Constipation refers to hard dry stools that are difficult to pass. It’s not the number of bowel movements each day that determine whether a baby is constipated. Occasionally, passing hard stools can cause small streaks of red blood on the stool. While not uncommon, any blood in the stool should be discussed with your doctor.
Breast fed babies more than formula babies commonly have infrequent bowel movements. By three months when a baby has a bowel movement every other day or after several days it is not constipation if the stool is still soft. It is not necessary that the baby has a bowel movement everyday.
Constipation sometimes starts when the older baby is being weaned from breast milk t solid foods. Since the digestive system had an easy time with the breast milk it is not aware of what needs to be done with the solid food. The baby tends to exert pressure while trying to force the stools and leads to discomfort.
How Can You Help Your Baby?
Constipated babies must be given water to drink. Though the initial periods there is no need for it as your breast milk already consists of the water that the baby needs for the day, if she is constipated go ahead and offer her some. Add a few granules of sugar to the water. You can also offer apple juice or grape juice. Work up to apple stews gradually.
To stimulate your child’s bowel movements exercise the child as if she were cycling. Then fold her feet towards the chest. This helps to eliminate any gas in the stomach as well.
Usually constipation is a temporary problem; however if it lasts for a few days or happens often please call your doctor as your baby may need a check up and prescription medication.