Constipation is quite common in infants, it is also serious in nature as it can cause pain in the abdomen. When a baby is unable to pass normal and comfortable motions, it implies that he is constipated. When a baby is passing stools, s/he experiences irritation owing to gas build-up, pain, discomfort, indigestion and hardness in poo. Being a parent, it’s important to know your baby’s signs and symptoms of constipation. Discussing the common problems that babies face with constipation, would definitely enable you to understand the cause and solution to a nagging constipation problem.
Before you get to know the remedy to constipation, we shall see what causes constipation, making it easier to prevent the condition in the first place.
Causes of Constipation in babies:
Stopping bowel movement:
Passing hard stools would be painful for a baby and s/he would thus avoid passing motions, thereby, leading to constipation.
Inadequate liquids in a baby’s diet cause constipation. Therefore, ensure that your baby gets enough of it daily.
Some medicines such as anti-depressants etc. can lead to constipation.
Introduction of solids:
If you have introduced solids to your baby a short while ago, then it is quite natural that he may not be able to digest it quickly. Insufficient fluid and an increase in the number of solids may cause constipation.
If you have started giving formula milk, it may be the cause for constipation, you may use an alternative if it is so.
Inadequacy of breast milk:
Insufficient breast milk is also a cause of constipation. Breast milk must be fed at regular intervals, it is way more beneficial than formula milk.
Symptoms of Constipation in Babies
Loss of appetite:
A baby may not show a desire to eat or drink in case he is struggling with constipation.
Hardness in stools is a common characteristic of constipation in all ages. A baby may feel pain and difficulty in passing stools.
Blood on stool:
During constipation, oftentimes, a parent finds blood on the child’s stools.
Pain and discomfort:
A baby may feel pain in the abdomen and stomach when constipated.
Passing motions with difficulty:
A baby may have difficulty while passing motions when constipated.
Remedies to cure Constipation
A baby is unable to express himself to us. S/he cannot tell us his problems. It is up to us to understand what she is going through and provide an effective remedy. There are many home remedies which will help you get rid of constipation in babies:
Adequate hydration: Babies usually don’t need additional liquids apart from what they get in milk or formula milk. But, at times doctors do advise parents to give a small amount of water or fruit juice to a baby if he has completed more than 2-4 months.
Bathing with warm water: Bathing your baby with warm water will provide relaxation to the muscles and will ease discomfort.
Changes in diet: A baby fed on formula milk may be fed with a different formula. You can check with the baby’s doctor. If you have started feeding solids to your child, you can give foods that provide roughage such as pears, prunes, broccoli (green gobhi), apples (without peel), plums, whole grains, etc.
Fruit juices: A little number of fruit juices like 2-4 ounces of 100% pear, prune or apple juice can be given to babies after consulting with a doctor after 2-4 months.
Massage: Gently massage the baby’s stomach in a clockwise direction. Keep your little one’s feet and knees together. Now, push his feet in the direction of his stomach.
Exercising: The baby’s legs can be moved gently while he is on their back as if pedaling a bicycle.
If the above remedies don’t work for you, it is advisable to consult a doctor.