How to manage your baby's constipation

management strategy for infant constipation:

  1. Increase fluid intake: Ensure that the infant is well-hydrated by offering frequent feeds if they are exclusively breastfed, or providing adequate amounts of formula if they are formula-fed. Encourage additional fluids such as water or diluted fruit juice if the infant has started solid foods.

  2. Dietary adjustments: If the infant has started solid foods, introduce high-fiber foods gradually, such as pureed fruits (e.g., prunes, pears) and vegetables (e.g., peas, broccoli). Avoid constipating foods like rice cereal, bananas, and carrots until the constipation resolves.

  3. Tummy massage: Gently massage the infant's abdomen in a clockwise direction to stimulate bowel movements. This can be done by using circular motions with your fingertips.

  4. Increase physical activity: Encourage regular tummy time and gentle leg exercises to promote movement in the abdominal area, which can aid in relieving constipation.

  5. Warm baths: Give the infant warm baths to help relax their muscles and relieve any discomfort associated with constipation.

  6. Consider glycerin suppositories: If the constipation persists and other methods have not provided relief, consult a healthcare professional who may recommend the use of glycerin suppositories to soften the stool and facilitate bowel movements. However, only use suppositories under medical guidance.

  7. Seek medical advice: If the constipation persists for an extended period, is accompanied by severe symptoms (such as vomiting, blood in the stool, or abdominal pain), or if the infant is not gaining weight properly, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation and further management.

Remember, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper assessment and personalized advice based on the infant's age, health status, and any underlying conditions.

Nauman Ahmad, MD Pediatrician

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