When it comes to a constipated baby, there’s just no getting around how uncomfortable it can be. It’s hard to see our baby in pain. And even though constipation is something we’ll all face as new parents, it doesn’t mean it’s not difficult to deal with.
What Causes Constipation in Babies?
Diet is usually the culprit when it comes to constipation. It could be as simple as something you ate if you’re a breastfeeding mom. Maybe your baby didn’t get enough water and became dehydrated. There’s all kinds of things that cause constipation including:
Signs Your Baby is Constipated
Constipation is a common condition that’s tough to miss. When your baby is backed up, you’re more than likely going to notice. Some of the telltale signs of a constipated baby include, baby having less than three bowel movements in a week, crying or signs of pain before passing a bowel movement, dry hard little poops, and a swollen belly.
Natural Ways to Get Rid of Baby’s Constipation
The best remedies to get rid of your baby’s constipation are all natural and completely safe for the health of your child. Check out the following six ways to help naturally move things along.
Giving baby a warm bath is great to help with their upset stomach and constipation problems. A warm bath will help relax baby’s tense muscles, including the rectal muscle that can become tense from constipation.
Giving baby an abdominal massage is a great way to loosen up their stools and increase the likelihood of a bowel movement. Massage your baby’s abdomen in a clockwise direction and around the belly button in a circular motion with a few drops of a quality lavender essential oil . Start with soft pressure as not to make your baby more uncomfortable than she already is.
Help your baby with their constipation by offering a little physical stimulation. When baby is on her back in front of you, lift her legs and pump them back and forth as if your baby were riding a bicycle. This is a great way to relieve pressure on the abdomen and get things moving in the bowels.
Prune juice has long been used to help relieve constipation in babies and adults alike. If your baby is having problems passing a poop, try three parts water to one part organic prune juice in a bottle. Prunes contain high amounts of fiber and act as a mild colonic stimulant.
One of the biggest causes of constipation is dehydration. If your baby is constipated, try a bottle of water to see if this doesn’t help move things along in the digestive tract. Try 2-4 ounces of additional water after feeding their regular formula or breastmilk.
Coconut oil or water can also be given to baby to help relieve their uncomfortable constipation. Like prune juice, coconut water is a good source of fiber and can really help loosen up the stools. Be sure to use coconut water that is 100 percent organic and pure. Cracking a coconut and getting the water blended with a bit of the coconut meat is also beneficial for baby’s constipation. You can also try adding a ½ teaspoon of coconut oil to baby’s bottle.
Diet and Constipation in Breastfed Babies
We truly are what we eat. The same is definitely true for our babies. If you’re a breastfeeding mama, you’re probably aware that what you eat has a direct impact on how your baby feels. There’s definitely different foods you eat that will increase your baby’s risk of constipation.
Be sure to limit your dairy intake to a minimum and that you’re eating a well-balanced diet full of all the nutrients you and your baby need. Also, eat a healthy amount of fiber-rich foods, fruits, veggies, and lean proteins. Avoid dairy products and processed, fried, or fast-foods to ensure you don’t upset your baby’s stomach (or your own).
Curing Constipation the Natural Way
Babies should never be given over the counter laxatives or suppositories. As a general rule, babies should pass a poop at least once every two days. If your baby hasn’t gone in a while, try any of these natural remedies to relieve their discomfort.
Avoid giving baby rice cereal, cow’s milk, bananas, carrots, white bread, potatoes, or pasta. These items can trigger constipation in baby and should be avoided as the first foods they’re introduced to. Although rice and other starchy foods are often recommended for a baby’s first attempts at solid food, they haven’t yet developed the proper enzymes to break these foods down enough to digest.
Ensuring you are eating a healthy diet if your breastfeeding is an excellent way to avoid constipation in the first place. Also, make sure baby gets plenty of water. It’s important to note however, that you shouldn’t give your baby water until she is at least six months old. Until then, your baby should be receiving all the hydration they need from formula or breastmilk. After six months, you can begin to introduce water.
Baby’s constipation doesn’t have to continue when you know the natural ways to help move things right along.