When it comes to feeding a breastfed baby with solid foods for the first time, utmost care should be taken. This is because the baby will take some time to get accustomed to the new food and eating habits. As a consequence, constipation in babies after starting solids is a common problem. Considering all these factors, a careful choice of baby food and planning the baby's diet are imperative for minimizing the discomforting symptoms. Careful selection of solid food items, specific for the baby's age, is a practical solution to avoid the problem of constipation.
Milk is a basic food for babies, and additional food is fed for providing iron and energy. For a baby, the ideal time to start with solid foods is when he/she is 6 months old. Nevertheless, the actual age at which complementary food can be added depends on whether the baby is breastfed or bottle-fed. In case of a breastfeeding baby, mother's milk can be supplemented with semisolid and solid food after 6 months. Whereas, for a bottle-fed baby, baby formula and stage one food are recommended for one year along with bottle milk.
As already mentioned, irregular bowel movement and/or constipation in infants after feeding them with solid foods for the first time is not unusual in the first few days. It is understandable that solid food takes more time to digest than breast milk. In some babies, the sleep may get disturbed after eating solid foods. After introducing these foods, passing stools once in two or three days is considered normal. Parents need not worry or contact the pediatrician if the stool appears soft and the baby passes it without straining. However, hard stools, straining, and constant crying during defecation are signs of constipation.
Identify Foods that Cause Constipation
Undoubtedly, feeding solid food can be the main reason behind the problem of constipation. But, this does not mean that you should not feed the baby with complementary food for long. This in turn will cause health problems, loss of weight, and delayed growth in babies. An effectual baby care tip to reduce the incidence of constipation is identifying difficult-to-digest foods and avoiding them as far as possible.
Rice-based food items are usually the first solids fed to babies. As these contain less fiber, the baby may face some difficulty while passing stools. Other food items that may cause constipation in babies are banana, egg yolk, and peanut-containing food. To facilitate smooth bowel movements, feed the baby with plenty of healthy fluids.
How to Relieve Constipation in Babies
One of the most common queries raised by new moms is how to combat the problem of constipation in babies after starting solids. All you need to do is feed the right food at the right time. The following information will definitely prove to be beneficial.
✔ 6 to 7 months old baby
This is the age when babies will experience the taste of solid food for the first time. To start with, feed semisolid food having a smooth consistency. You can ask the pediatrician about solid food for 7 month old and choose accordingly.
✔ 7 to 8 months old baby
Babies falling in this age group slowly learn to bite and chew food. For them, soft and easy-to-chew lumps of food are ideal for feeding.
✔ 9 to 12 months old baby
This is the period when babies prefer to self serve. You can select healthy finger foods and thick lumps for feeding them. Refer to solid food for 9 month old to understand better about the food options.
✔ 1 year old baby
By now, the baby's bowel habits become well-acquainted to solid food items. So, the regular family diet with lesser spices can be given.
Although stomach problems and infections are less likely to occur in a six month old baby, certain care needs to be taken while preparing, serving, and storing food items. Along with feeding liquids, a good option is to make a puree of vegetables. It serves as great source of nutrition.
Disclaimer: This AptParenting article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.