Some times Infants pass hard and dry stools and some times once every few days (Like 4-5 days). This usually happens during the second month of life or while the baby is introduced solid foods. If your newborn seems to be constipated, contact his or her doctor for advice.
Is there any thing that I can try at home to relive my infant’s constipation?
1. Water: Give your baby water in addition to usual feedings. Start with 50 ml to 100 ml and adjust this according to the response. Remember, that water doesn’t replace normal feedings with breast milk and it has to be in addition to the breast milk.
2. Fruit juice: If water doesn’t seem to help, try apple, prune or pear juice in addition to usual breast-feeding. Start with 50ml to 100ml / day and adjust it according to the response.
3. Baby food: If your baby is eating solid foods (after 5-6 months), try pureed apple, pears or prunes. Try barley cereal instead of rice cereal.
What to do if my baby is still having no improvement even after trying the above methods?
Consult your doctor immediately and he/she might place an infant glycerin suppository into your baby’s anus to induce the bowel movement.
Don’t use mineral oil, laxatives or enemas to treat infant constipation.
Can there be any serious medical problem with my baby?
Rarely, infant constipation is caused by some underlying medical conditions like Hirschsprung’s disease, hypothyroidism or cystic fibrosis. If infant constipation persists despite dietary changes or is accompanied by other signs or symptoms, such as vomiting or irritability then contact your doctor for further tests.
Author: Dr. S. Boopathi, MBBS, MD Paediatrics (AIIMS)