Constipation is a condition wherein the stools become so hard that the body finds it difficult to excrete it out of the body. Older children and adults are able to recognize it easily and convey their trouble to others, but infants and babies find it harder to express their discomfort and pain that is caused.
Newborn babies have their first bowel movement within a day of their birth and within couple of days the bowel movements become normal. Eventually you’ll be able to monitor their bowel movements and look out for any irregularities in them.
Though it is normal for your baby not to have fixed timings for bowel movement it is unlikely that he or she doesn’t pass faeces for 2 or 3 days at a time. If he seems to be grunting a lot, crying and struggling while trying to pass his bowels it definitely means he is constipating.
Babies tend to subconsciously hold in their bowel if it hurts them while passing it. This causes the body to absorb the moisture back in making the stools too dry for excretion.
It is said bottle fed babies are most prone to constipation because the formula will cause the bowel to be harder. Babies who have been just introduced to solid foods also experience constipation. Low fiber diet like banana, potato and cereals may cause constipation.
Constipation also means that your baby is not getting enough fluids, meaning the body is dehydrated hence resulting in dry, hard and difficult to pass stools. Breast fed babies rarely constipate. This is one amongst many advantages of breast feeding your baby. Breast milk has the perfect blend of fats and protein and can be easily digested, so the stools will almost be soft.
If your baby is suffering from constipation then it is increase the amount his fluid intake. Give him juices of apples and prune. If your baby enjoys it, then slowly massage his tummy in a circular motion. This will help him relax and ease the movement of bowel.
Also place your baby on his back and push his leg back and turn them in a cycling movement. Do not forget to give him couple of ounces of warm water regularly. Even warm bath will help your baby relax.
For preventing constipation introduce your baby to fibrous food as soon as he or she is five months old. See to it that they are more active and give them exercise that is suitable for their age. Also give your baby ample fluids in form of water and juices and consult your doctor if you are changing the brands of the formula or cereal.
If your baby is suffering from constipation very frequently, chances are it may be a sign of some underlying disorders or allergies. If he passes painful stools always then it is better to consult the pediatrician an check for any serious illness that maybe waiting to erupt.