As a parent we want nothing more than for our babies to be happy and healthy. However, there are times in which we notice our little one feeling a bit uncomfortable due to constipation. If you have a little one that is constipated you may or may not notice any signs of constipation other than less frequent bowel movements or bowel movements that are harder than normal. Other times our baby will let us know that they are not feeling well by being cranky, crying or straining when trying to have a bowel movement.
When your baby is very young, one of the best ways to help your baby with constipation is by diluting a bit of prune juice and giving your baby a bit through bottle feeding. You can mix equal parts of prune juice and water, totaling about 2-4 ounces at a time. This should not be given anymore than twice a day. Prunes are a natural laxative and this will usually help move things along. This should not be given in place of a regular feeding but can be sipped on in between feedings.
Another remedy that has been used is Light Karo Corn Syrup. Corn syrup draws water to the bowel causing the bowels to soften and pass the stool. You can mix about 4 ounces of water with a teaspoon of corn syrup and bottle feed to baby. Again, this is not a substitute for a meal. This should only be in addition to the baby’s regular feeding schedule. Usually one serving of diluted corn syrup can get things moving along quite quickly and will help alleviate your baby’s discomfort.
When your baby is older and is starting to eat more solid foods it becomes a shock to their little digestive tracts. Sometimes all it takes is adjusting the amounts of certain types of foods your baby is eating. Try feeding your baby more foods like prunes, pears, peaches, apricots, plums and peas. We often do not realize it but baby foods like rice, bananas, apples and carrots can make the problem worse. Be sure to balance your baby’s diet in order to prevent constipation. Adding in a couple ounces of diluted fruit juice with meals may help to aid in softening stools as well.
If your baby is having a hard time passing a bowel movement it can be helpful to aid your little one by using a little petroleum jelly on the end of a rectal thermometer and inserting this into the baby’s bottom no more than one half inch to one inch. If you leave it there for a few seconds this can stimulate the baby’s muscles that are used to push the stool out of the rectum. Always use caution when performing this method on a baby whether to take the temperature or to aid in constipation relief. Be sure to hold the thermometer in place firmly in case baby moves around and never allow the thermometer to enter further than one inch into the rectum.
Other methods to give some possible relief for babies with constipation is giving them a warm bath, laying a warm compress on baby’s stomach, giving some infant gas drops, or even using a glycerin suppository. If your baby has been constipated for longer than 3-4 days, shows extreme discomfort, has blood in his stool more than once or that is of a significant amount, be sure to contact your pediatrician right away. Before using any type of suppository or baby laxative you should always contact a medical professional.
Unfortunately, constipation can occur in infants and toddlers, but hopefully with these helpful hints you will be able to get your baby back on track quickly with as little discomfort as possible.
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