6 months baby food constipation
6 Baby Foods to Help Relieve Constipation
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These 6 Baby Food Purees Will Help Relieve Baby’s Constipation with no fuss from your little one. You can serve these purees when your baby is backed up or 2-3 times a week to keep things moving on the regular. Great for babies 6-12 months.How to Relieve Baby’s Constipation
When you first start introducing purees, or when you introduce a new food, to your baby it is completely normal for them to get a little bit backed up. Your baby’s delicate digestive tract needs a little time to process all the new nutrients, fiber, and probiotics that you are giving it.
This is completely normal, so you don’t have to do into panic mode.
While I love and completely trust the Constipation Cure Puree recipe below to do its’ job, let me warn you that this puree is not for the weak of heart. It will definitely get things going and while you will love me for that, you might also curse me when it’s time to change your baby’s diaper.
What all of the 6 purees below have in common, is that they all have produce that starts with the letter ‘P’ in them – prunes, peaches, peas, plums and pears. ‘P’ produce helps get things moving down there all while tasting delicious so your baby will eat them. If you want, you can also add in a pinch of fresh ginger to any of the recipes below. Ginger is great for helping aid in digestion, calming an upset stomach and easing discomfort associated with constipation.Signs of Constipation in Baby
- your baby’s stool is hard and dry
- your baby cries when going poo
- baby is unwilling to feed and is generally unhappy
- your baby’s stomach is hard when you gently press down on it
- your baby’s stool has blood in or on it
- Stop serving foods that can cause constipation (potatoes, cheese, bananas, rice cereal, pasta) and start serving purees loaded with fiber.
- Serve purees with produce starting with ‘P’ – prunes, peaches, pears, peas and plums. These P produce help relieve constipation in baby and aid in baby’s digestive tract (see recipes below).
- Start to re-introduce purees that are easy to digest, such as avocado and sweet potato purees.
- If baby is older then 9 months, you can sprinkle a small pinch of ground flaxseed into any puree or finger food.
- Make sure baby is getting enough water in during the day. Aim for 2-4 ounces in the morning and in the evening. This is in addition to the breast milk, formula or milk (for toddlers) you are already giving them.
- Give your little one a warm bath to help them relax their digestion organs.
- Start doing baby tummy exercises to get things moving. Place baby on their back and taking both legs in your hands, bend their legs towards their belly button and make a circle with their knees in a clockwise direction. You can also gently press on their tummies about 2 inches away from their belly button starting at the 9’oclock direction and moving to the 3’oclock direction. You will want to gently press down roughly 1 inch into their stomachs. Repeat both exercises around 10 times each.
This is the puree I would always turn to when my baby was constipated. It will definitely do the job, so don’t go too overboard when serving this, a little goes a long way. Just a warning;)
This is a great puree filled with fruits and veggies that will help relieve your baby’s constipation. If you want an even stronger constipation puree, you can substitute the fennel for two roughly chopped pears.
This puree is probably one of my all-time favorite purees because it just tastes so dang good and any baby will happily gobble it up. You can also substitute prunes for the dried dates, if you are so inclined.
This simple pear puree is great for mild cases of constipation. You can add in 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of fresh ginger to help ease digestion pain.
Pear Baby Puree (Stage One)
5 stars (19 ratings)
This smooth and creamy homemade Pear Baby Puree is a wonderful first puree for baby – easy on the taste buds and great for their growing bodies!
Get the recipe
You can use frozen chopped pumpkin if fresh is not an option or you can use organic canned pumpkin puree if neither is available.
Pumpkin, Yogurt + Prune Baby Food Puree
5 stars (6 ratings)
A fun seasonal baby food puree that takes only 15 minutes to make and is packed with vitamin A, beta carotene, potassium, protein and iron just from the pumpkin.
Get the recipe
This puree is loaded with so many nutrients that you should probably just serve this to your baby at least once a day anyway. Bonus, that it helps with constipation and digestive issues.
5-Minute Pear + Blueberry Baby Puree
4.88 stars (16 ratings)
This 5-Minute Pear + Blueberry Baby Food recipe is a simple and delicious baby food puree filled with fiber, antioxidants, folate and potassium for the win!
Get the recipeMore Purees to Relieve Constipation
Looking for even more purees to relieve your baby’s constipation, then check out these purees.
