baby may become constipated

Why Your Baby May be Constipated

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Many babies are born with a soft stool that can be passed easily. But this gradually changes to a solid stool, which is harder to pass. Constipation in babies is a common problem. It can happen for many different reasons, from not drinking enough milk to not getting enough fiber in their diet.

Some symptoms that could indicate constipation are:

  • Fewer dirty diapers, or suddenly less dirty diapers.
  • Extra time between bowel movements, sometimes as long as two or three days.
  • Harder-than-usual poop – “Most pediatricians will tell you that firm, peanut butter-like stools tend to be more difficult,” says Dr. Larry Grupp, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Here are three reasons that your baby may get constipated:

baby may become constipated

1) Adapting to a new diet

Once your baby is weaned from breast milk, they are suddenly exposed to a lot of new foods that can cause intestinal discomfort. Since babies don’t have much muscle mass in their abdomen, they can’t push the stool easily through their intestines. Both breast milk and formula contain large amounts of water which are absorbed into your baby’s body. This means that the stools in bottle fed babies are usually softer than those who eat solid food and drink less water. After weaning, your baby’s stool becomes harder, because the diet contains less water than breast milk or formula.

2) Illness

Constipation can result from a number of medical conditions such as severe eczema or gastroenteritis, or your baby make take medicines that make them constipated. If you notice any sudden change in the type of stools your baby produces, it may be an indication of illness for example.

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3) Insufficient diet

Babies are more susceptible to constipation if their diet does not contain enough fiber. Fruits and vegetables are the best source of fiber for your baby. It may be a good idea to begin feeding them brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yellow squash, carrots, zucchini and apricots, as they contain a lot of fiber.

Parents also need to be aware that constipation can happen if children become used to eating only a few types of food or not enough food. This usually happens when parents offer babies and young children only one or two types of food at each meal. Though the body can handle a variety of foods, your baby’s digestive system may not work well because it’s used to getting just one thing at each meal.


baby may become constipated

How to treat constipation

1) Breastfeed your baby. Breast milk has a laxative effect on the bowels, which is important to prevent constipation in babies.

2) Give your baby prune juice. Its high fiber content will be beneficial for your baby’s health.

3) Feed them high fiber foods like cereals and fruits. Applesauce is packed with fiber and is easy to digest, making it an excellent option for infants who are suffering from constipation and stomach pain.

4) Feed your baby rice cereal or bran flakes. With the addition of fruits and vegetables, these cereals will provide your baby with dietary fiber that is necessary for digestion.

5) Exercise regularly. Physical activity might help get things moving again in your baby’s digestive tract.

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6) You might need to start using a baby laxative. Mineral oil drops are available over the counter, which can be added to food and help moves things along in the bowels of babies.

If the above treatments fail, you’ll need to contact your pediatrician for more support.

When digestive problems in children get worse, it can be hard for you to know whether the problem is with your child’s diet, an underlying health condition, or something else. It’s important to consult with your doctor right away if you think your child has a constipation-related issue. A doctor should be able to tell if the problem is caused by a low-fiber diet and make some dietary changes that will help your child stay healthy and have healthy bowel movements.

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