Babies and Constipation: 101 Guide for Young Moms
If you are a first time mom, you probably worry whether your baby is getting enough nourishment and gains weight properly. Some mothers are concerned about babies and constipation if their baby goes a couple of days without a bowel movement. This article will provide you with an insight on babies and constipation and help you learn some of the natural remedies for constipation and ways to prevent it.
While deciding not to breastfeed is a personal choice, it might be helpful to know that breastfed babies have much fewer incidents of constipation problems in comparison to formula-fed infants. Mother’s milk is nature’s perfect food for babies providing the most perfect nourishment tailored for your baby’s nutritional needs. In addition, breast milk changes its composition as your baby grows to accommodate for his proper developmental needs. Colostrum-rich first milk is a perfect laxative for your infant to help him pass his first meconium stool and kick start his own digestive process. Once your breast milk comes in, it’s not unusual for an exclusively breast-fed baby to have up to 10 bowel movements per day. After four weeks the number of your infant’s stools will go down to a couple per day.
If you are unable to breastfeed for medical reasons and concerned about babies and constipation, finding the right formula for your baby might help your baby regulate his stools. However, formula-fed babies and constipation is a very common problem because it’s rather hard to find the right type of formula for your baby from a wide variety currently available on the market.
Do not attempt to give your constipated baby under six month of age any fruit juices, laxatives or corn syrup in the hope to help them pass the stool, their immature digestive systems are not equipped to process these substances. Using glycerin suppositories rectally is one of the best natural remedies for constipation in babies. Encourage your baby to move around or lie on his tummy to naturally stimulate his intestines. Massaging your baby’s belly in a warm and soothing bath is another great way to help him relax and pass stool.
Once you introduce solids to your baby at around 6 months of age, it’s not uncommon for even an exclusively breastfed baby to have a mild degree of constipation, as some foods like rice cereal, bananas and applesauce have binding properties. Try whole grain brown rice cereal, avocado and other vegetable purees instead that contain more fiber and nutrients to help soften your baby’s stools.
If you are looking for more ways to incorporate wholesome ingredients into your toddler’s diet for constipation, check out our constipated toddler article for great ways to boost your child’s digestive system and establish a regular waste elimination pattern.