When it comes to children, there is no one size fits all. Diet, physical activity, and general state of health are all factors of a baby’s well-being. Constipation in babies may be hard to assess because they are unable to communicate what is wrong.
Parents should be aware of the following signs of constipation:
- A change in frequency of bowel movements; decreased diaper changes
- Irritability and crying while passing a stool
- Straining or pushing more than usual; fussiness and gas
- The presence of hard, clay-like stools
- Hardened belly
Once you have determined that your child is constipated, it is time to ascertain the root cause. First, assess your baby’s physical and dietary routine .
How much water is your baby drinking? Dehydration can cause newborn constipation and can be addressed by increasing daily water intake.A change in diet can also cause constipation.
Have you recently done any of the following:
- Changed from breastmilk to formula
- Switched formula types
- Changed mother’s diet if she is breastfeeding
- Introduced solid foods
For the first six months and unless directed otherwise by a physician, newborn infants must only consume breast milk or bottle formula . Before introducing any juices, check with your pediatrician.
Certain methods of getting rid of constipation have been proven no longer appropriate for babies.
For instance, although used for adult constipation, treating babies with mineral oil can easily result in an overdose and cause serious health consequences.
Check with your doctor before giving your baby corn syrup as well. Dark corn syrup lacks the chemical structure to correct constipation.
Home Remedies For Baby Constipation
Baby Constipation Home Remedies Tip #10 – Water
Give babies warm water at regular intervals in order to improve digestion and aid the digestive tract in functioning smoothly.
Home Remedies For Baby Constipation Tip #9 – Warm Baths
Infants love warm baths. One way of relieving newborn constipation is a giving your baby a warm bath using a sitz bathtub, (a small tub where only the hips and buttocks are immersed). Mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of baking soda in your baby’s bath.
Baby Constipation Home Remedies Tip #8 – Massages
After a bath, massage your baby’s lower abdomen using your fingertips in small circular movements around the navel area. Gently palpate and massage the hardened parts of the stomach. Be mindful of your baby’s comfort level as pressing too hard or vigorously may cause pain .
Home Remedies For Baby Constipation Tip #7 – Exercises
The importance of physical activity starts at birth. It is critical for muscle development and helps prevent constipation.
If babies are unable to lift their heads on their own, lay them on a flat surface covered by a blanket or towel. Slowly exercise their legs in a pedaling motion. Do these exercises regularly for several minutes at a time.
If babies have developed the muscles to hold up their heads on their own, lay them on their stomach. Slowly mimic a thigh lift. Support the leg around the knee and ankle, and gently lift the thigh. Alternate between each leg. Do this four to five times.
If babies are crawling, let them take a few rounds to promote bowel mobility.
Baby Constipation Home Remedies Tip #6 – Fruit Juices
For babies six months and older, introducing fruit juice to their diet can remedy constipation. Pear, apple, orange, and prune juices are effective in addressing these symptoms.
Use an ounce of juice for every month of life after the sixth month for a maximum of 6 ounces in a day. You can add fruit juice to milk formula if your baby refuses to drink fruit juices. Always be aware of the sugar content.
Home Remedies For Baby Constipation Tip #5 – Fruits
Certain fruits act as natural laxatives. These effective constipation remedies can address the symptoms and concurrently nourish your child.
Soak papaya, skinless apples, peaches, apricots, raisins or prunes in water. Leave them overnight. Puree until smooth.
Baby Constipation Home Remedies Tip #4 – Bran Flakes
Once your child is older, include bran flakes in your baby’s soft foods to remedy constipation.
Home Remedies For Baby Constipation Tip #3 – Vegetables Rich in Fiber
For babies who are already on a soft diet, include high-fiber foods like brown rice, whole grains, broccoli, peas, beans, and lentils. Avoid carrots, bananas, and rice cereals .
If you are breastfeeding, enrich your own diet with high-fiber foods including dark greens to treat your baby’s constipation. However, be aware that beans and lentils may also increase the occurrence of gas.
Baby Constipation Home Remedies Tip #2 – Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds promote bowel movement and strengthen the digestive tract for regular bowel movements.
- Crush a teaspoon of fennel seeds.
- Boil in water for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Strain, and cool.
- Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of fennel solution to your child’s milk several times a day.
If you are a nursing mother, drink fennel seed tea two to three times a day.
Home Remedies For Baby Constipation Tip #1 – Coconut Oil
Another natural laxative is coconut oil. First, check for any allergic reaction by dabbing a spot of coconut oil on your baby’s inner elbow. Then, add a fourth of a teaspoon of organic virgin coconut oil to pureed food. This may do the trick and alleviate your baby’s constipation.
If these natural remedies fail to relieve the symptoms or chronic constipation ensues, it is time for a medical consultation.
It is rare for a metabolic disorder such as hypothyroidism, botulism, and certain food allergies to be the cause of constipation, but it does happen.
Suffering from constipation can cause more than discomfort. You do not want to risk your baby developing an anal fissure. A constipated baby is distressing. Physical and dietary solutions go hand-in-hand in treating your baby’s constipation.
Home Remedies For Baby Constipation Reference: Mayo Clinic, Infant and Toddler Health; What are the signs of infant constipation? And what’s the best way to treat it? Jay L. Hoecker, M.D., February 08, 2017.
 American Academy of Pediatrics; Infant Food and Feeding.
 International Journal of Nursing Studies Volume 46, Issue 6; Effects of abdominal massage in management of constipation, Kristina Lämåsa, Lars Lindholmb, Hans Stenlundb, Birgitta Engströma, and Catrine Jacobsson, June 2009.
 Healthy Children; Constipation in Children, February 2017.