From time to time, babies often go for some days or more than a week without bowel movements. However, home remedies for constipation in babies may be the best solution for your little one.
If you have noticed that your baby is not able to poop properly or is having difficulty pooping, then your baby may be suffering from constipation. Constipation may be the result of many factors like change in food, formula milk or a passing illness. With this effective tried and tested home remedies, you can cure constipation in babies. Get rid of your baby’s constipation with some of these tried and tested home remedies.
Constipation is a commonly ignored problem that is often seen in infants and toddlers. It includes infrequent bowel movements, difficulty passing stool and presenting with decreased stools frequency (less than two times per week lasting for more than four weeks) or passing stool with a harder consistency.
In some cases, constipation in babies are short-term and resolves with treatment, It can be treated more with home remedies. Breast milk can be processed quickly by babies and is seen as a natural laxative. Hence, constipation in babies that are breastfed is rare, but it does not mean that it can’t happen. Babies who are breastfed have fewer chances of getting diarrhea and constipation as against formula-fed babies.
If a baby is constipated, a pediatrician may recommend using home remedies as a first-line of action for treatment for baby constipation.
When you have a constipated baby, life can be pretty miserable because all you do is try to figure a way out to help your little one feel better. This is a common issue found among babies and toddlers. In this article, I am sharing with you the best natural home remedies for constipation in babies that you can try to help your toddler.
Causes Of Constipation In Infants?
It is important to know what is the cause of constipation in babies so as to know how to fight or prevent it. Here are some causes of constipation in babies and toddlers.
- Switching to cow milk from formula/breast milk
- Changing the formula brand from one brand to other
- Switching from breastfeeding to formula
- Introducing of solids for the first time
- Medical condition or illness
- No or less water or liquid intake
- Low fiber foods
- No healthy fat food.
Signs To Know Constipation in Babies
It depends if your baby is breastfed or formula feed. Babies who are breastfeed tends to poop several times a day while formula-fed babies poop once or twice a day. It is important to know the pattern or how frequently your baby normally poops. Once there is a big change on how often you change a poop diaper, will help identify when your baby is constipated quickly. Signs of constipation in babies are:
- Poops less than three(3) times a week.
- Hard and dry stools
- Feeling pains and crying during bowel movement
- Feeling uncomfortable while passing out stool
- Being fussy and spitting up more often than usual
- Blood in the stool(caused by hard stool, tearing the anus when it passes).
- Bloated, firm tummy
- Belly Pain
- Not eating properly.
- If there is no improvement in the constipation even after taking home remedies steps to treat it.
Home Remedies For Constipation In Babies
When you keep exercising or moving your baby’s legs, it can help relieve constipation. Exercise and movement stimulate a baby’s bowels.
As a parent or caregiver you can gently move the baby’s legs while they are lying on their back to mimic the motion of riding a bicycle, or lift the leg up and down. This is a home remedy for constipation in babies and can help relieve constipation and improve bowel movement.
Tummy massages are a great home remedy for constipation in babies. It’s a great way of inducing bowel movements in your little ones. There are different ways to massage a baby’s stomach to relieve constipation. One of the many ways is to gently move your hands round the baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction to stimulate the bowels to move to the rectal region. Another way to massage is by walking your fingers around the baby’s navel in a clockwise direction. Make use of a good baby oil when massaging.
3. Foods Rich In Fiber:
It is important to include foods that are rich in fiber-rich like whole grains, oatmeal, peanut butter etc in your baby’s diet, but they should be used together with healthy fat food or water rich food and lots of water to help the digestive system to process the food properly or else it can worsen the constipation.
If the child is breastfeeding and eating other food, then the mother can eliminate dairy products and include more fiber in a baby’s diet. If the child has started having solid foods, you can give the child foods rich in fiber like cereal-based fiber rich food preferred over refined foods in toddlers. Vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, collard greens and green peas should also be given. Feeding your baby with fiber rich food is a home remedy for constipation in babies.
4. A Warm Bath:
Giving a baby a warm bath is another home remedy for constipation in babies because it helps relax their abdominal muscles and help them stop straining. Warm baths can also help relieve some of the discomforts that comes with constipation. A warm water bath is an good way to soothe and relax the tensed muscles. Fill your baby’s bathtub with warm water and put a few spoons of baking soda. It helps the rectal muscles to open up and also aid in bowel movement. You can also put a towel into hot water, squeeze out the water from the towel and use the hot towel to massage the baby’s tummy. Be careful not to get your baby burned.
