Constipation is a common problem for young and older children and can be a horrible thing for both child and parent to go through. Constipation can be caused by a number of different things however the most common cause is when children are first introduced to solid foods. This introduction of solid food, especially to breast feed babies can take some adjusting as the babies digestive system is only use to digesting milk and has to change once solid food is introduced. Some other causes of baby constipation include over feeding of foods such as bananas, breads, pasta and cereals, a diet that is high in dairy products and also feeding the baby a diet that is low in fibre.
Recognising and treating baby constipation can be as simple as changing the babies diet however children that have severe constipation should be checked out by a doctor as there could be a more serious underlying problem that needs to be treated. Most babies will at some stage suffer from an episode of constipation, the following is a guide for parents on some treatment methods and preventative measures for babies that have or are prone to constipation.
Babies can sometimes suffer from constipation if they are dehydrated. Increasing the amount of fluids the child consumes can help with reducing or even preventing constipation. Increasing a babies fluid intake can easily be done by offering watered down juice or just plain water throughout the day.
Another constipation remedy is giving your baby some watered down prune juice in addition to any other water or juice they have. The prune juice helps to soften the babies stool which makes it easier to pass. Some babies may not want to drink prune juice even when it is watered down so it is possible to use apple juice which works but not as effectively as prune juice.
Avoiding or switching from highly processed foods can also alleviate or reduce the instances of baby constipation. Highly processed foods lack things such as fibre which is needed to produce soft easy to pass stools. Increasing your child’s intake of fresh fruit and vegetables should help to address the problem if the constipation is a result of eating too much processed food.
If your baby has severe constipation or problems with bowel movements it is recommended that you seek medical advice from a doctor. Other remedies for preventing or treating constipation such as using laxatives need to be done safely under the guidance of a doctor.