Constipation: Explained

As a parent, you are always looking for your baby’s next smile, laugh, coo and even the not so pleasant poo! So it’s understandable that the absence of poop can be a cause for concern. However, it is important to remember that it is the consistency of your baby’s poop rather than the frequency that determines whether they actually have constipation or not.

Every baby is different, but rest assured that it is perfectly normal for babies to go up to 3 days without having a bowel movement. If you think your baby has constipation, look out for these symptoms:

  • Crying and discomfort, irritability or pain before doing a poo
  • Dry, hard, pellet-like poo that are difficult to pass
  • Fewer than three bowel movements a week
  • Foul-smelling wind and poop
  • Loss of appetite
  • A hard belly

Causes of Constipation:

  • Your baby’s little digestive system is immature and still developing. Any changes in your baby’s diet can trigger constipation as they may be sensitive to new food/formula.
  • Dehydration can cause constipation in your baby. It is very important to prepare infant formula according to manufactures instructions. Too much powder can dehydrate your baby, causing constipation.

How can I treat constipation?

  • If your baby is drinking formula, offer cooled boiled water in between feeds. However, do not to dilute the formula.
  • If your baby has started solids, you can offer well diluted fruit juice and fruit and vegetable purees. Well diluted fruit juice (1 part juice to 4-5 parts water) can be offered to babies suffering from constipation. Juices should be pasteurised, unsweetened and diluted.
  • A gentle tummy massage, warm bath or gently moving your baby’s legs in a bicycle motion can be very soothing and can help your baby pass stools more comfortably.
  • If symptoms persist it may be a good idea to talk to a health care professional, who might recommend using a specialised formula designed for dealing with constipation.

If you would like more information on formulas for the dietary management of constipation, please do contact our Careline on 1800570570.