If your baby is having trouble pooping and you’re wondering how to relieve constipation in babies quickly, here’s what you need to know. Just like adults, babies can also experience constipation every now and then. It’s normal for babies to have fewer bowel movements than you might expect, so don’t worry too much. However, if you notice some signs of constipation, there are ways to help your little one feel better.
Constipation is rare in newborns who are breastfed, but
– It can happen if they switch to baby formula.
– It’s even more common for babies to become constipated when they start eating solid foods.
– In some rare cases, constipation in babies can be caused by nerve issues in the intestines or complications during birth that affect the development of the intestines.
– It’s also possible that your baby hasn’t established a regular pooping routine yet.
– Some infants simply take more time than others to develop a normal pattern of bowel movements.
– Constipation can affect babies, and it’s normal for them to have fewer bowel movements than expected.
– Signs of constipation include hard, dry bowel movements, infrequent bowel movements, and straining or crying during bowel movements.
– Breastfed babies may poop less often than formula-fed babies.
– Dietary changes can help relieve constipation, such as offering water, fruit juice, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and whole-grain cereals.
– Other remedies include exercises like “bicycle legs,” warm baths, hydration, belly massages, and avoiding the early introduction of solids.
– Consult a healthcare professional if home remedies don’t work or if there are concerns.
– Do not use mineral oil, constipation medicine, enemas, or stimulating laxatives without professional guidance.
What’s Baby Poop Like?
In the first few weeks of life, many babies poop after every feeding. However, around 3 to 6 weeks of age, breastfed babies may poop less frequently, sometimes even once a week. Breast milk produces very little waste, so it’s normal for breastfed babies to have fewer bowel movements. On the other hand, formula-fed babies usually poop once a day or every other day.
As for the consistency of the stool, it should be soft if everything is going well. If your baby’s bowel movements are hard and dry, it could indicate constipation, which can be uncomfortable or painful for them.
The frequency of your baby’s bowel routine can vary from day to day, and it differs for every baby. Formula-fed babies generally poop at least once a day, but it’s possible for them to skip a day or two without being constipated. Breastfed babies may poop more frequently in the early weeks because breast milk is easily digested. However, as they get older, breastfed babies might have fewer bowel movements, sometimes only one or two per week, without being constipated.
Telltale Signs of Constipation In Babies
Now, before we get into the tips on how to relieve constipation in babies quickly, let’s take a look at some of its signs:
– First, if your baby’s bowel movements look like round pellets, that’s a possible sign.
– Additionally, if your baby arches their back or cries while trying to poop, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re constipated. Straining is common for infants when they poop, especially when they’re lying on their back, which isn’t the easiest position.
– If your baby manages to pass a soft stool after straining, they’re probably not constipated. However, if their bowel movements are less frequent than usual, that could be a sign of constipation.
How to Relieve Constipation in Babies Explained in 9 Steps!
So, what can you do to relieve your constipated baby? Here are some tips:
- Give your baby a warm bath: Babies get fussy, cranky, and unhappy when they feel pain, and bathing your baby in warm water can help them relax and relieve any discomfort from straining their abdominal muscles.
- Strengthen their digestive tract with exercise: One exercise you can try is called “bicycle legs.” Lay your baby down and gently move their legs in a circular motion, like they’re cycling. This exercise can help with digestion, relieve gas, and make your little one squeak in smiles.
- Ensure your baby is hydrated: Proper hydration is important to prevent constipation. If your baby is over 6 months old, you can offer a little water in a sippy cup, but remember that it shouldn’t replace breast milk or formula.
- Add more fiber to their diet: If your baby has started eating solid foods, introduce pureed foods like prunes, pears, peaches, and peas. These fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and can help with constipation. Infant cereals made of multi-grains, barley, or whole wheat can also get things moving.
- Massage your baby’s belly: Massaging your baby’s belly can help relieve constipation and also ease colic or gas. Wait until your baby is at least six weeks old before starting belly massages.
- Offer fruit juice: If your baby is older than one year, a small amount of 100 percent fruit juice like pear, apple, or prune can act as a natural laxative. However, always check with your pediatrician before giving juice to your baby.
- Avoid feeding solids too early: According to the World Health Organization, introduce solid foods when your baby is around six months old. Before that, breast milk or formula should provide all the necessary nutrition.
- Change the formula: Sometimes, babies may be allergic to formula or may be finding it difficult to digest. Cow’s milk is usually a culprit when it comes to food sensitivities in babies. Others may be sensitive to soy. So make sure you check in with a pediatrician before changing the formula.
- Check your baby’s rectal temperature: Do not attempt this before consulting a medical professional even though it is one of the best ways how to relieve constipation in babies quickly. This may tend to scare the baby from using the bathroom or relying on this method for their bowel routine.
Remember, it’s always important to seek professional advice if your baby’s condition doesn’t improve or if you have any concerns about their health. Only a healthcare provider can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best course of action.
If you think your baby might be constipated, ask yourself these questions:
– Is your baby more fussy than usual?
– Are they spitting up more frequently?
– Are they passing stool less frequently than before?
– Are their stools harder and/or bloody than usual?
– Does your baby strain for more than 10 minutes without passing anything?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your baby might be constipated.
How to Relieve Constipation in Babies Quickly
A pediatrician assists you with any health concerns and offers advice on improving digestion. While the remedies you try at home can be effective, they might not be the best fit for your child’s specific needs. If making changes to their diet hasn’t helped with constipation, your baby’s healthcare provider might suggest using an infant glycerin suppository.
This is a small insert that goes in your baby’s bottom and is only meant to be used occasionally, so don’t overdo it. It’s important not to use mineral oil, enemas, any strong laxatives, or constipation medicine to treat your baby’s constipation. Always listen to the advice of your healthcare provider.