- No-Cook Banana Peach Baby Food Puree (use spotted bananas)
- Peach + Vanilla Baby Food
- Banana, Pear + Ginger Baby Food Puree
- Pea Baby Puree
Pears + Prums + Cloves Baby Food Puree
- 2 pears, cored and roughly chopped
- 4 dried prunes, pitted
- 1 cup hot water
- pinch cloves
Fennel, Peach + Pea Baby Food Puree
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 cups peaches, fresh or frozen, pitted and sliced
- 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
Roasted Pear + Date Baby Food Puree
- 3 pears, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 5 dried dates, pitted
- 1 orange, juiced
Pear Baby Food Puree
- 6 pears
- 1/8 tsp cardamon or fresh ginger (optional)
Pumpkin, Yogurt + Prune Baby Food Puree
- 1/2 small pie pumpkin (roughly 3 cups), peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt
- 3 dried prunes, pitted
5-Minute Pear + Blueberry Baby Puree
- 2 cups pear, chopped (roughly 2 pears)
- 1 cup blueberries
Pears + Prums + Cloves Baby Food Puree
Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water, and bring to a boil over medium heat.
Place the pears in a steamer basket over the boiling water, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes or until tender. Let cool slightly. Reserve steamer water.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, place the prunes and hot water, and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain.
Add the pears, prunes and cloves into blender or food processor and puree until smooth, adding reserved water in 1/4 cup increments, if needed.
Fennel, Peach + Pea Baby Food Puree
Roasted Pear + Date Baby Food Puree
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Place pears on the baking sheet, put into the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, place the dates in a small bowl and cover with hot water, let sit for 10 minutes. Drain.
Transfer the pears and dates to a blender or food processor. Add in the orange juice. For a Stage 2 Puree – puree for 1-2 minutes or until completely smooth, adding in water in tbsp increments if needed. For a Stage 3 Puree – pulse in 10-second increments until ingredients are completely mixed together yet still chunky. Serve warm for an extra special treat.
Pear Baby Food Puree
Prep: peel and roughly chop the pears.
Combine: place the pear chunks, spices (if using) and water into a medium saucepan, cover.
Cook: heat on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until tender when pricked with a fork.
Transfer: let cool slightly. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the pears out of the saucepan, leaving the excess water behind, and place in a blender or food processor.
Blend: turn on the machine and blend for 1-2 minutes until you have your desired consistency. If your pear puree is too thick, add the leftover cooking water in 1/4 cup increments.
Eat: serve to baby or freeze for another meal.
Pumpkin, Yogurt + Prune Baby Food Puree
Bring 2 inches of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Place pumpkin into a steamer basket over boiling water, cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or when you can easily prick the pumpkin chunks with a fork. Let cool slightly. Reserve steamer water.
Meanwhile, place the prunes into a small bowl and cover with very hot water for 10 minutes. This will let them plump up and become tender. Drain.
Place the pumpkin, yogurt and prunes into blender or food processor and puree for 1-2 minutes until smooth, adding reserved steamer water in 1/4 cup increments if needed.
5-Minute Pear + Blueberry Baby Puree
Age: 4 months and up
Yield: roughly 12-25 ounces depending on recipe.
Storage: Fridge – store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Freezer – can be frozen for up to 4 months (this and this are my favorite freezer storage containers).
Favorite Kitchen Tools: Get a list of my favorite kitchen tools to make the best baby food here!
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Please note that I am not a medical professional. If your little one has been constipated for longer than 10 days or has a severe case and nothing seems to be working, then please call your pediatrician right away.
Are There Baby Foods that Help with Constipation?
While parenting brings many surprises, one of them is likely how much you’ll think about poop, or lack thereof, especially during that first year. But here you are worrying about your baby’s digestive tract and convinced that they’re constipated.
If you’ve recently introduced your baby to solid food, then your worries may be on target: solid foods can put a strain on your baby’s developing digestive tract and cause constipation. But there are things you can do to help!
Before you begin treating constipation you should determine if there is really an issue at all. So here’s the scoop on poop and how to tell if your worries are founded and your baby is constipated.
During the first few weeks, you’ll find yourself changing diapers with alarming regularity. Figure in every feed or so.
But don’t despair, because by the time your baby reaches 6 weeks old, they may have a bowel movement only once or twice a day. On the other hand, they may have one only every 7–10 days. (Yep, the frequency really can vary that much.)
