How Can I Tell If My Newborn Is Constipated

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Signs Your Newborn is Constipated

If your baby is constipated and struggling to poop, try a soothing baby massage with our NEW Mini Moments Massage Gel. This soft baby massage oil is easy to apply and will help enhance the precious bond between you and Baba and leave their skin looking and feeling soft and supple. Expertly developed by our dermatologists with our NEW Skin Nurturing Omega Complex, a nourishing blend of Shea Oil, Avocado Oil and Coconut Oil along with Olive Oil to help strengthen, protect and nurture babys skin.

Squeeze a small amount into your hands, rubbing them together to warm up the gel. Use gentle, circular motions when applying to your babys tummy to help ease their constipation.

What Are The Signs Of Constipation In Babies

The following signs may indicate your baby is constipated:

  • Pooing fewer than three times a week

  • Hard, dry or lumpy poos or poo that comes out in little pellets

  • Poos that are bigger than usual

  • Your baby finds it hard to poo and may look like he or she is straining

  • Poo and wind may be smellier than usual

  • Reduced appetite or a tummy ache that gets better after doing a poo

  • Traces of blood in the poo

  • A firm tummy

  • In children over 1 year old, soiled underwear can be due to constipation. This happens when runny poo, or diarrhoea runs around a hard stool thatâs causing a blockage.

How To Treat Newborn Constipation

Fortunately, there are many ways to help relieve the discomfort and get things moving again. Here are a few home remedies that are proven to help:

Sometimes a baby might have severe constipation that doesnt clear up with any home remedies in that case, the doctor might need to intervene to help your child pass stools. This might include medications or other remedies that you cant try at home.

The following video has even more information on how to treat newborn constipation:


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Treating Constipation In Babies

  • If your baby is bottle-fed, check the formula tin to make sure the formula is being made correctly. Always measure the water first and then add formula powder.
  • Offer extra drinks of water.
  • Gentle tummy massage can help.
  • A warm bath may help the babys muscles to relax .
  • Give only medication prescribed by your doctor.

Infrequent Stools In Breastfed Babies

What Can I do if My Baby or Child is Constipated?

There are some situations, however, in which it is definitely not normal for a breastfed baby to have such infrequent bowel movements, including:

  • A baby who has delayed passage of meconium during their first few days of life and who has had problems passing bowel movements since they were born can be a cause for concern as infrequent stools could be a sign of Hirschsprung’s diseasethough this is uncommon, affecting only 1 in 5,000 babies. Evidence of constipation in this disease usually appears towards the end of the first month of life.
  • Infrequent stools in a breastfed baby in the first few weeks or months of life can be a sign that they aren’t getting enough breast milk. In this situation, the baby would likely either still be losing weight or will not be gaining weight well and infrequent stools would also be accompanied by too few wet diapers.
  • When infrequent stools in an older infant are accompanied by issues with gaining weight, it could be a sign that the baby isn’t getting enough to eat, has a failure to thrive, or has some other medical problem.

In all of the above cases, it’s always best to keep an eye on your child’s symptoms and communicate with your child’s pediatrician.

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How To Help A Constipated Baby

No parent likes to see their child in discomfort and distress, so knowing how to help a constipated baby can make a world of difference. First and foremost, though, its important to realize that constipation in newborns can be a different issue than constipation in older babies. If your baby is not even a month old yet, talk to your pediatrician right awayat this age, constipation could be a sign of an underlying issue, such as Hirschsprungs disease, a rare congenital condition that happens in about one out of 5,000 births and typically requires surgery.

Additionally, if youre exclusively breastfeeding, its important to count those dirty diapers each day because infrequent stooling might actually be a sign of not enough feeding volume, says Blythe.

