How Will You Know That Your Baby Is Constipated
If your baby is constipated, he obviously wont be unable to communicate that to you. So watch out for these signs of constipation in him
- He has three or fewer than three bowel movements in a week.
- His stools are hard and dry.
- He has a hard time pooping.
- He cries continuously and has a stomach ache.
Baby Massages To Relieve Constipation
Giving your baby a tummy massage can be an easy and practical way to ease their discomfort. It may help to stimulate their digestive system and get rid of trapped wind.
When giving your baby a tummy massage for constipation, be sure to:
- Work in a clockwise direction.
- Avoid the ribcage and make sure all strokes are on their tummy.
- Lighten the pressure when you stroke over their bladder.
An easy and relaxing massage technique which might help relieve baby constipation is to gently use your fingertips to stroke a large, circular motion around their tummy to soothe them9.
Color Of The Newborn Baby Poo:
It may be quite okay for your newborn to dirty a diaper almost 8-10 times a day in his initial days. This frequency will reduce once the newborn body is freed from miconium . This is the reason why the newborn baby stools are of dark green/ black color in the early days and are quite sticky. Frequent breastfeeding or bottlefeeding will result in frequent stool-passing, and the stool would start turning brown. After that, once the tummy is all clear, the baby starts to pass yellow/ mustard stools.
If your baby is gassy or has colic due to stomach ache, do this: Iron a soft cotton cloth to make it warm, fold it, and then gently pad it on your newborn’s stomach. Make sure the cloth is not too hot. The gasses will release in the form of farts and burps. And what a delightful sound that is! )
Return to Homepage.
You May Like: What Causes Spit Up In Newborns
How Can You Prevent Constipation In Your Baby
To prevent and treat constipation in babies, heres what you can do:
Many times, parents go through a lot of stress when their babies suffer from constipation. If your child is constipated, dont worry. By making slight changes in his diet and encouraging him to do some physical activity regularly can cure constipation and other stomach-related problems in him. However, if the problem persists and your baby doesnt feel better, consult a doctor.
Can Switching From Breast Milk To Formula Cause Constipation
If youve recently switched to formula after exclusively breastfeeding your baby, you may notice changes in your babys poop. Its not uncommon for it to become harder or change color.
You may also notice an increase in gas, particularly if your baby is transitioning to using a bottle. Every baby is different though, and you may not notice much of a change.
Looking at supermarket formula displays can be enough to set your head spinning.
First, there are three different forms of formula you can choose from:
Then, within these forms, they may be:
- milk-based formulas
- specialty formulas, like organic options
Some formulas advertise themselves as easier to digest.
This can be because they are homogenized, which means theyre processed in a way that breaks down molecules for easier absorption. Or they may be made with ingredients designed to be easier on the digestive system.
For many parents, the answer lies in asking fellow parents and caregivers about their experiences with formula and researching the ingredients to find one that feels right.
Also Check: How To Do Hearing Test On Newborn
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.
How To Tell If Your Baby Is Constipated
Newborn bowel movements vary from one baby to another depending upon their milk intake and body. Some babies pass stool many times a day while some can hold the stuff in for as long as 3 days. If you are breastfeeding, you may notice a frequent newborn bowel movement as compared to that of a fully formula-fed baby.
Your newborn is constipated if…
- He hasn’t had a bowel movement for 3 days or more.
- Even if he has passed stool, the stool is dry and harder than normal and the baby finds it difficult to pass it. You may find your baby making disgruntled faces while passing stool.
- Sometimes after days of “dry spell”, you notice a watery stool and may confuse it with diarrhea. It is actually one of the symptoms of constipation in newborns, i.e., liquid stool seeps out of the blockage in the small intestines and end up in the diaper.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Newborn Constipation
How To Relieve Baby Constipation Quickly
Natural remedies are a great way to relieve your babys constipation, so you dont necessarily have to visit the doctor:
1. Extra water: If youre making up a bottle, add about one ounce of extra water to every feed so the baby is always getting extra fluid, says Dr Gerlis. For hot summer days this is especially important.
2. A warm bath: A warm bath may help relax your baby and ease constipation. Follow the bath with movement and massage suggested below whilst your baby is on the changing mat, and that might also do the trick. Just make sure you have a nappy or muslin handy!
3. Change of diet: If your baby has already been weaned then eating pureed apricots, peaches, pear, plums or prunes might relieve constipation. Try this easy recipe for blueberry puree to get started. Likewise you could give them a small amount of apple or prune juice diluted 50 percent with water if they are over 3 months.
How Can I Tell If My Baby Is Constipated
It seems like my baby has trouble passing his poop. His face usually turns red and sometimes he grunts or makes other noises. He has BMs regularly, but I’m still concerned. Could he be constipated? Keisha
It’s normal for infants to strain when they’re having a bowel movement . Pooping is more of a challenge for them because they are lying flat, so don’t have gravity to help move things along.