The poop is yellow, soft, runny and sometimes lumpy and the smell isn’t unpleasant.
A newborn, formula-fed baby typically poops up to five times a day. At about 6 to 8 weeks, this may decrease to around once a day.
Formula-fed babies have poop that is a camel to brown color with a thicker consistency, more like paste. Most likely, the less-than-aromatic smell means you’ll hermetically seal soiled diapers before you toss them into the garbage.
Signs that your baby is constipated
You’ve noticed that your baby’s tummy isn’t following the schedule that you got used to. Could it be constipation? Here are the signs that could confirm your suspicions:
- You notice that they cry or fuss while they’re trying to have a hard bowel movement.
- The poop, when it does come, is like hard pellets.
- You notice streaks of red blood in the hard poop.
While it’s not easy for a baby on a liquid diet to become constipated, trouble can start when you start introducing your baby to solid foods at around 6 months. Here’s why:
New food types
Think of it as a learning curve: Your baby’s body is learning how to cope with a new kind of food to digest as they move away from their full liquid diet and you need to soften the learning curve. (Pardon the irresistible pun.)
Changes to fluid intake
Decreased fluids will make your baby’s poop harder and more difficult to push out. If they’ve started solids, they may need to up their fluid intake to offset the solid food. And if your baby is teething or feeling unwell, it can also lead to them taking in less fluid than usual.
Lack of fiber
Even though they’re just starting out, babies’ tummies work like ours. While initially the move to solids that have fiber (from breast milk or formula, which don’t) can cause temporary constipation, their tummies will adjust.
Make sure to monitor your baby’s fiber intake and pair it with plenty of hydration for a smooth ride the same way that you monitor yours.
OK, so you’ve confirmed that your baby is constipated. The next step is helping to alleviate the strain on their developing digestive system.
Remember that you can keep offering these foods as your baby develops into a toddler and beyond. In fact, there is little research or evidence to support specific foods (including high fiber ones) in treating or preventing constipation in infants. Most of these recommendations are based on evidence for older adults and children.
Keep in mind that good practice when introducing solids is to introduce foods as single ingredients. That way, if your baby is allergic to certain foods, you’ll be able to more easily trace the source.
If your little one hasn’t tried these foods before, don’t rush the process. Test out one at a time and then introduce combinations once you’re confident they’re well tolerated.
- Back to basics. Give your baby’s digestive tract a break by feeding them mashed avocado or sweet potato purée. These are easy to digest and may give your baby the kick start they need.
- B vegetables. Think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and beans. Purée these for a meal filled with fiber.
- P fruits. Your grandmother was right — bring on the prunes for quick work. A purée that includes a mix of prunes plus pears, plums, or peaches should work magic. Try subbing the prunes with dates for a change.
- Bring on the fiber. If your baby is over 8 months, you can offer them whole grains like oatmeal, fiber-rich cereals, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice.
- Water intake. Until 6 months an exclusively breastfed or formula-fed baby doesn’t need to drink water. Above this age, you can introduce small amounts of water.
Plums and pears with cinnamon
Cut 2 or 3 pears and plums into small pieces. Place in a saucepan with a small amount of water and simmer until soft. Add in a sprinkle of cinnamon. Blend thoroughly.
Sweet potato with apple and peach
Cut half a sweet potato, one apple, and half a peach into small pieces. Place in steamer basket and cook until tender. Blend until smooth.
Spinach and apple purée
Chop two apples into small chunks and cook in saucepan with about 1/2 cup of water. When they’re tender, add about 1 cup of spinach and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Purée until smooth. Can be seasoned with cinnamon and ginger.
Some sources suggest prune, pear, and apple juices help to increase the water content in poop and can ease constipation.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends steering clear of fruit juice for children younger than 1 year old. You can stick with these fruits as purées for similar effects.
What is it about prune juice? The high levels of sorbitol and phenolic substances in prune juice and dried plums act as a laxative and diuretic properties. So if your child is over 1 year old, you can use small amounts of prune juice to encourage their system to run.
Some studies show that constipation may affect as much as 30 percent of children. If your child is part of the unlucky statistic, here are some foods that you may want to give them smaller amounts of until it passes:
- dairy products such as cheese and yogurt
- low fiber foods like white rice, white bread, and white pasta
If you’re like most parents, you’ll be up for whatever you can try to help your baby get comfortable fast. Here are a few tricks that you can use to ease your baby’s constipation:
- Warm baths. These can relax those abdominal muscles and get them working.