But if youve spoken to your pediatrician and ruled out other issues, there are some baby constipation home remedies and treatments you can turn to. Here are some things you shouldand shouldnt try to help a constipated baby:

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • Leaking stool
  • Suppository or enema was needed to get the stool out
  • Infrequent stools do not get better after changes to diet. Exception: normal if breastfed infant more than 1 month old and stools are not painful.
  • Stool softeners are being used and have not been discussed with your doctor
  • Toilet training is in progress
  • Painful stools occur 3 or more times after changes to diet
  • Constipation is a frequent problem
  • You have other questions or concerns

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When To See Your Doctor About Your Baby’s Constipation

While constipation is usually nothing to worry about, its good to get your baby back to their bouncing, happy selves as soon as you can. If you have any concerns, talk to your Health Visitor or GP, especially if your baby6:

  • Is not improving

  • Is regularly constipated or bloated

  • Has blood in their poo

  • Has suddenly lost weight

What Are The Signs Of A Constipated Baby

How can I help my newborn who is constipated?

From their funny little faces as they try to do a number two, to the remarkable colours and smells within their nappy, one of the wonders of early parenthood is the amount of time youll spend discussing your little ones bowel movements.

If you notice your little one is struggling to do a poo, it doesnt necessarily mean your baby is constipated. There is no normal number of or schedule for baby poos, and your little ones bowel movements can vary from day to day. If youre concerned that your baby may be constipated, though, look out for these signs:

  • If your baby goes less than two times a week.
  • If your babys poos are hard and pellet-like. This is a clear indication they are constipated, as baby poo tends to be soft.
  • Particularly smelly wind and poo indicates they are not as regular as they should be.
  • A straining poo-face. As time goes by you will become all too familiar with your little ones facial expressions as they do a poo. If they are constipated, this strained look will seem more intense and might be accompanied by some louder sounds as they try to go.
  • Crying or becoming irritable before or while trying to poo. This is normally a sign that it is uncomfortable for your little one to go.
  • A hard belly. If your babys tummy feels hard to touch , then this can be a sign of constipation.
  • Lack of energy. This could be due to a number of factors, but it is also a possible sign of constipation in babies.

If you are still in doubt, consult your healthcare professional.

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When To Call The Doctor

  • Your baby is irritable and seems to be having abdominal pain.
  • You see blood in your baby’s stool.
  • Your baby’s constipation does not improve with current treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns, call your baby’s doctor at ___________________.

HH-I-14 7/84, Revised 3/14 Copyright 1984, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

How To Help A Constipated Baby Or Toddler

Constipation doesnt just make your little one miserable. It can get worse when left untreated, making it even harder for your child to pass stool. So if you suspect constipation is the cause of her discomfort, take quick steps to get things moving again with these tips for baby and toddler constipation relief.

Pay attention to the calendar, too. You should call the doctor if your newborn formula-fed baby has passed less than one stool a day or if your older baby or toddler hasnt had a bowel movement for four or five days.

Constipation is rarely an issue for exclusively breastfed babies, but if your little one seems to be going longer than normal without a poop and youre concerned, theres no harm in checking in with the doc.

You should call the doctor, too, if your baby or toddlers constipation is accompanied by abdominal pain or vomiting, theres blood in her stool, or at-home measures to get things going arent working.

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Constipation In Breastfed Babies

Babies who are breastfed can often go several days without a bowel movement. Even though their stool is soft, it may seem like they have many days of no stool followed by a “blow-out.”

For an older infant or child, going 5 or 6 days without a bowel movement would usually be a problem. In an exclusively breastfed baby who is gaining weight normally, however, this behavior is usually normal. As long as the “blow-out” appears painless, most parents have nothing to worry about.

How Can You Tell If Your Baby Is Constipated

8 Ways to Get a Constipated Baby to Poop

If you suspect your baby may be constipated, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is she more fussy than usual?

  • Is she spitting up more often?

  • Is she having significantly fewer bowel movements than at other times?

  • Are her stools harder than usual, and/or are they bloody?

  • Does she strain for longer than 10 minutes when she needs to poop but still not pass anything?

If you answered âyesâ to any of these, your little one may be constipated.

