Over the years, my husband and I have had to deal with one parenting issue after another. Infant constipation has been one of the most frustrating; it’s hard to see your child in pain, and you want to do everything you can to rectify that immediately. If your child is suffering from infant constipation and needs instant relief, these tried and true methods may help your child get over the hurdle and establish regular bowel movements.
The Mayo Clinic recommends increasing your child’s fluid intake as a method of treating infant constipation. If you are breastfeeding, increase the frequency and length of breastfeeding sessions. As a breastfeeding mother, you may also need to drink more fluid to help ease constipation in your infant. If your child is old enough to drink water or apple juice, consider increasing his or her fluid intake with more of these or with the addition of prune juice diluted with water.
Try a warm bath.
Dr. Sears suggests a technique for treating infant constipation where a warm bath is combined with a gentle stomach massage. Together, the combination may help your child have a much needed bowel movement. This may also work well for infants that are having other digestive problems.
Consider an infant suppository.
Though you may be hesitant to consider this treatment option, even WebMD recommends a glycerin suppository as an effective (and often immediate) treatment for infant constipation. The suppository may provide your child with the rectal stimulation necessary to have a bowel movement. You may want to consult your child’s primary care physician if this is the first time you have ever had to use a suppository or if you have any questions or concerns.
Alter the formula brand or form.
With my oldest daughter, she responded poorly to infant formula in powdered form where we added water. However, she quickly returned to having regular bowel movements when we switched to ready-to-serve infant formula that did not require mixing with water before serving. While this was more expensive, it was obviously the easier method for my daughter.
While the above suggestions may be helpful in treating your infant’s constipation, none are a cure. If your child does suffer from constipation regularly, be sure to discuss the situation with your child’s health care provider in order to accurately ascertain the cause and potential preventative measures that can keep infant constipation from occurring in the future.
“Infant Constipation,” Mayo Clinic.
“Constipation,” Ask Dr. Sears.
WebMD; Your Baby’s Bowels and Constipation; http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/diapering-a-baby-9/baby-constipation