A parent probably watches every laugh, hiccup, and cry their baby makes to figure out if they are doing well. Some signs, however, may be more difficult to detect. For example, as your baby’s bowel movements change throughout their life, they may indicate that your baby is constipated from time to time.
It is very common for babies who exclusively consume breast milk not to have a bowel movement every day since nearly all of their nutrients are absorbed. As a result, breastfed babies rarely become constipated. However, if you see that your baby is constipated, you can try several strategies to alleviate the condition.
You can help your baby relax and release poop by taking a warm bath. Gently massage their belly. Warm baths can help your baby relax their abdominal muscles and stop straining. It may also relieve some constipation discomfort. However, it is important to remember that most babies who don’t poop much aren’t truly constipated and don’t require any special care.
When your child isn’t walking, leg bicycles may be helpful, as movement speeds up digestion, which helps move things through the body more quickly. Massage your child’s abdomen and stomach several times throughout the day until they have a bowel movement to stimulate digestion. Do several massages until your child passes a bowel movement.
To treat constipation in your infant, give prune, apple, or pear juice (other juices won’t help as much). For children four to eight months old, you can give up to three ounces (60 to 120 mL) of 100 percent fruit juice daily. You can give up to six ounces (180 mL) of fruit juice per day for eight and twelve months old. However, don’t give juice to children every day for more than a week or two. Too much juice can harm their general health and growth.
Dark Corn Syrup
The folk remedy for constipation has been dark corn syrup for hundreds of years. This is because dark corn syrup holds complex sugar proteins that maintain water in bowel movement. However, there is no consensus about whether light corn syrup is helpful, as current dark corn syrup may not contain these sugar proteins.
Alternatively to rice cereal, you can use barley cereal if your infant is ready to eat solid foods. Additionally, you can serve apricots, sweet potatoes, pears, prunes, peaches, plums, beans, peas, broccoli, or spinach, as well as other high-fiber fruits and vegetables (or purées).
Children who cannot tolerate cow’s milk’s protein can develop constipation. For at least two weeks, avoid all cow’s milk (and milk products) for constipation if other treatments do not work. If your child’s constipation does not improve during this time, you can begin giving cow’s milk again. Consult your doctor if your child has blood in their bowel movements.
Use Pureed Foods
Try pureed broccoli, pears, prunes, peaches, and skinless apples if your baby is over six months and has not yet transitioned to solid food. Some fruits and vegetables work better than others at stimulating a bowel movement, while others don’t. Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables have a lot of fiber that will increase the volume of your child’s stool.
Hydrate Your Baby
Your baby needs to be properly hydrated to have regular bowel movements. Although water and milk will help keep your baby hydrated, for babies over six months, prune or pear juice may help speed up colon contractions, resulting in faster bowel movements for your baby. Before giving your baby anything other than breast milk or formula, talk to your doctor.
Laxatives are usually prescribed for infants and children for several months or longer. PEG is often used for this purpose. The doctor can adjust the number of laxatives, so the child has one soft bowel movement daily. Although several laxatives are obtainable without a prescription, you must consult your child’s physician or nurse before giving them laxatives regularly.