There are no specific charts or figures for the normal passing stools pattern in infants, as the frequency of baby bowel movements varies from one day to another, just like grown-ups.
So if you’re worried about your child being constipated, we advise you to observe him closely in search for the following signs:
- Crying, irritation or sensation of pain and discomfort before pooping.
- Difficulty passing stools that are often dry and hard.
- Passing stools less than 3 times a week.
- Lack of appetite.
- Abdominal rigidity.
Once sure of your child’s condition, try to identify the causes or factors lying behind it and which can range between:
Dehydration: Baby could get dehydrated for two reasons, either because he’s not having enough milk due to teething or because he has cold, oral thrush or ear infection, or because he’s not getting enough water or milk along with solid foods.
Solid Foods: A child can get constipated while transitioning from the period of exclusive breastfeeding to the period of weaning or continued breastfeeding with the right quality of solid foods. Not to mention that introducing baby to new foods that don’t have enough fibers to ease his stools, can make constipation worse.
Switching to cow milk: Baby’s transition from breast milk to cow milk may affect his bowel movements and turn the texture of his stools from soft to rock hard and dry poop;
Some types of medications: Some types of medications usually prescribed by pediatricians to treat specific health conditions, can affect baby’s bowel movements leading to constipation.
From the causes move to the treatment phase with the following simple instructions:
- Move your baby’s legs back and forth as if he’s riding a bicycle, in a serious attempt to facilitate easy stool passage through the intestine.
- If you started your baby on solids, make sure his daily meals are high in fibers, like apple puree, apricots, berries, grapes, pears, plums, strawberries, vegetables and legumes. At the same time, don’t forget to offer your child the right amount of water he’s allowed to take at this stage.
- Massage your baby’s belly in a circular clockwise motion, using some baby oil. If you feel he’s not at ease, stop the rubbing immediately.
- Bath your baby with lukewarm water. Then put some petroleum jelly on his bottom to alleviate his discomfort and prevent him from soreness.
If your child remained constipated or his condition got worse despite all these interventions, then you will have to consult the pediatrician who may prescribe him a laxative or a light medicine to help him out. But above all, don’t let constipation concern you, because it’s a very common and natural condition among children and may hit your bundle of joy quite often.
Read More: Getting Started On Weaning Foods!
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