How to Help Baby Poop
Constipation can be a very serious problem, which some people think only affects adults, but there are plenty of children who deal with this malady.
It is a real medical concern because it is affecting many toddlers and older children. As a parent, this issue hurts because you feel like you can’t do anything to relieve your child’s discomfort. Do not fret; there are things that can be done to help a baby poop.
How Do You Know Your Baby is Constipated?
As just mentioned, infants can be constipated, but how do you really know it is happening? Well, the following are a few signs revealing your baby may be having a hard time passing a stool.:
- Stools do not come often
- Stool consistency is too soft or clay-like
- Your baby’s poop is hard
- You notice long periods of straining or pain when your baby poops
- Streaks of red blood in the poop
- An obvious lack of appetite
- A noticeably hard belly
Why Do Babies Get Constipated?
After reading those signs, some people may be scared, but it is important to point out that constipation in babies may not be as serious as you think.
Some babies absorb too much of their mother’s breast milk, so there is little to no waste. A toddler with this situation may not have a lot of poop to release, so it may take a week or so to release it.
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Constipation that is causing pain or frequent discomfort is definitely something to be concerned about. There could be many reasons this is happening, like the muscles or nerves in the intestines aren’t functioning well. There could also be a blockage in your baby’s digestive tract.
All of these are serious issues your doctor will help you understand after running some tests. There are ways to help your baby poop, and your doctor’s diagnosis should help guide you.
What Can You do to Help a Baby Poop?
As a parent, it may be hard to just sit back and watch your toddler experience this pain or discomfort.
You are going to want to do something for him or her. Provided your doctor approves, there are a lot of things you can do to help a baby poop.
The following are some things you can change to help things along:
- Formula Switch
Those using a formula may want to consider switching to another formula. There is a chance your baby is having trouble digesting an ingredient in the formula you are using. Check with your doctor to see if this is a step you can take to help your baby poop.
- Eliminating Dairy
It may be a good idea to eliminate pasteurized dairy from you and your baby’s diet. Dairy has a lot of fat in it and can sometimes be hard to digest for a toddler. Do not eat dairy if you are breastfeeding or allow your child to consume dairy.
This goes beyond regular whole milk because your baby can become constipated with consumption of yogurt, cheese, or creams. Reduce or eliminate dairy if you want to help your baby poop.
- Fight the Fat
Foods with high-fat content should be avoided. Regrettably, these foods are virtually everywhere, and they include some of your most favorite foods, like fries.
These foods are so common that they are hard to eliminate, but you are going to need to do that. It may also be a good idea to stop feeding your baby processed foods because these usually contain ingredients your baby’s digestive system is just not strong enough to digest.
Changing your baby’s diet to help fight this constipation issue is not going to be easy, but your baby deserves a better pooping experience.
Additions to Help Your Baby Poop
You know what you need to avoid to help a baby poop, but there are a number of things you can add to your baby’s diet and to his or her overall lifestyle. The following are a few examples you should consider with your pediatrician’s consent:
- High Moisture
It is important that your baby starts to consume high-moisture foods, like pears, watermelons, or cantaloupes. You also want to add fruits, like apples or prunes.
Of course, giving your baby a little more water may also be a good idea. Consuming more moisture should help soften your baby’s stool, making popping a little easier.
Now, it is important to ask your pediatrician when it is okay to offer your baby these types of fruits or when he or she should be drinking water. Do not feed your baby too much fruit juice because sugar is not easy to digest either.
- Fiber is Key
A high-fiber diet can help your baby poop, so try to introduce foods, such as raw vegetables, legumes, raisins, figs, prunes, whole grains, bran, fiber wafers, vegetable soups, and oatmeal. You can talk to your pediatrician for a full list of foods that contain enough fiber to help promote healthier pooping for your bundle of joy.
- Try Movement
Exercise helps people loosen up their bowels a bit, but most toddlers do not move too much. You can change that by actively helping your toddler move throughout the day a little bit more than usual.
Help your baby walk, run, jump, and be as active possible, which should help your baby poop. It is going to be tiring, so try to get as much help as you can because, depending on how old your baby is, he or she may not be able to help much.
- Massage a Bit
Giving your baby a massage could help relieve some of the tension causing your baby distress and may help your baby poop. You can ask your pediatrician to help you give your baby a massage though they are pretty easy.
One massage involves placing one or two of your fingertips around your baby’s naval, and just gently move around clockwise. Instead of rubbing your fingertips around the naval, you can also just walk your fingers around it.
Another thing you can do is hold your baby’s knees and feet together while pushing your baby’s feet towards his or her stomach. These massages are meant to help your baby poop by relaxing the muscles around the belly.
- Warm Bath
You want to help him or her feel a little more relaxed. This could help relax the muscles in the stomach and throughout the digestive system. Exercise helps, but you can also try a warm bath.
Warm water helps increase the flow of blood in the body, making it easier for muscles to relax and even repair themselves. All you really have to do is put your baby in a warm bath, place some toys in there, and just allow your baby to enjoy the water as much as you can, which should help your baby poop.
- Rectal Thermometer
You can take your baby’s temperature using a rectal thermometer that has been properly lubricated. This solution is not one that any parent should resort to, unless your doctor thinks it’s okay and even then it should not be used often.
The reason you do not want to rely on this solution is because your baby may begin to associate pain or discomfort to pooping, which could make things worse. The risk of injury also exists, so make sure you only resort to this solution when your doctor says okay and only in extreme situations.
- Medical Option
The only way to help a baby poop may be with medication. Most parents prefer to use a more natural method because the idea of giving an infant medicine just seems undesirable, but sometimes it is the only way.
It is important to remember that medications should not be used unless a doctor recommends it. There are a lot of things that a pediatrician can offer, like laxatives, enemas, or even suppositories if things get really bad for your little baby. Medications are usually the last resort, but they can help a baby poop.
Hopefully, some of these points make it easier to deal with your baby’s constipation. Do your best to work with your pediatrician to figure out why this is happening and the kinds of foods your baby is simply not supposed to eat.