When Babies Are Constipated: Causes, Symptoms, & Care Day 3: Constipation in babies

When Babies Are Constipated: Causes, Symptoms, & Care

Parenthood is a journey filled with wonder and joy, but it also comes with its share of challenges. One such concern that parents may encounter is when their babies suffer from constipation, and it can feel helpless and frustrating as their caregiver. But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you if you do face such a scenario.

Many babies experience changes in their bowel movement routines as they grow or start solid foods. Today, we’ll explore the ins and outs of constipation in babies along with practical tips you can follow easily.

Understand Your Baby’s Bowel Movements First Babies, just like adults, have individual bowel patterns. While some may pass stools multiple times a day, others may go once in two days. If the stools are soft and mushy each time, your baby is probably having a regular bowel movement.

Information is power, so let’s look at everything related to constipation, so you’re alert and informed if your baby shows symptoms.

Why Constipation Occurs

While spices can be beneficial for your baby’s health and taste development, there are a few things you should avoid.

1. A change in diet:

For example, when infants first start solid foods, they may experience constipation. Low-fiber foods like purees or porridges may also lead to constipation due to low fiber contents.

2. Dehydration:

If your baby isn’t getting enough fluids from breast or formula feeds, constipation may occur.

3. Lack of physical activity:

Infants who spend extended periods lying on their back or being carried may experience slowed digestion and constipation.

4. Possible medical conditions:

Though rare, medical conditions like hypothyroidism or anatomical abnormalities can contribute to constipation.

5. Iron drops:

Though rare, medical conditions like hypothyroidism or anatomical abnormalities can contribute to constipation.

Know the Signs & Symptoms

1. Infrequent or decreased bowel movements:

Each baby’s frequency varies, but a significant decrease in regular bowel movements may indicate constipation. However, if your baby’s stools are soft and easy to pass, they may not be constipated.

2. Texture of the stool:

Hard, dry, or pebble-like stools instead of soft and mushy ones can suggest constipation.

3. Straining:

Babies may strain during bowel movements, but it’s essential to check the stool’s texture. Soft stools after straining may not indicate constipation, while hard or dry stools might.

4. Abdominal discomfort:

Fussiness, irritability, and excessive crying (without any apparent reason) may be signs of constipation.

5. Blood in stools:

In rare cases, small anal fissures or tears may lead to streaks of blood in the stool, requiring medical attention.

How to Manage Constipation

1. Introduce high-fiber foods:

Foods like prunes, pears, and peaches can help soften stools and prevent constipation. Here’s a detailed list of foods that can help prevent constipation in babies.

Grains:
Foxtail (Korra)
Barnyard Millet (Sanva)
Little Millet (Kutki)
Kodo Millet (Varagu)
Whole Wheat
Wheat Bran
Wheat Germ
Steel Cut Oats
Legumes:
Nuts and Seeds
Vegetables
Fruits
Note:

You can make porridges too but instead of using rice (which is low fiber), you can use millets, oats, or barley to make porridges.

2. A soothing warm bath:

Warm water can relax your baby’s abdominal muscles and ease bowel movements.

3. Gentle leg exercise:

Keeping your baby on their back, bicycle their legs gently in the air to stimulate bowel movements.

4. Ensure adequate hydration:

Breast milk contains natural laxatives, so maintain regular breastfeeding or formula feeding. Offer small amounts of water after 6 months.

5. Embrace tummy time:

Encourage physical activity and exploration through tummy time, crawling, and standing.

6. Calming tummy massage:

A gentle clockwise tummy massage can aid digestion and bowel movements.Parents also swear by the “I Love You” tummy massage. Follow these steps for a calming tummy massage:

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Here’s A Helpful Video:

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Parents, Be Mindful!

Avoid giving your baby laxatives, enemas, or oils without consulting a healthcare provider. Home remedies may not suit every baby, and it’s essential to seek professional advice.

When to Seek Medical Help

1. Severe discomfort:

If your baby shows signs of severe abdominal pain, incessant crying, or pulls their legs to their stomach.

2. Vomiting and bloating:

If your baby experiences vomiting along with constipation and a bloated or distended belly.

3. Blood in stools

If you notice blood in your baby’s stool.

4. Persistent discomfort:

If other treatments don’t relieve your baby’s constipation.

When to Seek Medical Help

1. Encourage a varied diet:

Include veggies, fruits, and whole grains in your baby’s diet.

2. Ensure adequate hydration:

Avoid reducing or skipping breast or formula feeds to increase solid food intake.

3. Establish a regular routine:

Regular mealtimes and consistent feeding patterns can regulate bowel movements.

4. Promote physical activity:

Give your baby ample opportunities to move and explore their surroundings.

By recognizing the signs of constipation and implementing these gentle strategies, you can support your baby’s digestive health and overall well-being. Trust your instincts, be patient, and seek support from healthcare professionals when needed. With love and care, you’ll confidently navigate the beautiful journey of parenthood alongside your precious little one.

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