At first, breastfed babies tend go more often than formula-fed babies because breast milk is more easily digested. At around 36 weeks of age, though, breastfed babies may start having fewer bowel movements, sometimes only one or two a week. Formula-fed babies usually continue to have daily BMs.
Your little one probably isn’t constipated if the stool is soft, no matter how often the bowel movements happen or if your baby strains to pass them.
Babies who cry when having a bowel movement or have hard or pebble-like poop might be constipated. In that case, talk to your doctor, who may recommend giving your baby a little extra water or a small amount of 100% fruit juice to soften hard poop. Never give your baby laxatives, suppositories, or enemas unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Also Check: How To Get A Ssn For Newborn
Seattle Children’s Urgent Care Locations
If your childâs illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.
Constipation In Toddlers And Children
Frequency of bowel movements for children will vary based on the individual. Some kids have a bowel movement twice per day, while others go once every two or three days. Constipation is characterized by hard or dry stools that are difficult to pass. If your child is struggling to use the bathroom, the first thing to look at is their eating habits.
Incorporating more high-fiber foods and encouraging plenty of liquids will help your child produce regular bowel movements. Some beneficial foods to add to your child’s menu include:
- Whole wheat breads and cereals
Children should get about 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories they eat. If your child is not used to eating high-fiber foods, increase their intake gradually to minimize discomfort from gas or bloating.
Other choices that are good for kids with constipation include vegetable soups and popcorn. Extra bran can also be helpful, including bran cereals, bran muffins, shredded wheat, graham crackers, and whole-wheat bread.
Don’t Miss: How Many Ounces Should A Newborn Have
When To Treat Infant Constipation
Most babies are not truly constipated unless they experience all of the following…
- Firm, dry pebbly stools.
- No bowel motions for 2-3 days for formula fed babies or 7-10 days for breastfed babies* and
- Strains and cries while having a bowel motion.
Unless your little one has a problem with all three, he’s probably not constipated and you needn’t do anything. If your baby is constipated, treatment may be necessary. We suggest you start with ‘natural remedies’ first.
*It is rare for a fully breastfed baby to become constipated prior to starting solids. 7-10 days without a bowel movement can be very normal where a baby is only offered breast milk. Breast milk is the perfect food for babies and very little is left to waste. Breast milk also has a natural laxative effect that helps protect your baby against constipation.
Normal Bowel Habits For Babies
In their first week of life, newborn babies have multiple bowel movements about four each day, with infants feeding on breast milk typically having them more than those drinking formula. Their stool is soft or liquid.
Breastfed babies between one week and three months old have an average of three soft bowel movements each day, although this number can vary greatly.
For instance, some infants may pass stool only once a week, while others may do so after each feeding.
Infants of the same age who are drinking formula also tend to have about three bowel movements each day, but the type of formula they drink affects the consistency of their stool.
Compared with formulas containing hydrolyzed milk proteins, formulas containing soy or cow’s milk often produce firmer stools.
Babies typically shift to having only one to two “formed,” or more solid, bowel movements a day by the time they’re 2 years old.
Importantly, straining to have a bowel movement even to the point of getting red in the face is normal for infants because they have weak abdominal muscles.
This straining is no cause for concern if your baby is able to pass soft stool within a few minutes.
Don’t Miss: How To Transition A Newborn To Sleep At Night
Baby Constipation Home Remedies
For baby constipation relief, you can try giving infants under 6 months with hard bowel movements some waterabout one ounce. Heard of giving apple or prune juice for baby constipation? Babies 6 to 12 months can have two to four ounces of apple, pear or prune juice a day until their stools soften. The sugars in juice basically bring water into the bowel to help soften the bowel movement, Santo Domingo says.
You may have been told that using a rectal thermometer can help offer some infant constipation relief, but Santo Domingo doesnt recommend any kind of rectal stimulation as a remedy. You always run the risk of perforation, especially given that that area could be irritated, she says.
She also discourages giving baby mineral oil or Karo syrup for baby constipation. Weve found that it doesnt help. Karo syrup doesnt soften the stoolit just coats it to make it easier to pass, but youre still passing a large stool. And with mineral oil, there have been some reports of aspiration.
Constipation In Newborns: Know The Causes And Treatments
If there is anything worse than having constipation, its watching your newborn deal with it. Newborn constipation often happens when a child transitions from one food to another, such as going from breast milk to formula, or from formula to solid foods. The absence of daily bowel movements doesnt necessarily indicate constipation what you should look for is the passage of dry, very hard bowel movements. After knowing the cause of constipation in your baby, proper measures should be taken to get rid of this discomfort.
Read Also: How Can You Adopt A Newborn Baby
Constipation In Weaned Babies
If your baby has started weaning, you might find that the change in their diet results in a change to their toilet habits, too. So if you suspect that your baby is constipated and youve just started the weaning journey, this could be a contributory factor as your babys digestive system gets used to the change7. Its very important that your baby gets enough fibre in their diet, so if your baby is constipated, you could try adding more fibre in the form of cereals, prunes and peas alongside their regular breast or formula milk intake8.