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Baby Constipation | How to Help a Constipated Baby

Constipation in babies can be difficult to deal with. After all, it’s never good to see your baby uncomfortable or in pain. But try not to worry. Child and newborn baby constipation is relatively common.

Here we take a look at what causes constipation in babies, how to relieve constipation in babies, and baby constipation treatment. 

What causes constipation in babies?

There are a number of possible causes of constipation in infants including1:

  • If your baby has been unwell and not eating or drinking as much as they usually would, they could be dehydrated. This lack of food and fluid intake could lead to them becoming constipated. 
  • A change in your baby’s diet. Remember that your baby’s digestive system is brand new, so adjusting to new foods takes practice. 
  • Low fibre intake. If your baby is weaning, make sure they’re eating a varied diet including fruits, vegetables and cereals, all of which are great sources of fibre. Not doing so might lead to constipation.

It’s also possible that there’s a psychological reason for your baby’s constipation. For example, if it hurts your baby to poo (perhaps because of a small tear in the anal canal, called a fissure), then to avoid the pain they might stop themselves from going. Following on from that, if babies get into the habit of withholding stools for any reason, then it can become a habit that they continue with. 

Rest assured that most cases of baby constipation can be eased with some simple adjustments.

Symptoms of constipation in babies

You’ll usually be able to recognise if your baby has constipation because of the following signs and symptoms2:

  • Delayed or infrequent stools (less than three times per week).
  • The stools are small, dry and hard.
  • Your baby is in pain and has difficulty going to the toilet.
  • Foul-smelling wind or stools.
  • Excessive wind.
  • Poor appetite.
  • A lack of energy and lethargy.
  • A firm tummy.

If your baby is showing any of the above signs of being constipated, you should talk to your health visitor or GP. They’ll be able to provide guidance on baby constipation relief and whether any baby constipation treatment is required.

If your baby is less than a year old, our Baby Symptom Checker is a useful tool to help you identify the signs of constipation in babies. 

How to help constipated babies

How to help a constipated baby is a question many parents find themselves asking. If you’re one of them, you’re most definitely not alone. But what are the best forms of baby constipation relief?

Here are a couple of practical tips on how to relieve constipation in babies2:

  • Gently move your baby’s legs as if they’re riding a bicycle.  
  • You could also try a baby tummy massage for constipation. This involves gently and carefully massaging your baby’s tummy to help stimulate their bowels.

Physical exercise also helps to get your child’s digestive system moving, so encourage active play, followed by a nice warm bath — another way to ease the symptoms of baby constipation.

These steps can be really helpful in getting things on the move, but if you don’t see any improvement, have a chat with your GP or health visitor.

Constipation in breastfed babies

Can breastfed babies get constipated? The simple answer is yes. Whilst constipation is rare in babies who are solely breastfed3, it can still happen.

Remember that exclusively breastfed babies don’t need anything other than breastmilk (including water) until they’ve started eating solid foods. It’s recommended that this doesn’t happen until your baby is around 6 months of age4.

Constipation in formula fed babies

Constipation tends to be more common in formula fed babies. If you’ve recently started giving your baby formula milk and you notice a change in their bowel movements, it’s likely that their tummy is simply adapting to the change.

If you find yourself dealing with formula fed baby constipation, make sure that you’re preparing feeds according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s never advisable to reduce or increase the amount of powder you use, as too little won’t provide the nourishment they need, and too much can cause constipation5 or make your baby ill. You could also try giving your baby cooled, boiled water in between their normal feeds6.

If symptoms persist and you need further advice, don’t hesitate to speak to your health visitor, pharmacist or GP about other nutritional solutions available to help manage your baby’s constipation.

Constipation in weaned babies

If your baby has started weaning, you might find that the change in their diet results in a change to their toilet habits, too. So if you suspect that your baby is constipated and you’ve just started the weaning journey, this could be a contributory factor as your baby’s digestive system gets used to the change7. It’s very important that your baby get’s enough fibre in their diet, so if your baby is constipated, you could try adding more fibre in the form of cereals, prunes and peas alongside their regular breast or formula milk intake8.

Baby massages to relieve constipation

Giving your baby a tummy massage can be an easy and practical way to ease their discomfort. It may help to stimulate their digestive system and get rid of trapped wind.

When giving your baby a tummy massage for constipation, be sure to:

  • Work in a clockwise direction.
  • Avoid the ribcage and make sure all strokes are on their tummy.
  • Lighten the pressure when you stroke over their bladder.

An easy and relaxing massage technique which might help relieve baby constipation is to gently use your fingertips to stroke a large, circular motion around their tummy to soothe them9.

What can I give a constipated baby?

If you’re wondering how to help a baby with constipation, depending on whether they’re breast fed, bottle fed or weaning, there are a few things you can give them in order to ease the symptoms10.  

  • Offer solely breastfed babies plenty of feeds to keep them hydrated.
  • If your baby is formula fed, offer them small amounts of water in between their regular feeds.
  • Once they’ve started weaning, offer your baby a variety of fruits and vegetables to get plenty of fibre into their system.

Baby foods that help with constipation

Once they’ve started weaning, there’s a wide variety of foods your baby can eat to help ease the symptoms of constipation. So, what are the baby foods that help with constipation?



Fruits such as pears without their skin, fresh, stewed or tinned, are good for your baby’s digestive system. As are strained fruit juices, like tomato, for example.


Try giving your baby a mixture of vegetables in their diet, including peas, parsnips, mixed vegetables (from frozen), green beans, canned sweetcorn and broccoli.

Other baby foods that help with constipation

Other foods to include as part of your baby’s varied weaning diet include things like cereals, porridge and wholemeal bread.

How much cooled boiled water should babies with constipation have?

If your baby has constipation and is bottle fed or eating solid foods, giving them cooled boiled water in between feeds can be an effective way of helping them to poo.

Start with small amounts, around 30 — 40mls12 in between feeds and see if this helps to make a difference.

Why you shouldn’t give your baby sugar  water for constipation

It’s not advisable to give your baby sugar water as a remedy for constipation. In fact, adding sugar or sweeteners to your child’s diet should be avoided until they’re at least four years old due to the risk of tooth decay13.

Prune juice for a baby with constipation

It’s not advisable to give your baby prune juice, even if it’s diluted, if your baby is under nine months old. This is because it contains a natural bowel irritant14. If your baby is less than 12 months old, always consult your doctor or health visitor about how much prune juice to give them and if it’s advisable (even if they’re older than nine months of age) in order to ensure they’re not having too much.  

At the end of the day, baby constipation is not uncommon and is usually nothing to worry about. In most cases, by trying the tips above you’ll see an improvement in your baby’s condition, but remember that it may take a couple of days to get things moving again.

If things don’t improve, speak to your health visitor, pharmacist or GP for more information and next steps and solutions.

Oriana Hernandez Carrion

Oriana has a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and Food Science (1st class) from University Iberoamericana in Mexico, the country where she completed an internship in a Children’s Public Hospital (HIMFG) and later on worked in a private nutrition clinic. 

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  1. NICE. Constipation in children and young people: diagnosis and management [Online]. 2010. Available at: [Accessed: April 2016].
  2. NHS Start 4 Life. Breastfeeding challenges — Constipation [Online]. Available at: https://www. [Accessed March 2021].
  3. National Health Service (NHS) Derbyshire Community Health Services. Advice and guidance: bowel movements [online]. Available at,(30%20%E2%80%93%2040%20mls). Accessed April 2021.
  4. NHS. Drinks and cups for babies and young children [Online]. 2018. Available at: [Accessed March 2021]
  5. National Health Service (NHS). How to make up baby formula [online] 2019. Available at Accessed March 2021.
  6. NHS Start 4 Life. Breastfeeding challenges — Constipation [Online]. Available at: [Accessed March 2021].
  7. NICE. Constipation in children and young people: diagnosis and management [Online]. 2010. Available at: [Accessed: April 2016].
  8. healthline. Constipation in breastfed babies: symptoms, causes and treatment [online] 2019. Available at Accessed March 2021.
  9. Tommys. Baby massage tips and how to get started [Online]. 2019. Available at: [Accessed March 2021]
  10. National Health Service (NHS). Constipation in babies [online] 2020. Available at Accessed March 2021.
  11. National Health Service (NHS) West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust patient information [online] 2020. Available at Accessed April 2021.
  12. National Health Service (NHS) Derbyshire Community Health Services. Advice and guidance: bowel movements [online]. Available at,(30%20%E2%80%93%2040%20mls). Accessed April 2021.
  13. National Health Service (NHS). Foods to avoid giving babies and young children [online] 2018. Available at Accessed April 2021.
  14. National Health Service (NHS) Derbyshire Community Health Services. Advice and guidance: bowel movements [online]. Available at,(30%20%E2%80%93%2040%20mls). Accessed April 2021.

Last reviewed: 09th June 2021
Reviewed by Oriana Hernandez Carrion

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It’s amazing how much time can be spent by parents discussing the contents of their baby’s nappy: is she pooing enough? Too much? Is it the right kind, colour, texture?

Some parents worry if their baby doesn’t perform every day, but as long as she’s not crying or irritable and is feeding normally, she’s probably fine.

There is no normal number or schedule for baby poos, just as in adults, babies’ bowel patterns vary, and poo can change in texture and colour from day to day.

Breastfed babies are unlikely to become constipated as breast milk is much more easily digested than formula milk. Breastfed babies poo also tends to be much softer than bottle fed babies too.

What is constipation in babies?

Constipation makes it more difficult for your little one to have a poo and is often caused by their diet. Luckily, it’s normally quite easy to treat at home.

How you can tell if your baby is constipated?

Parents get used to the regularity of their baby’s bowel movements so will usually notice if the pattern changes.

Babies can go from pooing several times a day to going only once a week. But surprisingly, it isn’t the frequency, but rather the type of bowel movement that matters.

A constipated baby passes small, hard stools and may strain or appear to have some difficulty passing them.  

They may have tummy pain and they might go off their food and could also produce foul-smelling wind or particularly offensive-smelling poo.

Baby constipation may also be a result or cause of other conditions so always look out for other signs that all is not well: refusing feeds, apparent cramping, abdominal pain, vomiting, fever or bloody stools; or if your baby shows signs of dehydration, such as infrequent urination, sunken eyes or doughy skin.

If you are concerned that your child is unwell get an urgent appointment for your baby to be seen by a doctor.

Strangely a very liquid poo can be also be a sign of severe constipation. Liquid poo can slip past the blockage of hard poo in the lower intestine. This is uncommon, but your baby should be seen by their GP if it is suspected.

What are the causes of constipation in babies?

Constipation may be caused by a number of things including a change of diet (sometimes switching from breast milk to formula or from formula to solid food can jolt your baby’s digestive system, causing constipation) dehydration or a minor illness like a cold.

It is rarely seen in breastfed babies because breast milk is more easily digested. Very rarely constipation can be a sign of a congenital bowel disease so it’s best to check with your GP or health visitor before trying the home remedies below.

How to treat constipation in babies

There are several things you can do to relieve your baby’s constipation quickly:

  • Babies over six months who have started on solids can eat foods containing fibre which will help overcome constipation; puréed or chopped apples, apricots, blueberries, grapes, pears, plums, prunes, raspberries and strawberries are all high in fibre.
  • Give your baby extra drinks of cooled, boiled water in between feeds if she is being bottle fed. Never add sugar or rice cereal to formula milk — it doesn’t help constipation and could cause choking.
  • If your baby is being bottle fed, check her bottles are being made correctly — too much baby milk powder will make the feed too concentrated.
  • Gently massage your baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction. Some baby oil on your hands may help. But if your baby seems tense or doesn’t like the sensation stop immediately.
  • Gently move your baby’s legs in a cycling motion. Sometimes this gentle ‘exercise’ can help move the poo through her system.
  • Give your baby a warm bath and apply some cream or petroleum jelly around her bottom to soothe and prevent soreness.

How to help a constipated baby

Use the tips above as a good starting place but do keep in mind that it may take a few days to get things moving again, but if things don’t improve, speak to your health visitor or doctor. 

Ask the experts

If you have any worries about your baby’s health, it’s always best to talk to your doctor or health visitor. If your baby’s constipation is severe, your doctor may suggest a laxative, which can be given as a medicine or via a suppository.

Try not to worry too much if your baby becomes constipated. It’s likely to happen now and then, especially if she is on formula feeds or when she is weaned and solid foods are introduced.

Just pay attention, help with these natural home remedies and, in time, she’ll be regular as clockwork again!

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Constipation in a child — causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of constipation

Constipation in a child — the absence of stool for a day or more, as well as a change in the nature of the feces when they become hard and dry with a normal frequency of defecation.

Children often experience constipation due to malnutrition, stress, problems with the digestive system. To accurately determine the cause of a malfunction in the intestines, the child needs to be examined.

Causes of constipation in a child

The specific cause is determined by the doctor on the basis of the collected history, clinical symptoms and examination data. There are several factors that can cause constipation in a child.

Non-compliance with nutrition rules

Most often, young parents face such a problem for the first time immediately after the introduction of the first complementary foods to a child at 6 months of age. Cereals and solid foods begin to dominate the baby’s diet, while the usual breast milk fades into the background. All this affects both intestinal motility and the consistency of stool. They become hard and take the form of small balls (the so-called «sheep feces»). Because of this, every act of defecation in the baby is difficult and painful, so he often cries during a bowel movement.

The cause of constipation in children 3-4 years old is a lack of fiber in the diet. But it is she who stimulates intestinal motility. The child consumes few vegetables and fruits, which are the main sources of fiber, since cottage cheese, cereals, and meat begin to predominate in his menu.

In this case, it is enough to change the baby’s diet by adding more vegetables, fruits, «soft» foods and liquid meals to the diet, as well as adjust the drinking regimen.

Psychological state of the child

«Psychological constipation» occurs in children who are taught to use the potty. Parents need to be patient, because if the baby feels irritation, each act of defecation will become a source of stress for him.

Preschoolers and younger children may have difficulty going to the toilet when they first start kindergarten or school. Then they begin to restrain natural needs, which is fraught with constipation. In this case, calm conversations with the child can help.


Reproduction of pathogenic microflora and suppression of vital activity of beneficial bacteria also cause constipation. Due to indigestion, bowel movements begin to occur with a delay. The feces become greenish-gray and acquire an unpleasant odor. In this case, the child complains of rumbling and pain in the abdomen.

Infectious process

Quite often, constipation develops after an infectious disease that occurs with a high temperature. Because of the fever, fluid from the body is lost during increased sweating and during evaporation with rapid breathing. Therefore, due to lack of fluid, stools acquire a dense texture and move poorly through the intestines.

Pathologies of the rectum and chronic diseases of the digestive system

Constipation can be a symptom of many diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammation of the mucosa or ulcerative defects on it disrupt the normal process of digestion. This is reflected in the frequency of trips to the toilet.

As for the pathologies of the rectum, they are all characterized by painful defecation. Therefore, the child tries his best to restrain himself so as not to experience discomfort during a bowel movement.


Worm infestations can be diagnosed at any age. However, in young children, they often provoke constipation. Infection occurs with errors in personal hygiene. As a result, digestion is disturbed, beriberi and anemia develop, and due to the deterioration in the movement of feces through the intestines, problems with defecation appear.

Other causes

Constipation in a child can also be caused by irritation of the skin around the anus or an allergic reaction in this area. In this case, the act of defecation provokes pain and discomfort, so the child deliberately avoids it.

Constipation can also be one of the symptoms of pathologies such as hypothyroidism, vitamin D deficiency, anemia, food allergies. Sometimes the cause of constipation in a child may be a hereditary predisposition or a side effect of taking certain medications. In any case, only a doctor can determine the cause of the problem.

Symptoms of a pathological condition

Constipation is accompanied by a number of unpleasant local and general symptoms. Among the local manifestations, parents usually note in a child:

  • decreased frequency of bowel movements;
  • incomplete bowel movement;
  • dense consistency of feces;
  • baby complains of pain during bowel movements.

With constipation, especially prolonged, the general condition of the child may suffer. In many cases, this is due to intoxication of the body. In particular, parents notice:

  • weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite and headache;
  • appearance of pimples on the skin;
  • bloating due to accumulation of gases.

At the same time, one should not forget about the clinical symptoms of the underlying disease (if any), against which constipation appeared.

In order to recognize the problem of constipation in a child and consult a doctor in time to select a treatment, parents need to know the norms for the frequency and nature of the stool in children of different ages.


Stool frequency

Character of feces

Up to 3 months breastfeeding

On average, 1 to 6 times a day. Permissible frequency — up to 1 time per week.

Viscous, semi-fluid. The color varies from yellow to yellowish green. It may be homogeneous or contain inclusions in the form of light lumps.

Up to 3 months, artificial feeding

1 to 4 times a day

Pasty consistency. Yellowish or light brown.