5. Change Of Dietary:
Dietary changes may help with constipation, but these changes depend on the age of the baby and diet. It might take some trial and error to identify the changes that may help. For babies who are formula-fed, parents can try some different formula. It’s entirely possible that dietary changes might not help, but do not worry consult your pediatrician. You can try giving your baby skinless apples,plums, whole grains, broccoli, oatmeal, peaches, and pears. Also give them legumes, such as black beans, lentils, soybeans, chickpeas and kidney beans etc.
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Fruits are also great home remedies for constipation in babies. Once your baby gets to 2 months, if constipated, he/she can have a little amount of apple puree or apple juice to help soften stool. This puree/juice can cure constipation in babies. You can start up with 2-4 ounces of fruit juice. The sugar content in juice is hard to digest, as a result, more liquid enters the intestines which helps soften and break up stool.
As mentioned before, if the baby is over 2-4 months old but doesn’t like plain water, you can give water-rich produce like watermelon, berries, paw paw, pears, mangoes, oranges, cucumbers, grapes by juicing it to relieve of the constipation. Newborns or infants do not need supplemental liquids because they get their hydration from breast milk or formula. Also, if your baby is over six months, pear juice can help to speed up your child’s colon contractions, which can help your baby produce a bowel movement more quickly. However, one must go for fresh fruits like apples, berries, pears, paw paw and oranges rather than juice from the supermarket.
7. Always Hydrate:
Always hydrating is one of the best home remedies for constipation in babies. An Extra amount of water can help relieve constipation in babies. Baby should have water from time to time. Mothers can even include it in meals and snacks. Always give water in between meals.
8. Healthy Fat Foods:
To help keep moisture in stools, include healthy fats in your toddler’s diet. Food that has good fat in it will help in constipation in babies. Add to your toddler’s food, things like coconut oil, coconut milk (from a can), avocado, flax oil, nut butter, fatty fish. A tablespoon or so of these can be added to smoothies without them even detecting.This can help prevent constipation in babies.
9. Water-Rich Produce:
Give the baby lots of produce that is rich in water like watermelon, berries, mangoes, oranges, cucumbers, grapes etc. This home remedy helps, especially in toddlers who doesn’t like to drink water. These will help soft the poop and cure constipation.
Warning Signs Of A More Serious Constipation In Babies
If you notice these signs in your baby, then it is a serious condition,do not waste more time, run to a pediatrician.
- Weight loss
- Abdominal distention
- Poor appetite
- Poor weight gain
- Rectal bleeding
Foods That Helps A Toddler Poop And Also Prevent Constipation
There are other natural remedies for constipation in babies which you can try. They are:
- Avocado Pear: You can scoop it out for your toddler to eat or you can just blend it into smoothies and add date syrup to taste,your toddler will love these. The oil in it will help to coat the digestive tract and keep things moving as a natural laxative.
- Coconut oil: Try adding a teaspoon of coconut oil to smoothies.
- Coconut butter: You can add these to oatmeal for your toddler.
- Chia seeds: Mix coconut and chia seeds together to make a pudding. It contains lots of fiber and healthy fats in each bite.
- Water produce like oranges, berries, watermelon, cucumbers, grapes, celery etc anything that has a lot of water in it. Cut and serve as needed to avoid choking hazards.
- All-fruit popsicles usually contain a lot of water. You can try this Mango popsicle, it works magic.
- Food rich in fiber like oatmeal, whole grain breads, whole grain pastas, and other whole grains. Start slowly if these high-fiber foods are new to your toddler, and pair them with healthy fats, water, and water-rich produce to avoid making the problem worse.
- Foods with probiotics like yogurt.
- Slightly watered-down pear juice, or apple juice.
- Smoothies with healthy fats, fiber, and hydration.
Foods A Constipated Toddler Should Avoid
When a baby/toddler is constipated, it is best to avoid some certain things that can worsen the condition like cow milk, rice, bread, and bananas, so it is good to avoid it. In some people dairy(milk) causes constipation. Give your toddler more produce and healthy fats, the probiotics in yoghurt and kefir can also help.
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Constipation can lead to serious discomfort and irritability in all babies. Parents can try several home remedies for constipation in babies just to help ease or stop it.
If you have tried using home remedies and yet the symptoms still persist, it is best to take your baby/toddler to see a paediatrician for other ways/strategies.