Constipation is a very common problem experienced by almost everyone. This problem could be a onetime occurrence or a chronic condition. In adults, constipation usually means difficulty in passing stools or the absence of daily bowel movements. However, constipation in infants is a bit different than that.
Every infant is different and therefore their movements of bowel are bound to vary too. Some kids may pass stool several times a day, whereas others may have a bowel movement only once in three days. If your baby’s stools are soft and easy to pass, you do not have to worry about him being constipated.
Constipation in infants can be termed as a condition that causes their stools to become excessively hard and dry. Because of this, your baby may face a lot of pain and difficulty while passing stool. This in turn could cause your baby to cry and strain excessively every time they have to passing the stool.
What Causes Constipation In Infants?
There are several different factors that could cause your little one to get constipated. The problem may occur once in a while or on a long-term basis. Given below are some of the main factors that cause constipation in infants:
- Diet that lacks fiber: Newborns are normally fed a constant diet of breast milk or formula. However, several parents begin to introduce their kids to solid foods when they turn 4 or 5 months old. If the solid foods are low in fiber, your baby may suffer from constipation. You can avoid this problem by introducing solid foods like pears, peaches, plums, apricots, barley and oatmeal.
- Changes in the dietary: Breastfed babies are not likely to suffer from digestive problems like constipation. However, when you start introducing formula milk or other foods into your baby’s diet, he may have a hard time adjusting and this in turn could lead to constipation.
- Physical abnormalities: In some rare cases, babies experience constipation because of problems like obstruction in the digestive system, incorrect positioning of the rectum and tightness of the anus. Your doctor may need to conduct a physical exam to determine the exact problem in such cases.
- Food sensitivities: As long as your baby is exclusively breastfed, he/she will not suffer from any intolerance or allergies. However, if you baby is allergic to his formula, he/she may develop constipation, because of it.
It is best to detect the causes of constipation as early as possible, so that you can seek timely treatment without any delay.
Constipation In Infants Symptoms
Apart from the absence of daily bowel movements, there are several signs and symptoms that may alert you to the fact that your little one may be constipated. Given below are some of the common signs and symptoms of infant constipation:
- Straining and crying excessively while passing stool.
- Presence of a fissure near the anus.
- Bloating in the stomach.
- Soiled underwear because of soft or liquid stools.
Seek immediate medical attention in case you notice blood in your baby’s stool.
Home Remedies For Constipation In Infants
The treatment of constipation in infants may vary, depending upon its causes and severity. At first, your doctor may suggest simple home remedies:
- Papaya pulp.
- Prune juice (minute quantities).
- Additional water.
- Fresh vegetables and fruits with their skin on.
Do keep your doctor informed in case these remedies do not bring about relief.