The bowel movement schedules of babies depend on their diet, digestion speed and the level of physical activities. Some infants pass bowel daily, whereas others might defecate once every two or three days. Constipated infants pass stool less frequently.
They are irritated and uncomfortable. They find it difficult to pass the dry and hard stools. In constipated babies, liquid stool present in the upper part of the colon might slip past the hard mass of stool that blocks the lower part of the colon and the rectum.
Presence of liquid stool in the baby’s diaper, often mistaken for diarrhea, might actually be a sign of constipation.
Causes Of Infant Constipation
To prevent constipation in infants, you should identify the factors associated with this condition. Constipation rarely occurs in babies who are exclusively breastfed. It usually develops while weaning the baby. The first solid foods that are introduced in the child’s diet might not contain adequate fibers to ease bowel movement.
Constipation is common in formula fed babies. Dehydration could make your baby constipated. Rarely constipation is a sign of an underlying health disorder. Food allergies are occasionally linked to constipation.
How To Treat Constipation In Infants
If your baby is less than six months old, exclusive breastfeeding is the best constipation remedy. If you suspect that an ingredient in the formula milk of your baby is responsible for your child’s constipation, you can consider changing the brand of the formula milk.
To prevent constipation in older babies, you can add fiber rich foods in the baby’s diet. Prune, apple, apricots and pear purees are often recommended for treating infant constipation.
The low fiber content in the common rice cereals might worsen your baby’s constipation. You can replace the rice cereal with oat or barley cereal. To keep your baby hydrated, give the infant two to four ounces of water and fruit juice.
Constipation in infants could be treated with prune juice. Dilute one ounce of prune juice with equal amount of water and feed your child the diluted prune juice once or twice each day.
Applying a little water-based lubricant or glycerin in the baby’s anus might ease bowel movement.