Tag Archives: baby constipation

Get Your Free e-Book Today!

How To Handle Your Baby’s Constipation

Starting solid foods with your baby brings so many fun things, doesn’t it? New bibs! Cute utensils! Yummy tastes and textures!

Unfortunately, starting solids can also cause a not-so-fun side effect: constipation. We’ve mentioned before that your baby’s poop will most definitely change when he starts solids. Colorful poop, or poop that contains small bits of undigested food, is nothing to worry about.

But days and days of no poop? Or poop that’s hard and dry? That’s cause for concern. In this article, we’ll explore the signs of baby constipation, as well as ways to treat and prevent it.

Signs of Baby Constipation

So how can you know for sure if your baby’s constipated? After all, how many times your baby poops in a day changes as she grows. It’s normal for older babies to go a few days without pooping, so how often your baby poops isn’t always a great way to tell if she’s constipated or not.

Or you may notice that your baby’s grunting and getting red-faced as he tries to poop. Does that mean constipation? Not necessarily. Your baby’s poop is becoming a little more compact now that he’s eating solids, and that grunting and straining can simply be a sign that he’s adjusting.

Here are some better indicators that constipation might be a problem:

  • Hard, compact, infrequent stools. If your baby’s pooping only a few times a week, and the poop itself is hard and dry (it may look like small pebbles), then your little one may be suffering from constipation.
  • Pain during pooping. Again, some grunting and straining can be normal, but if your babies cries in pain as she poops, that might mean she’s constipated.
  • Streaks of blood in or on the poop. Sometimes, the hard, dry poop your baby passes can actually cause small tears on his anus. If you notice any blood in his diapers, it may be because he’s constipated.
  • General fussiness and refusal to eat. This isn’t the best indicator (after all, there are about a million causes of “general fussiness”, right?) But if your baby seems cranky and unwilling to eat, AND she has any of the symptoms listed above, it’s likely she’s suffering from constipation.

Treating Baby Constipation

It’s best if you consult with your baby’s doctor about how to treat constipation. This is especially important, since the constipation could be the result of an underlying medical condition, like an illness or a food allergy.

But there are some gentle, natural things you can do at home to try and ease your baby’s constipation:

  • Offer more fluid. If you’re breastfeeding, try to nurse a little more; if you’re bottle feeding, offer an extra bottle. You can also offer small amounts of water in your baby’s bottle or cup.
  • Offer diluted juice. Some fruit juices, like apple juice and prune juice, are natural laxatives. Start small — offer one or two ounces of diluted fruit juice (fruit juice mixed with water) in your baby’s bottle or cup. If that doesn’t work, gradually offer more. Be careful about offering too much, though — many pediatricians and pediatric dentists warn against offering lots of juice, since it can increase the risk of cavities./li>
  • Offer high-fiber “P” foods. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, so try working more of those into your baby’s diet. And it just so happens that some of the highest-fiber fruits and veggies start with the letter “P”: pears, peaches, plums, prunes, and peas. You can serve these to your baby alone or mixed into other foods, like cereal.
  • Take a break from constipating foods. Some foods are natural laxatives; others are natural “constipators”! And if your baby is already suffering from constipation, you certainly don’t want to feed him anything that’s going to make it worse. See the section below for a complete list of constipating foods.
  • Apply some Vaseline. You can apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to your baby’s anus; that may help keep the tissue from tearing when she poops.

*Note: Never use laxatives or other medications without consulting with your baby’s doctor first.

Preventing Baby Constipation

Perhaps the best way to “treat” constipation is to prevent it from happening in the first place 🙂 Use the tips below to help keep constipation at bay:

  • Make sure your baby’s getting enough fluids. Dehydration can cause constipation, so make sure that your baby’s getting enough breastmilk or formula. Check her diapers frequently; if she doesn’t seem to have enough wet diapers, offer more breastmilk or formula. You can also offer small amounts of water or diluted juice. See our Types and Amounts of Solid Foods By Age charts for details.
  • Offer fiber-rich foods. Fruits and veggies are great for warding off constipation (see the section above for details). Whole grain foods are full of fiber, too, so be sure to offer plenty of those.
  • Don’t offer too many constipating foods. Constipating foods include rice cereal, bananas, applesauce, cheese, yogurt, white bread, white pastas, and potatoes. Now, let’s be clear — none of those foods is bad. Rather, think of them as foods that your baby shouldn’t eat too much of, since they can help cause constipation.

Everything You Need To Know About Starting Solids – All In One e-Book!

thumbnailWhat if you could find everything you needed to know about starting your baby on solid foods – when it’s best to start solids, how to introduce solids, complications, food allergies, etc. – in one easy-reference guide? Now you can! Your Baby’s Start To Solid Foods: A Comprehensive Guide will walk you through every step of starting solids. Plus, your e-Book package includes several bonus materials, designed to maximize your success in starting solids. You’ll get a thorough guide to treating constipation, a dietitian’s advice on how to avoid 5 common solid-foods mistakes, and a weekly mean plan for your baby’s first year. Grab your e-Book today, and ensure your baby has the healthiest possible start to solid foods!

