What is baby constipation?
Constipation is a condition occurring in the digestive system of human beings and animal’s. It is indeed a sad sight of parents to watch their infant child suffering from constipation. It is characterized by the excretion of hard feces and the difficulty experienced in excreting them.
Constipation in breastfed babies and formula fed babies
When solid foods are introduced, breastfed babies may become truly constipated while formula fed babies may struggle more frequently with bouts of constipation.
Breastfed babies are rarely constipated as breast milk is almost 100% completely digested and utilized by baby’s growing body. Breast milk leaves little “leftovers” to cause constipation. Many breastfed babies do not have infrequent bowel movements however this does not mean that they are constipated.
Formula fed babies tend to battle constipation more often than their breastfed counter parts. Unlike breast milk, formula is not as easily digested nor is it as completely absorbed and used babies baby’s body.
Infant constipation remedies
Exercise to help relieve infant constipation Leg bicycling: Just keep your baby on his back and firmly hold his legs in a half bent position. Next start moving his legs in a manner, as if he/she is padding a bicycle. See that you do it gently. Maintain a steady peace, neither do it too fast, nor make it too slow.
Tummy massage: Gently massage and baby’s tummy in a clock wise direction, place your hands at baby’s navel and massage in a circular motion, moving your hand (s) out and away from the center of baby’s belly.
Warm bath: Getting things in motion is the idea behind a warm bath. So give a warm bath to your body and also give him a gentle massage while drying him.
Lubrication to anus:
Another natural remedy for constipation is take a water based lubricant and apply it to the anus of your baby. This is done in order to lubricate the passage of excretion.
Diet Remedies for infant constipation: Constipation remedies for babies differ with age
Younger than two months:
Do not deal with it yourself call up the doctor, as the child is too young to be given any outside food.
Two months and older: A diet comprising about 3 ounce of water on daily basis could help the baby. About 2 ounce of grapes juice or apple juice can also be given.
Four months and later: Infants of this age, normally have solid foods in their diet. So if such infants suffer from constipation, high fiber diet composed of food such as spinach, peas, beans, peaches could be given.
5-10 months old: For an infant of this age, you could feed properly pureed food. But make sure that there are no lumps in that food.
one year old infant: A baby this old can be fed mashed food. It is fine if there are some lumps in the food. If baby is constipated, reverse the BRAT diet. The brat diet is used for the treatment of diarrhea in infants because these food help firm up stool.
Considering the child’s age it is important to think carefully before optive for any curative measures. Remember that do not use mineral oil, enemas or any kind of laxatives that are given to adults. These can have adverse effects to yours baby’s health. The above mentioned remedies for babies would normally work.
Prof. (Dr.) Mahendra Singh Meena & Dr. Amita Saini
1. HOD & Director of NIA, Deptt. of Sharir Kriya
2. Ph.D Scholar, Deptt. of Sharir Kriya,
National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur.