Becoming a new mother is a great experience that is filled with excitement and so much responsibility. Infants are delicate and require so much care and attention. One of the most challenging things about being a new mother is that you need to be keen enough to notice any changes in behavior or in the body of your little angel so as to know when she is sick. Infants are not able to express themselves so as to tell you when they are sick. The only way an infant expresses himself is by crying; however, not all the time an infant cries when he is sick. It is therefore important for you to be keen so as to know when your child is ill.
Constipation is a common problem in infants especially in the early weeks. This is because the baby starts to learn about his body and learns to control his body. During the first four weeks, a baby experiences some straining as he learns how much effort is needed to poop. Some of the symptoms of constipation in infants include; firm, dry or pebbly poop, crying while having bowel movement, reduced appetite, bleeding from the anus and abdominal pain. An infant’s stool is often soft or runny. A firm and solid poop could be a sign of constipation.
There are several factors that contribute to constipation in infants. One of the causes of constipation in infants is inadequate intake of fluids. Breast feeding baby may not require some extra fluids to help in digestion; however, when the baby starts taking solid foods his body may require more fluids to help in the digestion of food. Lack of enough fluids may cause constipation in your baby. Introduction of new food may also cause constipation in infants. The first time you feed your baby with solid food, he is most likely to experience constipation. This is because his body is not used to digesting any other thing except breast milk. When introducing new food to your baby, be slow and introduce the food bit by bit so as to allow the stomach of the baby adjust to the food.
Low fiber in the baby food could also cause constipation in your baby. Babies that are 6 months and above who have been introduced to formula food and solid food need some fiber in their diet to help in digestion of food in their stomach. Fiber in found in cereals, fruits and vegetables, ensure that you introduce some of these foods to your baby so as to provide them with the fiber they need to ease digestion of food. Medication such as pain killers, antibiotics and antacid may cause constipation in babies. Constipation in infants may not be that severe and can be solve with some home remedies. Here are some home remedies that can help solve constipation in infants.
Water is one of the readily available home remedies that can help get rid of constipation in infants. Water helps make digestion of food easy thus get rid of constipation. Offer your 6 months baby 1 oz of clean water once or twice a day to get rid of constipation.
Sugar is a common home remedy for constipation that has been used for centuries. Sugar helps to draw additional fluid into the baby’s bowels thus making the stool softer. You can add ½ teaspoon of brown in 1 oz of clean water and give it to your baby 3 times in a day before feeding the baby with formula food. If you do not have brown sugar, you can use the normal white sugar. You can also give your baby natural sugars from fruits such as fructose or sucrose.
- Corn syrup
Corn syrup contains high amount of sugar that is derived from corn starch. One of the most popular corn syrup used as a home remedy that for treating constipation in infants is Karo. Add a teaspoon of corn syrup to 4 oz of clean water and give your baby 1 oz of the solution before feeding him with formula food at least twice a day.
- Fruit juice
Fruit juice is another great home remedy for treating constipation in babies; however, this home remedy is not recommended for babies less than 2 months old. Dilute prune, pear or apple juice and give 1 oz of the dilute juice to a 2-6 months baby and 2 oz of the dilute juice for babies 6 months and above. It is important to note that too much juice in babies could cause abdominal gas, diarrhea and bloating. Give the baby the dilute juice twice in a day until the stool becomes soft.
Fruits such as apricot, plums, pear, peaches and prunes can help soften the baby’s stool. Avoid giving citrus fruits to babies under 9 months since the acid contained in these fruits can be harsh to your little angel’s tummy.
Any of the above home remedies can help treat constipation in infants. Use any of the above remedies but do not combine these remedies. Try out one of the remedies and if it works for your baby, use it to treat constipation but if one remedy does not work try the other. If none of the above home remedies work for your baby, consult a pediatrician.