Your baby hasn’t had a bowel movement for 3 or more days or it’s hard and dry – is this normal or is this constipation? Discover answers to these concerns and learn all about constipation and babies.
Symptoms and Signs of Constipated Baby
First, consider what’s typical for your baby. She might have a defecation after every feeding, or she might wait a day or more in between. Your baby’s private pattern depends upon what she drinks and eat, how active she is, and how quickly she absorbs food.
If your constipated baby drinks formula or consumes solid food, she’ll probably have a routine bowel movement a minimum of when a day. If your baby is breastfed, there’s no “typical” number or schedule– only what’s typical for your baby. It’s not unprecedented for breastfed infants to have one bowel movement a week.
After a while, you’ll be tuned in to your baby’s special habits. If you’re worried that your baby may be constipated, expect these signs:
- Less frequent bowel movements than normal, particularly if your baby hasn’t had one for 3 or more days and is certainly uncomfortable when she does
- Hard, dry stools that are challenging for her to pass– no matter how often
Why Is My Baby Getting Constipated?
There are several possible causes:
Solid food. Do not be amazed if your baby becomes mildly constipated as he eats more solid food. That’s frequently due to the fact that rice cereal– a common first food– is low in fiber. Constipation can likewise take place when you wean your baby from breast milk due to the fact that this in some cases results in dehydration.
Formula. Babies who breastfeed solely are hardly ever constipated. Breast milk has the best balance of fat and protein, so it produces stools that are usually soft– even if your baby hasn’t had one for a number of days.
If your baby is on formula, it’s possible that something in his formula is making him constipated. It’s not unusual for the protein element in various solutions to cause constipation. Ask your baby’s doctor about switching brand names.
Despite what you may have heard, the quantity of iron in formula does not cause constipation.
Dehydration. If your baby ends up being dehydrated, his system will respond by absorbing more fluid from whatever he eats or consumes– and also from the waste in his bowels. The result is hard, dry stools that are hard to pass.
Illness or a medical condition. Although it’s unusual, constipation can be caused by a hidden medical condition such as hypothyroidism, botulism, and specific food allergic reactions and metabolic conditions. Rarely, constipation is caused by Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition caused by a birth defect that avoids a baby’s gut from working appropriately.
If there does not appear to be a reason why your baby passes hard, painful stools, have his doctor eliminate these conditions.
How Can I Treat My Baby’s Constipation?
Here are some things to try:
- Help her get some workout. If your baby’s a crawler, encourage her to do a few laps. If she’s not crawling yet, attempt pumping her legs rather. While she’s lying on her back, gently move her legs in a forward, circular movement as if she were pedaling a bike.
- Massage your baby’s belly. Procedure three finger-widths listed below her navel on the lower left side and apply mild but firm pressure there with your fingertips. Press until you feel a firmness or mass. Maintain gentle however continuous pressure for about 3 minutes.
- If you feed your baby formula, ask her doctor about switching to a other brand name. Sometimes including dark corn syrup to the formula also does the trick: Start with 1/4 teaspoon per 4 ounces of formula. If that doesn’t help, slowly increase the quantity. Do not give her more than 1 teaspoon per 4 ounces.
- Include a little prune juice to formula or breast milk if your baby is at least 4 weeks old. Normally, it isn’t really needed to give your baby juice, however a little is okay to help ease constipation. (Try apple or pear juice if your baby does not like the taste of prunes.) Give her an ounce a day for each month of life, as much as 4 ounces for a 4-month-old. After 8 months, your baby can have as much as 6 ounces of juice a day to treat constipation.
- If your baby is old enough to eat a range of solid foods, cut down on constipating foods like rice, bananas, and cooked carrots. Attempt providing her a few tablespoons of pureed prunes, apricots, or pears to help loosen her defecation. For the best result, give your baby a belly massage first, then some high fiber food.
- Talk to your baby’s doctor about other treatment choices. Ask about using a non-prescription stool softener to make it more comfy for your baby to have a bowel movement, however never give her a laxative without her doctor’s approval. The doctor may likewise recommend you attempt a glycerin suppository if your baby is seriously constipated. The suppository promotes your baby’s anus and helps her pass a stool. Using a suppository periodically is great, however don’t do it regularly due to the fact that your baby might wind up counting on them to have a defecation.
- If your baby is passing such hard, dry stools that you see a little blood or even small tears (fissures) in the fragile skin near the opening of her rectum, you can apply some aloe vera cream to the area to assist it heal. Keep the area as clean and dry as possible, and point out the cracks to your baby’s doctor.
When should I call the doctor?
Call the doctor if your baby isn’t really eating, drops weight, or has blood in his stool. Or if basic treatments, such as changing his diet, aren’t assisting his condition. And if he’s younger than 4 months old, call his doctor if he has really hard stools or hasn’t had a bowel movement within 24 hours of when he generally goes. Do not give your baby a laxative or suppository without consulting his doctor first.
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