Constipation: symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babies

Constipation: symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babies

By : Baby Destination Editor
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Being unable to pass stool and experiencing pain while passing stool that is hard as a stone is termed as constipation. Constipation is a very common problem in babies but they suffer more than adults as they are unable to voice their pain, except for crying. It takes mothers a while to decipher that the baby is suffering from constipation.

When my daughter used to get constipated, she would cry for hours and it was very difficult to calm her. As a new mother, I used to get really scared and I would frantically check each and everything – the diaper, her body for rashes, and clothes if they are tight. I would try feeding her as I thought she might be hungry. I could not bear to see her in pain.

It was only after my mother-in-law guided me that she has constipation. She massaged her tummy and applied ghee on her anus. Once she was calm, I heaved a sigh of relief. My mother-in-law also told me a few things about constipation in babies.

Till the first six months of age, when babies are breastfed exclusively, they may not pass stool every day and this is completely normal. Babies who are formula fed may pass stool 2-3 times a day. Once you start giving solids to your baby, constipation becomes a common occurrence.

How do you know if your baby is constipated? Let’s take a look at the symptoms of constipation in babies.

Read More: Baby Skin Color | 10 Effective tips for a healthy skin (and surprising facts)

Symptoms of Constipation in Babies

  • Baby is straining to pass stool
  • Baby is in extreme pain and crying while passing stool
  • Stool is hard as a stone and extremely dry
  • Baby is unwilling to pass stool in spite of having the urge to evacuate the bowels
  • Hard and firm belly of baby
  • Refusal to eat food
  • No bowel movement for days in a row
  • Vomiting along with Hard stools
  • Tightening of buttocks

 

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: youtube

Also Read: 7 Best (& Proven) Home Remedies to Treat Low Iron in Kids

What are the Reasons of  Constipation in Babies?

From my experiences, I have learnt that babies can suffer from constipation due to the following reasons:

#1. The Feed

Babies who are exclusively breastfed are less likely to suffer from constipation. This is because breast milk contains the perfect balance of proteins and fats and so the baby passes soft stools, even if he/she doesn’t do it every day. Babies who are on formula, are more likely to be constipated. Different formula powders have different quantity of proteins and so the formula powder can also make your baby to pass a hard stool. Contrary to popular belief, the iron present in formula powders does not lead to constipation.

#2. Introduction of Solids

Introduction of solid foods can also cause constipation in babies. Making your baby eat less fiber and foods such as apple, banana, carrots, and rice can also cause constipation. When you introduce solids to your baby, you reduce the quantity of breastmilk or might even wean off your baby and this can lead to dehydration, which is also a common cause of constipation.

#3. Water Intake

Consuming less water and liquids makes the stool hard. If your baby’s body has less water, all the water from the food will be absorbed by his/her body resulting in dry and hard stools.

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#4. Illness

Babies suffering from cold, cough, and teething issues can also suffer from constipation as the water level in the body gets reduced considerably during this time. Also, constipation can also be caused due to a rare condition called Hirschsprung’s disease, which is a birth defect and the baby’s gut doesn’t function properly in this condition.

Home Remedies To Treat The Constipation in Babies

A mother can’t see her baby in pain. So, as soon as you’re sure that your baby is constipated, you can try these home remedies to relieve your baby’s constipation problem, some of which I have tried for my child as well:

#1. Stomach Massage

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: blossomandberry

Gently massage the baby’s abdomen with coconut oil or ghee in circular movements. Regular massage can help to facilitate bowel movement in the baby. You can also lay your baby on his back and move his legs in a cycling motion. This helps to loosen the intestines and aids in passing stool.

Recommended age: Can be done from birth.

#2. Sitz Bath

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: Telegraph

Giving a sitz bath to your constipated baby can be extremely relaxing. A sitz bath helps to cleanse and relax the rectum. Just take a small tub and fill it with lukewarm water. Make your baby place his bottom in the tub while holding him from his upper body and let him sit for 15-20 minutes. The warmth of the water helps to relax the baby and aids in bowel movement.

Recommended age: Can be done once the umbilical stump falls off and you have started bathing the baby.

Also Read: 13 Benefits of Figaro olive oil for baby

#3. Lubricate the Baby’s Anus

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: medicalanomalies

Put some coconut oil/ghee on your baby’s anus. Oiling the anus helps the child to have a bowel movement. You can do this every time you change the diaper.

Recommended age: Can be done from birth.

#4. Prune Juice

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: healthline

Prune juice is a natural laxative and helps to relieve constipation in babies. The sweet taste of prune juice is instantly liked by babies and can be given to the baby after 6 months of age. This juice might take upto a few hours to show results but if it has already been a few days since your baby has been constipated, it might not be very useful.

Recommended age: 6+ Months

Note: Dilute the prune juice with water for your 6-month-old baby.

#5. Water Intake

Image Source: bodybuilding

If your baby is on breastfeed then you should drink lots of liquids and water so that the baby gets enough water. Once your baby turns 6 months old, you must give enough water to your baby. You can give water in a milk bottle with a spoon and later, the child can drink water from a sippy cup.

Once the baby is 6 months old, you can give 20-30 ml of water during a day. After 1 year of age, your baby needs at least 1 liter of water in a day. (As recommended by Institute of Medicine’s Dietary Reference Intakes for Electrolytes and Water)

Recommended age: 6+ Months

You may also like to read: 5 Best soaps for babies (Gentle and Harmless)

#6. Apple Juice

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: food onehowto

Although apples and applesauce are known to cause constipation; however, apple juice has the reverse effect. A small amount of apple juice can help to relieve your baby’s constipation. Apple juice can be made a part of your child’s diet after 6 months of age.

Recommended age: 6+ Months

#7. Honey Water

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: goodmorningcenter

Honey with lukewarm water works wonders to relieve constipation after your baby is one year old. My friend told me about this remedy when my daughter was constipated. Just one teaspoon of honey with lukewarm water every night before bedtime can do the trick!

Note: Honey is not recommended for babies below 1 year of age.

 

#8. Fennel Seeds

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: theflamingvegan

Fennel water is highly effective in curing constipation after 6 months of age. Just boil 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds with 1 cup of water, let it cool down. You can give 3-4 teaspoons of fennel water to your baby thrice a day to treat the constipation.

Recommended age: 6+ months

#9. Tomato Juice

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: express

Tomatoes are very helpful in relieving baby constipation. You can give tomato juice to your baby after 6 months of age. Just cut a small tomato into small pieces and boil with a cup of water. Strain the concoction and give 3-4 spoons of this juice to the baby once a day.

Recommended age: 6+ months

 

#10. Orange Juice

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: organic facts

When you’re trying to increase your child’s fluid intake, he/she might not want to drink plain water each time. Diluted orange juice can be given to the baby after 6 months of age to help facilitate bowel movement.

Recommended age: 6+ months

#11. Papaya

symptoms, reasons and home remedies to cure constipation in babiesImage Source: ndtv food

Papaya is extremely beneficial for the digestive system and acts as a natural laxative. It contains natural dietary fiber which helps to regulate bowel movements in babies.

Recommended age: 8+ months

Note: Always check with your pediatrician before using any of these remedies. Also, if your child doesn’t benefit from the above remedies or in case, the constipation becomes chronic; consult the pediatrician immediately.

You can also read : Benefits of dry fruits for Kids in winters (10 Recipes included)

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