Help my Baby is Constipated

As a parent, the worry about your baby's well-being is constant, and when it comes to concerns about constipation, it can be particularly stressful.

A Parent's Guide to Understanding and Managing Bowel Health

As a parent, the worry about your baby's well-being is constant, and when it comes to concerns about constipation, it can be particularly stressful. Understanding what constipation is and isn't, recognising normal bowel habits in infants, and making informed dietary choices can help ease your concerns and promote your baby's gut health.

What is Constipation?

Constipation in babies is often characterised by infrequent and hard bowel movements. However, it's crucial to distinguish between a normal variation in bowel habits and true constipation. Babies, especially those exclusively breastfed, can have varying bowel movement patterns. Some may have several bowel movements a day, while others might go a few days between movements without any signs of discomfort.

Normal Grunting and Straining:

Babies are still learning to coordinate their muscles, including those involved in bowel movements. It's not uncommon for babies to grunt, turn red in the face, and put on a performance while passing stool. This doesn't necessarily indicate constipation but rather reflects the learning process of pushing stool out.

Role of Milk in Constipation

The type of milk your baby consumes can influence the risk of constipation. Formula-fed babies may be at a higher risk due to the composition of formula milk. Breast milk, on the other hand, contains a balance of nutrients and is associated with a lower risk of constipation. If constipation is a concern, consulting with a healthcare provider about potential changes in formula or feeding techniques may be beneficial.

Introduction of Solids and Fibre

The introduction of solids is a significant milestone in a baby's development, and it often brings changes in bowel habits. To support a healthy gut, include soluble fibre-rich foods early in the weaning process. Foods like peas, sweet potato, and oats are excellent choices. Soluble fibre helps soften stools and aids in regular bowel movements.

Combining Puréed Foods with Protein:

As you progress in introducing solids, combining puréed foods with protein sources is common. This shift might lead to firmer stools. To assist with digestion, offer small sips of water during solid meals. Adequate hydration is essential for maintaining healthy bowel movements.

Prunes as a Dietary Addition:

Prunes are a fantastic addition to your baby's diet, especially during the weaning journey. They contain sorbitol, a natural sugar that acts as a mild laxative. Consider incorporating prunes into baby porridge or cereals to promote softer stools and alleviate constipation.

Other factors to consider 

Soluble fibre-Rich Foods for Gut Health:

In addition to prunes, include other soluble fiberre-rich foods to support your baby's gut health. Avocado, pears, and lentils are excellent choices. These foods contribute to a well-balanced and fibre-rich diet, promoting regular bowel movements.

Baby Tummy Massage:

A gentle tummy massage can be a soothing technique to ease constipation discomfort. Use clockwise motions with your fingertips, starting at the navel and moving outward. Always ensure your hands are clean and your baby is comfortable during the massage.
In some cases, when constipation persists, parents may consider additional measures to provide relief for their little ones. Purity Phipps Milk of Magnesia, a gentle and trusted product, contains Magnesium Hydroxide, which can aid in promoting bowel regularity. Magnesium plays a crucial role in supporting gut peristalsis, the rhythmic contractions of the intestines that move stool along. Purity Phipps Milk of Magnesia, when used as directed and under the guidance of a healthcare professional, may offer a gentle solution to ease constipation in babies, ensuring their comfort and promoting a healthy digestive system.

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