Constipation In Babies
While baby constipation isn’t usually anything to worry about, it can be very uncomfortable for them which will be upsetting for you both. It can also become more difficult to treat the longer it is left, so dealing with constipation in children quickly is important. Always seek the advice of your doctor as soon as possible if you have any health concerns over your child.
Let’s look at the symptoms and causes of constipation, as well as some constipation remedies that might help.
Constipation in babies
As your baby can’t communicate with you, you’ll need to watch out for any signs of newborn constipation or infant constipation. These can include:
- Crying either before or while doing a poo.
- Less than three poos a week.
- Small, dry, hard poo.
- Foul-smelling poo and wind.
- Feeding less than normal.
- Tummy hardness
- Diarrhea can also be a sign of constipation as the runny poo can leak out around the hard poo.
What causes constipation in infants?
Constipation in babies can have several causes, including:
- Not drinking enough fluids.
- In the case of babies who are eating solid foods, not having enough water or fiber in their diet.
- Weaning can cause constipation as baby gets used to managing new foods.
- Sometimes constipation can be a symptom of a different medical condition or illness, which is why it’s important to always get it checked by a doctor.
- Some babies are just more prone to constipation.
How to help a constipated baby
Natural ways of treating constipation in kids include:
If baby is breastfeeding, offer milk more regularly. Breast milk is a natural laxative and extra fluids will help prevent dehydration, which can cause or worsen constipation.
If your baby is over six months old and eating solid foods, introduce a variety of fruit into their diet. Good fruits for helping with constipation include apples, apricots, peaches, pears, plums, prunes, raspberries and strawberries. As always, be careful not to give your baby anything that could be a choking hazard, and keep an eye out for allergic reactions when introducing new foods.
Also ensure that your baby is eating a good variety of vegetables (cooked and raw), and drinking the right amount of water for their age and the weather conditions – your doctor will be able to advise on this.
Your doctor might also recommend adding high fiber cereal to baby’s usual cereal, or replacing their rice cereal with a higher fiber whole wheat, barley or multigrain variety, but do check first.
Gently moving your baby’s legs in a bicycling motion (while they’re laid comfortably on their back), or massaging their tummy in a clockwise direction, can help.
If your baby is getting no relief from natural constipation remedies, your doctor might recommend a laxative.
Constipation in toddlers
Toddlers can also suffer from constipation, especially around toilet training time. If you’re concerned about an older child, our advice on toddler constipation could help. It can be very upsetting to see your baby or toddler constipated and in distress. Remember, though, that constipation isn’t usually anything to worry about. Your doctor will be able to help identify the cause of your child’s constipation and advise you on the best ways to get constipation relief for your little one. Find out more here.
Our team of experts is ready to answer your questions and support you on your journey from pregnancy to toddlerhood. For more information and relevant advice, please contact us between 9am–6pm from Saturday to Thursday: