Infant Constipation And What To Do About It

Infant constipation can be very scary. It is bad enough when why as adults are constipated. Anyone who has suffered with constipation or who has been chronically constipated knows how painful it can be, how agonizing it is to feel bloated, uncomfortable it can be and how uneasy it make you to not know how long it will last.

When you infant or small child becomes constipated it is a terrible feeling. You don't know how much pain they are in nor do you know if the constipation is being caused by something simple and harmless or for a medical reason that could lead to something much more dangerous. This article will address several issues having to do with infant constipation. We will be going over causes of constipation in small children, both common and uncommon. Some simple home remedies for infant constipation, as well as, over the counter medications that could help relieve your child's discomfort. How to avoid infant constipation and keep your child from suffering from this extremely uncomfortable problem. What to do if your child is constipated for a prolonged period of time. And finally when you should think about seeking medical attention.

infant constipationIn order for you to make a decision as to how to deal with your your infant's constipation, you should know what could be causing it. Being constipated doesn't necessarily mean that your child isn't producing any bowel movements at all, it simple means that their stool is abnormally hard and infrequent. So the first question you should ask yourself is if your child is indeed constipated. Infants that are being breast fed will often have infrequent bowel movements, this isn't because of constipation but due to the fact the breast milk is almost entirely absorbed by the baby's body and therefore there is very little left to expel. One of the most common reasons for infant constipation is that for one reason or other fecal matter is not being passed through the colon quickly enough. Feces must be moist in order to properly pass through the intestinal track. When the feces reaches the child's colon the moisture is reabsorbed into the body. The longer the fecal matter spends in the colon, the dryer it gets. If the feces is not passing through the colon fast enough it can cause constipation.

If you are sure that your child is suffering from infant constipation there are several simple home constipation remedies that may help your child alleviate there discomfort. With adults curing constipation is as easy as altering your diet. Adding some foods that are high in fiber may be all that you need to begin producing health bowel movements. This is much more complicated in infants, especially infants that are still on a constant diet of either formula or breast milk. Below you will find a list of some simple home remedies for infant constipation.

  • In order to help hydrate the fecal matter, you may want to simply give your infant a baby bottle filled with water instead of milk or formula. This will help hydrate and hopefully lubricate the stool and help alleviate the constipation.

  • Try lightly coating the inside of your infants rectum with a little bit of Vaseline. This can be accomplished by using a cotton swab. The petroleum jelly will help lubricate the stool so that it can easily be passed. You not insert the cotton swab deeper then an inch or so when attempting this home remedy.

  • Another home remedy for infant constipation is to fill a baby bottle with water and add a teaspoon of Karo syrup. This is a very effective way to end infant constipation. You will be amazed at how effective this ending your child's discomfort.

  • Another great way to cure infant constipation is to mix a little bit prune juice and, or apple juice with either formula or breast milk.

  • You could also try stimulating a bowel movement by gently massaging your infants anus with moist warm wash cloth.

  • The last constipation remedy that I have to offer is to dip your infants pacifier in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. This can help stimulate a healthy bowel movement.

  • All of the infant constipation remedies listed above are both simple and safe. These remedies will most often easily and quickly put an end to your child's bowel movement issues.

infant constipationIt is a good idea, if possible, to avoid constipation instead of attempting to cure it. In older children who are eating solid foods this can be quite simple. The reason is that, much like adult, the easiest way to avoid becoming constipated is by eating foods that are richer in fiber. Foods like fresh fruits and vegetables will help promote healthy and regular bowel movements. Fiber is so important in staying regular because of the fact that the body does not absorb it. This means that fiber helps to push waste through the intestines and out the colon. Unfortunately, this is of no use to infants that are still on a diet that consists solely of breast milk, formula or a combination of the two. This essentially means that it is virtually impossible to avoid constipation with younger infants. You can take solace in the fact that, especially in infants that are formula fed, constipation is very common and does not necessarily mean that your mean that your child is suffering from a more dangerous medical issue. As a parent it is almost impossible to know exactly what is causing your child's constipation.

We have already gone over some of the more common causes of infant constipation and also some simple home remedies you can try to promote a healthy bowel movement. This brings us to some medical conditions that could be causing your child's constipation that aren't as common and could be cause for concern. If you have tried to relieve your child's constipation with no success and they have been constipated to a prolonged period (several days), it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition. Below you will find a list of medical issues that are associated with causing constipation.

