It is never easy for a mother to see their baby in discomfort and pain. However, discomfort and pain are what they are in when they suffer from constipation. The first six months of breastfeeding your baby may cause them to suffer from this problem. Not only this but when he or she starts eating solid food, you will want to look out for the signs of constipation. Here are a few things to look out for when determining a constipated baby. Also, a few tips on how to give your baby constipation relief.
Signs of Baby Constipation
- Straining to poop but can’t
- Making weird facial expressions and face turning red from straining
- Suffering from a stomachache
- Crying out in pain because he or she is trying to poop but can’t
- Blood in his or her stool from straining so much that they busted a blood vessel
- His or her poop is dry or hard
- He or she will not eat because they are feeling too much pain and discomfort
- Vomiting along with irregular bowel movements
Why do Baby’s Get Constipated?
There are several reasons for your baby’s constipation. Some of the worse culprits include:
- Type of milk they are drinking
- Their solid food diet
- Not getting enough water
- New foods they are eating
- Certain medications your baby may be on
Foods That May Be Causing Constipation in Your Baby
Once your baby starts eating a solid food diet, the foods he or she is eating could be constipating them. Some of the foods you may be feeding your baby that can cause constipation are the following:
- Rice or rice cereal
- Dairy including cow’s milk, ice cream, and even some cheeses
- Foods that are high in fat can cause slow digestion which in turn can cause constipation
How to Rid your Baby of His or Her Constipation
It is important to remember that if you are only breastfeeding your baby right now, and you notice he or she has not had a bowel movement in a few days, it is normal for them to go without bowel movements for as long as one week. Don’t be alarmed but if it makes you feel better, call your baby’s pediatrician for precautions.
Now that you know the signs and symptoms of baby constipation and the foods and other things that cause it, you should now learn how to help your baby get rid of it. This way, he or she can be comfortable and without pain.
Give Your Baby More Water
Although you may think your baby is getting enough fluids because he or she is on an all liquid diet while you are breastfeeding, they still may not be getting enough. For this reason, you should give your baby an extra two to four ounces, which equals out to be about ¼ to ½ cup of water, after every feeding. By increasing their water consumption, you are helping them flush their bowels out.
Offer your Baby Some Fruit Juice
Fruit juice such as apple and prune can help make your baby poop usually. Prune juice is highly recommended because it is a natural laxative. However, pear juice and apple juice can work well to relieve minor constipation in babies. You baby will prefer one of these types of fluids since they are so sweet so make sure only to offer it when they need it. You should start slowly to avoid gas which can also cause a tummy ache. Starting slowly meaning just give them less than two ounces of prune, apple, or pear juice after each feeding.
Give Them High-Fiber Foods
You may have introduced solid food to your baby by now including bananas, carrots, rice and rice cereal, and cheese. However, these foods tend to constipate them quickly because they are low in fiber. Because of this, try giving them some prunes, pears, apricots, peaches, and plums, which are all high in fiber.
Make Them Move More
Making them move more can sometimes help them go easier. One way to do this is by giving them what we call bicycle legs which is when you run your baby’s legs like he or she is riding a bicycle. Placing your baby on his or her back in front of you and moving them in circular motions like they are riding a bike will help relieve their abdominal pressure and help things get going in the right direction again.
Try Different Formula
If you are bottle feeding your baby and he or she has started getting constipated, try changing their formula. Sometimes, it is the brand you are feeding them that could be causing this pain and discomfort that is happening to them. The reason for this is because every baby will react differently to the brand you are feeding him or her. Sometimes all it takes is a quick switch of the brand of formula you are giving him or her to relieve them of their constipation.
Take Baby’s Temperature
Try taking your baby’s temperature, rectally. By doing this, you can help them poop again. Lubricate the tip of the thermometer with vaseline and stick it in their rectum. Gently wiggle the tip around a little bit before removing it to loosen things up in there.
Give Your Baby a Tummy Rub
Massaging your baby’s tummy may help relieve them of constipation they are having. By rubbing their belly clockwise, massage it in big circles, and taking cues from him or her for how hard to press will help relieve their constipation. If he or she cries out, you are pushing too hard.
Give them a Warm Bath
Giving him or her a warm bath can help with almost anything, especially when they can’t poop. The reason for this is because the warm water will help relax their body, which will help them let go of the poop they are holding. When you start drying them off, you can also try the tummy massage technique to help with it as well.
Give Your Baby a Glycerin Suppository
When it is time to give your baby a suppository, you need to talk with your baby’s doctor first to ensure how much to provide them. Depending on the age and size of your baby and how long he or she has been constipated, they might recommend giving them between ¼ to one whole children’s glycerin suppository. The glycerin suppository can help them go within 15 to 30 minutes.
What You Shouldn’t do for Baby Constipation Relief
Since babies are as small as they are, they can get dehydrated quickly. Because of this, you should never give them a stimulant laxative, mineral oil, or any enemas. These three things can cause dehydration in your baby fast.
If none of these tips help relieve your baby of his or her constipation, you should take your baby to a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor can determine what is causing it and what to do for constipation and even rule out any severe conditions. Make sure to tell your doctor you have tried just about everything you can think of to help relieve your baby’s constipation so he or she can provide a different way to help them feel better. Best of luck!
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