Parents find it very difficult to understand the
bowel movements of babies. Every child is different. The diet of the baby
determines stool patterns. A baby may be constipated. Here's a guide, read
My baby has not passed a stool in 4 days,
is she constipated?
Babies are so
unpredictable. At one end of the scale you have babies who have a dozen bowel
movements a day; on the other hand, there are some bottle-fed babies who go
three or four days between movements. Many breastfed babies start having fewer
bowel movements somewhere between one and three months of age. This is no cause
for concern if the baby's movements are soft and cause no
How can I tell if my baby is
If the baby's infrequent
stools are firmly formed or come out in hard pellets, or if they cause pain or
bleeding (from a fissure or crack in the anus as a result of pushing), then
your baby is constipated.
How should I treat
A change in the formula
or adding fruit juices (except citrus ones which are highly allergenic and very
acidic) to the baby's diet should help. Giving laxatives, enemas or herbal tea
should only be done after consulting the
Ho to ease the discomfort caused to my
baby due to constipation?
As you can
see constipation in babies is a common phenomenon and you can ensure some
comfort following the tips shared
If you are using formula solution, you can try changing
Talk to your doctor and seek
suggestions about the formula brand you should try to ease her
If you think you need to stop
breastfeeding because she is constipated, you need to rethink after consulting
You may consider adding
strawberries, prune or pear in her milk after consulting your
You may also add some water to it
to make it easier for her to digest after seeking approval of your
You must be informed that at times
babies do not pass stools for a day or two and the bowel movement of your baby
is soft and not actually constipated then you really have nothing much to do in
When is it a cause of concern?
must get in touch with your doctor if the occasional hard stools are becoming a
cause of discomfort for your baby.
What causes constipation in
It is important to understand
the causes behind your baby passing hard
When you visit a doctor, he shall
suggest some minerals to soften the stool. In some cases the doctor may also
insert a finger in the anus to remove stools manually.
In case of a newborn baby you
should be concerned if she has not passed stools after 3 days. Irregular bowel
movements may be a sign that she is not getting the right
If you have switched from the
breast milk to the formula solution, bring it to the notice of your doctor. May
be the formula solution is creating troubles in her sensitive digestive
While choosing a formula solution,
it is a good idea to look into the ingredients. You may want to try those which
are low in iron, so that her stools soften after consulting your
You also need to make sure your
little one gets iron in sufficient amount, so that her growth and development
is not impaired.
What are the courses of action that I can
Here are some more things that
you can do.
You can begin by increasing her
fluid intake after talking to your doctor. Make sure she drinks sufficient
amount of water all through the day and in between meals as well.
You can try offering small feeds
all through the day rather than forcing too much at a time. This shall help her
digestive system work on the foods better.
You can keep a track on the amount
she takes in a single feed. Also, keep count of the number of diapers you
change daily. This way you can establish a co-relation between the number of
feeds and the diapers you changed in a day.
To prevent stains, you can apply
lubricating gel as prescribed by your doctor on the anus and make it easier for
her to pass stools. However, you must not use mineral oil in this
You may talk to the doctors about
using glycerine suppositories. These are inserted into the anus to make it
easier for her to poop. These are however not permanent solution and must be
used occasionally only.
Flax oil is often used to offer
some relief in constipation. However, you need to discuss with your doctor
before using it.
Tummy massage in circular motion
can be helpful when your baby is constipated. This is known to ease the bowel
movement. Again you must talk your doctor before doing
you can see there are plenty of possible actions that you can try at home. If
these fail, you can seek help of your doctor.
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- The Indiaparenting Team