If your baby isn’t poo-ing as often as normal and seems distressed, he may be struggling with constipation
Constipation. We’ve all been there. Not being able to go to the loo can leave you pretty uncomfortable – and the same goes for little ones. And even though it’s so hard to see your baby upset, the condition is common and can be dealt with.
So, work out the signs and how to ease your baby’s condition.
What causes constipation?
It could be down to dehydration, especially when the weather is warm. And introducing solids or new foods can cause constipation while your baby’s body learns how to manage them.
‘Babies on formula are also more likely to become constipated than breast-fed ones because formula milk is harder to digest,’ explains GP Philippa Kaye, author of Baby & Child Health: Everything You Need To Know. ‘Because of this, changing formula can cause it, too.’
What are the symptoms?
Look out for your baby not passing poo as often as he usually does – what’s normal varies from child to child.
‘Babies on formula are also more likely to become constipated than breast-fed ones because formula milk is harder to digest'
‘He may also be distressed, seem uncomfortable or strain to open his bowels, and do small, hard, pellet-like poo,’ says Philippa.
How can you treat it?
If your baby’s on solids, give him plenty of water and perhaps a small amount of diluted fruit juice. And older children need lots of fruit and veg to boost the fibre in their diet and keep them regular.
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‘If your child is younger and breast fed, he doesn’t need extra water, even in hot weather,’ says Philippa. ‘Although he may need more breast milk, which adapts to his needs – for example, if the weather is warm, your milk can become more watery to give the fluids your baby needs.’
‘However, formula-fed babies, may need some extra cooled boiled water. Don’t dilute his milk more than it advises on the instructions, but instead offer water as an extra between feeds.’
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If these don’t work, see your GP who may prescribe child-friendly laxatives.
What helps you ease your baby’s constipation? Let us know on the comments board below.