Baby Constipation: Natural Remedies

Back to list 2019-10-16 16:55:30

Compared to adults, babies may go a longer time between bowel movements and it’s perfectly normal. Breast milk is highly nutritious and it may happen that a baby’s body absorbs almost all of it, leaving a few to go through the digestive tract.

Baby constipation is not common but when it appears, it might be complicated to detect it as your baby won’t be able to tell you when he/she’s having trouble pooping. For parents, this kind of situation can be confusing. If your infant seems to be in pain or you have any worries, call your doctor.

However, there’s very little basic facts you can keep in mind in order to help you understand how it affects your baby:

- Hard or pellet-like bowel movements

- Bowel movements that appear difficult to pass,

causing your baby to arch his or her back or cry

- Infrequent or less frequent bowel movements

- More than three days since the last stool

- Lack of appetite

- Firm belly

- Spitting up more than usual

Don’t forget that each baby is different, some may have a slower (but completely normal) gut and then won’t go very often. It also varies depending on his/her age and what he or she is eating. Babies are still developing and their abdominal muscles are weaker which can also explain less regular bowel movements.

A first-line treatment that may be recommended by a pediatrician is using home remedies. Indeed if a baby is constipated some easy and natural tricks may solve the problem.

1. Exercise 

Exercise for babies but also adults, speed up digestion and stimulate bowel movements. In some cases, your baby may not be walking or crawling yet, you can still help him or her to exercise in order to solve constipation.

Leg bicycles gently your baby may be helpful. While they are lying on their back move your baby’s legs just like he or she was riding a bicycle.

2. Warm Bath

A warm bath will relax your baby’s abdominal muscles and help him or her to stop straining. It may as well relieve discomfort relating to constipation.

Your pediatrician may also recommend a sitz bath for your baby. Usually, adults use it to help relieve pain in their bottom or around their private parts by sitting in warm water.

3. Dietary

Babies only breastfed won’t generally get constipated very often but it can still happen. If that’s the case, you might want to consider changing up your diet. Your baby might be sensitive to something you’re eating.

For formula-fed babies, parents may want to try a different type of formula. Always consult a pediatrician first before switching to a gentle or dairy-free formula.

If your infant is already eating solid foods, it might be wise to introduce foods that are good sources of fiber. Fruits and vegetables can also help stimulate the bowels movements.

4. Massage

Another solution to relieve your baby’s constipation is by giving him/her a gentle massage. This can soothe your baby's tummy troubles.

Different ways to massage a baby's stomach exist. These include:

- Using the fingertip to make circular motions on the stomach in a clockwise pattern.

- Walking the fingers around the navel in a clockwise pattern.

- Holding the baby's knees and feet together and gently pushing the feet toward the belly.

- Stroking from the rib cage down past the belly button with the edge of a finger.

5. Fruit Juice

After 2-4 months, a baby can start to have a small amount of fruit juice such as apple or prune juice. This juice may help treat constipation.

Doctors may recommend starting with about 2–4 ounces of fruit juice. The sugar in the juice is hard to digest. As a result, more liquid enters the intestines, which helps soften and break up the faeces.

Nevertheless, parents should always consult a pediatrician before giving fruit juice to a baby for the first time.

When to see a doctor?

We advise parents to call a pediatrician if their baby has not passed a stool for 1-2 days and there are other symptoms present

- blood in the stool

- the baby seems to be irritable

- Abdominal pain

- No improvement in the baby's constipation after taking natural steps to treat it

Home remedies are typically the first treatment prescribed by doctors. However, if these remedies do not work, the pediatrician may examine the baby and, in some rare cases, prescribe medications.

Please never give any medications to a baby unless a doctor prescribes them.

About MSH China

Founded in 2001, MSH China is a French international company specialized in high-end insurance services for corporate and individual clients. Our multicultural International department is dedicated to serve foreigners living in Asia. Leader in China, our reputation has been made from our efficient customer service and call center, a large hospital network and a cost sensitive approach. 



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