Constipation in Babies

Constipation in babies leads to many problems. That’s why we must always be aware of the pattern of their bowel movements. Every day we should watch our child’s bowel movements. Normally she would pass stools everyday, but if there’s no defecation for more than three days and you’re noticing that your baby is suffering, this is regarded as constipation. In this case we should help the baby, because his weak muscles cannot press properly.

The causes of constipation can be recently changing the type of milk in form of formula feeding, and if you are breastfeeding maybe some kind of food that you’re eating is affecting his bowel movement. If you’re formula feeding please make sure that the formula is not affecting your child’s bowel movements, otherwise you will have to change it. And if you’re breastfeeding, make sure that you’re eating a healthy diet.

I would also advise you to check your baby’s stool for any foreign objects – blood or pus or any abnormal look or colour or odour. You should also notice how many bowel movements are happening in a day or a week, and if there are any abnormalities present, please note them down, might you need to report them to your doctor.

So, what should you do if your baby is constipated? Most importantly you should give plenty of fluids – water or teas like Caraway tea. You can also breastfeed for longer periods of time, so that your baby takes more fluids via your breast milk.

Secondly you need to massage the baby’s tummy. Let me show you how. Lay the baby on her back or in a half-sitting position, and massage her tummy in a clockwise direction, as if you’re counting the clock hours. 12 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4. Why? Because this is the direction of the bowel movement, starting with the ascending colon, transverse colon, and descending colon, till it reaches the rectum and the anus. That’s why it’s very important to massage in a clockwise manner.

If after two hours your baby is still constipated you can try this tip:

First, you’ll need any type of plant oil. Let’s say olive oil. You will also need cotton swaps, Q-tips or cotton buds – preferably thin ones – then immerse them into the oil, and make sure it’s totally covered in oil. Raise the baby’s legs and hold them with one hand if you can, and then gently press on the tummy of the baby. If the child is a boy make sure to cover the penis, in case he urinates. Insert the cotton bud carefully into the anus – it’s the lowest opening in girls – and only insert the cotton part. Count till 15 slowly. 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10 – 11 – 12 – 13 – 14 – 15. Then remove the cotton bud. Very soon you’ll observe that the baby is defecating.

Change the diaper and remember to be ready with a paper sheet placed under the baby and toilet paper to clean up.

I wish you good health!

Alyaa Gad