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Newborn Care Topics..

You are here : home > Newborn Care > Bowel and Bladder Movements > Constipation



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 on.

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 problems.

How can I tell if my baby is constipated?

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 constipation?

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 doctor.

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 here.
  1. If you are using formula solution, you can try changing the brand.

  2. Talk to your doctor and seek suggestions about the formula brand you should try to ease her discomforts.

  3. If you think you need to stop breastfeeding because she is constipated, you need to rethink after consulting your doctor.

  4. You may consider adding strawberries, prune or pear in her milk after consulting your doctor.

  5. You may also add some water to it to make it easier for her to digest after seeking approval of your doctor.

  6. 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 this case.

When is it a cause of concern?

You 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 babies?

It is important to understand the causes behind your baby passing hard stools.
  1. 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.

  2. 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 nutrition.

  3. 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 system.

  4. 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 doctor.

  5. 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 take?

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 case.

  • 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 it.
As 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.

You may also be interested in:

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Causes for Concern
Constipation in Babies
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Nikita.3 years ago
Babies diet is always a matter of concern So give her water ,juice in adequate amount so that she is not constipated.You can also download this app called
spatra.7 years ago
I think flax seed is good for constipation.I read
kalpana.8 years ago
My son is 1month old from 3days he is passing stool only once a day is this normal?? if it is not can anyone suggest a solution for this..
shweta koul
shweta koul.8 years ago
my daughter is 4 mnths old n has constipation, for 3 or 4 days. Also her stomach remains soft, any medication, she completely takes breast feed
Swati.9 years ago
spinach is also very good for constipation. care must be taken for giving the right quantity to the baby.
Ace.9 years ago
my son is thirteen monthes old. recently we switched him from nursing to formula. since, he has had trouble with getting his bowel movements out. we consulted his docter and she said to try him on whole milk ,thus only made the situation worse.i am at a loss i only feed him things that i wouldent think would constipate him but nothin i seem to be doing is helping. if anybody reading this has any advise please let me know attn.ace. thanks.
yuvaraj.9 years ago
does honey avoid constipation?.if it is so in what way it should be taken to avoid constipation.
h.9 years ago
my baby is 15days old she is bottle feeding ,but her stools look as if they are constipated stools what should i do
april.9 years ago
don't give babies under three years of age honey. it's not good for them
ketaki.9 years ago
my baby girl who is 2 months old passes stool after a it a cause of worry?? i breast feed her and her bowel movements are smooth...
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