Diet Tips For Treating Constipation In Infants
Indication of constipation in infants: If your baby has not passed a stool for more than three days, it can be referred to as constipation. Constipation also refers to the infrequent passing of stools which are dry and hard as pebbles. This can be painful, and in some cases the baby anticipates the pain and tries to hold back the motion, thus making it more difficult and chronic.
Another indication could be that the stomach becomes hard or inflamed. It may also become bloated because of gas. Constipation in Infants needs to be treated as soon as possible.
Causes Of Constipation In Infants And Diet Tips
Cause of constipation in infants: It is not unusual for infants to have constipation.
- It can be caused either by intake of excess cow’s milk. Formula fed babies are also more prone to constipation. Mother’s milk is easily digested by a baby and produces soft stools, even though they may sometimes be infrequent.
- Sometimes, switching over to solid food may also lead to constipation, since the baby’s digestive system is adjusting to a new food type.
- The teething process too, sometimes affects the digestive system leading to constipation.
- A decreased intake of water or fluids may be another cause of constipation.
- Very little physical activity in a baby may also cause constipation.
Diet Tips to treat constipation: Introducing a few changes in your baby’s diet will be useful in controlling the constipation. But before you do that, always consult a medical specialist to rule out any other serious cause for the constipation.
Include intake of fiber: Add fiber to your baby’s diet. This will increase the mass of the stool and make it softer, so that there is no difficulty in passing it. Include fruits and vegetables in the daily diet of your infant. Vegetables such as beans, peas, tomatoes, spinach and turnip greens are rich in fiber. In fruits, you could include peaches, nectarines, prunes, apricots, pears and plums. The fruits and vegetables can be either made into a juice or soup or blended and strained. Prune juice is considered especially beneficial in softening stools and making them easier to pass. Oatmeal and barley are also fiber-rich cereals.
Avoid foods which cause problem: Keep a close watch on your baby’s meals and indentify and avoid the foods, which seem to cause constipation. This could include baby foods or bananas, rice, applesauce or toast.
Include intake of fluids: If stools are hard and dry, more fluid in the diet would make them softer. Encourage your baby to drink more water. You can also give your baby fruit juices and soups, to supplement the intake of milk. Prune juice and apple juice are especially effective.
Other than a change in diet, you could also gently massage your infant’s belly in a slow circular motion. You could also try the ‘Bicycle Movement’. Put your baby on his/her back and move the legs in a slow cycling motion. The massage and exercise relax the muscles of the stomach and encourages movement of the intestines.