Passing stools once or twice a week when on solids is normal for a baby. But, if your baby appears to be in discomfort when pooping, and the poo is dry and pellet-like as well, then your baby may be constipated. This is fairly normal when starting a baby on solids.
Let’s have a look at what you can do to help get things moving down there.
Baby constipated after starting solids
It is normal for a baby to become a little constipated when there is a change in diet. Introducing solids needs to be done slowly. Every time a new food is introduced the gut needs to develop the enzymes to digest it, which can cause the digestive process to block up somewhat, causing constipation.
How to help a constipated baby
There are some dietary changes you can make to help keep things moving. Common foods that cause constipation in babies include formula, and some babies find rice and oats hard to digest. Cooked carrots and unripe banana can also cause constipation, so introduce food slowly.
Other tips for you include:
If using formula check you are making it correctly.
Increase water intake - Dilute prune juice in the water only in babies over 6 months of age. Prunes contain a bowel irritant which can cause more harm to an underdeveloped system.
How to relieve constipation in babies quickly
For a quick fix to help your baby feel better you can try these natural remedies:
Give baby a warm bath and massage the tummy in a circular, clockwise action.
Bring baby’s knees up and do a cycle motion with the legs
Dip a cotton bud in olive oil and gently rub it around the anus. This stimulates the anal muscles.
Baby constipation treatment
A newborn’s only food is milk or formula. If baby is constipated on breast milk check with your doctor for advice. Do not give a newborn any other food source. Babies should not be given solids before 4 months of age and then you only give a small amount of one kind of food for one week, then introduce a second food and so on. At 5 months you can mix the introduced foods together a little bit. It also helps to be aware of which foods are considered risky and introduce those at a later date.
Baby formula for constipation
There are formulas on the market for treating baby constipation. Novalac Constipation Formula is one of them, available at Amcal Chemist. Your baby may have a reaction to milk based formulas, and would therefore benefit from a product such as s-26 Gold Lactose Free Formula, available at supermarkets. However you must seek medical advice before changing your baby’s formula.
Baby food for constipation
Common foods known to help with constipation include:
Causes of constipation in babies
In babies the main cause of constipation is starting solids and some of the foods being introduced. There are many possible causes of constipation in breast fed babies, and formula can cause constipation which could be due to a milk intolerance, or some other irritant in the mixture. You should also check you are using the correct quantities. Do not dilute the formula and always seek medical advice before making any changes or trying any cures, medications or home remedies.
Symptoms of constipation in babies
You can tell your baby is constipated if they are passing hard pellet like stools, straining to do a poo and being grizzly and showing signs of discomfort. There may be anal fissures, which are small tears around the anus and blood in the stools.