My Baby is Constipated
When a baby is constipated, the parents of the baby can be beside themselves with stress and anxiety because of not knowing how to relieve constipation and how to help the baby get calm again. And they ask a typical question “my baby is constipated, what should we do?”.
One would often observe the parents of newborn babies rushing into a chemist to get a remedy for their baby’s constipation. A constipated baby can cry for hours on end, causing the parents and everybody else in the area to also become stressed and anxious.
Nursing babies do not often get constipation because mother’s milk has exactly the right formula for the baby’s still developing gastrointestinal tract to work exactly as it should. Mother’s milk is almost 100% digestible, which makes it possible for a breastfed baby to go without relieving itself for several days, and constipated breastfed babies are a rare occurrence.
It is mostly formula fed babies that have a problem with constipation. Baby milk formulas are made from cow milk, and it contains a lot of solids that make it easier for the baby to become constipated. Another reason for constipation in formula fed babies is the fact that cow milk contains a high percentage of lactose (milk sugar). Some babies (and even adults) are lactose intolerant, which is the reason for being allergic to cow milk.
Lactose intolerant babies cannot digest the lactose in cow milk, and the baby becomes constipated because the undigested lactose remains in the intestines of the baby. The fact that formula milk contains certain solids also contributes to the fact that baby stools sometimes become hard. These solids combine with the undigested milk solids, causing the baby to become constipated.
When a formula fed baby is lactose intolerant you cannot feed the baby cow milk or anything containing cow milk because the baby will then get stomach cramps and wind. Other causes of the baby being constipated are some of the solid foods given to the baby when the baby is started on solid foods. One of the first baby foods that a baby is usually fed is a fine corn cereal. This corn cereal contains hardly any fiber, and because the baby is not used to solids, the food takes longer to digest, causing the cereal to stagnate in the intestinal tract and then the baby is constipated.
If you have a baby that seems to be prone to constipation, it may be advisable to feed baby food with a fibrous consistency. This will help baby to overcome a bout of constipation, and to not become constipated again
It is always better to use constipation remedies for your baby that is natural and to avoid chemicals as far as possible. A good natural remedy for baby constipation is to take a very ripe banana and mash it, and then feed it to the baby. The fiber in the banana will help the digestive tract to get going again when the baby is constipated.
It is also very helpful to give the baby a few milliliters of prune juice, or a few spoons of mashed boiled prunes. Prunes are nature natural constipation reliever, and when the baby is constipated, with get the intestines working normally again in no time at all.
Also, make sure that baby drinks enough water. Water will help to keep baby’s stool soft and will help the stool to move through the gastrointestinal tract more easily, and thus prevent baby from becoming constipated. Make sure the water is sterilized and metal free in order to prevent contamination with certain undesirable substances such as heavy metals and certain microorganisms such as salmonella and e-Coli.
If you have seen your pediatrician and he says that babily is not lactose intolerant, it may be a good idea to change to a different baby formula. Sometimes a certain formula does not agree with the baby, causing constipation, but another brand will be completely fine.
Exercise can also help to relieve baby constipation. It is a great idea to let baby lie on his back and moves his legs in a bicycle peddling movement. This is fun to the baby and may prove to be just the thing to gets things going in the right direction.
An interesting tip is to take baby’s temperature. A baby’s temperature is taken by means of a rectal thermometer, and inserting the thermometer and slightly move it around may stimulate a bowel movement, thus ending the constipation of the baby.
Massaging the baby’s tummy may also help when the baby is constipated. Move in ever bigger circular motion, being careful not to press too hard. Watch baby’s facial expression to determine whether you are in dee-pressing too hard or not. These circular movements may get baby’s bowels going and relieve constipation.
A warm bath may also help baby relax and may help him to have a stool when he is constipated. Being in the warm water has a soothing effect.
A few teaspoons of mashed papaya will also provide fiber and will help baby have a normal stool when the baby is constipated. Almost any ripe, mashed fruit will do the trick. REMEMBER TO NEVER GIVE YOUR BABY UNRIPE FRUIT.
When nothing else seems to work, and you have done everything to establish the cause of baby’s constipation, then see your pediatrician. There is always the possibility that something may be seriously wrong, and it is better to be safe than sorry. The pediatrician may subscribe a glycerin suppository. The size of the suppository will depend on baby’s size and age. Remember: because babies are so small and can easily become dehydrated, you should NEVER use enemas, mineral oils or laxatives when the baby is constipated. With baby’s, what the pediatrician says goes.
It may be that there is nothing wrong with the baby. Once the pediatrician has confirmed that there is nothing seriously wrong with the baby, and has revealed the exact reason why the baby is constipated, you will also be relieved, and then you will know that it is safe to carry on with your daily baby schedule.
References on My Baby is Constipated:
- Constipation in Babies: Signs, Causes, and Cures by Anita Henry – Parents
- Foods that cause and relieve constipation in babies by parents.com expert – Parents
- 10 Ways to Relieve Baby Constipation by Baby Health Expert – Mom365