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19 Apr 2021

Is Your Baby Constipated? Helping baby to poop

Information and advice . Written by Parent Village

Adults cry for varied and confusing reasons. Such as when bambi’s mother dies, or the All Blacks loosing to England.


Babies, on the other hand, generally cry for very specific and uncomplicated reasons. I’m hungry, I’m tired, I’m uncomfortable, I want mummy, are probably the most common, and the discerning parent quickly learns to tell one cry from another.


A less obvious, although still very common, reason that baby might be crying is I’m constipated. This particular issue can strike at any time, is difficult to detect, and even more difficult to fix.


Here are our guidelines on baby constipation, and some links to a few good resources for further information and advice.


Why babies get constipated

According to plunket, the most common reason is dehydration. They suggest not enough breast milk may be one possible reason for this. If you’re worried this could be you, then we strongly recommend talking with a lactation consultant, midwife, or other specialist before taking any action, as it is so important for mothers who are breastfeeding to be able to keep it up for as long as possible.

Other reasons may include formula that has been mixed with a ratio of too much powder to water, a new brand of formula, or some dietary intolerance.

For some newborns, dietary intolerance can be particularly baffling and difficult to remedy. Babies receive small amounts of the gluten, lactose, and other proteins from the mothers diet through the breastmilk, and this can be enough to cause discomfort and poop issues, although diarrhea and abnormal poos are probably more commonplace that constipation in this instance. The important thing, however, is that baby continues to breastfeed regularly, while mummy works on the underlying dietary issue that may be at play.


Signs of constipation in baby

Most babies go red faced and sound possessed when they poop, that’s normal. Less normal is for babies to experience the following signs:

  • Hard poos: Baby’s poos should be no more than slightly formed.
  • Crying and refusing to go toilet.
  • Long periods without pooing, although up to 10days between poos is still considered normal for babies over 1month.
  • Wriggling, crying, and discomfort for no other or more obvious reason.


Home remedies, and when to seek a specialist

Medical News Today suggest a number home remedies for helping baby poo in cases of mild-moderate constipation. These include:

1. Exercise: Get babies legs moving in a bicycle motion, and hopefully this will stimulate the poo system.

2. A warm bath: it’s thought that a warm bath may soften the poo, and it will certainly help babies tummy feel more comfortable.

3. Dietary changes: It might be worth excluding dairy, gluten, soy, or some other food group that may be unsettling babies tummy. We recommend consulting a GP, paediatrician, or other specialist first.

4. Massage: Visit Medical News Today’s article for tips on how to relieve baby’s constipation through massage.

Sourced from Medical News Today


If the above interventions are not helping, seek the advise of your midwife, or other medical specialist.


For more advice on constapation in babies...

Plunket provide relevant and New Zealand specific information on constapation in babies and children.

Medical News Toady have a comprehensive of list of home remedies, if your game enough to give them a go.