Constipation is a very common problem in babies and young children. I would say all babies at some point suffer from constipation for a number of reasons. Some are listed here:
- Babies with Reflux are often prescribed Gaviscon to thicken the milk or a formula that has a thickener in it. While this helps stable the problem of Reflux it also creates the problem of constipation.
- Breast fed babies can become constipated when formula is introduced.
- Too much UHT formula may impact on their bowel movements.
- If your breast fed baby has not moved their bowels for several days this does not indicate they are constipated. Breast milk, which is naturally prepared, is absorbed through the body and babies therefore do not have very much waste.
- The process of weaning can cause constipation as the gut gets use to solid food.
- Babies often get all the fluids they need from breast or formula but beyond 6 months if they do not drink water they can become constipated.
- Children need to eat a balanced diet so there is a good variety in their diet and not too much repetition of one food.
- If a child is unsettled emotionally or is going through an anxious period it could have an impact on their bowel movements.
- A child who has been unwell especially from a gastro illness may have become dehydrated and this can lead to constipation.
What you can do to ease the constipation:
- Switch to a different formula powder.
- Massage your baby and rotate their legs as if they were riding a bicycle.
- Give your child water or diluted juice, freshly squeezed orange juice to 3 parts water works well.
- Use powdered formula not UHT.
- Lots of fruit, vegtables, and other fiber in your childs diet.
- You can buy lactolose from the chemist, no perscription needed, but seek advice from the doctor first.