Constipation is a condition that is indicated when your newborn has stools that are dry and hard. By definition, this condition can result in difficult bowel movements that cause your baby to strain and become frustrated. It’s often uncomfortable for the baby, leading to stomach pain until the stools are moved. This condition frequently occurs around when babies are transitioning from milk to a solid food diet. It can also occur in those who are breastfeeding or still on formula. Some mothers make the mistake of thinking transitioning their child from breastmilk to solid food will help alleviate constipation. While this isn’t effective, there are steps you can take to help.
How To Help Your Baby When They’re Constipated
One thing that can make constipation difficult to identify is that “normal bowel movements” vary from baby to baby. Not every child is going to have bowel movements on a consistent schedule, nor are they necessarily going to have them as often as other children. The only important thing is that your baby feels content and looks healthy, regardless of how often they have a bowel movement. However, if you notice that your baby’s feces are frequently dry or quite hard, speak to your physician. You may also want to speak to your child’s doctor in cases where they demonstrate notable discomfort when they have a bowel movement.
Thankfully, the most common reason for a baby to develop constipation is a change in diet. Some examples include:
- Transitioning from formula feeding to solid foods
- An imbalance in liquid intake after moving from being breastfed
- Introducing them to new flavors and meal types
- Breastfed babies are more likely to be constipated than bottle-fed babies
- However, bottle-fed babies tend to develop diarrhea more frequently
Another possible factor leading to constipation is an insufficient amount of fiber finding its way into your child’s diet. Even with plenty of water and a healthy diet, it’s possible for your child to become constipated without enough fiber. Constipation can also be caused by nerve conditions, thyroid conditions, metabolic conditions, and issues impacting the spinal cord. Thankfully, these are checked for at multiple stages in your child’s development, so your doctor will tell you if they’re a concern.
You can help your baby when they’re constipated by ensuring they’re receiving enough water in their diet. You can also gently knead their abdomen to help the bowels kick in and move the stools. Warm baths have been known to help, as has adding more vegetables and fruits to your child’s diet. After nine months of age, you can include stewed apricots or prunes to help promote healthy bowel movements.
Call Our Team To Learn More About Constipation In Babies
Want to be prepared to help your baby when constipation rears its head? Contact our facility at (803) 283-2300 or visit our urgent care clinic in Lancaster, SC. We’ll perform a normal health check to ensure your child is developing well and not having any other identifiable concerns. Then we’ll take steps to help you alleviate your child’s discomfort and avoid constipation in the future.