What is constipation?
Most kids experience constipation occasionally. Constipation is a common cause of pain and discomfort in kids but some it becomes a chronic issue. The common cause of constipation is behavioral or diet-related.
There is no normal frequency of bowel movements in babies. Baby’s bowel movements pattern vary and poo also changes in texture from day to day. If there is change in bowel movement frequency it doesn’t mean baby is constipated.
What is not considered normal?
- Crying and discomfort, abdominal pain before doing a poo.
- Blood in stool.
- Hard stools
- Foul smelling.
- Weight loss.
- Liquid poo.
What causes constipation?
There are several possible reasons why the baby is constipated.
- Formula milk
Most formula fed babies prone to constipation as formula milk is harder to digest when compared to breast milk. Breast milk produces poo always soft but formula milk causes poor to be hard and bulky.
Babies refuses milk during teething, throat infection or cold. Whatever reason when babies doesn’t consume enough liquids, she may become dehydrated. This causes dry hard poo that is difficult to pass.
- Introducing solids
Babies often becomes constipated when they start having solids as their body learns to digest new foods. Low fiber foods and no enough liquids causes constipation.
Sometimes constipation can be due to food allergy or food poisoning.
- Difficulty passing poo
Sometimes hard poo can cause little tear in the skin around anus and this hurts the baby. So the baby tends to hold on the poor which causes harder poo and difficult to pass.
Treating constipation in babies:
- If baby is formula fed measure appropriate water correctly to the powder and mix it. Too much powder can dehydrate baby causing dehydration.
- Offer extra drinks of water or diluted fruit juices.
- Add plenty of fiber to child’s diet.
- Add more fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce constipating foods in child’s diet.
- Gentle tummy massage may help.
- Establish a regular toilet routine.
If these home treatments don’t help consult the physician.
Diet for constipated babies:
Diet differs according to the age of the kid.
- Less than 2 months – Outside food not to be given.
- 2 months and older – include 3 ounces of water.
- 4 months and older – In this age give solid foods for children. Include high fibre constituents food such as peas, beans etc.,
- 5-10 months old – feed pureed foods to your foods.
- 1 year old – Give mashed food.