Constipation in babies

It's easy for parents to confuse the symptoms of constipation with other health issues. Especially if you are a new parent, you might wonder what is making your child so cranky? We hear your dilemma. And we are here to solve it! We have gathered some of the simplest details about your child's digestion that can help you keep things in perspective. So, let us begin by answering some of the most common questions.

Could few Poops Still be Normal?

Since breast milk is so nutritious, the body of the baby often consumes almost all of it, leaving nothing to pass into the digestive tract. Your baby may poop just once in a while — it's perfectly natural for breastfed babies to have bowel movements once a week.

Some babies have a sluggish (but fully normal) intestine, so they don't poop very often. Hard stools have been a common occurrence from time to time. But constipation in babies is not a thing to ignore and if your child appears to be in distress or you have any questions, call your doctor immediately.

In rare cases, a medical condition causes long-lasting, severe constipation. For example, the muscles in the intestine do not function the way they should or block the digestive tract.

Symptoms of Constipation in Babies

It is common for infants to struggle when they have bowel movements (pooping). Pooping is more of a challenge to them when they're lying flat. Secondly, infants who rely on breastfeeding prefer to go more often than formula-fed infants because breast milk is digested quicker. At around 3–6 weeks of age, breastfed infants may start to have less bowel movements, often just one or two per week. Formula-fed children typically appear to have BMs every day

Baby constipation should not be an issue if the stool (poop) is gentle, no matter how much the bowel movements happen.

Parents should keep an eye on symptoms of baby constipation if your baby screams when he/she has a bowel movement or a rough or pebble-like stool can be constipated. In that case, speak to your doctor who might consider giving your baby a little extra water or a small amount of 100 % fruit juice to soften a hard poop and help with your baby's constipation relief. Never offer laxatives, suppositories, or enemas to your baby unless your doctor orders you to do so.

Infant constipation isn't just about how much your kid is pooping. It's just how hard it's for them to do it, too. They're probably ok, if they have soft, easy-to-pass stools every 4-5 days. On the other side, you can speak with a doctor if your baby is:

  • Having a rough time or appears nervous
  • Having some hard stools
  • Passing stool that is either bloody or black
  • Not pooping at least once every 5 to 10 days
  • Not eating normally
  • Suffering from bloated stomach

What are the common causes of constipation in babies?

Although it's unusual for a baby to develop constipation on an all-liquid diet, it can still happen. Causes of baby constipation varies from situation to situation, exclusively formula-fed babies are much more likely to have constipation problems. Formulas can make your baby’s stool a lot firmer than breast milk can. If your child has an allergy or aversion to a milk protein, he / she can end up being constipated. This may be caused by a milk-based formula, as well as by milk in mom's diet, which has passed by breast milk. It also carries over to every other form of dairy that an older child might eat, such as yoghurt and cheese.

When a child is around 6 months old, your pediatricians might also give the green light to provide a range of other baby food. What your baby eats will largely decide the kind of pop you can expect. And a lot of different foods may contribute to constipation. Start by looking at your ABCs — applesauce, bananas, and cereal. Too much of any of these, particularly rice cereal, can put you in trouble. When you start adding table foods, it may be much more difficult to recognize the cause of constipation.

Other things that can induce constipation include:

Less fluids are consumed by the baby: Always try breastfeeding your child before offering the solids. Liquid will make it easier for your baby to move their stools.

Stress: Traveling, heat, and movement sometimes— all of these may make a baby stressful and cause constipation.

Sickness: Stomach bugs can cause vomiting and diarrhea, which may lead to dehydration and constipation. Even a common cold will reduce your child's appetite and, due to nasal congestion, make it difficult for them to nurse. Less liquid means more chances of constipation.

Health: A medical condition, such as having an abnormality in the digestive tract, can cause constipation, although this is uncommon.

When should you consult a doctor?

If any of the following happens, call your child's doctor:

  • Your baby is irritable and seems to have abdominal pain.
  • You see blood in your child's stool.
  • The constipation of your child does not improve with current therapy.

Your doctor will examine your child and may even prescribe special tests, such as abdominal x-rays, to search for intestinal blockages. You can ask your doctor about the use of suppositories and which ones are safe, although they are not always recommended or required.

Never offer a laxative or suppository to a child without first consulting with a health care provider.

Keep in mind, most breastfed babies don't get constipated before solid foods are started. Even then, this isn't a sure thing. Simple diets and changes in activity are often effective baby constipation remedies. But if constipation persists, consult with your child's doctor for medical advice.

While a lot of pediatricians would suggest that your baby drink cow's milk formula, some babies might be allergic to it. If your child is one of them, don't worry, you can try a goat milk formula. Give it at least three weeks' time before you finalize on the right formula. This way, you'll be able to decide exactly how your child reacts to it.

Explore our website to learn more about the types of organic baby formula you can choose from and let us help you determine what's right for your baby! Call us on 425-441-9156!

Baby healthInfant health