It is normal for some babies to have even just two passages of stools every week. It is also normal for some babies to grunt when releasing stools. What is not normal is when your baby is having hard and dry stools. That is definitely a sign of constipation.
What makes constipation a problem is that it might cause painful scratches on the rectum. The newborn will have a hard time releasing stools when that happens. As someone who cares, you can do a lot of things to treat the newborn constipation. Below are some constipation treatments for newborns:
- Give the baby more water. Constipation is a sign of dehydration or insufficient amount of water in the body. Provide the baby with more water everyday. She should drink at least four ounces of water everyday. Add more ounces if this amount does not result to anything positive. Lessen the water if the stool becomes too watery.
- Give the baby fruit juices. Pear, prune, or apple juices help add more fiber for the baby. Fiber helps to digest the food better, which also helps in better bowel movement. Constipation is also a known sign of insufficient fiber intake. Almost all fruit juices can help but the mentioned above are the best and safest sources of fiber for babies.
- Change the baby’s diet to fibrous. If the baby is already eating, try to switch her diet to fibrous diets. Instead of the usual food she takes, try giving her pureed pears, barley cereals, and pureed prunes. Avoid giving the baby foods that might aggravate constipation like bananas or rice cereal.
- Apply lubricant on the baby’s anus. Prevent scratching during the passage of hard and dry stools by applying water-based lubricant on the anus. This should help for easier stool passage.
- Feed the baby more breast milk instead of formula. The mother’s milk contains safe and natural laxative for the baby. The stool will not be that hard and dry with some intake of breast milk.
- Change the baby formula. The baby’s formula can be a cause of the constipation. If she just changed her formula, better try to switch again and see if that will help.
- Give the baby a teaspoon of karo syrup. Besides being sweet, this syrup is also known for alleviating constipation. Your local pasty-making supply store or grocery probably has karo syrup in stock.
- Mix a teaspoon of flax oil to water, breast milk, or baby formula. This oil also helps alleviate constipation by softening the stools.
- Help the baby to exercise. Leg cycling helps in relaxing and massaging the stomach. This exercise also helps the stools to move easily
- Massage the baby’s stomach. Apply some baby oil on the baby’s tummy and start massaging it using gentle and circular motion. The abdomen massage helps for better digestion, which might treat constipation.
- Add some diluted magnesium into the baby’s water. Dilute about three drops of magnesium in a glass of water. Instead of plain water, use this mixture when giving the baby something to drink.
- Give the baby a special bath. Water level in the bath should cover the baby’s stomach. The lukewarm water relaxes the stomach. Gently massage the baby’s stomach as she relaxes in the bath.
Your newborn baby’s constipation should be relieved after a few days of trying any of the treatment tips above. If the baby’s condition worsens, then bring her to the pediatrician immediately. She might be suffering from a disease that is more than just constipation.