Your baby hasn’t had a bowel movement for 3 or more days – is this normal or is this constipation? Your baby’s infrequent bowel movements are hard and dry – is this normal or is this constipation? Find answers to these questions and learn all about constipation and babies.
There are many causes of infant constipation. One of the most common causes of constipation in babies is the introduction of solid foods.
Common Causes of Infant Constipation are:
Introduction of solid food(s) – breastfed babies may be more prone to constipation when solid foods are introduced. This is because their tiny tummies are used to processing the easily and highly digestible mother’s milk
Diets low in fiber
Diets of excessive dairy products (yogurt, cheeses, milk)
Foods such as Bananas, Applesauce, Cereals, Breads, Pasta and White Potatoes may contribute or cause constipation
A change in diet usually relieves a baby with constipation. The following tips may also help the constipated baby get things “moving”.
Remedies and How to Treat Constipation in Babies
There are many things you can do to help relieve baby’s constipation. You can change baby’s feeding pattern and/or engage in some physical exercises.
Exercises to Help Relieve Infant Constipation include:
Tummy Massage – Gently massage and rub baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction. Place your hands at baby’s navel and massage in a circular motion, moving your hand(s) out and away from the center of baby’s belly.
Bicycle Legs – Place your baby on her back and lightly hold her legs in a half-bent position. Gently begin to move your baby’s legs as if she is riding a bicycle. Alternate “Bicycle Legs” with Tummy Massage. *”Bicycle Legs” also may help to relieve a baby who is gassy.
A Warm Bath – Some medical professionals suggest giving your constipated baby a warm bath. The thought is that this may help relax baby and “get things moving” again. Give a tummy massage as you are drying baby.
Relieving Constipation in Babies Younger than 4 Months:
Try giving one to two ounces of diluted fruit juice such as grape, prune or apple-prune twice daily and practice some of the above exercises. (Always consult your pediatrician about the appropriateness of new foods/liquids to help alleviate constipation)
Relieve Constipation in Babies 4 Months -12 months + by Changing the Food Diet
Adding more fiber to baby’s diet may help get things moving again. Try strained foods that contain high fiber such as:
For older infants who are just beginning solid foods, you may want to avoid baby foods such as rice cereal, applesauce and bananas as these may aggravate constipation.
Get the BRAT Out!
If your baby is constipated, reverse the BRAT diet
The BRAT diet is used for the treatment of diarrhea in infants because these foods help firm up stools. An easy and natural way to remember how to help alleviate baby’s constipation is to cut out the foods that contribute to it! BRAT stands for
If you ever forget which foods to cut out, remember BRAT and cut out those foods!
Barley or oatmeal cereals, prunes, peaches, plums, apricots and most vegetables are preferred when baby has constipation.
Juices are helpful, especially apple or prune, but use in moderation, as they are not as nutritious for babies as formula or breast milk.
Ps: Exclusively breastfed babies can stay as long as a week without it being constipation….. the tips are for use when you are positive that your baby is constipated; you will see signs of discomfort or hard bowel movement etc.