If it becomes chronic or if you find blood, though, call your pediatrician right away.
Here’s what you need to know to help relieve your baby’s constipation.
INCREASE LIQUID CONSUMPTION
Constipation is typically a result of a low liquid intake. Even if your baby is still exclusively breast or formula fed, it’s still possible! To help relieve these symptoms, increase the amount of liquid by two to four ounces. If your baby is at least six months old, try offering them water after feeding. If your baby is younger than six months, stick to one ounce.
Certain fruit juices, like prune, pear, or apple juice, are a natural laxative and can help relieve constipation. Because of the high sugar content in even organic juices, add water to help dilute the sugar. Start with two ounces or less, as too much juice can lead to gassiness.
INCREASE FIBER CONSUMPTION
If your baby has started solids, it’s likely their diet needs a bit of fiber. Most first foods like bananas, rice cereal, and cheese often have a binding effect on stool, which leads to constipation.
By incorporating foods like apricots, prunes, peaches, and plums, you can help regulate your baby’s bowel movements.
TRY “BICYCLE LEGS”
Movement can also help relieve infant constipation. With your baby on his or her back, gently move their legs in a circular motion, like riding a bike. This gentle movement can help relieve abdominal pressure and get things moving well again.
Babies react to formulas differently, and if your baby is formula fed this could be one way to relieve their constipation. There are an array of formulas available today, making it easier to find a possible solution than in the past. One type to try is a low-lactose version, which can also help regular bowel movements.
MASSAGE THEIR BELLY
Gently massaging your baby’s belly is another non-food option to try. With your baby on their back, massage their belly clockwise, circling the belly button. Start soft, and use your baby’s cues to determine how much pressure to use. If they begin to fuss, it’s too much.
Note: Because babies can become dehydrated very easily, avoid using mineral oil, enemas, or stimulant laxatives on your baby. Your doctor may recommend a children’s suppository and should be used under their supervision.
As a parent, you want to relieve any discomfort as soon as possible. These tips for relieving constipation for your baby can keep them feeling happy and content as they continue to grow and develop!