When we have little ones, we will often make jokes about bowel movements, but a lack of bowel movements is no joke for baby and parent alike. Changes in bowel movements are part and parcel of your baby’s development, and at some point, you will most likely have to help your baby overcome constipation.
The first thing you should do if you think your baby is constipated is not panic, and then you should take a look at these truths and tips about constipation in babies. We hope the following article will help you relieve your baby’s discomfort as soon as possible.
Why Does My Kid Get Constipated?
Well, this is tricky to answer, as it could be down to one thing or a combination of factors, and in some cases, you might not even realize your baby is constipated. Just because your baby goes a day or two without going to the toilet doesn’t mean that he or she is constipated.
There are some common culprits when it comes to constipation, such as:
- Use of formula milk
- Introduction of solids
- Food allergy or other food-related issues
What Should I Look For?
You will quickly realize that your baby’s habits and bowel movements change faster than the seasons, which can often make it hard to notice subtle changes. In many cases, some of the following symptoms will usually indicate that your baby is suffering from constipation:
- Dry, hard stools or small pellets
- Difficulty passing stools
- Some small traces of blood
- Foul smelling wind or poo
- Hard stomach
- General agitation and discomfort
What Should I Do If My Baby Is Constipated?
The cause of constipation often determines the best approach, but a good starting point is making sure your baby is well-hydrated.
If your baby is on formula or has just started solids, then they may occasionally get backed up, and adding extra water will help to get things moving. The extra water will help to soften the stools and make them easier to pass.
For older babies, introducing more fiber is likely to help a great deal. Fruits such as apples, pears, and prunes can be added to your baby’s mealtimes, either in chopped or pureed form or even as a diluted fruit juice.
Movement is also a great way to get things moving. With your baby on her back, slowly move her legs in a bicycle motion, which can help to push through any blockages in the intestines.
Another thing which you can do to help is gently massaging your baby’s abdomen. Start by moving in a slow, clockwise direction from her belly button and gently start to make bigger circles. You can mix up the pressure you apply based on your baby’s reaction.
When to Call the Doctor
In the majority of cases, constipation will clear up by itself, but if your baby has a fever or blood in the stools, then you should contact your doctor for advice.
Blood in the stools might be from straining, but if they have struggled to pass stools for a couple of weeks, then they may be at risk of anal fissures, which can be very uncomfortable for your baby.
Of course, if you are worried or need advice, then call your pediatrician who will be happy to point you in the right direction.