- Exercise. Lay your baby on their back and push their legs alternately as if they’re cycling a bike. Alternatively, hold their knees and feet together and push their feet towards their belly.
- Massage. Use your fingertip to draw clockwise circles on your baby’s stomach.
If you see that despite your home remedies, your baby still is having hard stools or hasn’t pooped after 2 or 3 days from their last hard stool, then contact your pediatrician. Especially if you consistently notice blood in their poop or your baby is extremely irritable and appears to be in pain.
While dealing with your baby’s toilet issues may seem a tad unsavory, you’ll soon be so used to it, that you’ll find yourself sharing your insights over coffee with other parents. And don’t be shy about sharing the yummy food combinations you discover to keep things moving.
Constipation in a child under one year old - what to do?
Constipation is experienced by 20 to 35% (according to other sources - from 3 to 40%) of children in the first year of life. 1 Constipation may be a temporary functional disorder or may require adult intervention. We tell how a mother can help a baby suffering from constipation, whether this delicate problem can be prevented, and in what cases it is necessary to consult a doctor.
What is considered constipation in the chest?
Constipation is one of the seven most common functional disorders in newborns, when the intervals between bowel movements increase, and the intestines are not systematically emptied completely.
A newborn is definitely constipated if during the month you observe at least two of these signs:
- the baby defecates less than twice a week;
- has had stool problems before;
- feces dense, large in diameter;
- a lot of stool has collected in the rectum;
- when passing stool, the child turns red and cries.
It is normal if a baby up to four months of age defecates 1-7 times a day, and in the period from four months to two years - up to 1-3 times a day. 1 The type of feeding is also important: on artificial, instead of 2–7 times, a child can defecate 1–4 times a day.
Dyschezia - not to be confused with constipation!
Sometimes constipation of the newborn is erroneously referred to as another temporary condition in infants, dyschezia, which usually resolves before nine months of age. With dyschezia, defecation also occurs painfully, but the reason is different. It is well known to pediatricians and some experienced mothers: when a small child has not yet learned to simultaneously tighten the abdominal muscles and relax the muscles of the pelvic floor, he pushes, blushes and cries for several minutes, after which he successfully defecates. At the same time, the feces are always soft, which is not typical for real constipation. In other words, the child is just learning a new skill for him, and the main thing you can do to help him is to just be there, hold him in your arms more often and stay calm.
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Types of constipation in children
There are two main types of 3 constipation in children of the first year of life:
Acute constipation, when there is no stool from time to time for several days, after which the intestines continue to work normally. If, against the background of acute constipation, gases have ceased to flow, and the child shows with all his appearance that his stomach hurts, consult a doctor as soon as possible so that he excludes intestinal obstruction.
Chronic constipation, when problems with defecation occur systematically for three consecutive months. In case of chronic constipation, the child has to strain strongly during defecation, fecal smearing appears, and with light pressure on the left lower abdomen, seals can be detected - fecal masses that have not passed away.
Causes of constipation in children under one year old
In breastfed babies, there can be only one reason for constipation on the part of the mother - the wrong diet. On the part of the child, there are more potential causes, and they differ depending on age and the introduction of complementary foods.
Why constipation occurs in children from 0 months to a year :
- The work of the nervous and endocrine systems, which affect the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, is disturbed.
- Previously, the child had an intestinal infection, which led to a decrease in sensitivity, and now does not recognize the urge to defecate.
- The muscles of the anterior abdominal wall are weakened due to hernia or physical inactivity, when a decrease in motor activity causes dysfunction of the motor system of the body. 4
- Cracks around the anus make defecation painful, the child is afraid and mechanically prevents the exit of feces.
- The baby has been diagnosed with a systemic disease.
- Medication interferes with intestinal motility. The culprits of constipation can be anesthetics, anticonvulsants, diuretics, calcium channel blockers.
If constipation occurred after 6 months , that is, after the introduction of complementary foods, then the child is most likely:
- Not getting enough fiber. They bind water, and already it softens the stool.
- Regularly eats a hearty dinner shortly before going to bed. This is undesirable, as intestinal motility slows down at night.
- Does not drink enough liquid regardless of the type of feeding.
When should a child be seen by a doctor?
