Baby constipation can be distressing, but there are simple steps you can take at home to relieve baby’s discomfort and prevent its return.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Constipation in baby should always be checked out by a medical professional,to rule out any underlying cause.
When babies begin solid foods, the appearance and smell of their stools will change quite dramatically. This is particularly noticeable in breastfed babies, whose stools were previously of a smooth texture and relatively “sweet” smelling!
Once your baby is introduced to solids, his stools will often be the colour of the food he ate. They may also contain small pieces of undigested food.
The frequency with which he passes stools may change too – sometimes a baby can go a few days without a bowel movement.
This does not necessarily mean he is constipated – if the stool is soft when it finally appears, then it is very likely that all is well.
Nor do straining and grunting necessarily indicate constipation – these are actually quite common reactions, as your baby’s body adjusts to the new texture and firmness of his stools.
But baby constipation can arise as his intestines learn to cope with this new form of nutrition.
The resulting hard stools can sometimes tear the delicate skin around the anus. These tiny but painful tears can cause your baby to sub-consciously hold back his stools.
Unfortunately, this compounds the problem – his body will absorb the water from these stools, making them even harder, plus the large amount of stools in the intestine will cause discomfort and pain.
Certain foods are more likely than others to trigger constipation. These include:
Other causes can include:
ALWAYS OBTAIN THE CONSENT OF YOUR CHILD’S DOCTOR BEFORE INTRODUCING NEW FOODS, JUICES OR WATER TO YOUR BABY.