In the previous article, we introduced one home remedy when your baby gets constipated. However, before he/she gets constipated, what should you be aware of?
What do you need to check your baby regarding constipation?
Check to see if your baby is getting enough milk.
It is difficult to know how much your baby has drunk when you are breastfeeding or mixing breast milk and formula. When the amount of breastfeeding is low, constipation can easily occur due to a lack of water and nutrition.
To avoid this situation, weigh your baby before and after each feeding, or measure the amount of milk in the bottle before feeding. If there is no increase in your baby’s weight, or if your baby is unhappy for an extremely long time at each feeding, it is likely that you are not feeding enough.
Change the brand of formula
The composition of formula varies slightly depending on the product and depending on the compatibility with the baby, constipation or soft stools may occur. If you are using powdered milk, you can try changing it to a different brand.
When you start weaning, the amount of breast milk or formula feeding decreases, which reduces the water content of stools and makes constipation more likely to occur. You may think, “Should I stop weaning? However, since weaning is an exercise in taking in and digesting nutrients from food, it is best to continue with the weaning process by introducing foods that are less likely to cause constipation.
What kind of food should I give to them?
[Early Stage of Weaning]
During this period, when there are many easily digestible foods such as rice porridge with a lot of water and mashed vegetables, the amount of stool tends to be smaller because there is less debris to form a stool. In addition, the amount of breastfeeding decreases, so it is important to keep hydrating with meals.
Rehydrate after meals.
Rehydrate after meals with breast milk, formula, barley tea, or cold water. Apple or citrus juice diluted about three times is also recommended.
Include soup on the menu.
Increase the number of soups, such as vegetable soup and the top of miso soup.
[Mid to late stage of weaning]
As weaning progresses, there is a tendency for babies to show a clear preference for foods they like and dislike, such as wanting to eat only udon or white rice. Also, during this period, babies are very curious and tend to spend more time “playing” with food, kneading it, throwing it on the floor, or moving around while eating. The baby’s appetite and interest in the food itself vary from person to person, and there is basically nothing to worry about if the baby’s weight and health are good.
If you are concerned about constipation, try the following tips.
Include foods high in fiber.
Fruits such as apples and bananas, potatoes such as sweet potatoes and potatoes, green vegetables, and mushrooms should be included in their diet. Mushrooms can be easily swallowed by babies who have not yet developed teeth if they are finely chopped and covered with starch.
Take fermented foods.
Fermented foods such as natto (fermented soybeans) and non-alcoholic amazake (sweet sake) are easy to digest and absorb, and help regulate the intestinal environment. Yogurt is also recommended if they are not allergic to dairy products.
Make sure they are eating enough.
If your baby is eating too little food, the amount of stool will decrease, so it is important to review the weaning process, including the consistency and type of food, and the time of day.
When should you see a doctor if your baby is constipated?
If your baby has not had a bowel movement for a few days and is in a good mood and has a good appetite, there is no need to rush him/her to the hospital. However, in some rare cases, it may be caused by a disease.
- No defecation, and has fever, and vomiting.
- Frequent bleeding during defecation
- Bloody stools.
- Constipation for more than a week
- Gas in the abdomen and discomfort
- Difficulty in defecating even after squeezing and crying in pain
As you can see, it is not the number of days without defecation, but the baby’s discomfort and pain during defecation, as well as symptoms other than constipation, that determine whether or not to see a doctor.
Babies cannot verbally express their distress during defecation, so it is important for those around them to be aware of their discomfort. It is important to keep track of the frequency and condition of bowel movements. If your baby is constipated and seems to be having a hard time, you can give him or her a gentle cotton swab enema or massage, and practice home care while monitoring his or her condition.