When your little one can’t do number two, it is only natural to want to use medicines that can help quickly. But not all babies react well to medicines, and sometimes natural remedies for infant constipation are your best bet.
All babies, like everyone else, are on their own schedule when it comes to pooping. Some infants poop several times a day, and some moms report that their child doesn’t poop for days. It can be worrying, but keep an eye on your child’s wet diapers. If your baby continues to pee several times a day and gain weight, that’s a good sign. Even though your baby might be straining and making faces while pooping, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are constipated.
Babies that are only breastfed rarely get truly constipated, but as the mother’s milk matures and the infant gets a little older, the number of bowel movements can drop off a bit. According to Dr. Mary Gavin on KidsHealth, breastfed babies at around 3 to 6 weeks of age might slow to only having one or two bowel movements a week, while formula-fed babies tend to poop more frequently. However, Dr. Jane Morton told Parents.com that babies that are exclusively formula-fed are more likely to become constipated. Formula tends to make poop harder than breastfeeding. Either way, as long as the poop is soft, and not hard or pellet-like, your baby is most likely not constipated.
1. A milk protein allergy can cause constipation, as well as a lot of diary in a breastfeeding mother’s diet. One remedy is to change formula or, if you are breastfeeding, consume less milk and cheese.
2. An old-fashioned remedy that some moms have gotten from their moms and aunts is to give children karo syrup to alleviate constipation. Dr. Jay Hoecker on Mayoclinic.com advises against this, because today’s processed karo syrup might not have the right elements to draw fluid into the intestine and soften poop.
3. The most natural remedy for constipation is more water in your child’s diet in addition to regular feedings. Dr. Hoecker suggests starting with 2 to 4 ounces (60- 120 millileters). See how that goes and add more or less the next day.
4. If water doesn’t seem to help, then move on to 2 to 4 ounces of fruit juice (apple, prune or pear). Although some parents might be against having fruit juice in their child’s diet, in this case short-term use can help remedy constipation.
5. Eating fruits and vegetables like pears, broccoli and prunes can help constipation.
The most common time for infants to become constipated is when they reach six months and are introduced to solid foods. Three foods that can cause constipation are applesauce, bananas and cereal. Too much of one or more of these, especially rice cereal, can cause problems, but the more foods your child begins eating, the harder it is to pinpoint the problem.
If all else fails, you should call your child’s doctor. Sometimes, natural remedies for infant constipation aren’t the answer!