Infant Constipation May Be Difficult to Spot

Infant constipation is certainly nothing new to parents.  However, it can be very difficult to understand when your child is having a constipation problem because they are unable to tell you when things are not working properly.  While we may be relieved not to be changing smelly diapers for a few days—the fact is that bowel incontinence is very dangerous in a small child because of the toxins and bacteria contained within human feces.

Indeed, waste is filled with dangerous substances like bacteria and toxins and they need to be disposed of properly and quickly.  With any type of constipation, there is a danger that these toxins and harmful microbes will become reabsorbed into the blood stream if the waste is not passed during a normal bowel movement.  These bacteria and toxins will cause infection and cell damage at a far quicker rate than would be the case for an adult with constipation pain.  Therefore, it is very important for parents to pay attention to how often your child has a bowel movement.

But, what is baby constipation really when none of us can say for certain what a normal bowel movement is—for an adult or a baby!  For some of us, a normal bowel movement occurs each and every day while it may also be perfectly natural for another person to have one every 2-3 days.  So, how can you recognize infant constipation when there is no universal time for a normal bowel movement?

Each of our bodies establishes when a normal bowel movement occurs and this should be very consistent for each of us.  If your child normally has a bowel movement every 2 days, then you probably need to start thinking about constipation treatment when 3-4 days pass without passing any stool.

However, there is a big difference in normal bowel movements between children who are breast fed and those who are given formula.  Five to six days may pass in between bowel movements for babies who are breast fed whereas you would be seeking immediate constipation treatment for an infant who went that long without passing stool!

If you should happen to notices that infant constipation is present, don’t try giving the baby any adult medicine for the problem.  Laxatives and other constipation cures for adults are too harsh for the fragile body of an infant.  Consult with a physician for constipation help for any child under the age of 12 but especially for infants and babies.

To help prevent constipation in your baby, try adding in foods that are high in dietary fiber as soon as possible to their diet.  Some foods that are high in fiber and suitable for most babies include:

  • Carrots
  • Yams
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli

While it can be difficult to identify a constipation problem in a baby because of their inability to speak, it is important to pay attention to the time it takes for a normal bowel movement.  If the baby goes beyond this time by more than a couple of times, consult with a physician immediately for the best constipation information and treatment for the problem.  It is important to do so because infant constipation, just as with the adult variety, can lead to serious problems if left untreated.

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