Constipation In Babies: Signs, Causes, And Cures


Being a new parent gives you a beautiful feeling along with some extra frustrations that the new baby might be going through because of constipation. Ever wondered why a newborn is feeling extremely uneasy and having difficulty in pooping, it is all because of that annoying constipation that most of the babies get. A normal healthy baby poops quite a few times in a day but there is a margin where he/she might not do that in 2-3 days. But if the problem exceeds more than 3 days, the mother has to look for a quick solution as the baby might be having the problem of constipation. Poop is usually not a pleasant job to watch for but the parents must monitor it on regular basis in order to avoid any future serious problems.

It is a big sigh of relief when your baby is pooping perfectly on regular basis, it means that she is eating enough food and perfectly disposing off the rest. So, it must be totally understandable for the parents that the absence of poop for a few days can be a cause of constipation in their baby and a quick concern must be shown to get some cure as soon as possible. No parents want to see their child uneasy and frustrated for a longer time. Constipation seems a normal job but the frustration level it gives both to the mother and child is too high. Let us see what exactly is constipation and how can we find out some effective cures to treat this problem in new babies.

4. What Is Constipation In Babies?


Constipation simply refers to the compression and hardness of stool and the process in which one feels a bit difficult to pass it through. It is not at all considered as the frequency of bowl movement but the way the overall stool takes shape. The number of time stool passes varies according to the age and from little baby to another. Different babies show different consistencies of stools depending upon the severity level of the constipation problem. A newborn normally pass many stools a day that is usually soft in shape and the consistency is more yellow and grainy, especially if a baby is on breastfeed. As compare to the babies who are on breastfeed, the babies who drink formula-milk passes fewer stools that are firm and most probably dark in color.

The form and consistency of the stools changes in babies the time when they are introduced with some solid foods. The baby stools become less frequent and more formed. Some of the babies have easy bowel movement once in three days but an everyday pooping is more preferable. So it is extremely advised to all the new mothers to closely monitor their babies for any sort of constipation problems that can be easily diagnosed by looking for some obvious signs.

3. What Are The Signs Of Baby Constipation?


Baby bowel movement is not scheduled and there is no specific number of times the baby is going to pass it. The pattern of the baby bowel movement varies just like adults. Baby poop can change its texture everyday that means it can have different consistency on one day and different on the other. If you think that your baby might have constipation then you must look for some the following signs and symptoms:

  • FREQUENT CRYING: A mother should keep a close look on her child. Frequent crying can be one sign of baby having hard time and might be having constipation.
  • DISCOMFORT: Check for any sort of discomfort, pain or irritation in the abdomen or while the baby is passing stool.
  • HARD POOP: The poop that is hard to pass can be hard, dry or pellet. Hard poop is one big sign of having chronic constipation.
  • FEWER BOWELS: The bowel movement might reduce to once in three days. Keep a daily check on your baby bowel movement.
  • BAD SMELL: Foul or bad smell coming from the poop.
  • HARD BELLY: Check your babies belly just to see if it is hard enough that is just because of constipation.
  • LOSS OF APPETITE: Your baby will lose her appetite the day she is going through constipation problem. It is all because the food is deposited in the tummy and it is hard for the baby to take it out.
  • STREAKS OF BLOOD: Some streaks of blood might come along the stool which is a big sign of bad constipation in babies.
  • STRAINING FACES: Your baby might be making straining faces because of discomfort in the belly.
  • LOSS POOP: Sometimes baby pass loss poop while having constipation. Don’t misunderstand it with diarrhea. It is the liquid stool that easily passes by the hard stool from the small intestine.

2. What Causes Baby Constipation?


There are several possibilities that may cause constipation in babies. The normal digestion process of every human being involves the movement of digested food from the stomach down to the small intestines where water and nutrients are absorbed by the waste material which is then transformed into stools. A good amount of water is required by the waste material to be absorbed and form a soft stool. It is the rectum muscles and lower intestine that contract and relax which helps the stool to move along and come out easily. It is the malfunction of any of the above process that leads to severe and annoying constipation.

Constipation has become quite common among both the adults and infants. It is the hard stool that causes discomfort, pain and problem in the passage of stool, as the child holds on for a longer time. The longer one holds the stool inside, the harder it becomes and then it is way too difficult to poop or pass. And above all the longer the stool rest in the intestines, the weaker will be its muscle to function properly. The matter gets more complicated when the hard and dry stool passes through a narrow rectum which often tears the rectal wall and result in streaks of blood. This painful process may leave the poor soul extremely uneasy and might give a real tough time. Let’s see the things that generally cause constipation:

