When to worry
Parents look for smiles laughs and coos to tell if their baby is happy but poop plays a major role in happiness too . If your baby is pooping regularly, it means he is eating properly and disposing of the excess. The absence of poop should therefore be a cause for concern.
What to look for
A constipated baby’s poop will look like small balls of clay. It is however very rare for babies who are exclusively breastfed to have constipation.
Formula fed babies can be all over the map and when solids enter the picture, be prepared for a spectrum of colors when it comes to poo.
As a reference, babies from 0 to 4 moths poop about three or four times a day which reduces to one bowel movement a day after solids are introduced.
Prolonged absence of poo is thought by most parents to signify constipation. This can definitely be a sign.
By day 5, your baby should dirty several diapers with bright yellow poop. If this is not the case, something is wrong. Usually, it means your baby is not getting enough to eat.
Harder poops can also cause stretching of the anal walls causing blood streaks in the stool. Straining faces and a firm belly that’s painful can indicate backed up intestines.
What causes it?
It is extremely rare for babies on all liquid diets to be constipated. Formula fed babies may have firmer poop than breast fed babies.
- Babies with milk protein allergies have constipation.
After baby food is introduced, the kind of poop you should expect is determined by what you feed your baby. When you start to introduce food, it gets harder to pinpoint the exact cause of constipation
Treating constipation in babies
A change in formula or diet is the only way to get back on track. Fruit juice and lots of water as well as several fruits and veggies will get things back to normal in no time.
If changing your child’s diet isn’t helping, your doctor may suggest rectal stimulation or a suppository.
Has your baby ever been constipated? How did you handle it?
First published at parents.com