Do you have any tried-and-true tips on treating and preventing baby’s constipation? Share them below!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How To Handle Your Baby’s Constipation
Get Your Free e-Book Today!

How Your Baby May React To Starting Solids

If you’ve been following our article series so far, you know the guidelines for when and how to start solid foods with your baby.  And if you’ve put our advice into practice, your baby may now be eating small amounts of solid food.  If that’s the case — congratulations!  We’re hoping your baby loves this newfound way of eating 🙂

But some of you may be shaking your head right now and thinking to yourselves, “Love it?  He HATES it!”  Or your baby may have started showing some strange (or even alarming) physical symptoms now that she’s eating solid foods.  Is this normal?  Is it fixable?  Don’t worry — if your baby isn’t reacting well to solids, we can help you determine what to do next.

Reacting to Solids:  Love Them or Hate Them?

Obviously, every mom hopes her baby enjoys eating solid food and can’t wait to gobble up a little dish of cereal at mealtime!  It makes the introduction to solids so much easier and babies who really enjoy solids early on will typically “learn” how to eat more quickly than babies who prefer to take their time.

A word of caution, though — you may find your baby loves solids too much!  If you find him clamoring to eat cereal off a spoon but refusing to nurse or take formula, try cutting back on solids in order to encourage more nursing or formula-feeding.  You might also want to consider offering breastmilk or formula first (when he’s good and hungry), before you offer solids.  Remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastmilk or formula be your baby’s primary source of nutrition for the first year.

Of course, plenty of children don’t love solids; in fact, some hate them!  Some moms find their babies refuse solids altogether, clamping their little mouths shut at the mere sight of a spoon, or spitting out every bite of food that enters their mouths.  This makes introducing solids hard, of course.  But there are steps you can take to try and foster a love of solid foods in your little one:

  • Try different foods.
  • Encourage him to do it himself.
  • Give up (for a few weeks, that is!) and try again later.

Reacting to Solids:  The Poop May Change!

Introducing baby to solids often means big changes in her poop.  Feed her pureed carrots for dinner, and she’ll likely have a bright orange poop the next day!  And finger-foods that are rich in fiber (like raisins, or beans) may pass right through her system and look the same coming out as they did going in.

Baby’s poop may look different after starting solids; it may also stop altogether.  Constipation is a common problem after introducing solids.  After all, your baby’s only ever had breastmilk or formula; introducing new foods is bound to be hard on his little system!  You may notice that your baby’s poop becomes drier and more compact, or that he stops pooping altogether.  He may also grimace and draw his legs up when pooping, and he’ll probably seem crankier and fussier than normal. If you notice these signs of constipation, try the following to get your baby pooping normally again:

  • Offer more fiber-rich foods:  Think pureed prunes!  Peaches, apricots, pears, and beans are also good choices.
  • Avoid “binding” foods:  Avoid bananas, rice, and dairy products, as these can make constipation even worse.
  • Offer more fluids:  Offer the breast or bottle more frequently, and try to increase the ounces of fluid your baby drinks.  You could also offer a few ounces of water or diluted apple juice (although only do this if your baby is getting plenty of breastmilk or formula).

Reacting to Solids:  Watching For Allergic Reactions

Of course, poop isn’t necessarily the only thing to change when solids are introduced.  You may notice signs of an allergic reaction after introducing a new food to your baby.  Remember that as you begin introducing solids to your baby, it’s important to introduce one food at a time, and to wait at least 4 days before introducing a new food.  This way, if she develops an allergic reaction, you’ll be able to pinpoint the food that caused it.

Keep an eye out for these signs of food allergy:

  • Hives
  • Flushed skin or rash
  • Vomiting or diarrhea (call 911 if severe)
  • Swelling (call 911 if severe)
  • Difficulty breathing (call 911)
  • Loss of consciousness (call 911)

If you suspect that your baby has a food allergy, consult a healthcare provider.  He or she will be able to order the necessary blood test to determine what the exact nature of your baby’s allergy.

Everything You Need To Know About Starting Solids – All In One e-Book!

thumbnailWhat if you could find everything you needed to know about starting your baby on solid foods – when it’s best to start solids, how to introduce solids, complications, food allergies, etc. – in one easy-reference guide? Now you can! Your Baby’s Start To Solid Foods: A Comprehensive Guide will walk you through every step of starting solids. Plus, your e-Book package includes several bonus materials, designed to maximize your success in starting solids. You’ll get a thorough guide to treating constipation, a dietitian’s advice on how to avoid 5 common solid-foods mistakes, and a weekly mean plan for your baby’s first year. Grab your e-Book today, and ensure your baby has the healthiest possible start to solid foods!

How did your baby react to solids at first?  Any tips to offer?  Share them here!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments