When Baby Can’t Poop: Baby Constipation Remedies

It’s hard enough to be a good parent on the good days, but when something is ailing baby it’s even more of a challenge. Babies can’t tell us what is wrong, so it can be difficult to ascertain what the problem is. When baby is constipated, however, there are signs to look for. Is your baby:

  • Crying?
  • Straining?
  • Turning red in the face?

Has the baby not had a dirty diaper recently, or had one full of hard, pebble-like stools?

If you answered “yes” to these questions, your baby is very likely constipated. You’re going to need to educate yourself on some baby constipation cures to get your bundle of joy back to her smiling, cooing self as soon as possible.

Is your baby formula fed? If so, it may be the formula that is causing the problem. If you have changed formulas recently, switch back and see if the problem subsides. Also, if you are feeding baby a cow’s milk based formula (which the majority of baby formulas are), the issue could be an acquired sensitivity to lactose. Try switching to a soy-based formula and monitor your child’s bowel activity to see if any changes occur.

If your baby is breastfed, there could be something in your breast milk that is causing the tummy upset in your baby. If mommy eats strongly flavored foods or those that are known to be gaseous in adults (such as cabbage, onions, and strong spices) these flavorings can be passed onto baby via the breast milk. Examine your own diet to determine whether the baby constipation cures most easily determined for you can be traced back to mom, not baby.

Whether you breast feed or formula feed your child, if you have determined that it’s neither mommy’s diet or the type of formula that is causing the issues, you may need to try something else. One of the easiest baby constipation cures is to add some prune juice baby’s diet. Prune juice can be mixed with expressed breast milk or formula and given to baby in a bottle, making it a safe and easy way to encourage good bowel movements in your child. If the problem becomes chronic, as it sometimes will with children, prune juice as a daily preventative measure is also a good choice.

Prune juice as one of the baby constipation cures for babies who are older than four months: Dilute about an ounce of juice into ½ cup of breast milk or formula. This can be given to baby twice a day (for a total of 8 ounces of formula or milk and 2 ounces of juice daily) until the problem is resolved. If baby is not yet four months old, it should only take about a tablespoon of juice per 4 oz of milk to loosen the stool.

Other baby constipation cures are the same as for adults. For example, ensure your baby remains sufficiently hydrated throughout the day. Breastfed babies who feed on a regular schedule and sufficiently drain the breast will be getting enough hydration. Water is a good choice for children who can drink from a cup, but always ensure they are still getting enough milk as well, because it contains essential vitamins and nutrients.

It’s never pleasant when your baby is uncomfortable, and constipation can wreak havoc on your baby’s little body. Rest assured, however, that this is most often not a sign of anything serious and that it can be resolved with a little investigative work and small changes in your diet or your baby’s. If the problem persists, however, you may need to speak to your child’s doctor to determine how to best proceed.