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Constipation in Babies

 What is Constipation?


Constipation is a hard bowel movement in babies and in adults. Since babies cannot tell how they feel you may not know how constipated they are. It is about how tough it is for them to poop. My baby had a constipation problem since birth. Now he is 2 years old and still gets constipated sometimes, just like we adults do. Babies can often go much longer time between bowel movements. Constipated babies may not poop for 3 to 4 days or more than that. Babies need some help from their parents at this time.

Signs of Constipation:-

  • Hard belly.
  • Swollen belly.
  • Straining while pooping.
  • Crying with pain when having a bowel movement.
  • Hard stools.
  • Stool like small pebbles.
  • Streaks of blood in the stool.
  • Lack of appetite after pooping.
  • Baby not pooping for more than 2 days.
  • Face becoming red while pooping.
  • Baby refuses to eat as his belly feels full.


Babies who are on breastmilk or formula milk will have normal stools as they don't eat any solids and their poop will be smooth. Constipation can start once the baby starts solid foods. The same thing happened with my baby too. At 6 months when I started giving him rice cerelac and fruit purees, he got constipated and I remember one night he strained and cried so much while pooping. His poop was very hard just like dark brown pebbles. He got tired so much while pooping that he fell asleep soon after pooping. If your baby doesn't poop for more than 2 days and if he poops hard after 2 days, this means he is constipated.

Important Notes:-

  • Newborn babies poop very often. Their poop will be slightly in liquid form and sometimes in normal form. This does not mean they are constipated.
  • Newborns who are only breastfed, poop after every feeding or 5-7 times per day.
  • Some people say breastfed babies won't get constipated but according to my experience, they do get constipated sometimes. It can happen due to your food habits or the baby's digestion system is not fully developed yet.
  • Constipation starts when you introduce solid food or formula milk into your baby's diet.
  • Babies at 6 weeks or older will pass large and smooth stool normally after 2 to 3 days.
  • Formula-fed babies poop more than breast-fed babies.
  • After introducing cow milk to the baby, the baby may get constipated initially.
  • If you're Breastfeeding your baby and if he gets constipated, change your diet because the baby might be sensitive to something that your eating.
  • If your baby is on formula milk, switch to a different brand of formula milk by taking advice from your pediatrician to cure constipation.

Home Remedies For Constipation:-

  • Tummy massage with warm oil.
  • Fruit juices of pear, skinless apple, berries, papaya, and peaches.
  • Include Vegetables like broccoli, sweet potatoes, and green peas in your baby's diet for easy digestion.
  • Excercise. If your baby is not walking yet do a light exercise of his legs by moving in a circular motion.
  • Always keep the baby hydrated by giving water only after 6 months. Give water after having food and in between meals.
  • A warm bath can help a lot.
  • You can offer baby sabudana kheer, coconut water, and buttermilk.
  • Include beans in your baby's diet Chart
  • Apricots cure constipation. You can give raw apricots or apricot juice. Dried apricots can be soaked overnight and then given to your baby.
  • Oats and barley contain fibers that relieve constipation in babies.
  • Brown bread is good for digestion and won't cause constipation.


Foods that cause constipation in Babies:-

  • Milk proteins in formula milk.
  • Rice.
  • Wheat.
  • Raw carrots and carrot juice is good for the baby but cooked or steamed carrots may cause constipation in babies.
  • Ripe bananas are very good for health but unripe bananas will make it difficult for the baby to digest and hence resulting in constipation.
  • Steamed apples can cause constipation too. Normal apple or apple juice is good for baby health.
  • Cheeses.
  • White Bread.
  • Potato chips are not at all good for health and cause constipation too. Cooked potatoes along with other vegetables are good.
  • Yogurt can sometimes cause constipation.


Summary:-

Constipation can be a very tough time for both the baby and the parent. Babies have to strain a lot to pass a stool. Some babies even cry and become irritated while pooping. Looking at your baby in this condition will make you cry. But since you are a parent you have to be strong and comfort your baby. In most cases, home remedies work to cure constipation. If they don't there are few supplements and creams for the baby to cure constipation. But before introducing any cream or supplements to your baby always consult your pediatrician.



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