Constipation is a condition occurring in the digestive system of human beings and animals. This condition is characterized by the excretion of hard feces and the difficulty experienced in excreting them. The cause of constipation is excessive amount of water absorbed from the food. Slow movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract results in the colon absorbing excessive water from food. This condition is painful for adults, so one can just imagine the pain it must be causing to an infant. In infants, it is caused due to:
- Introduction of solid baby foods in the baby's diet. The infant's digestive system is used to breastfeeding and would take some time to digest solid foods.
- Consuming dairy products in excessive quantities.
- Introducing foods such as bananas, white potatoes, breads, etc., in their diet.
Home Remedies for Infant Constipation
One can help their infant get rid of this problem with the aid of some simple and regular exercises.
Just keep your baby on his/her back and firmly hold his/her legs in a half bent position. Next, start moving his legs in a manner, as if he/she is paddling a bicycle. See that you do it gently. Maintain a steady pace, neither do it too fast, nor make it too slow.
A gentle massage to the baby's stomach is a good exercise. This is because it eases the tension out of your baby's stomach. Place your baby on his/her back and gently massage his tummy in a clockwise direction. Massaging also contributes to the proper growth of your baby, so it is advisable to give him/her a gentle massage regularly.
'Getting things in motion' is the idea behind a warm bath. So, give a warm bath to your baby and also give a gentle massage while drying him/her.
Lubrication to Anus
Another natural remedy is to take a water-based lubricant and apply it to the anus of your baby. This is done in order to lubricate the passage of excretion.
Diet Remedies for Infant Constipation
Constipation remedies for babies differ with age.
- Younger than 2 months - Do not deal with it yourself, call up the doctor, as the child is too young to be given any outside food.
- 2 months and older - A diet comprising about 3 ounces of water on a daily basis could help the baby. About 2 ounces of grape juice or apple juice can also be given.
- 4 months and older - Infants of this age, normally have solid foods in their diet. So if such infants experience this problem, a high-fiber diet composed of foods such as spinach, peas, beans, and peaches could be given.
- 5-10 months old - For an infant of this age, you could feed properly pureed foods. However, make sure that there are no lumps in that food.
- 1 year old infant - A baby this old, can be fed mashed food. It is fine if there are some lumps in the food.
Considering the child's age, it is important to think carefully before opting for any curative measure. Remember, that it is your infant baby experiencing the condition and not you. So, do not use mineral oil, enemas, or any kind of laxatives that are given to adults. These can have adverse effects on your baby's health. Following the aforementioned remedies, might prove beneficial. In case they do not, it is better to consult a doctor.
Disclaimer: This AptParenting article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.