Constipated Baby: What To Do
How can you tell if you have a constipated baby?
What causes baby constipation, and what can you do about it?
We will answer these questions in this article.
Do You Have A Constipated Baby?
Parents are always very aware of a baby's bowel movements. It's natural to be concerned when you open a diaper and see that things have changed, or if you notice that your baby seems to be straining to pass something. A certain amount of variation in a baby's BMs is normal, just like it is for adults. But babies can suffer from constipation too.
Here are the signs to look out for.
Signs Of A Constipated Baby
The medical definition of constipation involves going 3 days or more without a bowel movement (BM).
This applies to babies too.
In addition, a baby who is suffering from constipation will usually show some or all of the following signs:
- Baby seems to be in pain or uncomfortable before a BM: more than regular straining
- The output is small, hard and dry, like pellets
- Baby has less appetite
- Baby's belly is hard and she suffers from bad-smelling wind
If feces are blocking the bowel there may be some diarrhea-like liquid which forces its way around the blockage. A blockage can be a serious matter so even if you see some liquid, do not assume this means that everything is OK again.
What Causes Constipation In Babies?
Breast-fed babies do not generally get constipation.
A constipated baby is more likely to be having milk formula or solid food.
Solid food includes anything that is liquidized or blended into mush. It is not the texture of the food that is important but the ingredients. Sometimes the problem may be that the food does not contain enough fibre.
Or if your baby's diet has recently changed, either by the introduction of solid foods or by feeding different foods than she is used to, that can be the cause of baby constipation.
It is also possible that a constipated baby has a medical condition or illness.
This could include an intestinal blockage, food allergies, digestive issues or rare malformations of the digestive system.
For this reason it is important to take a constipated baby to the doctor's office.
Treatment For A Constipated Baby
A constipated baby should always be seen by a doctor to rule out underlying medical issues.
These are some of the treatments that a doctor might suggest:
1. If your baby is formula-fed, first check that you are making the formula correctly, with the right amount of water. Between feeds, offer the baby water that has been boiled and cooled. Consider switching brands of milk formula.
2. If your baby is eating solids, give her water or diluted juice to drink between meals. Add a little more fiber to her diet by chopping or blending fresh or dried fruit (especially prunes) into her meals. Juice does not contain fiber.
3. Gently rotate the constipated baby's legs in a cycling motion, to help matter travel through the digestive system.
5. A laxative may be prescribed if the baby seems to be suffering discomfort or pain, but do not give your constipated baby laxatives unless the doctor recommends it.
This is a video that address specifically constipation and gas relief in babies. Please use this at your discration, this is not a medical advice, so if you have any other questions or concers please contact your health care provider. If done correctly you may be able to help your baby relieve abdominal pain connected with consitaption, gas, or colic.
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