Constipation, for some babies, is just a natural part of growing up.
It may occur if they’ve eaten something different that doesn’t agree with them, if they’re switching between baby formulas with different ingredients, or moving up to solid food and aren’t consuming enough fluid.
In most cases, it’s easy to resolve with home remedies, if you know how.
First, How To Tell If A Baby Is Constipated
Babies should poop every day. If you notice a change in their frequency or the consistency of the poop, it could mean that they’re constipated. Look out for:
- Pooping less than four times per week.
- More solid poop.
- Small, round pellets.
- Noticeable discomfort when pooping.
- Excessive gas.
- Loss of appetite.
What Are The Reasons For Baby Constipation
Babies often become constipated due to changes in their diet. Breast milk is relatively easy to digest because this is their initial, natural food source; it needs to be easily digestible as it’s when their digestive system is at its most delicate.
However, if your baby switches to formula and later, on to more processed foods, it can take a while for their digestive system to register the change.
Constipation occurs in around 15% of babies and is a natural part of growing up.
When Should You Worry?
Constipation can be a natural part of growing up for some babies as they develop their digestive systems.
However, if you notice regular constipation, blood in their poop, weight loss, or a loss of appetite, you should take your baby to the doctor immediately for an assessment.
Quick Home Remedies For Baby Constipation
Some quick-fire solutions to cure minor constipation are:
- Have a warm bath. The sensation of bathing helps to loosen your baby’s bowel.
- Drink more fluids. If you’ve recently switched to more solid food, ensure you’re including lots of water in their diet.
- Baby cycling. Lay your baby on their back and move their legs around in a cycling motion.
- Baby massage. Massage your baby’s tummy in a clockwise, circular motion.
Orange Juice For Baby Constipation
Orange juice is one of the best cures for constipation. You should dilute this so it’s half water and half orange and give this to your baby alongside their regular meals. It shouldn’t replace their meals.
The extra fluid coupled with the high fiber content of orange juice will help to stimulate their bowel. Orange juice is also full of a flavanone called naringenin which is known to ease any discomfort caused by constipation.
Plus, your baby will love the sweet taste, so giving them orange juice shouldn’t be a problem.
Be careful to monitor their stool closely and ease off the orange juice when they start to poop normally again. Too much could have the opposite effect and cause diarrhea if you’re not careful.
Oatmeal For Baby Constipation
Oatmeal is excellent for a baby with constipation. Mixing a high-water content oatmeal allows your baby to take in lots of fluid and the single grain oat, which is a natural laxative and full of fiber.
It’s a great choice if your baby is just about to start eating more solid foods as it can act as the first step on the ladder and works as a preventative measure as well as a remedy for constipation.
Brown Sugar For Baby Constipation
Brown sugar should be given in a water solution just before a feed to soften the stool. You shouldn’t give your baby sugar by itself as it’s hard for them to swallow and can cause choking, and will also be bad for their gums when directly applied.
Instead, boil some water and let it cool completely. Add half a teaspoon of brown sugar to half a glass of the water and allow it to dissolve.
You should give this to your baby three times a day immediately before feeding until their poop softens and becomes easy to pass.
Warm Bath For Baby Constipation
A warm bath is the most natural and enjoyable solution to constipation for your baby. The warm water and motion of the water movement stimulates your baby’s bowels and makes it less painful when they poop.
You should try splashing around a little near their bum to create waves that mimic the bowel’s movement, and it encourages your baby to try and poop because it feels more natural.
This will only work for very minor constipation issues though. If you’ve tried this a couple of times and you’re still witnessing obvious discomfort, then it’s time to take more drastic action.
Chamomile Tea For Baby Constipation
Chamomile tea is an excellent laxative for babies over six months old. It shouldn’t be given to newborns or any baby younger than six months.
It’s best to give the tea to your baby warm but not hot, as the taste can be off-putting when cold. You shouldn’t give more than 15 milliliters 3 times per day to stabilize their digestion.
The tea’s gentle effects relieve any discomfort and soften the stool, but more importantly, don’t go too far the other way as they can also be an effective remedy for diarrhea and colic.
For this reason, chamomile tea can be a constant in your baby’s life after the first six months, and it should improve their digestion as they grow up and try new food groups.
Chamomile has also been known to be a boost for the baby’s immune and digestive system if taken by the mother during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Prune Juice For Baby Constipation
Prune juice is great for babies over six months of age if taken in small doses. It’s a natural source of bran which provides lots of fiber to keep your baby pooping regularly.
However, too much prune juice could irritate your baby’s intestinal tract and cause longer-term health issues, especially if given when they’re too young.
Twenty-five milliliters twice a day just before food is enough, and the treatment shouldn’t continue after your baby’s constipation is resolved.
Applesauce For Baby Constipation
Applesauce is absolutely one to AVOID when it comes to constipation. While apple juice contains fiber to help pass poop, applesauce is actually a culmination of the whole of the apple, rather than just the juice.
This means it contains a high pectin level, which binds poop and gives it more body. Because of its firming qualities, it can actually cause constipation rather than relieving it.
Avocado For Baby Constipation
Avocados contain a high amount of potassium and fiber and are great for babies over nine months old to help relieve constipation. Their taste and texture also make them the ideal baby food, and your baby will love it.
Although avocado can help to relieve constipation, you can feed a couple of spoonsful to your baby every couple of days as common practice. This can help to prevent constipation too.
Make sure you don’t feed avocado to a baby under nine months though, as the high potassium levels can cause issues with your baby’s under-developed intestinal tract.
Sugar Water For Baby Constipation
White sugar can be provided in precisely the same way as brown sugar, although it’s not quite as effective.
Adding half a teaspoon of white sugar to half a glass of cooled, boiled water will soften your baby’s poop and allow them to pass it.
It’s great to remedy constipation but isn’t a long-term solution or preventative measure as excessive sugar can cause diarrhea if it’s consumed too often.
Three times per day before food will be more than enough, and you should stop the treatment when you see results.