Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Home Remedies for Constipation in Babies: Constipation Relief for Babies

Constipation is commoner in bottle-fed babies than in breastfed babies; in fact, constipation in breastfed babies is rather rare. Constipation usually occurs as your baby starts eating solid foods. On the other hand, constipation in newborn babies can occur as well; there are several constipation remedies for babies along with certain natural cures that you can follow.

Constipation in Newborns

In the early months, the frequency of passing motion depends up on whether he is being breastfed or bottle-fed. Breastfed babies pass stool several times in a day in the first few weeks, and then may pass only once or twice in the week.
Bottle-fed babies pass one firm motion every day, although some may have a motion every 3 days.
Don’t worry; you will soon become familiar with your baby's grimaces and grunts as he works on the bowel movements.
Starting Solid Foods Can
Trigger Constipation

Signs of Constipation in Babies

Look out for these signs to ascertain whether your baby is constipated:
  • Crying, irritability, crabbiness, pain before or while passing stools
  • Dry, hard, pellet-like stools
  • Straining at stool
  • Less than 3 motions per week
  • Foul-smelling, offensive wind
  • Hard belly
  • Reduced appetite
  • Occasionally, very liquid motion may also be an indication of constipation. Liquid stools slip past the obstruction of hard feces in the lower intestine.
What Causes Constipation in Babies? 

There are a host of causes why your baby may be constipated:
  • Formula milk: babies taking formula milk are more likely to develop constipation given that formula is harder to digest than breast milk, making stools firm and bulky. Changing the brand of formula milk is also a significant cause. Conversely, a breastfed baby is less prone to constipation; and breast milk always produces stools that are soft, even if the baby hasn't had a motion for a few days.
  • Introducing food: when babies start solid foods, they tend to get constipated since their bodies learn how to deal with the new foods. When you start your baby on solid food, you must increase the fluid intake. Starting with low fiber foods or not giving adequate amounts of fluids contributes to constipation.
  • Inadequate feed: not getting sufficient milk can cause constipation. The baby may refuse milk in case of oral thrush, a cold, throat infection or ear infection.
  • Dehydration: Not drinking ample water with solid foods can trigger constipation and make the stools hard, dry and difficult to pass.
  • Medical condition or illness: food allergies and food poisoning are important causes too. Rarely, constipation may be caused due to congenital conditions. Disorders such as Hirschprung's disease, ano-rectal malformation, spina bifida and cystic fibrosis have a role to play in the development of constipation in babies.
Remedies for Constipation in Babies: Constipation in Infants and Its Treatment
Here are a few things you could do to alleviate your baby's misery, but do confer with your pediatrician:
  • Move your baby's legs in a bicycling motion very gently; it eases the feces along the colon.
  • If your baby is drinking formula milk, ensure that she has extra water in between feeds; however do not dilute the formula. Large quantities of milk powder are dehydrating, so make sure you use the advised amount.
  • If your baby is 1year old, give her fruits, such as, dates, raisins, peaches, figs, prunes and plums; these add bulk to the stools and help expel stools quickly.
Prunes are Excellent to Treat Constipation
How to Treat Constipation in Babies?
  • Water: For babies, who are 6 to 8 months old, give about 2 to 4 ounces of water daily. It is vital to remember that water should not replace normal feedings of milk.
  • Fruit juice: In case water doesn't help, give your baby fruit juice; fruits that are recommended are - apples, pears, and prunes. Begin with 2 to 4 ounces of juice in addition to the regular feeds.
  • Glycerin suppository: In cases of severe constipation (obstipation) that isn’t responding to any natural treatment; place an infant glycerin suppository into your baby's anus. However, these are meant only for occasional use.
Try not to be too anxious if your baby gets constipated; it is expected to happen now and then, particularly if she is formula-fed or has embarked on a diet of solid foods. These home remedies and natural treatments will regularize the bowel movements again.

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