Constipation in babies
When and what to do when babies have difficulty passing stools
Constipation is a disorder characterised by a person’s difficulty or inability to have a bowel movement. During the first months of a baby’s life, both the coordination between the movements of the bowel and the relaxation of the sphincter of the anus is not very efficient or has not matured sufficiently.
In these cases, it is normal for the baby to be fussy, cry insistently, move and lift his legs, and turn red in an attempt to push the stool out. These are some of the symptoms of constipation in babies.
When can you tell that a baby is constipated?
You can tell a baby is constipated when the baby becomes fussy and restless. It moves its legs incessantly, turns red from exertion, and does nothing but cry, of course. Gas and colic are inevitable when the baby is in this state. According to specialists, during breastfeeding, babies tend to soil their nappies almost every time they eat with faeces, sometimes with small stools and sometimes with larger ones.
The frequency of bowel movements decreases as babies get older. From 2 months of age onwards, they usually have only one or two bowel movements a day. It all depends on the type of food they receive and their nature, whether the baby has allergies, etc.
Constipation in babies requires rapid intervention by parents and the paediatrician to prevent the problem from becoming a chronic nuisance or more complicated. The longer the stool remains in the baby’s colon, the drier and harder it will become, and the more difficult and painful it will be to eliminate.
6 ideas to remedy baby constipation
When the baby’s bowel movements are scarce, the first rule out the possibility that he is suckling well; if the baby does not eat, it is not that he is constipated but that he has nothing to evacuate.
In the first days of life, the baby should have at least three bowel movements a day; if he does not, it must be because he is getting little nourishment. If the baby stops passing stools within a day or two, and when they come to, the stools are hard and dry, they may have stopped passing stools because of constipation. In this case, you may paediatrician should be consulted.
To relieve constipation in babies, parents can follow a few tips:
1. They can add a little extra water to the formula in the baby’s bottle. The water will soften the stool a little and prevent it from retaining in the baby’s colon. Some paediatricians recommend lowering the bottles a little, putting 35 ml instead of 30 ml of water for each level measure of milk. If your baby’s constipation becomes persistent, it is advisable to seek medical advice.
2. There are ‘anti-constipation milk on the market that are suitable for relieving the problem.
3. Another option is bathed with lukewarm water. A benefit for the baby’s intestinal transit.
4. Massages are also very stimulating to help the baby’s bowel movements. You can bend the baby’s legs over the abdomen, making circular movements; place your hand on the baby’s tummy (at the level of the navel), and massage it more deeply and horizontally, with the palm and the base of your fingers. Massaging the baby’s back with up and down movements can also help the baby have a bowel movement.
5. Apart from special milk, warm baths, massages, and water, many parents use one of the most common remedies is a glycerine suppository applied to the baby’s anus. Be careful; inserting the thermometer’s tip does not offer any safety and risks the baby’s injury.
6. Some choose to give the baby orange juice very diluted in water.
It is always advisable to consult a paediatrician before applying one or the other case. In any case, it is good to know that constipation can stop bothering babies from the fourth month of life, when, by medical decision, they start to eat compotes, purees, and fruit and vegetable creams rich in fibre.
Foods against constipation in babies
Once complementary feeding begins, i.e. with the bottle and the introduction of purees and baby food, you can add some foods that help relieve and combat constipation. These foods are rich in fibre and make it easier for the baby to digest. It is necessary to clarify that you should always consult with your paediatrician before introducing any new food, before offering it to your baby.
– In addition to the vegetables recommended by the doctor, it is recommended to use the following in purees
- Green beans
- A drizzle of virgin olive oil
– In porridges it is recommended to use, in addition to those recommended by the doctor:
- Ripe pears
- Fruits of the forest
The following should be limited:
- Refined flours
- Fluid intake, especially water, and exercise.
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