Constipation can occur at any age. Newborns, infants, kids, elders, and anyone can suffer from this. When a newborn or infant faces difficulty in passing stools, or their stools are like pebbles, or they pass stools less than 3 times in a week, it means they are suffering from constipation. Breastfed babies may pass stool a maximum of 10 times a day or they may not pass for 2-3 days. But if the stool is soft after 3 days then it doesn’t mean that the baby is constipated. Breast Milk acts as a natural laxative so breastfed babies rarely face constipation until the solids are introduced after 6 months. In this blog, we will discuss causes, symptoms, and home remedies for constipation in newborn and infants.
Causes of Constipation
- When a baby is transitioned from breastmilk to formula milk or solids then they may experience constipation.
- Consumption of more than 500 ml of dairy products (milk, curd, paneer) daily by an infant may lead to constipation.
- Some formula milk may also cause constipation.
- Less intake of fluids and fiber after the introduction of solids.
- Some situations like traveling, schooling, or stressful events are also one of the causes of constipation.
- Ignoring the urge to pass the stool. It generally happens when the baby is potty trained because they don’t want to sit on the toilet seat for poop.
Symptoms of Constipation
- Difficulty in passing stools
- Irregular eating patterns or doesn’t like to eat food because their stomach never gets clear.
- Don’t poop at least once in 3 days.
- The baby cries while passing the stool.
- Blood in the stool
Home Remedies for Infant Constipation
- Give your baby a tummy massage at least 3 times a day. Massage around the naval area with warm oil for 5 minutes. You can also use a warm towel for massage as it will help to loosen the tight tummy due to gas or bloating. Giving a warm bath to the baby relaxes the abdominal muscles and reduces the strain during bowel movements.
- If the baby hasn’t started walking then do leg exercises. Move your baby’s legs back and forth as if they are riding a bicycle.
- When the baby starts solids offer him water after every meal. Throughout the day offer your baby sips of water after every hour.
- Offer them prune juice, apple juice, or pear juice.
- Offer them fiber-rich fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, prunes, peaches, plums, beans, peas, papaya, broccoli, or spinach.
- Sometimes iron supplements may also cause constipation, so some dietary changes may help to relieve constipation.
- Any ingredient in the formula may not suit the baby which may lead to constipation.
It’s time to call a pediatrician
- If any of the above home remedies don’t work.
- If the baby is crying for a long time due to constipation then rush to the doctor.
- Baby refuses food.
- The baby or infant has a swollen or hard stomach.
- The baby has a fever or is vomiting.
There are laxatives or suppositories available in the market but never use them without your doctor’s permission. Always call your doctor whenever you see your baby is not doing well. After examining, the doctor may suggest medicines depending upon the baby’s condition.