In most cases, constipation in a newborn goes away on its own or thanks to the efforts of the mother, who has chosen the right tactics of care.
However, still seek medical attention if your baby has any of the following symptoms:
- meconium has not passed within the first two days of the baby's life;
- mucus, blood streaks of scarlet color or in the form of "raspberry jelly" appeared in the feces;
- fever or vomiting added to constipation;
- stool became "sticky" or "greasy".
Additional "criteria of alarm" include constipation that began before the age of one month, bloating, ribbon-like stools.
In case of constipation in a child, the doctor should first of all rule out pathological conditions. Do not rush to make a diagnosis yourself: not only the symptoms of constipation listed above are taken into account, but also the general physical and motor development of the child, which only a medical professional can evaluate during an internal examination.
How to help with constipation before a visit to the doctor
Recommendations for all newborns, regardless of the type of feeding
If you did not find any alarming symptom - congratulations, then the problem is highly likely to be temporary. However, it is not necessary to wait until constipation goes away on its own - you can help your child survive this unpleasant functional disorder and alleviate his condition. Your main assistants will be an active drinking regimen and diet therapy. 1
- Make sure that the child's diet contains the optimal amount of proteins and fats - their excess depresses intestinal motility.
- Regardless of the type of feeding, offer water in the amount of one serving of milk/formula to children 6 months and older.
- After the introduction of complementary foods, regularly include in the menu foods by age, rich in dietary fiber: vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, carrots), fruits (apples, peaches, bananas), berries (raspberries and blackberries), cereals (oatmeal, buckwheat, corn, barley). Add some vegetable oil to vegetable puree.
- Offer your child foods fortified with prebiotics. After eight months of age, regardless of the type of feeding, unadapted sour-milk drinks such as kefir, yogurt or biolact can be added to the diet in small volumes (up to 200 ml per day).
How to help a baby with constipation while breastfeeding (LB)
First of all, make sure that your child is eating optimally - at the right frequency and in the right amount. Both underfeeding and overfeeding can cause stool problems.
Since constipation usually occurs in the baby at the same time as the mother, it is reasonable to diversify the diet of a nursing woman with foods high in dietary fiber, vegetable oils, fermented milk products, and also drink plenty of fluids (preferably pure water). 1
If constipation is caused by a food allergy, the mother should avoid strong allergens: eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and seafood.
Treatment of constipation in newborns with artificial feeding
Don't change your baby from breastfeeding to bottlefeeding because of constipation - breastmilk is still the preferred food for babies under one year of age for any functional disorder! If for some reason you were unable to establish breastfeeding, consult a pediatrician about changing the mixture - for constipation, the Comfort series and fermented milk mixtures are recommended, which include prebiotics, adapted lipids and partially cleaved protein. If constipation is caused by an allergy to CMP (cow's milk proteins), choose highly hydrolyzed or amino acid formulas. But feeding a child with an allergy with a mixture based on goat milk is not worth it - 90% of children allergic to CMP develop allergic reactions to goat's milk. 1 As with breastfeeding, avoid underfeeding or overfeeding.
Contraindications for constipation in infants
At first glance, it seems like a good idea to use prebiotics as a nutritional supplement without including them in formula or fermented milk products. However, remember that prebiotics should not be taken systematically for a long time, and even more so without a doctor's prescription. 1
Infantile constipation is rarely associated with pathologies. However, if it is not diagnosed in a timely manner and measures are not taken, it can lead to the appearance of systematic abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fecal incontinence, and the appearance of anal fissures. 2 That is, non-intervention can only exacerbate the problem, which is in its infancy.
How to prevent constipation in newborns
- To prevent constipation in children who for some reason are bottle-fed, they are transferred to mixtures with prebiotics. Also, the pediatrician may recommend a mixture with fructo- and galactooligosaccharides (Comfort series). In any case, do not change the mixture yourself, without consulting a doctor.
- After the introduction of complementary foods, children need to make a menu in such a way that it contains daily foods rich in dietary fiber, as well as fermented milk products enriched with bifidus and lactobacilli. Prunes and dried apricots, bran bread, baked apples help in the prevention of constipation.
- For chronic constipation, after consulting a doctor, laxatives can be used to prevent the child from holding back stools.
If a child in his first year of life has difficulty with bowel movements, monitor his condition and, if breastfeeding, start diet therapy in parallel with the transition to an active drinking regimen. The sooner you fix the problem and start prevention, the more likely it is that in the future you will rarely experience constipation in a healthy, normally developing child.
