Learn how to tell if your baby is constipated and what you can do to help.
Another challenge you may be facing with your baby is constipation. At some time, almost all babies will seem to have difficulty passing stools. So weird grunting noises and strained faces are normal. But if your baby's stools are infrequent, hard pellets, dry, painful and difficult to pass, talk to your baby’s doctor. That also holds true if you see blood in the stool. Every baby's bowel movements are different so becoming familiar with what's normal for your baby is the best way to tell if he's having a problem. Don't judge whether your baby's constipated by how frequently he poops. Sometimes, babies may healthfully go several days without having a bowel movement. Fewer bowel movements does not mean that your baby is constipated as long as the stools are soft and pain free.
Here are some helpful tips to help ease constipation:
- Gently move your baby’s legs in a bicycling motion.
- Rub your baby’s tummy gently in a clock-wise motion, 3-4 times per day.
- Check to make sure your baby’s diaper is not on too tight.
For babies 6+ months of age:
- If your baby is on a variety of solid foods, offer foods that are high in fibre such as whole grain breads and cereals, fruits like apples, berries or prunes, vegetables and legumes (beans, peas, lentils). Just make sure they are at the right texture for your baby.
- Gradually add higher fibre foods to your baby’s diet.
- Offer extra fluids such as water.
- Offer small amounts (60-125 mL) (¼-1/2 cup) of 100% juice such as prune, apple or pear.
If you have any concerns, consult with your baby’s doctor.
Learn More: Canadian Paediatric Society