out that your baby is constipated
If your baby is constipated you can try to do some simple exercises with your child to relieve the pain and change their diet. These exercises include:
Bicycle legs; while your baby is laying on his/her back, gently move your baby’s leg in a forward circular motion just like he/she is peddling a bicycle.
Tummy massage; As your baby lays on her back place your hand at your baby’s navel and lightly massage in circular motion, moving your hands away from the center of your baby’s belly.
Change your baby’s diet; Try to give your baby less food that can cause constipation (such as rice, bananas and cooked carrot) instead give them foods high in fiber or foods that contains lots of fiber that can help loose stool such as prune and apricots or pears. If necessary talk to your doctor about treatment options.
Parents your child health and well-being is of utmost importance. Use the information presented here as a guide, because that is what it is meant for, but under no circumstance should you hesitate to seek professional advice when you notice your child is constipated or suffers from one or more illnesses. Always discuss any new food with your doctor first.