A constipated baby can be in a lot of pain. Constipation often leads to tummy aches, cramps and a lot of crying. Unfortunately, it’s a very common problem among babies. What could cause your child’s constipation? And what can you do about it? We figured it out for you.

My baby is constipated. What does that mean?

First things first: if a baby is constipated, their bowel movements are uncomfortable or infrequent. This is the result of hard or pellet-like excrement clogging up the intestines, which is difficult and painful for them to pass. It’s an unpleasant ailment that affects a lot of children.

However, infrequent bowel movements by itself aren’t sufficient proof of constipation. A constipated child will find it very difficult to pass their stool; if your little one has soft stool or no issue with this process, then there’s no need to worry. Even if your child is constipated, there’s no cause for panic; usually, it’s not a sign of anything more serious, though it can be quite unpleasant anyway.

What is the cause?

Your baby is still developing and this also applies to their gastrointestinal system. If one of the body parts involved doesn’t work as it should, this could the cause of their constipation. However, constipation can also be caused by a lack of fluids or the food they’re eating. Did you recently switch to a different kind of food? Constipation could be a reaction to this change, because your child’s gastrointestinal system still has to get used to it. Formula feeding* could also be the cause of constipation if you add too little water to your formula, so remember to keep an eye on the recommended proportions.

We’ve listed a few tips below for what you should do if your baby is suffering from constipation. The most important one? Keep in mind that you aren’t the only parent who’s gone through this. Constipation is one of the most common ailments in infants, so this situation, though unpleasant, is completely normal.

  • Make sure your baby ingests enough fluids, allowing their gastrointestinal system to function optimally. Did you know babies need more fluids than the average adult?
  • Wait and see. Did you just switch to different food or a different brand? Give your baby some time to get used to the change. You’ll know for sure if the constipation is or isn’t caused by this after a couple of days.
  • Make sure your baby ingests enough fiber. Is your baby already eating solid food? In that case, it’s important to ensure that your baby eats enough fiber, which it can get from vegetables, fruits, and whole-wheat products. This will lead to healthy bowel movements.

Is your baby still constipated? Contact your primary care physician.

*Breastfeeding is the best way to feed your child.

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