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Why Is My Newborn Constipated

As a Mama , youre constantly watching for clues about your babys health and wellbeing. Every laugh, cry and hiccup are all little signs to what your baby wants and needs at that moment in time. If youve noticed that your babys bowel movements have been more infrequent , this may be a sign that theyre constipated and struggling to poop.

Your babys bowel movements will change a lot as they grow and develop. Although it can be alarming, constipation in newborns and infants is very common and easily treated.

Reduce Amount Of Rice Cereal

Rice cereal can also trigger constipation because its low in fiber. Reduce the amount of rice cereal you feed your baby to relieve constipation.

Another option is to insert an infant glycerin suppository into your babys anus. These are safe for infants and available over the counter for fast relief.

Babies under the age of 6 months only need formula and breast milk, no other fluids. If youve been giving a baby under 6 months solid foods or rice cereal, stop giving these foods. See if their symptoms improve. If symptoms dont improve, see their pediatrician.

For older kids, here are a few basic tips to stimulate bowel movements.

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How To Help When Your Newborn Baby Is Constipated

One of the hurdles any new parent might face is baby constipation, but what should you do if you suspect your newborn is constipated?

Dr. Jane Sneed, a pediatrician at The Childrens Clinic in Jonesboro, Arkansas, who has been practicing since 1993, told TODAY Parents that constipation is extremely common in babies.

I would estimate 50 to 75 percent of infants have issues during their first year of life with some form of constipation arising from dietary issues following a stomach bug with diarrhea or from stress, like going out of town and having a significant schedule change, Sneed said. She added that some experts expand the diagnosis to include infrequent stooling only two to three per week or excessive straining for more than ten minutes. Regardless of the definition, the result is the same an unhappy baby.

What Are The Signs That My Newborn Is Constipated

My 5 week old baby is constipated. What can I do to help?

Babies who exclusively consume breast milk rarely become constipated as breast milk is easy to digest, and is also considered a natural laxative. However, this doesnt mean that your baby will never become constipated.

Babies who are fed formula, on the other hand, may have 3-4 bowel movements per day, or have one every few days. Every baby is different, and whats normal for your baby might not be the same for someone elses. It all depends on the type of milk theyre consuming, if solids have been introduced into their diet and if so, what foods theyre eating.

Signs and symptoms that your baby may be constipated include:

Recommended Reading: How To Help Your Newborn Pass Gas

Its Been A While Since Your Child Last Pooped

But how long depends on things like age and diet. Its within the realm of normal for exclusively breastfed babies to go several days or even a week without pooping, since their bodies sometimes use up every bit of breast milk for energy.

On the other hand, formula-fed newborns usually have one bowel movement most days, but they might go a full day or two without pooping.

As for older babies whove started solids and toddlers? Again, most go once or twice a day, but going once every two or three days isnt unusual either. But if its been longer than that, constipation is likely the culprit, especially if your little one also seems uncomfortable or is straining to go.

Causes Of Constipation In Children

Constipation happens for several reasons.

It can happen when children hold poos in. They might hold poo in because they:

  • are too busy playing
  • have pain when they do a poo and theyre afraid to go to the toilet
  • dont want to use the toilets at preschool or school.

Constipation might also happen because children:

  • arent eating enough fibre
  • have been sick and have been eating and drinking less.

These situations can all lead to a build-up of poo in the bowel. When this happens, the poo gets too big or hard to push out easily.

There are some underlying medical conditions that might cause constipation in children, but these arent common.

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What Are The Signs Of Constipation

The most important sign of constipation is that the poo is hard and dry or crumbly and it looks like marbles. Other signs of constipation in babies are:

  • Your baby is crying and looks uncomfortable before doing a poo.
  • The poo or wind smells bad.
  • Your baby isnt eating as much.
  • Your baby has a hard belly.

If the poo is very hard, it can sometimes cause small tears to form around your babys anus . These little tears can bleed and can cause your baby more pain and discomfort.

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