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- It is so stressful not only for the baby/child to experience constipation, but also for the witnessing parent. To know your child hasn’t had a bowel movement in a few days really brings your brain to worst case scenario…like…OMG MY CHILD COULD BE IMPACTED.
- My baby was 9 months old when she experienced her first episode of constipation. This was by far the worst too. It took her 8 days to finally have a bowel movement, and that was the longest, hardest, most stressful 8 days for us as parents. But it had taught us sooo much, just like every experience right? I couldn’t understand what could be causing her to be backed up. She was still breastfed. We did start introducing solids slowly around 7 months, but they were only healthy vegetables and fruits. So our guess was maybe it was a combination of her teething, and some of the fruits/vegetables were contributing. Below you can see 18 ways to relieve your babies constipation naturally.
How Do I Know If My Baby is Constipated?
Your child skipping a day of not having a bowel movement, only passing small pebble like poop, constant straining, and pain while straining are all signs of constipation.
What is The Cause of Constipation in Babies?
- There are so many different contributors to constipation. Especially for babies/toddlers. Introducing foods is one of the biggest offenders. Maybe even a new formula you have switched to?
- When situations like this happen, over the counter medication doesn’t have to be your first option. While constipation in a baby isn’t normal, it is common. Normal meaning this isn’t supposed to happen. But I am sure almost every child has probably experienced constipation at some point in their life. Just having the list of tools to solve the problems just makes it easier!
Why Does Constipation Happen?
- Babies/toddlers/children/adults…Everyone…should have a bowel movement every day. What goes in must come out. A healthy system should be eliminating at least 3 times per day if you are eating 3+ meals per day. But a majority of people do not because of eating habits, lack of water, medications, and illness to name a few.
- Every baby is different in how things may affect them. Constipation in my child may be different for yours. When my baby went through this at 9 months, besides her not going…she didn’t have any other signs. She never showed any discomfort or that she was in pain. It wasn’t until I tried allllll these different remedies on her that I realized she was trying to hold it in! She purposely was trying not go I think because it caused more discomfort to go. When you switch from breastfeeding exclusively to introducing solids, it changes the consistency of the poop. So I can understand this new feeling for her wasn’t very pleasant.
18 Ways To Relieve Baby Constipation Naturally
1. Check with your pediatrician
First and foremost, check with your child’s doctor to rule out any other serious issues, and to confirm they are not compacted. We emailed back and forth with our baby’s doctor trying different things until day 7 we brought her in. She felt her stomach to make sure she couldn’t feel any masses which leads to different protocols.
A huge factor to help keep things moving is water. Make sure your child is getting enough water. (Unless of course your baby is still to young to drink water).
To follow up on the fluid point…if your baby is eating solids, and nursing, make sure you keep breastfeeding a lot! Breastmilk is considered a natural laxative for babies, and it really helps to keep them regular.
Keep them moving! This really helps to get the bowels going. Whether its crawling, cruising, walking, or jumping. Encourage it! Putting our baby in her jumper really helped things to move. I think because it naturally had her sitting in a some what of a squat position.
5. Bicycle Legs
Along the lines of exercise! This is ideal for infants that may need your help. This also can help alleviate a gassy tummy. Also for the older babies/toddlers, still a great method to try to help them poop! You just need them lying on a soft surface, where you are in front of them holding each foot/ankle, and gently rotate their legs in a bicycle motion.
6. Tummy Massage
Another great tip! Massage your baby/child’s tummy in an “I Love U technique”. This helps move things from the ascending colon to the descending colon. So you start on your babies right side with 2-3 fingers draw the letter “I”. Then right next to the “I” slightly above, draw a sideways “L”, and then an upside down “U”. Below you can see a picture of what it would look like. It is best to repeat this a few times in a row every day.
You can read more detail about this method on the GAPS site.
7. Essential Oils
There are some really amazing essential oils you can mix with carrier oils that are a great aid in helping massage the tummy to help with constipation/tummy aches/gas. For example, Lavender and Roman Chamomile are great oils to mix and rub on the belly due to their soothing properties. Carrier oils you may have on hand that work great are coconut oil or olive oil. It is important to use these carrier oils with essential oils because high quality oils are strong and can irritate the skin. Using high quality essential oils is also important. Many oils you may find in stores have added fragrance, or other chemicals mixed in with them.
8. Epsom Salt Baths
Soaking in an Epsom salt bath will help your baby absorb the magnesium through their skin which helps with constipation. Try adding 1/4 cup Epsom salt to a tub of warm water. If you put your baby in a smaller infant tub, use 2 Tablespoons.
9. “P” Fruits
Meaning…fruits with the letter “P” in it! Pears, Plums, Peaches, Apricots. This is one of the recommendations from my child’s pediatrician.
10. Dried Fruits
These were definitely one of the top remedies that worked for us. Prunes, and apricots were our go to.
11. Flax Oil
I will forever keep this in stock. Worked like a charm. You want to get good quality cold pressed flax oil (usually in the refrigerated section in natural health stores). We blend it into her Popsicle or homemade applesauce.
12. Prune/Raisin Water
Everywhere online recommends raisin water back when I had been searching for remedies, but prune water works just as well! Use a few prunes/raisins and soak in some water. Then remove the dried fruit from the water and let them drink the water. This is a good option if you may have a hard time getting your little one to eat the fruits.
13. Poop Puree
I make carm a puree that really helped her go. In a pot I added 1 Tbs of water, 1/2 a pear and 2 prunes. I boiled and mixed it until it was soft to mash. Once cooled I added 1 teaspoon of the cold pressed flax oil. She loved it.
It also helps solve two problems if you give them a Poopsicle! It helps them poop, and also helps soothe any teething pain. Just use the above poop puree and pour into popsicle molds to freeze. Another great thing to have on hand all the time.
15. High Quality Foods With Fiber
Avocados, beets, cashews, oats, coconut, flax, pumpkin seeds, and kiwis to name a few. Don’t over due it, but try introducing slowly to see if any do the trick.
16. Avoid Foods That May Cause Constipation
Honestly this should probably be at the top of the list. But when a baby/child is constantly experiencing constipation it’s a good idea to avoid these certain foods until you get them going on a regular basis. Foods that can contribute to constipation are, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, squash, processed sugars, breads, pastas, processed foods, and all dairy. You can slowly add these foods back in and it can help catch the culprit of what may have caused the constipation.
17. Pressure Points
There are pressure points all over our body, and if you are into reflexology you may have an idea where certain pressure points are for your intestines and stomach to help with constipation. Here you will find the pressure points to help with constipation.
18. Squat Position
You will probably have to help your child with this one. This helps the child who hold in their bowels to release them. If you sit on a chair/couch and hold your child in front of you into a position of squatting, this allows them to release their bowel movement. Although they may find this really uncomfortable because they no longer have the choice to not go, but they will feel better once they do!
18. Coconut Oil/Aloe Vera Suppository
Lastly, if all else fails, you can make your own suppository. I searched over the counter child suppositories but I just couldn’t find any that I felt all the ingredients were safe. You will need to get the suppository molds, and then you make a mix of coconut oil with a little aloe vera (high quality of course) and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, they are ready to go. Try using one every few hours. Aloe Vera is also a natural laxative.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Baby Constipation
While every child is different, not all of these natural remedies may work, so it’s best to try a handful of them until you are able to get your child to go. Now when my child is experiencing any constipation I have a list of remedies I can try that I know have worked in the past. I always feel really good being able to help relieve my child naturally before having to resort to any type of medication. But sometimes things don’t always work out and you have to do what’s best for you and your little one.
Have you experienced constipation issues with your little one? What natural things did you try?