  • Dehydration is basically the extreme deficiency of water in the body. Your baby might get dehydrated because she refuses having milk, has thrush, having a bad teething phase, cold, ear infection or some sort if throat infection. This dehydration can be one major cause of constipation in babies. In case of older babies they might not be drinking enough milk or water with the solid foods which are newly introduced to them. Whatever the reason can be, your baby requires enough fluids to kill any type of dehydration and pass a normal stool. Dehydration can cause hard, dry and very painful poop to pass through.
  • Babies often face constipation when they are introduced with solid foods. Other than milk solid foods lack water content and become one major aspect to cause constipation. Their body is still learning to digest the new kind of food and the stomach takes time and sometimes malfunction ending up a constipated baby. Foods that are low in fiber and lack of fluids also cause constipation in babies.
  • A baby who is fed on formula-milk is more prone to constipation than the babies drinking breast-milk. It is all because formula milk is hard to digest because of its contents, causing the stool to be heavy, hard and also having foul smell. A breastfed baby lives quite an easy life and is lucky enough to avoid constipation due to the natural and beneficial contents of breast milk. Stool of breastfed babies are almost always fine with soft texture even if they don’t poop for few days.
  • Any abnormal medical condition or illness can also be one cause of constipation in babies. Sometimes babies face food allergies or food poisoning due to intake of something unhygienic or inappropriate, this may cause baby constipation and if not taken care of the problem can get more severe. It can also happen if the body has problem absorbing fluids causing metabolic disorder.
  • Sometimes your toddlers or babies go through a bad phase of emotions just because of the negative environment or they are just emotionally upset. This disturbance may also cause a bowel movement disorder causing chronic constipation in babies. Whenever a person is emotionally disturbed his or her intestinal function may also get upset causing either constipation or diarrhea. So keep a look at your baby for any emotional disorder.

1. How To Treat In Baby Constipation?


There are many ways to treat constipation in babies but the following are the best to cure your baby from any sort of chronic constipation:

  • Adding fiber filled foods to your baby’s diet can be one stop solution to her chronic constipation. Fiber is a miracle content that softens the stool by introducing water into it, making it easier to pass through. Recommended fiber filled foods for babies are crackers, cereals, whole-wheat breads, fiber stuffed vegetables and fruits such as peas, beans, broccoli, papaya and peaches.
  •  Carelessness in intake of fluids can also be one major cause of constipation in babies, especially the ones who are too young. The colon present in your body is basically the fluid regulator and if you don’t drink enough water or other fluids it absorbs all the water from waste material and results in dry and hard stool that is very painful to pass out. If you are eating high-fiber foods, you need to drink more water with it too because sometimes fiber causes constipation. So more fluid intake in your diet will add more fluid to the bowel, making it easier to pass.
  •  Infants with constipation need outside mommy help to ease the stool passing by using some sort of suppository. They are still going through a learning process and bowel movement especially during constipation is quite new to them. Constipated babies usually draw up their legs and grunt while passing the stool and constipation becomes quite straining for them. Introducing a glycerin suppository in the rectum can ease the passage of stool. This is available in all sorts of pharmacies without any need of prescription. These look like little rockets, you just need to insert it far inside the rectum and hold baby’s butts for few minutes or till the glycerin dissolves. It is very helpful during chronic constipations.
  • Liquid glycerin is easily available in the market that is easy to use and can treat baby constipation very well. It is well known as Babylax, you just need to insert it in baby’s rectum by dropping it carefully. This will stimulate the bowel movement and will ease the stool passage.
  • It is all about the work you do on your baby to make her feel easy. The time you will insert the glycerin suppository in baby’s rectum, you just need to wiggle to stimulate the rectum muscles and make them relaxed. This process may soften the hard stool and will ease the passage of stool.
  • laxatives can also be used to cure constipation. But it recommended using natural laxatives first.

These can be used in different ways to ease the stool passage and cure chronic constipation in little babies.

  • Adding mineral oils to baby’s food can also help to break baby’s constipation. Flax oil is not only has amazing laxative properties but it is a great source of omega 3. Flax oil carries some amazing minerals and vitamins that it carries to the intestines easing the stool passage and making the stool soft to move in intestines. It is advised to give not more than 1-2 teaspoons of flax oil to infants and toddler in order to sure constipation.
  • This is the very last option to try. If your baby or toddler is too frustrated with constipation and there is n other way around to cure the constipation, enema is the next or last solution. Enema kits are available without prescription in leading pharmacies and can be used thru the kit guidelines.

Things To Remember

  • Always be careful while dealing with your baby. Babies are extremely sensitive and a hard hand might be serious for them.
  • If you think your baby is constipated, keep a regular check for more symptoms.
  • Never give anything to your baby without any solid recommendation.
  • In case of serious circumstances always contact a pediatrician.
  • Always clean and sterilize your baby bottles and other feeding material.
  • Always try natural home remedies first and then go for some other recommended solutions.
  • Be sure to give right amount of laxatives to the child.
  • Your love and care is all what your baby needs, so never get frustrated from all this.

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