From 6 months to 1 year

1 to 3 times a day

Soft, may not be decorated. Color — from dark yellow to brown.

1 to 3 years

1-2 times a day

Decorated, brown.

3 years and older

On average, 1 time per day. Permissible frequency — 3 times a week.

Decorated, brown or dark brown.

Classification and stages of development of constipation

A unified classification of this pathological condition has not been developed. However, in clinical practice, depending on the origin, there are:

  • primary constipation — occurs as a result of anomalies in the development of the digestive system;
  • secondary constipation — is a symptom of another disease;
  • idiopathic constipation — the exact etiology of the pathological condition has not been established.

According to the nature and duration of the course, constipation can be:

  • acute, when bowel problems occur suddenly;
  • chronic, in which the child suffers from a defecation disorder for more than 3 months.

There are also constipation:

  • functional when there is no organic lesion of the digestive tract;
  • hypertensive — the intestines with feces are in a strong tone;
  • hypotonic — the tone of the intestine is weakened and in this state is not able to maintain normal motility.

There are also 3 stages of compensation for the pathological condition:

  1. Stage 1, fully compensated — bowel movement occurs 1 time in 2-3 days;
  2. Stage 2, subcompensation — the act of defecation in a child happens 1 time in 5-7 days;
  3. Stage 3, decompensation — stool occurs once a week or less.

Mechanism of constipation

In constipation, stool stays in the intestines for a long time, which makes it even drier and denser, as additional fluid is absorbed. Bowel movements are difficult and painful. Often there is injury to the mucosa. During the act of defecation, the child experiences very unpleasant sensations, so he tries to restrain himself.

The more often this happens, the faster the intestines adapt to this condition. First, there is a slowdown in impulses signaling the need for an act of defecation. Further, fecal masses begin to stagnate. All this provokes the development of general intoxication of the body, contributes to the appearance of dysbacteriosis, indigestion and further aggravates the child’s condition.

Fossilized feces gradually stretch the capsule of the rectum. The anal sphincter weakens. Liquid calculi begin to flow around the formed lump, and stone smearing begins.

When should I see a doctor?

The child needs medical attention if:

  • the child complains of severe abdominal pain;
  • no stool for more than 3 days;
  • when emptying the intestines, the rectal mucosa falls out, or hemorrhoids appear;
  • there are traces of fresh blood or mucus in the stools;
  • stool changes its characteristics — becomes dry, hard, fetid;
  • the general condition of the child suffers — the body temperature rises, flatulence, nausea, and vomiting appear.

Diagnostic methods

First, at the appointment, the doctor collects an anamnesis of the disease, asking the parents in detail, and also evaluates the diet and drinking regimen of the baby based on the data. Next, the doctor conducts a general examination of the child, paying attention to the skin turgor and its color, palpates the abdomen. If necessary, conducts a digital examination of the rectum, assessing the condition and filling of its ampoule, sphincter tone and the integrity of the mucosa.

After the examination, the doctor recommends to the parents a full examination of the child, which usually includes:

  • analysis of feces for dysbacteriosis (bacteriological culture) — a biological study, with the help of which the composition of the intestinal microflora is clarified;
  • clinical blood test — makes it possible to assess the general condition of the child, to identify non-specific signs of inflammation, allergies, and anemia;
  • a biochemical blood test shows how the liver, pancreas and other organs involved in digestion function;
  • intestinal endoscopy (colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy) is a study that allows you to study the condition of its mucosa and diagnose a number of pathologies of the digestive tract.
  • Only on the basis of the results of the examination, the doctor can determine the cause of constipation and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

    Constipation treatments

    Treatment of constipation should only be complex. It is prescribed necessarily taking into account the causes and concomitant pathologies. The treatment regimen includes drugs, herbal medicine, physiotherapy (electrophoresis), reflexology, exercise therapy.

    But first of all it is necessary to change the way of life. If a child is diagnosed with functional constipation, he is advised to move more, since any physical activity stimulates the motor function of the intestine.

    The second aspect is diet. The child’s diet should contain a sufficient amount of foods rich in fiber, which stimulates digestion and peristalsis. In parallel, it is necessary to adjust the baby’s drinking regimen.

    As a drug treatment for constipation, parents can use:

    • probiotics and prebiotics with lactulose;
    • laxatives and cholagogues;
    • antispasmodics.

