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Charlotte infant child care: how can I tell when my infant is constipated?

Posted on 06-26-2014


When it comes to your infant’s bowel movements, there is often no schedule. This is because your child is getting used to their dietary routine. If you child is not having regular bowel movements, it could indicate that they are constipated. If you are concerned that your infant may be constipated, here are signs to look for:

  • Crying and discomfort
  • Dry, hard, pellet-like stool
  • Fewer than three bowel movements a week
  • Foul-smelling wind and stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • A hard belly

Infant child care: what causes constipation?

There are several possible reasons why your infant may be constipated:

  • Infant Formula. A formula fed baby is more prone to constipation because formula can be harder to digest than breast milk. A breastfed baby is less likely to get constipated.
  • Introducing solids. Babies often become constipated when they start eating solid foods, as their bodies need to learn how to manage these new foods. Low-fiber foods and not enough fluids also contribute to constipation.
  • Dehydration. Your infant may be refusing milk because he/she is teething, has thrush, a throat infection, a cold or an ear infection. Your older child may not be drinking enough milk or water with their solid foods. If your infant is not getting enough fluids, he may become dehydrated. This can cause a dry, hard stool that is difficult to pass. If you suspect your child is dehydrated contact your pediatrician immediately.

How can I treat constipation?

Check with your doctor or health advisor before trying anything to ease your infant’s discomfort. Here are some treatments that your doctor may suggest:

  • Gently move your infant’s legs in a bicycling motion to help move the hard stool along his intestine.
  • If your infant is drinking formula, give him extra water in between feedings, but do not dilute the formula. Make sure that you are using the recommended amount of powder or liquid concentrate when making up a bottle. Too much powder can dehydrate your infant, causing constipation.
  • If your infant has started eating solid foods, give them plenty of water or diluted fruit juice. Ample fiber in your older child’s diet could also help. Pureed or chopped apples, apricots, blueberries, sliced grapes and pears are all high in fiber.

If these home treatments have not worked, or if your infant’s constipation is severe, your doctor may suggest a laxative.

Do you want to know more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy at Blakeney? Then contact us today.

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