How to Treat and Eliminate Infant Constipation

Infant constipation is a common health issue. As a result, parents have to understand what infant constipation is. For those who have experienced what it looks and feels like, it can be both a harrowing and an eye-opening experience. A child is diagnosed of infant constipation when the child finds it difficult to poop when it should. This is a scary thing and if you know the potential harm, you should be scared too for the life of the baby.

When children have constipation, you’ll notice various trends in them. They’ll find it hard to poop. They will strain a lot just to pass out feces and they may cry a lot as a result of the discomfort they are feeling.

Infant constipation can be caused by many factors. Foremost of them is the switching from breast milk to formula or the changing of formulas without consulting with their pediatrician first. However if a child has inadequate fluid in her body system, she is likely to develop constipation because of the body’s tendency to absorb fluid from the food material traveling along the digestive tract. You should also not that infants must pas their first stool within 24 hours after birth. If the child doesn’t do this after 48 hours, then it is possible that there is a more dangerous malady affecting the infant and causing her not to be able to poop. You would have to consult the pediatrician for diagnosis.

Since constipation is not limited to just adults alone, infants have them too. Quoting Dr. John R.Christopher in the book “Childhood Diseases”, “over ninety percent of all diseases and malfunctions of children’s bodies (as with adults) stem from the unclean intestinal tract, constipation, with infrequent or difficult evacuation of the feces, retention of the feces, and lack of coordination in the nerve and muscle functions of the colon and bowel”. So, you see that constipation is not in the exclusive preserve of the adults alone.

Hence to sustain an optimal bodily function in your child, you’ll need to ensure that your child passes her stools as and when due. Give your child enough fluids to take. Do not switch abruptly from breast milk to formula or from one formula to another without consulting a pediatrician.

Popular myths such as the use of glycerin suppositories should be shunned as even doctors do not advise it. It is better to have a small amount of water inserted in the infant’s colon using an infant bulb syringe. Also, karo syrup is not in any way good for a baby’s health as it contains sugar which is extremely unhealthy for babies.

Mineral oil too which is made up of hydrocarbons is highly dissuaded as it has no nutritional value in the body of the child but only interferes with the absorption of vitamins in the body.

In the follow part, we’ll be examining the varied solutions available to us in the eliminating of infant constipation.

1. Do not under any circumstances give infants enemas or laxatives. This can cause so much havoc in the nearest future as they do not have a body system that can take the stress of breaking down all that amount of chemical.

2. For as long as possible, breast fed the child as this is the easiest food type that the baby can break down.

3. Give lots of water. As a newborn don’t give more than a small eye-dropper full of water. As your baby grows up and comes of age, give a bottle of water to her to suck on throughout the day. If you feel there is a need for it, add a little Rooibos tea (cooled) to the water-bottle. In case you are wondering what a Rooibos tea is, it is a natural tea made from herbs (Aspalathus Linearis) found only in the South African Cedarberg mountains.

4. Use magnesium popularly found in the form of magnesium citrate. This aids the contraction of the peristaltic muscles resulting in bowel evacuation. Apart from this, it enables the muscles of the intestine to function maximally. When giving it to the child, it is better to start with 1/16 of a tablespoon added to water which is given to the child. This can be continually applied until the child consistently has satisfactory bowel movements.

5. Use baby enema. To do this, apply olive oil to the tip of a bulb syringe containing about one to three (1-3) tablespoons of lukewarm water, and insert gently in the baby’s colon. Be careful that there is no air in the bulb. After a few minutes, your baby should naturally have a bowel movement. Do this until satisfied.

6. Massage the baby. This simple act can ease tension in the baby, improves digestion, improves the growth of the baby and generally helps her fight off diseases.