Published: 10/16/2011 - Updated: 09/08/2018
Author: K. Laura Garcés G
Constipation, which is to be unable to pass stool or do it in an intensive way, is one of the most common problems in babies. Many of them are usually constipated, but it's not really a severe problem if treated early and in the most natural way possible, since often used resources in these cases are suppositories, for example, and can be very irritating to the tender bowels of the baby, plus it can eventually loose bowel.
The best in these cases is to know the topic, and we suggest you follow these recommendations that are very effective natural and simple.
The first thing is to know if your baby is constipated
- Turns red or bid too much when evacuating.
- If there is no stool and just gases.
- If has a lot of gas and swollen belly.
- Doesn’t evacuate in more than one, two or more days.
- Doesn’t eat or cannot sleep and has very small and hard stools.
- In the time of defecation, growling or even cry for the effort and / or pain.
Please note that:
Most babies who are breastfed do not evacuate hard stools daily, many only evacuate every 3, 4 or even 6 days, the stool in breastfed babies are just that semi-liquid consistency and smooth, greenish, brown or yellow stool, which is normal and means that the baby's intestines are finishing mature and begin to adapt to the digestion.
In reality, the true constipation begins after year, but if you give formula before this age you can cause thicker stools or hard stools often like small balls. Sometimes, the formula could cause baby’s constipation before the year, or it can cause a lot of gas or bloating, in which case you should make sure the formula is always appropriate to the age of the baby, so please ask your pediatrician for recommendation.
What causes constipation in babies?
- The introduction of new foods can cause temporary constipation, which is normal as the digestive system and intestines are adapting to the new food.
- A diet low in fiber. For example, in the first year, the baby had a very high percentage of milk consumption, which is a protein food but low in fiber. When you start introducing cereal porridges or compotes, fruit and vegetables, then the stool will become more fluid, soft and frequent.
- A loose bowel of the baby, if the baby does not pass normally and fecal residues stay too long in the colon, then the intestines reabsorb water or moisture from the stool bolus and will increasingly be dry, hard and difficult to pass.
What if the baby is constipated or has gas?
In general, the key to regulate the baby's bowel function is to make a change in the diet, which is the fundamental basis for the baby. So you must start by:
- Avoiding refined or white sugar and anything containing it, canned juices, milk sugar, baking cookies or sugar, etc.
- If baby already exceeds six months, you should also add milk, start the introduction of fruit or vegetables, and later gradually introduce mashed or stewed with whole grains such as rice, corn, etc., added with fresh vegetables.
- Give boiled water and not just pure milk; at this age the baby can get used to drink water. Water is one of the best remedies to treat constipation in infants and children.
- If baby has three days of constipation, change milk for a natural apple juice. If baby exceeds the year, give a little olive oil(half teaspoon) with some lemon drops, twice a day.
- If your baby is constipated more than two days and has more than 6 months, maybe needs to move bowels naturally, whether with exercises (see detail below) or offering baby food or foods high in fiber and great for stimulate the bowel. These foods are peeled grated apple, plum fruit juice, orange, grated pear, banana or mango.
To mobilize the bowel you can also help your baby with simple exercises that will help to stimulate the sphincter. These exercises are:
- Put your baby lying down and gently bend legs to make knees touch chest, then turn them to stretch. Repeat this movement several times; you can switch one leg with the other, pretending that is a bicycle. This exercise is very good to help the intestine to function well, even if the baby is a newborn and even if not constipated, is recommended.
- Give gently massage in the belly.
- If your baby is walking, play with him stooping and standing.
- Swimming is great exercise to help move the bowels.
- Medicines should be used only in very severe cases.
- The laxative teas, syrups, pills, etc., should not be used in infants.
- Take into account that although honey is usually an excellent laxative, it is not recommended for babies under 3 years of age.
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