1. The program for optimizing the feeding of children in the first year of life in the Russian Federation, Moscow 2019. P. 53, 63 – 64. Date of access: October 13, 2021
2. Belmer, SV Functional disorders of the digestive system in children. Principles of diagnosis and treatment (international and domestic recommendations) / S. V. Belmer, A. I. Khavkin, D. V. Pechkurov. - Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2020. - 224 p. (Specialist's Library Series) - ISBN 978-5-9704-5643-9. - Text : electronic// Date of access: October 13, 2021
3. E.A. Kornienko Functional constipation in children. St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical Academy, St. Petersburg. pp. 23-24.
4. Prevention of physical inactivity. State Autonomous Health Institution "Interregional Clinical and Diagnostic Center". Retrieved: 13 October 2021
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Constipation in children under one year old
Usually, parents of babies are worried about the exact opposite problem - too frequent stools. Therefore, not everyone immediately understands what to do if a baby under one year old has constipation.
Gastroenterologist, hepatologist at GMS Clinic Sergey Vyalov gave an interview to the Internet portal parents.ru and spoke about constipation in children under one year old.
Constipation, also known as diarrhea, stool retention, discolia, caprostasis, difficulty in emptying the bowel is not a universal condition with unambiguous characteristics. Each person, including a child, has his own indicators of the norm and deviations from it, associated with age, intestinal microflora, diet, state of mind and hormonal background, concomitant diseases. Yet there are a few common points of reference.
What is constipation?
Specialists diagnose constipation if the baby does "big" things:
- regularly and without problems, but passing dry and hard stools;
- with difficulty - the child has to push, the feces do not come out on the first try;
- less than 5 times per day.
In the first six months of life, constipation is a rather rare occurrence, rather, on the contrary, in the period from 0 to 6 months, 6-10 bowel movements per day are considered the norm. Breastfed babies have more frequent bowel movements, while artificial babies have less.
Up to 6 months constipation is rare
Usually, parents of babies in the first months of life are alarmed by the condition opposite to constipation - too frequent bowel movements. But in a baby, regardless of whether he eats breast milk or formula, the intestines should work exactly like this - in a mode that is considered diarrhea for older children and adults.
There should be no other option, at least until the introduction of complementary foods at 4-6 months. After all, the baby receives mostly liquid food, the waste products of which have the same consistency and leave the intestines without encountering any obstacles on the way - the baby has not yet learned to control the sphincter that restrains the release of feces.
The baby's intestines have just begun to "get acquainted" with microorganisms that come from mother's milk, from her skin (the baby licks the nipple), from the environment. Far from all new "partners" are accepted: there are rejected ones, those who have not taken root, and so on. Checking and rejection are accompanied by loose, unstable stools.
Too frequent bowel cleansing does not need correction and treatment if the child is gaining weight and developing properly. Normal appetite and sleep, gas, absence of fever and other signs of illness indicate that parents have nothing to worry about. If the mother of a baby, tired of changing diapers 10 times in one day, wants to change the situation and asks the doctor to prescribe fixing medicines for the baby, then, unwittingly, she will doom her baby to chronic constipation.
Not according to the rules
And yet, in the first 6 months, constipation in infants is not excluded. It can be called:
- microflora transmitted from the mother;
- insufficient fluid volume;
Let's say a woman has too many methane-producing bacteria in her stomach and intestines that cause constipation. They grow rather slowly, ferment, releasing carbon dioxide, which contributes to flatulence and bloating. With this deviation, the woman lives, adapted and learned to solve the problem with the intestines in one way or another. Noticing the same thing in a child, she decides that the baby has inherited her features and "saves" him with the same means, making a mistake. Babies should not be given laxatives, especially those containing senna. The baby's body gets used to such drugs too quickly and without them it can no longer cleanse the intestines.
Constipation in a baby up to 6 months is also provoked by a lack of fluid and hormonal fluctuations. At 6 months, the baby should receive a lot of moisture - about 140 ml per kilogram of weight per day. A breastfed child gains this rate from mother's milk and does not need additional sources of liquid (but only if there is no predisposition to constipation). Little artificers are soldered from the moment they switch to a mixture.
