Does your baby poop less than three times a week? Whenever she poops, is it hard for her to let them pass through and does it look like she’s in pain? If your answers to these questions are a worried “yes,” your little one might be constipated.
Don’t panic. Constipation is a common problem among infants and kids. It is a condition caused by the slow movement of stool in the digestive tract, which results to hard and dry stool. Common reasons why a person experiences constipation include diet-related issues, changes in lifestyle and routine, toilet habits, stress, and some medications.
How to prevent constipation
Preventing constipation in babies requires a bit of lifestyle changes that you’ll need to introduce to your baby. Here are some tips to protect your child from constipation:
Go for fibre-rich food. If your child is already eating solids, introduce a high-fibre diet, which includes food such as cereals and brown rice. Fruits such as peaches and prunes are also rich sources of fibre. Foods rich in fibre help loosen stool and promote a healthy digestive tract.
Drink enough water. Don’t underestimate the importance of hydration as it also enables fluid movement of stools in one’s intestines.
Encourage movement. Let your baby move and try some baby exercise to get her body moving.
Check her medications. Some medicines may cause constipation. Check your baby’s medications and seek a doctor’s advice to manage it.
How to treat constipation
If your baby has constipation already, here’s how you can help her:
Switch up the milk. If your baby takes formula milk, consider changing it up to see if the milk’s causing the constipation.
Change the diet. Diet adjustments not only help prevent constipation, it is also another way to treat it. High-fibre foods, for example, can help clear constipation because they loosen the stools.
Massage your baby’s tummy. Stimulate baby’s bowel by gently massaging her tummy in a clockwise direction. Aside from massaging her tummy, you can also gently move your baby’s legs in a circular motion.
Use laxatives and suppositories with a doctor’s advice. Sometimes, stools get blocked, making it very hard for your child to poop. Laxatives and suppositories can be used to help clear the blockage but only with a doctor’s go-signal.
Give her fruit juice. Some juices, such as prune and apple juice, help treat constipation. However, make sure that your baby is already at the right age to take it. Do not give your child any fruit juice without a paediatrician’s advice, if it is her first time.
Give her a warm bath. A warm bath helps relax a baby’s abdominal muscles and relieve the discomfort that constipation brings.