Pain and discomfort is no fun for anyone at all, especially not for a baby and certainly not for the parents. Equally as unenjoyable is when the parents do not know the cause for their child’s distress or how to soothe their baby.
Usually the most common time for a baby to experience constipation is soon after solids are introduced. That being said, here is a list of the signs you should watch out for:
Please note that most babies strain a little when they pass a bowel movement, even if they are breastfeeding. Also remember that if your baby is not passing stools often, but seems relaxed when they do and the stools are not too hard or dry, this may simply be their pattern. If you are worried, you should never be too shy to ask your health care professional for advice.
If the child is formula fed and is suffering constipation, it is very possible that the formula has not been mixed properly. It is possible that there is not enough water and too much powder in the bottle. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself in order to find a possible cause of baby constipation in your child.
If the wrong scoop was used or used incorrectly, the ratio of formula to water may be incorrect. In the event that you have recently changed which type of formula or milk you are using, the child may be having a reaction to this change.
If, indeed, your child is constipated, you should not simply give them syrup of figs or any other laxative and hope it goes away. You must consult with your health care professional to find out the best and safest way to treat this problem without making any rash decisions or using any “old wives remedies.” That being said, there are certain preventative measures that you can take to avoid the development of baby constipation.
Newborn constipation is quite rare, especially if your child is breastfed. It is more likely to occur, if anything, among formula-fed babies. However, in the rare cases that baby constipation does occur in a breastfed baby, it may possibly be because the baby is not receiving enough milk.
A tummy massage may help to relieve baby constipation. You can apply this technique by gently massaging the stomach in a circular motion. Only continue this if the child enjoys the massage and is comfortable. A warm bath is another option which may assist the child’s bowels to relax. Placing your child on their back and rotating their legs into a circular motion can also promote a bowel movement. An increase of fluids with some warm water is another way to effectively stimulate your child’s bowel
Recommended constipation treatment and preventative measures for an older infant are as follows:
If you are not satisfied with our answers, or your question was not answered here, you can contact your doctor or your baby’s health care provider to be sure. Also, you can try these contact numbers below:
You can also check our write-up about When to call a doctor to know when to seek emergency care.
Constipation need not become an obsession or constant worry. After all, many adults will have an odd episode of constipation here and there without it being the sign of serious condition. Obviously, if you are taking all the correct measures but your baby is still chronically constipated, this is a matter that needs to be discussed with your doctor.