Baby constipation remedies
The normal amount of bowel movements an infant passes varies depending on his or her age and what he or she is eating.
Infants experiencing painful bowel movements might arch their backs, tighten their buttocks or cry. Keep in mind that infants have weak abdominal muscles and often strain during bowel movements. Infant constipation is unlikely if your baby passes a soft bowel movement after a few minutes of straining.
-Offer your baby a small daily serving of water in addition to usual feedings. If water doesn't seem to help, offer your baby a daily serving of 100 percent apple, prune or pear juice in addition to usual feedings. Start with 2 to 4 ounces (about 60 to 120 milliliters), and experiment to determine whether your baby needs more or less.
-If your baby is eating solid foods, try pureed pea or prunes. Offer barley cereal instead of rice cereal.
-If your baby is struggling and it's been a few days since his or her last bowel movement, it might help to place an infant glycerin suppository into your baby's anus. Glycerin suppositories are only meant for occasional use.
-Don't treat infant constipation with corn (Karo) syrup. Dark corn syrup was once a common home remedy for infant constipation. However, today's commercially prepared dark corn syrup might not contain the type of chemical structure that draws fluid into the intestine and softens stool. This makes dark corn syrup ineffective for infant constipation.
-You might also want to apply a small amount of water-based lubricant to your baby's anus. This can help ease the passage of hard stools.
After applying the lubricant, place your baby on his or her back. Alternating one leg and then the other, gently press your baby's knees against his or her abdomen. The movement might encourage a bowel movement.
-If your baby is older than age 6 months, the doctor might prescribe osmotic laxatives — which soften stool by increasing the amount of water released within the intestines.
-Try a different brand of formula -- after checking with your doctor -- if you're bottle feeding. (Constipation should never be considered a reason to stop breastfeeding.)
-Try several small feedings offered more frequently throughout the day. By spreading out the feedings in this manner, your baby’s digestive system has a better opportunity to digest the intake of formula.
-Ask your health care provider about the use of flax oil as a relief aid for constipation. Often, a teaspoon of flax oil added to formula may help treat constipation in baby.
-Try massaging your baby’s tummy in a circular motion close to her naval. This may offer some comfort to your baby and help promote a bowel movement.
-Give your baby a warm bath. This may help her to relax enough to allow the passage of stool. You can also try placing a warm face cloth on your baby’s tummy.