Parent's Guide: Managing Constipation in Babies

Constipation in babies can be concerning for parents, but with few dietary adjustments, incorporating natural laxatives like prunes and plums, and using gentle massages, it's possible to manage constipation without needing stool softeners.

Shaily Aggarwal
New Update
Parent's Guide: Managing Constipation in Babies

Parent's Guide: Managing Constipation in Babies

Constipation in babies can be concerning for parents, but with the right approach, it's manageable. I am sharing my paediatrician's recommendations and my tips to ensure the baby's constipation and comfortable bowel movements.

Signs of Constipation in Babies

Recognizing the signs of constipation is crucial:

  • Infrequent bowel movements
  • Difficulty passing stool
  • Hard, dry stools
  • Straining or discomfort during bowel movements
  • Fussiness or irritability

Effective Measures to Address Constipation:

1. Diet Adjustments for Managing Baby Constipation:

  • Breastfeeding: Breastfed babies often experience less constipation due to the easily digestible nature of breast milk.
  • Formula Feeding: Some formulas might be heavy and lead to constipation in babies. Consulting your doctor for formula recommendations tailored to your baby's needs can be beneficial.
  • Introduction of High-Fiber Foods: Gradually introduce high-fiber foods like broccoli, peas, pears, and whole grains. Opt for brown rice over regular rice for added fibre content and easier digestion.
  • Prunes & Plums: Rich in fibre and contains sorbitol, acting as natural laxatives to soften stools and promote bowel movements. Either you can give their juice to your child(after diluting) or add them in shakes.
  • Limiting Low-Fiber Foods: Minimize the intake of low-fiber foods such as rice cereal, ragi and excessive dairy products.
  • Bananas and Sweets: Excessive consumption of bananas or sugary treats can worsen constipation. Maintaining a balanced intake of these foods is essential.
  • Water: Offer water between baby feeds over six months to aid digestion and soften stools.

 Ensure a diverse diet by including various fruits, vegetables, and grains. Overreliance on specific foods like wheat, and sooji, or insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables might contribute to constipation .

2. Physical Activity:

  • Tummy Time: Encourage movement to stimulate bowel activity.
  • Gentle Exercise: As age-appropriate, encourage physical movement to promote regular bowel movements.
  • Gentle Massage: A warm bath and a gentle tummy massage may aid bowel movements.

3. Recommendations from Your Pediatrician:

  • Stool Softeners or Laxatives: In severe cases or when lifestyle changes aren't enough. Your doctor can recommend stool softeners.
  • Medication Adjustments: If your baby is on medication that might cause constipation, your doctor may adjust the dosage or suggest alternatives.

 Before making significant changes to your baby's diet, especially in cases of constipation, consulting your paediatrician is crucial. They can offer personalized advice based on your baby's specific needs and health conditions. Additionally, they can recommend suitable portions and guide you on incorporating these high-fibre foods effectively while ensuring your baby receives the necessary nutrients for healthy growth and development.


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