    Only the attending physician can prescribe a specific drug and adjust the dosage according to age.

    Diet for constipation

    Correction of diet for constipation is the main component of the success of treatment. Nutrition should be age-appropriate and meet its needs for essential substances.

    If the baby is breastfed, continue breastfeeding. If necessary, it is worth adjusting the mother’s diet: reduce consumption or completely eliminate foods that increase gas formation from the diet. With artificial feeding, it is recommended to choose a mixture containing special additives.

    For the first feeding, it is better to choose puree from vegetables that stimulate intestinal motility: zucchini, pumpkin, cauliflower. All babies, regardless of the type of feeding, after the start of complementary foods, need a sufficient amount of boiled water.

    If an older child has constipation, it is essential to include enough fresh fruits and vegetables, natural sources of fibre, in the diet. There are some exceptions to this rule: for example, pears, persimmons, and blueberries are astringent and can aggravate constipation.

    A significant amount of fiber is also found in oatmeal and buckwheat, wholemeal bread, and bran. Specially prepared bran can be purchased at a pharmacy. To treat constipation in a child, bran is poured with warm water, settled for 20 minutes and added to main dishes. The dose is selected individually, starting with 1 teaspoon. With constipation, bran should be given 2-3 times a day, and after solving the problem, the frequency of intake is reduced to 1 time per day. When taking bran, it is necessary to provide the child with plenty of fluids, otherwise bran can play the role of a sorbent and further increase constipation.

    The child’s food should be mainly crumbly, contain meat (poultry, fish) in pieces. Breakfast should be plentiful in order to reflexively stimulate the act of defecation in the morning.

    To eliminate constipation, you should avoid eating pureed foods, strong tea, coffee, jelly, rice and semolina porridge. It is also necessary to minimize the presence of sweets and muffins in the diet. It is better to replace fresh milk with fermented milk products.

    The best drink for children suffering from chronic constipation is plain boiled water. You can give diluted vegetable and fruit juices with pulp. Without following the condition of abundant drinking, any adjustments to the child’s diet may be ineffective.

    Daily routine

    The habit of following a daily routine helps to establish the correct functioning of the vegetative part of the nervous system and develop the habit of emptying the intestines at a certain time.

    In the morning, immediately after waking up, give your child half a glass of water (for children under 3 years old — a third of a glass). Then the child can do morning hygiene procedures, exercises. Usually these actions take no more than 20 minutes, after which the baby has breakfast.

    Ideally, a defecation should occur after a meal. By agreement with the attending physician, it can be called in auxiliary ways, for example, with the help of a candle or microclysters. In case of success, the child should definitely be praised, and if he did not succeed, do not scold.

    All children need walks and active play. Movement stimulates peristalsis, which ensures effective prevention of constipation in a child — this rule is also relevant for babies at 1-2 years old, and preschoolers 5-6 years old, and older children.

    Possible complications of constipation

    Long-term constipation may cause distension of the colon. If the feces stand in one place for a long time, this can lead to impaired blood circulation in the intestinal walls and the formation of hemorrhoids. With excessive straining, the rectum sometimes falls out.

    Constipation can lead to general intoxication, dysbacteriosis, provoke colitis, paraproctitis and other chronic bowel diseases.

    Prognosis and prevention

    The prognosis for the pathological condition is favorable, but the sooner attention is paid to the problem, the better for the child.

    Prevention of constipation consists in the gradual introduction of complementary foods, rational nutrition, adherence to the drinking regimen, periodic examinations for helminths and timely treatment of pathologies of the digestive tract.

    How to calculate the correct amount of fluid for a child

    1. Babies under 1 year of age should drink at least 100 ml of water per day.
    2. After one year, if the child weighs 10–20 kg, add another 50 ml per kilogram to the original 100 ml.
    3. Children over 20 kg should add 20 ml per kilogram to 600 ml.
    4. For babies 3-5 years old and older, the calculation of the daily volume of liquid is easier — just take 30 ml of water per kilogram of body weight.

    Questions most frequently asked by parents

    What is forbidden to do with constipation in a child?

    Small children, who have just started to potty training by their parents, should not be shouted at and forced to sit on it. In addition, with constipation at any age, you should not give foods that slow down intestinal motility (semolina and rice porridge, persimmon, pear, jelly).

