This week, I notice my baby is not pooping regularly – means she moves her bowel every two days, which I find unhealthy. One time, I caught her in one corner, holding at the sofa, and straining so hard with her sweat dripping all over her face.
I found out then that she wanted to poop but she couldn’t. I peeped her diaper and saw her stool. It looked hard, unable to move from her anus. By then, she kept crying – maybe her anus got sore. I pity her so much because I knew how it felt when constipated.
So before anything got worse, I right away did interventions on how to relieve her constipation.
How to detect baby constipation:
- For newborn babies, stools less than once a day with straining and difficulty to pass can be a sign of constipation.
- Babies who pass dry, hard pebble-like stools and pain during a bowel movement.
- Some babies pull their legs up on abdomen when passing stool, even do grunting and it will turn babies face into the red.
- Abdominal discomfort along with hard and infrequent stools.
Possible causes of constipation in babies:
- Introduction of solid foods: Babies may get constipated when they start eating solid foods. This is because their diet is majorly composed of rice cereal, which is low in fiber.
- Diets low in fiber.
Baby foods that help with constipation
Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber to help stimulate bowels. We, mothers, would sometimes miss to include fruits and vegetables to baby’s meal. Normally, we gave our babies rice with soup, and we always thought that would be enough to satisfy them, without knowing that they didn’t get enough nutrients from it.
I know most babies are picky at this stage, but if we start teaching them to eat the right foods as early as now, and by setting as an example by eating such foods, then surely they will get used to it until they grow up.
Since I’ve already learned a lesson, I am now giving my baby some fruits every after a meal. Here’s the list:
Papayas are not only sweet, versatile and tasty, they are also a very nutritious fruit. They contain high amounts of Vitamin C (helping absorb non-heme iron), Vitamin A (2516 IU’s.) and even Vitamin E.
Papayas are also a good source of fiber and folic acid.
Mango is one of the exotic fruits in the world with great health benefits. Some of the health benefits from mangoes in baby food include protection of eyesight, fights microbial infections, easily digestible, improvement in brain development and many more.
One of the most important nutritional components of Apples is that they contain two types of fiber; insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Both the insoluble fiber in apples and their soluble fiber pectin, help maintain bowel regularity (thus helping to prevent diverticulosis and colon cancer).
The insoluble fiber works like roughage, while the soluble fiber (pectin), helps keep the bowels regular (avoiding constipation, avoiding diarrhea) and specifically affects the makeup of the stool. Pectin will firm up the stool as it is a soluble fiber.
Watermelon, one of the champion fruits of summer, provides various health benefits for babies which include maintaining hydration level during summers, strengthening the immune system, bone development, produces red blood cells, increases hemoglobin level and improves brain function.
Bananas are often called one of nature’s perfect foods because they are said to contain many of the nutrients that a person needs to survive. One of the most important nutritional components of Bananas is that they contain potassium and fiber. Bananas are also high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B2.
Give her lots of water:
As soon as a baby starts taking solid foods, she must be provided with water. Water helps loosen and soften stool. It also helps flush out toxins from our body.
Provide healthy snacks:
Unhealthy snacking can sometimes aggravate constipation. In order to make the snack more enjoyable, why not provide your baby attractive at the same time a healthy and tasty snack.
It is just a matter of creativity. The kind of foods I offered to my baby aside from biscuits are nuts (unsalted – beware nuts can cause allergies for some babies), champurrado out of oats, apple sliced in different shapes, fruits, etc.
Tips for Preventing Infant Constipation
1. Breastfeeding is properly the most effective way to prevent constipation in infants. Breast milk is easy for babies to digest and is specially designed for their immature intestinal systems. While formula may provide the needed nutrition, it is often more difficult for little ones sensitive digestive tracts.
2. Infants often become constipated when transitioning between foods. Remember, always add new foods to your baby’s diet slowly. This includes changing formula brands, offering solid food, or switching from breast milk to formula.
3. Massage your infant’s abdomen. Infant massage can ease constipation as well as the pain it can cause. Massage your child’s abdomen and pump his/her legs after eating and when they seem constipated. This can reduce tension in the tummy and help keep things moving along.
4. If your infant becomes constipated frequently, goes more than three days without a soiled diaper, is a newborn, or seems to be in substantial pain, it is time to see the doctor. Make note of any changes in the frequency of bowel movements. Monitor your child’s level of pain and discomfort. Remember, as a parent, asking for advice from your pediatrician or other health care professional is never the wrong move.
5. Be wary of giving any herbal supplements to ease constipation in your infant. Discuss any medications or remedies with your doctor before administering them to an infant.
What can you give a breastfed baby for constipation?
- You can try giving one ounce of diluted prune juice once daily to treat your baby’s constipation. Always consult with your pediatrician first.
- You can give foods that are high in fiber such as prunes, apricots, pears, peaches, pears, and plums.
- Sometimes juices like apple and prune juice are helpful to relieve constipation in your infant.
- Tummy baby massage: You can massage your baby’s stomach by placing your hands at the baby’s belly button and massage in a circular motion. You should continue if the baby enjoys the massage and is comfortable and relaxed. This will help the baby have a happy bowel movement.
- Warm bath: Sometimes a warm bath can make the baby relaxed and help the stool to pass more easily. After your bath, the baby, apply some baby oil or cream like vaseline around the outside of the baby’s anus. Always ask your baby’s doctor first before applying.
- The bicycle exercise: You can place your baby on its back and hold the legs and turn them in a quick cycling motion.
- Do not forget to give a couple of ounces of warm water to your baby. Always consult with your pediatrician as some may disagree with this method.
When my baby started solids and since then he has been a little constipated. We mixed prunes with her cereal and gave her some separate. It definitely helped her. Gave she pears too, but I feel prunes were the ones that helped her the most.
I am not a medical professional, these recipes have just helped me with both of my girls when they got constipated. If your little one has been constipated for longer then 10 days are has a sever case and nothing seems to be working, then please call your pediatrician right away.