Constipation is not uncommon in children, and you can tell that your baby has it if they have difficulties pooping. Much as we want to look at the baby’s smiles and laughs, flailing of tiny legs and hands and hear the cooing all day, we should also look at their poop to know whether they are doing well. A healthy baby will poop often to show that they are digesting their milk and food properly, but a constipated one will usually poop less, and in most cases, it will be dry. This will basically leave you little time to work and have you trading in your maternity clothes online
SIGNS OF CONSTIPATION
The very first sign of constipation is a change in your baby’s pooping routine. If you usually have to change the nappy twice a day, you may notice that the baby is holding out for as much as a week.
You should also watch out for the consistency of the baby’s poop. This is not a very enjoyable or exciting thing to do, but it is necessary. A constipated baby’s poop will be a little more solid than usual with less fluid and even a different color. This may be the case for weaned babies as those that are exclusively breastfed rarely constipate.
CAUSES OF CONSTIPATION
Solid food is a common culprit. When you start weaning your baby, and they don’t get the same amount of fluid from the food as they received from breastmilk, they are likely to constipate. They may also get dehydrated. This will also be the case when you wean your baby on low-fiber foods such as rice cereal.
As one of the disadvantages of feeding your baby formula milk over breast milk, it may cause him to constipate. Breastmilk has a perfect balance of fats and proteins which means that the baby’s stool will almost always be smooth. Formula milk, on the other hand, may have different amounts of proteins. If you suspect that your baby’s formula is causing constipation, then switch to another brand with more balance.
REMEDIES TO RELIEVE CONSTIPATION
If your baby is constipating while being exclusively breastfed, consider switching to formula for a while - put them in a baby sling and bounce them for a while.. You could be eating something that is causing constipation in the baby. You can go back to breastfeeding when it clears.
Constipation during weaning means that the baby is fed foods with low amounts of fiber. It would help if you switched up with high-fiber foods such as broccoli, prunes, skinned apples and pears. Avoid processed cereal as much as you can.
You should also consider feeding your baby purees, especially those made from fruits and vegetables. They contain high amounts of fiber that will almost instantly relieve the baby of constipation.
The baby’s fluid intake should also be increased. Water and milk are essential and should be taken in large quantities to avoid both dehydration and constipation. Fruit juices (made at home) such as apple or pear could be suitable complements for breastmilk.
If you notice any swelling on your baby’s belly, massage them gently. It will help stimulate the bowel muscles to pass stool.
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