Babies with constipation can have stools that are hard, dry, and difficult or painful to pass by. These stools can occur on a regular basis or are less frequent. While constipation may cause discomfort and pain, it is typically temporary and can be handled.
Constipation is a common issue for babies. This is one of the key reasons that children are referred to a doctor called a pediatric gastroenterologist.
Constipation in infants is one of the ten most popular prolific medications that the general pediatrician deals with, accounting for 30 percent of all referrals to pediatric gastroenterologists worldwide.
What is constipation?
Infant constipation is usually characterized by a lack of periodicity of defecation, bulky stools, and trouble or pain during defecation. Hydrating your baby at all times often helps to decrease the occurrence of constipation.
Most of the time, it’s common for a baby to go days or more than a week without a bowel movement. But if your child has constipation, he/she certainly needs baby constipation remedies.
Causes of Constipation
Constipation happens most often when waste or stool passes too slowly through the digestive tract, causing the stool to become hard and dry.
Constipation in babies can be caused due to many factors, including:
Painful bowel movements caused by big, hard stools can also contribute to withholding. If pooping hurts, your child will try to prevent a repeat of the distressing experience. Of course, pooping is an involuntary reflex in babies, but the natural reflex of the body does prevent the baby from passing poop if it is painful.
Changes to the diet:
Not enough fiber-rich fruits and vegetables or water in your child’s diet can cause constipation. One of the most common periods for children to become constipated is when they turn from an all-liquid diet to one that contains solid foods.
Changes in your child’s routine:
Any changes in your child’s routine — such as travel, hot weather, or stress — may affect the function of the intestine. Children are also more likely to develop constipation when they enter school outside their home for the first time.
Some antidepressants and various other drugs in some instances leads to constipation.
Allergy to cow’s milk:
An aversion to cow’s milk or the intake of too many dairy products (cheese and cow’s milk) often leads to constipation.
The history of the family:
Children with family members who have endured constipation are more likely to develop constipation. This may be attributed to mutual genetic or environmental influences.
Constipation in children rarely suggests an anatomical malformation, a metabolic or digestive system problem, or any other underlying disorder.
Here are some established natural home remedies for child constipation relief.
As stated earlier, dehydration is one of the key causes of constipation. As such, giving your baby enough fluids will help minimize the occurrence of constipation. If your baby shows signs of constipation, giving additional 2-3 ounces of water after each feeding will enable the intestines to flush properly.
Prune is a natural laxative. As such, prune juice is very helpful in alleviating constipation in children. It’s the best fruit juice you can give to soften your baby’s bowel movements. Prunes are also high in fiber, which helps prevent constipation and hemorrhoids in children. Although prune juice does not contain the same amount of beneficial fiber as the whole fruit, it does contain enough fiber to alleviate constipation in babies.
A gentle massage on the baby’s abdomen will help to stimulate bowel movements. Gently rub the tummy in a clockwise direction while slowly moving away from the middle of the abdomen. Doing this stimulates the bowels to travel to the rectal zone. Massaging the navel area in a circular motion helps to relieve the tension from the baby’s stomach.
A fiber-rich diet helps avoid constipation of the infant. Foods low in fiber can make the stool harden. It is recommended that you give your baby high-fiber food to help prevent constipation.
A Warm Bath:
A warm bath can help to soothe and calm stressed muscles. Warm water also relaxes the muscles of the stomach, which helps to alleviate constipation. When you bathe your baby in warm water, add a few spoonsful of baking soda. It helps to loosen up the rectal muscles, which in turn stimulates movement of the intestines.
Also, make the habit of diluting juices with water before you give them to your kids. Undiluted juices can cause diarrhea, bloating, or gas.
These tips will help your baby away from the discomforts of constipation. So, watch out for those early signs!
Adam Chip is the online marketing manager for Little Moo Organics. He has a flair of writing compelling content on topics related to baby’s health and parenting, that connects to his audience instantly. He blogs with a mission of educating parents of new born babies about baby formulas. When he does not pen down his thoughts, you can find him unwinding his day by reading his favorite book or spending his time going on adventure sports.