Constipation in infants takes place when their stool turns out to be hard, dry and problematic for the infant to pass. This normally takes place after the baby starts consuming solid foods (at about five to six months of age). Stools that are rare are not essentially a cause for concern as long they are soft and the baby faces no pain during passing the stool. There are steps that you can take to help avoid infant constipation by altering the baby’s diet and daily eating regimen.
Feed your baby a fiber-rich diet
There are some types of solid food that are more expected to fuel constipation, like carrots, bananas and rice cereal. Other foods can help prevent infant constipation, including pears, prunes, oatmeal, and barley cereal.
Have a discussion with your doctor about when the best time to present solids is and the type of solids your baby should eat. Most doctors vouch for waiting till about six months before giving solids.
Keep the baby active
Low activity levels can lead to constipation. Babies sometimes need help if you think they are not getting enough exercise.
Move the baby’s legs yourself
Hold the baby’s lower feet and gradually move the baby’s legs in a bicycling action if the toddler is not yet crawling. Carrying the infant’s legs up and down can aid in making the intestines work effectively.
Play with your infant using toys that roll or move
These can buoy up the baby to roll over or crawl more often, mounting the baby’s activity level. Your presence on the floor is another means to help the baby in moving around more, following you.
Massage the baby’s stomach after eating
A mild belly massage can help lessen constipation. Put your hand through the baby’s stomach, three finger widths below the navel. Rub on mild pressure.
Keep the baby adequately hydrated and at a comfortable temperature
Dehydration can lead to or worsen constipation. Give a bottle or the breast regularly to retain the baby’s fluid consumption, particularly during warm weather.
Provide the baby with water or juice if the baby is older than four months
Fruit juices propel liquid to the intestines and can help reduce stool. Start with 2 to 4 oz. of water, prune, pear juice or apple once or two times a day. Talk to your doctor about how much juice or water is okay for your baby.
Image courtesy of: babycenter.com.