How to relieve constipation in babies
Constipation in kids is a common problem and this can be a source of concern for the parents. Constipation in kids occurs when they have a hard stool and find difficult to pass it. Most of the constipation cases can be treated at home with some home remedies. So let’s discuss in detail, types of constipation and how to treat them.
Reason for constipation in kids
Babies who exclusively take breast milk may not have bowel moment each day. This is because nutrients in breast milk get fully absorbed and hardly leave any residue. Whereas, on the other hand babies who consume formula based milk may have bowel movement every other alternate day.
The bowel movement in infants is greatly affected by the food they consume. When they start taking more of solid food in their diet it makes poop harder and difficult to pass. Very rarely, constipation in infants is caused by underling diseases like cystic fibrosis or hypothyroidism.
Signs of constipation in kids
An average toddler makes bowel movement once a day. If a bowel movement is restricted to twice or thrice a week and stool is quite hard to pass, it means he is constipated. Below are some of the symptoms of constipation in kids:
- Hard stool that is difficult to pass
- Blood in stool
- Swollen abdomen or bloating
- Less than 2 bowel movements a week
- Loss of appetite
How to treat constipation
Increase fluid intake-
- For babies more than 4 months old, add little amount of fruit juice and water in their diet. This will keep their gut healthy and well hydrated. Avoid giving banana as this can increase the constipation.
- For kids more than 12 months old add more water and liquid in their diet. Most kids need 2-4 glass of water per day.
Increase fibre intake-
- For infants 4 months and older, add little vegetable & fruits to their diet like boiled peas, plum and grated apple.
- For kids 12 months and older, add fiber to their diet like cucumber, carrot, beans and fruits etc. This will keep things moving in their gut.
Avoid junk foods-
- Avoid giving junk foods to your kids, this will certainly add to the problem. Junk food contains preservative and other chemicals that makes stool hard.
- Stop over feeding your child. This slows down the digestion process and make your child constipated
Abdominal Massage & Encourage Good Habits-
- For infants less than 12 months, try to give a gentle massage on their abdomen atleast twice a week. This makes things moving and helps them to pass the stool easily. This is very safe and not too traumatic for kids.
- Encourage good habits in your kids. Make sure they are made to sit on toilet seat for atleast 5 to 10 mins a day.
When to see a Paediatrician
- If symptoms continue for 5-7 days accompanied by blood in stool or stomach-ache, see your paediatrician.
- Never give over the counter medicine to your infant, this may have bad impact on their health.