Infant constipation remedies - Top tips for instant relief
Which infant constipation remedies are safe to use for a baby?
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Before giving OTC laxatives to your infant, try these simple measures as they are often enough to trigger a bowel movement.
- Give your baby extra fluid. Constipation in babies can be a sign they don’t drink enough. The bowel needs water to be able to form soft stools. An extra bottle of water may help relief infant constipation.
- Switching to another baby formula may be effective. Your baby may have problems digesting the baby formula you are using. Some mothers belief wrongly that the iron in the formula causes their baby's constipation. The small amount of iron present in normal baby formula is not enough to cause infant constipation. Changing to a low-iron version may result in anemia. Furthermore, lack of iron in developing stages may have long lasting effects because a baby needs iron for brain development.
- Your baby may have difficulty digesting a large amount of milk at the time. Feeding your baby smaller amounts with more frequent feedings gives baby a better change to digest the formula.
- Switching from breastfeeding to formula is sometimes causing constipation. Consider to continue breastfeeding for a while if switching to formula seems to be the cause of your baby’s constipation. One of the many benefits of breastfeeding is that breastfed babies nearly never get constipated. Most breast fed infants have several soft mustard colored stools a day. Mother milk is nearly completely absorbed, leaving no leftovers to cause constipation.
- Massage baby’s stomach during bath time. The massage in warm water will relax your baby and stimulate the bowel. Careful this method may give immediate relief.
- When baby lies on his back try gently moving bay’s legs as if he or she is riding a bicycle. This kind of gymnastics may be enough to rouse baby’s bowel movements.
- Often taking a rectal temperature will be enough to stimulate a baby’s bowels.
Infant constipation remedies with nonprescription laxatives like glycerine suppository and flax oil.
Consult first with your pediatrician if it is ok to use these.
When your baby is straining and grunting and obviously not able to have a bowel movement you can relief him with a glycerin suppository.
Make the suppository wet with some water, this makes it slide easier in baby’s rectum. Hold your baby’s buttocks together until the suppository is dissolved otherwise it will come out straight away without the wanted result.
The recommended dose for flax oil for infants is one teaspoon a day (mix in the formula) and for toddlers two teaspoons a day.
Flax oil has many other benefits apart from being one of the best infant constipation remedies, like improving cardiovascular health, lessen the discomfort of menopause and reduce the risk of cancer. You can order your bottle of flax oil here.
Chronic infant constipation.
The incorrect use of infant constipation remedies like suppositories and other laxatives can result in your baby’s system getting accustomed to it, in other words baby’s bowel won't move without them. This can result in chronic infant constipation. An infant or child with chronic constipation since birth may have a disease where the large intestine doesn’t function properly called Hirschsprung’s disease.
Doctors still have different opinions about giving corn syrup to infants or not. Some say it is the best remedy for infant constipation and others warn that corn syrup or Karo can cause botulism in infants under one year of age.
Although there have never been any cases of infant botulism directly linked to corn syrup, manufacturers of corn syrups can't guarantee that their products are free of these bacterial spores. Still many health care providers recommend Karo as one of the best infant constipation remedies.
Taking into account these concerns, I would recommend you try first some other remedies before giving corn syrup to your infant.
Many doctors recommend Miralax to relief constipation in young children. Miralax, an over the counter laxative is a white powder that can easily be dissolved in water or milk.
The misuse of the product by many parents, some give it to their children on a daily base for years, have raised concerns about the health effects of long term use.
The FDA has never approved that Miralax can be used for young children. Instead, the drug is only approved for adults, and for a maximum of seven days.
Infant constipation and solid foods
Delay the introduction to solid foods like rice cereals and bananas, apple sauce (not apple juice) and pasta. These can contribute to baby’s constipation.
Instead, start with pureed pears or prunes this way you are adding more fiber to baby’s diet. Fiber softens the stools by drawing water into them.
For infants older than four months, a much recommended remedy is prune juice.
Prune juice is made of steaming prunes (dried plums). The extract from the steamed prunes is called prune juice.
This juice is very high in fiber content and is popular for its laxative effect. It can be given to babies, who are above the age of four months. For younger infants consult your doctor first.
You can mix an ounce of water with an ounce of prune juice and mix this with the formula throughout the day. You do not need to add any sugar to the prune juice.
You can also try Earth's best organic prunes for if your baby is constipated. A few spoons of earth's best prunes right out of the jar or mixed with some oatmeal will help loosen your baby's stools.
Infant constipation remedies for older babies
If your baby has started eating solid foods, give plenty of fibre. The following fruits are all high in fibre.
- Pureed or chopped apples
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