If a woman is tense or nervous, then her level of the stress hormone cortisol rises. Through breast milk, saliva or sweat, the substance enters the baby's body and also provokes constipation.
Even if the mother does not breastfeed the baby, the constipating microorganisms sooner or later get to the gastrointestinal system of the crumbs and make negative changes in it.
Constipation after weaning
The kid is growing, improving his skills, and it's time to introduce him to new foods. These circumstances, on the one hand, help to establish peristalsis, and on the other hand, increase the risk of constipation.
By six months, the baby is already trying to control defecation, because he realized that after it there are unpleasant sensations - itching, burning and other discomfort in the areas where the feces get. In order not to experience discomfort, the child tries to restrain the urge. At first, he does not succeed, because the rectum has already learned how to work - reflexively contract and push out waste. And after a couple of months, everything works out, the baby wins and enters the path leading to chronic constipation. To get the baby out of this vicious circle, the mother must minimize the duration of the baby's skin contact with feces and expand the baby's diet by mastering complementary foods.
Proteins, fats and carbohydrates that are part of the products are absorbed in the small intestine, and do not reach the large intestine, where feces are formed. What can not be said about fiber. While the baby is drinking breast milk or formula, this component of the dishes is not familiar to him. Even if a nursing woman herself consumes a lot of plant foods, the baby does not get anything. Fiber, as already noted, is not absorbed in the intestines, does not enter the bloodstream, which means that it is not in breast milk. For the first time, a baby gets fiber with complementary foods by trying its first 25 grams of mashed potatoes from zucchini, carrots and other vegetables. Plant fibers literally attract all waste to themselves, as a result, fecal masses are formed, which help the intestines to master the correct peristalsis. There are a lot of muscles in this section of the gastrointestinal tract, in the intestines, they must learn to consistently contract - tighten and relax in order to squeeze waste out.
The next new product should be introduced one month after the previous one. The novelty is likely to cause more frequent and loose stools at first. If it does not have a green color and does not foam, there is no need to run to the doctor and ask to prescribe fixatives. Be patient, after a while the innovation will be mastered and will bear fruit. Instead of liquid and shapeless yellow-white feces, you will see brown feces that have formed.
There are other causes of constipation in babies. Unfortunately, they are much more difficult to deal with, since these are developmental pathologies, diseases, and injuries.
Acute constipation. It develops for anatomical reasons, for example, due to obstruction of the large intestine, or during intussusception - the introduction of one part of the intestine into another, which causes blockage of the lumen. Against the background of complete well-being, the baby suddenly becomes restless, cries, refuses to eat. The attack ends as unexpectedly as it began, but after 3-5 minutes it repeats and intensifies: one or two times vomiting appears with an admixture of green bile. If the stool passes, then blood impurities are visible in it. After 5–6 hours, the stool stops, and bloody discharge comes out of the rectum. At the same time, the baby's stomach is soft. The temperature is usually normal. The child may even lose consciousness. With such symptoms, you need to call an ambulance.
Hirschsprung disease. It is based on a violation of the innervation of the large intestine - the central nervous system cannot control this section of the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, processed food accumulates in the intestines. The picture of the disease is quite diverse. If only the short part of the intestine is affected, then constipation forms gradually, and it is possible to do without surgical intervention for quite a long time. When a longer segment is affected, the absence of stool is fraught with a serious condition and immediate surgical intervention is required.
infectious attack. If in the first months of life the baby suffered an intestinal infection, the nerve cells in the large intestine may die, which will lead to a delay in the act of defecation, accumulation of feces and the development of constipation. With dysentery, the so-called toxic megacolon is possible (a sharp expansion of the colon). The child develops impaired consciousness and repeated vomiting. The abdomen increases sharply due to a greatly enlarged intestine. The complication requires emergency surgical care.
Problems with the CNS. Injuries during childbirth and the syndrome of infantile cerebral palsy also affect the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, as they are associated with various complications, such as impaired swallowing, regurgitation, and vomiting.
Vasculitis. Vascular inflammation extends to the nerve plexuses and sensitive cells located in the intestinal wall.
Disorders in the work of the endocrine system. With hypothyroidism (lack of thyroid function), the movement of contents through the intestines slows down. With dysfunction of the parathyroid glands, constipation occurs due to a violation of mineral metabolism, with diabetes mellitus it becomes the result of damage to the nerve plexuses of the intestine or dehydration of the child's body.