    What can be done before the doctor arrives?

    Parents can give a laxative suppository and a microclyster. Laxatives, even if there is an instruction, are recommended to be given only after consulting a doctor.

    How to make an enema for a baby?

    It is necessary to take a rubber bulb of small volume, draw water at room temperature (temperature not higher than 22–26 ° C), grease the tip with Vaseline. Babies up to a year old are placed on their backs, older children on their left side. With one hand, the buttocks are parted, with the other, the tip of the rubber bulb is carefully inserted to a depth of 3–5 cm.

    Then the bulb is slowly squeezed and the entire portion of water is squeezed out. Then the pear is taken out, the buttocks of the child are squeezed for 2–3 minutes, after which they are put on a potty or sent to the toilet.

    What can be given to a child for constipation?

    Kefir, beetroot juice, chamomile decoction, dates, walnuts and dried apricots have a laxative effect.

    What should be the baby’s diet so that he does not suffer from constipation?

    Each person’s body is individual. The assimilation of products occurs in different ways. Therefore, no one will give a definite answer, except for a doctor who has been observing a child since birth. Only he will help to create the optimal menu for him, taking into account all the features of his digestive system.

    Constipation in a formula-fed or mixed-fed newborn

    Of course, the ideal food for babies is breast milk, which, in addition to the main nutrients, contains prebiotics (which stimulate the growth of beneficial microflora in the intestines), digestive enzymes (break down food into the simplest substances that are then absorbed into the body) and other useful for bowel substance 1 .

    Constipation in babies during breastfeeding occurs infrequently 2 . If constipation still occurs, then how best to help the baby? First of all, the mother’s diet should be adjusted, especially if she also periodically encounters such a phenomenon as constipation. It is better to reduce the consumption of semolina and rice porridge, whole milk, muffins, refined foods, coffee, cocoa, black tea 3 . These products can lead to constipation in the mother, and therefore in the baby.

    Also, it is better to exclude foods that contribute to excessive gas formation from the diet of a nursing mother:

    • tomatoes;
    • legumes;
    • mushrooms;
    • black bread;
    • cabbage.

    In addition, massaging the baby’s tummy can help.

    An unpleasant phenomenon — constipation in a child — can also be faced by young mothers whose babies are bottle-fed. Do not panic, because constipation with artificial feeding is quite common 2 . First of all, it is worth finding out the causes of constipation, as well as methods for eliminating or preventing this problem.

    How do you know if your baby is constipated?

    Normally, in a newborn baby who is breastfed, the intestines are cleared after each feeding (8–9 times a day). But the same baby, fed with an artificial mixture, has a stool 1-4 times a day. As the baby grows older, the frequency of his stool decreases, and the amount of stool increases 4 .

    But it is worth remembering that each baby has its own rhythm of bowel cleansing. The most important thing is the general condition of the child. If the newborn is calm, has a normal temperature, does not suffer from increased gas formation, defecation is painless, and the consistency of the stool is soft, then even irregular stools are not a cause for concern. In this case, we are not talking about constipation in a child with artificial feeding 1 .

    Causes of constipation

    Causes of constipation in children under one year old (both bottle-fed and breast-fed with complementary foods) can be 1 :

    • lack of vegetable fiber products;
    • insufficient drinking regimen;
    • introducing complementary foods too quickly;
    • incorrect choice of milk mixture;
    • excess fat in food;
    • frequent and rapid transitions from one mixture to another;
    • deviations in the work of the intestines;
    • violations of the intestinal microflora due to infectious diseases, the appointment of drugs.

    Prevention of constipation in babies


    To prevent constipation, you should try to keep breastfeeding your baby as long as possible.

    • Transfer to artificial nutrition should be smooth.
    • If your baby becomes constipated when switching to formula milk, it is better to try to choose a different diet.
    • It is important to know that with artificial feeding, the child needs an additional volume of liquid, therefore, between feedings, he needs to be given boiled water.
    • Improves baby’s digestion and massage of the tummy in a clockwise direction, as well as walks, meals strictly on the clock and a lot of positive emotions.

    If all of the above does not help, you can try a laxative.

    Laxative Duphalac® has a high safety profile, it can be used in children from the first days of life 5 . Duphalac has a double action: it gently cleanses the intestines and restores its microflora, establishing regular stools 5 .

    By alexxlab

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