Do breastfed babies get constipated?
It’s not common for a breastfed baby to have constipation, most of the time, the constipation in a breastfed baby is caused by the introduction of solid foods.
Some moms might think their babies have constipation when their babies make weird grunting noises, or pull straining faces, but this is normal.
All babies sometimes experience a bit of difficulty getting the stool along through their intestines, even if the stool is runny.
For a detailed explanation on infant stools and different color and texture stools in the breastfed infant…
So, how often should your baby have a bowel movement?
Baby might only wet one or two diapers in the first 3 to 4 days of life, this is until Mom’s milk starts coming in.
After Mom's milk comes in, Baby will start to produce quite a few dirty nappies, especially urine nappies. Newborn babies under 6 weeks old should be producing quite a few poo nappies daily. If you think your newborn might be constipated, it's best to go straight to your doctor.
Frequency of stools after six weeks change again, when breastfed babies produce very few bowel movements (sometimes only one every eight days), this is because breast milk is digested much easier than formula.
After six weeks, if your baby is still putting out a few urine nappies every day, seems happy most of the time, has soft stools when he/she does have a stool, and is gaining weight, you don’t need to worry about constipation.
Causes of infant constipation in the breastfed baby
- Changes in your baby’s diet (adding formula, other liquids or solid foods)
- Illness: Contact your pediatrician if your breastfed baby has very hard stools, and has not been eating solids.
Signs of baby constipation
- A constipated baby will have dry, hard stools.
- Constipated babies sometimes have streaks of blood in their stools.
- A baby with constipation may start vomiting.
- Baby cries when straining to have a bowel movement.
- Pain in the belly area.
- Stools seem like little pellets.
Foods that may cause constipation in a baby
- Banana and apple sauce.
- Rice cereal.
- Carrots and squash.
- Cow’s milk.
What can I do if my baby is definitely constipated?
- Breastfeed your baby more frequently, as breast milk is a natural laxative.
- If your baby is older than 4 months, you can give him/her small amounts of pear, peach, plum, peas, prunes and/or apricot.
- A well know baby constipation remedy is apple juice, it can be given twice a day to soften the stools. Juices should only be given to babies that are older than 4 months.
- You can put your baby in a bath of warm water during the times that he/she is straining to pass the stools. This will help Baby relax.
- Tummy massage can be used to help get the stool to pass easily.
- Move your baby’s legs in circular motions. This is especially helpful in constipated infants.
- If the above things do not work, you can mix ½ tsp of unprocessed bran with your baby’s food, twice per day. (for babies older than 4 months)
- Put 1 tsp of corn syrup in 2oz of water. This is an effective baby laxative, but should be used only if your baby is very constipated, and only after trying the above methods first.
- If you find that the stool is sticking out and hurting your baby, you can put some petroleum jelly (Vaseline) around and a little on the inside of the anus, to help the feces glide out easily.
- If baby has repeated episodes of constipation, you should see your pediatrician.
A Parent's Guide To Relieving Constipation In Babies
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