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Constipation In Kids And Toddlers

Paediatricians advise against over-the-counter drugs for treating the same because of the potential risk of side effects of such medications. This is why mothers rely on old natural ways and home remedies for constipation in toddlers and in kids.  

Especially when it comes to the baby’s health, the first six months are crucial as the parents are clueless about the baby’s happenings. New parents also try to understand the baby’s cues, which can become challenging too. The most common query for a new mother is always related to constipation in her baby. Constipation in babies and toddlers can cause much distress if not taken care of correctly.

If you are a first-time mom and your little bundle of joy is suffering from constipation, there are a few things you need to know before you explore the home remedies to treat constipation in babies and toddlers. This article is divided into three. The first part deals with the signs of constipation in kids and babies, the second is about the reasons for constipation in breastfeeding babies and toddlers, and the last part is about home remedies to treat constipation in babies and toddlers. As a parent, you must also understand when your baby is feeling constipated.

As a parent, you must also be able to understand when your baby is feeling constipated and how to treat kids’ constipation.

What Is Constipation In Babies?

However, every baby is born differently, and there is a different normal for every baby when it comes to pooping. Usually, newborns poop after every feeding in the initial weeks after birth. Later, when the baby is around 6 weeks, babies fed breast milk are seen to poop less (sometimes even one time a week) because breast milk forms no solid waste that has to come out from the body. Whereas Formula-fed babies poop once a day or once on every alternate day usually. A baby should pass a soft stool that shows that your baby’s digestive system is standard and that the food they eat is suited to their body. The constipated stool might be difficult and even painful to draw out.

Here Are Some Signs Of Constipation In Babies:

Constipation can be uncomfortable for babies, but recognising the signs of constipation in kids can help address it effectively.

  1. If the baby hasn’t passed stool for days.
  2. Your baby is crying with pain and not being able to pass stool.
  3. Your baby refuses to eat food/solids.
  4. Your baby is trying to put pressure but is unable to pass stool.
  5. If your baby has a tight or firm tummy.
  6. If your baby has vomited because of irregular bowel movements.

Constipation In Breastfeeding Babies & Toddlers:

In the initial six months, as the babies are exclusively breastfed, the chances of irregular bowel movements are high. Doctors say it’s normal for a baby in the first six months without passing any stool for 5-7 days. In such cases, don’t panic and don’t start considering that your baby is constipated. Because the babies during the initial months are mostly sleeping (which is good for their physical and mental growth), which means there’s not much body movement or exercise. So, to increase the baby’s bowel movement, gently move your baby’s legs just like cycling and do a baby’s body massage. This automatically helps the baby to pass the stool.

Reasons For Constipation In Breastfeeding Babies:

Constipation in breastfeeding babies can sometimes occur, but understanding the reasons behind it can help parents navigate this common issue with ease. Here are some common reasons.

  • Due to insufficient milk supply to the baby.
  • Due to an insufficient amount of water in the baby through breastfeeding.
  • If the baby is already suffering from a cold and cough that decreases the water content level (dehydration) further causing constipation.
  • When babies start transitioning to solid foods, there is a high probability that their bodies might take some time to adapt to the changing food habits. This is one of the main reasons for constipation in babies. 
  • Insufficient water, formula milk or breast milk intake can cause dehydration in babies. This can lead to constipation.  
  • If your baby takes more refined cereals or processed foods and doesn’t consume much fibre in its diet, it could be a reason for the baby’s constipation. 
  •  It is very important for you to pay categorical attention to the physical activity that your baby indulges in. Tummy time and playtime are super important to stimulate gut health for good. 
  • If your baby is formula-fed, or if you have recently switched some food products in your child’s diet, there is a possibility that it is not resonating with your child’s system. If this is the reason for which your baby is constipated, it is advisable for you to check with your paediatrician. 

Constipation is not just restricted in infants but also past six months.

Reasons For Constipation In Babies (Above 6 Months Of Age):

Here are some reasons for constipation in children above 6 months of age.: 

  • When the baby is introduced to semi-solids/solids and food.
  • Recently some specific food to the baby.
  • If the baby is suffering from a cold, cough, and teething that leads to dehydration further causing constipation
  • Cow’s milk and cheese can cause constipation in toddlers.
  • Even foods like bananas, carrots, and rice cause constipation in Toddlers.

Note: Cow’s Milk should be introduced to babies above 1 year of age only.

Many times babies get constipated when introduced to food or some babies also get loose motions caused by this.

Most of the time, Constipation in babies and toddlers can be managed by some simple home remedies for constipation in kidsAnd the bright side of it is that these baby constipation home remedies have no reverse effect on your little one. Below are some tried and tested home remedies for treating constipation in babies and toddlers.

1. Asafoetida (Hing): 

One of the most accessible children’s constipation remedies is to apply hing (Asafoetida) water around the baby’s navel.

  • Take a pinch of Asafoetida.
  • Mix it in a bit of water till it’s smooth.
  • Slowly rub/apply around the baby’s navel.
  • Try not to apply in the navel.

Preferred age: After 40 days of the baby’s birth.

2. Massage:

Massaging your baby’s tummy is important.
Use a massaging oil that you use and make clockwise circular movements around your baby’s navel and also on the entire tummy slowly and normally.

  • Lightly press the baby’s tummy area to allow or help bowel movement.

Preferred age: As long as the umbilical cord of the baby doesn’t fall off naturally by itself, nothing including water should be touched around that part of the baby. To keep it safe, introduce massage only after 40 days of the baby’s birth.

3. Seedless Dates With Milk:
  • Take 2-3 seedless dates in a glass of milk.
  • Boil it on a slow flame for a few minutes.
  • Once it comes down to a lukewarm temperature, give it to your baby before bedtime. It does wonders and helps the child’s bowel movement overnight. Should be given in a week just once or twice.

Note: As dates are warm in nature so avoid giving this kid constipation remedy in hot weather (on a regular basis)

Preferred Age: Best suited for babies over one year of age.

4.Tomato Juice:

Tomato juice is another helpful remedy for constipation in kids. Add tomato juice to your child’s daily diet to increase bowel movement. One of the best home remedies for infant constipation.

Preferred Age: For babies over 6 months of age



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