Constipation is when your baby has difficulty passing stool. Your baby's poo can be hard or dry, sometimes painful. This usually happens when there are changes to your baby's diet, for example, changing from breastmilk to formula milk or when they start to eat solids. Each baby is unique and different. Some may not have developed a bowel movement routine or pattern yet; that is why some babies poop once or twice a week while some babies poop every after feeding. As long as your baby is well and happy, there is nothing to worry about. However, when you see your baby in pain trying to pass a hard poo, it is time to talk to a pediatrician.
Causes of constipation
The leading cause of constipation is a change in diet, which is more common in formula-fed babies. Another reason is introducing new foods or flavors, not drinking enough fluids, or a lack of fiber in the diet. Constipation may also happen if your baby does not have enough nerve endings in the bowel, which is rare, or there is a problem with how the intestine was formed at birth. Another factor that can be considered in constipation is having metabolic conditions, thyroid deficiency, or problems with the spinal cord. You can talk to a health care provider if you suspect there is more to your child's constipation and be tested for the said conditions.
Signs of constipation
Lack of appetite
Fussy or irritated
Lesser stools than their regular bowel movement
Straining more than usual
Looks in pain while passing stool (arching back, crying)
A tear may appear around the anus
How to help your baby
For formula-fed babies, ensure the recommended water and formula ratio is used. Consult a health provider if you wish to change your baby's formula.
Massaging your baby gently in the tummy area can help stimulate their bowel movement. You can use a baby massage oil to help soothe your little one, gentle massages can also help relieve the pain of constipation.
A warm bath can also help as it will help relax your baby's abdominal muscles.
Wrapping a self-heating baby belly band can help warm their tummy, applies gentle compression to help stimulate their bowel movement, ease out gas, and relieve tummy pains.
Bicycle exercise can help stimulate bowel movement as well as relieve tummy aches.
If your baby is already eating solids, incorporate a mix of fruits and veggies, plus increase fluid intake. You can try high-fiber foods like plums, peaches, pairs, skinless apples, broccoli, oatmeal, whole grains bread, or pasta. Avoid rice cereal as it can cause constipation.
Consult your baby's doctor first before giving any medicine or medical treatments.
When to call a doctor?
If you see your baby still in pain, struggling after trying the above home remedies, or has blood in stool, it is best to contact your baby's doctor. Also watch out for other symptoms like weakness, or vomiting. Consult a pediatrician first before giving suppositories, laxatives, enemas, or baby mineral oil.
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Warm Belly = Happy Baby The MEMEENO band helps soothe and calm your baby in a safe, stylish, and effective way. It keeps your baby’s tummy warm and protected. The band helps ease colic, tummy aches, gas, and general fussiness. When baby's happy, mama's happy and everyone can get back to the cuddles and snuggles.
*Not for babies with medical conditions (Gerd, Reflux, etc.)