  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Lack or blocked anus from birth (anal stenosis)
  • Hirschsprung’s disease… this is a medical problem where a baby is born without the proper nerve cells that are used to communicate from the brain to the stomach. This disease is usually diagnosed at a very early age and can only be cured with surgery.
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Prune belly syndrome
  • Low thyroid function
  • Diabetes
  • Lead poisoning
  • Reduced or excessive body electrolyte
  • Sexual abuse

It is very important to keep in mind that just because your child is constipated for a prolonged period of time and you can't seem to be able to cure them of their ailment, it does not mean that they are suffering from and of the health issues listed above.

It may be difficult to know how long is too long... What I mean by this is it may be hard to tell the difference between your infant being constipated and dangerously constipated. This may be hard to tell depending on a number of factors. As I stated before many babies and very young children may not be constipated at all. It may just be that their bodies are absorbing all of the nutrients that are being provided for them. This is especially true for babies that are breast fed. Breast milk is the perfect food for growing babies and is made to be absorbed by their bodies in order to help them grow. Even though this is more often true with babies that are breast fed it can also hold true for infants being fed formula. You should play close attention to your child and see if they are in any kind of pain or if they feel uncomfortable. Check to see if their abdomen is swollen in any way. A great sign that your child is absorbing most of the nutrients into their bodies is not only are they gaining weight but that they are also growing in size as well.

If your infant has been constipated for what you would consider a long period of time, this can be anywhere from a few days to upwards of a week. It may be hard for you to decide when it is time to seek medical attention. I rule of thumb that I like to use when considering seeking medical attention for constipation, especially infant constipation is that you can never be too careful. If your child is constipated or you believe that you child is constipated, a trip to their doctor can't hurt. That means the worse thing that can happen is your doctor will tell you that nothing is wrong and you will be put at ease. On the other hand if something truly is wrong you will be happy that you paid the pediatrician a visit. So my advice when dealing with infant constipation is to play it safe because it is better safe then sorry. Anytime your are nervous that something may be wrong with your child you should take him or her to see their doctor. This brings us to our next topic.

Is there ever a time when you will need to take your child to the hospital because of complications having to do with infant constipation. One of the things that make diagnosing how badly an infant is constipated is a lack of communication. Just like it is easier to help avoid constipation in adults and older children by changing their diet, an option unavailable to infants who are breast or bottle feeding. You are unable to properly communicate with an infant to ask them if their tummy hurts or if it is uncomfortable for them to try and have a bowel movement. This can make figuring out exactly what is wrong with your baby very difficult. I would say that the only time that constipation would lead to a trip to the hospital would be if your child is visibly in a large amount of pain and there is no time to make a doctors appointment. This is when you would fall back on the better safe then sorry really we went over before. You never want to guess or take chances with your infants health and you are better off taking a trip to the hospital if there are no other options available to you if your baby is in pain.

You should always remember to stay calm. Keep in mind the infant constipation is very common in many babies and young children. There is no need to panic or worry just because it has been a few days since your child has had a bowel movement. The first thing that you should do is figure out if your child is actually constipated. It may be that their bodies are just absorbing all of the food you are providing especially if they are not ingesting any solid foods yet. You can try some of the home remedies for infant constipation listed above. All of these remedies are simple, safe and work incredibly well. Use your own judgment and remember that it is better safe then sorry. This holds true for any physical ailment that your infant may be suffering from, not just constipation. If you feel something wrong, take them to see a medical professional and find out if there really is and if so what the best course of action is. Above all, the best thing you can do for your child is to stay calm and keep a level head.

I hope that this article has help you get a better idea of how to handle your infant's constipation. I hope that you feel that you know a little bit more about how to deal with this health issue now then you did before you came across this site. There is something that you should keep in mind while utilizing the information you have read on this blog. We are not medical professionals and make no claim to be, if you are unsure what is physically wrong with you or your child you should seek medical attention immediately. This blog is for educational purposes only. Only your doctor can properly diagnose you or your child. Feel free to browse our many other constipation related articles.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for reassuring me in the Karo syrup factor. I used this method from advice from my grandmother. Now as a grandmother I also recommend the use of Karo.

Constipation Remedies said...

Your welcome. I am glad that you found my article helpful. It is true that sometimes the oldest methods are the best methods. This holds true even when dealing with something like constipation remedies

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Constipation Remedies

So how exactly do you know if you are constipated? The definition of constipation is having three or fewer bowel movements per week. During constipation excrement is usually very small and hard and can be difficult to produce. Often constipation can be very painful. You may feel bloated and pressure bellow your stomach.

Everyone is different some have bowel movements twice a day and some have them four times a week. If you are constipated and looking for constipation remedies you must first understand that constipation is usually a symptom. Mostly constipation is caused by poor diet and is only temporary. In this site you will find different ways to prevent and treat constipation with constipation remedies.