Newborn Constipation: Top 7 Home Remedies To Get Their Bowels Moving

newborn constipation

New parents will always be on the lookout for their baby’s next milestone to ensure they’re healthy and happy. While pooping isn’t the most exciting aspect of parenting, it’s still something that’s crucial to monitor. Here’s everything you need to know about newborn constipation, its symptoms, and the different home remedies to treat it. 

Symptoms Of Newborn Constipation

Irregular Bowel Movements

Your baby’s bowel movements will constantly fluctuate daily, even more so when you introduce them to new foods. Babies with constipation might experience going a few days without any bowel movements and eventually have a hard stool in their tummy. 

Firm/Hard Stomach

A firm and tight belly could be a physical symptom of newborn constipation. This could stem from bloating and pressure caused by constipation, which in turn, causes your baby’s tummy to feel stiff and taut. 

Straining During Bowel Movement/Blood On Stool

As constipation can produce hard stools, your little one might have trouble pushing their stool out. Due to this, they may strain more than usual just so they can get rid of the waste. For that reason, they may be extra fussy and cry during bowel movements. You might even find streaks of blood on your child’s stool from this strain. 

Lack Of Appetite

Another symptom of newborn constipation is a lack of appetite. Your child might feel full or uncomfortable during eating. 

Home Remedies For Newborn Constipation

So now that you know how to identify the symptoms, you can try these natural home remedies for constipation to treat your baby. 

Increase Their Water/Fluid Intake

baby drinking milk
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Hydration is essential to counteract the number of solids that your newborn is consuming. Make sure your baby drinks enough water or milk to keep them well-hydrated. Babies over six months old can also have a daily serving of pure prune, apple, or pear juice in addition to their usual feedings. The sorbitol in these juices acts like a laxative that can help to improve your baby’s bowel movements more quickly. Worried about the juice being too sweet or tangy for your little one? Then add in an extra cup of water to dilute the taste. Begin with 60 to 120 millilitres first. From there, you can observe whether you need to increase or decrease the intake. 

Dietary Changes

Mothers who breastfeed babies might want to make some adjustments to their diet. Your child might be sensitive to something you’re eating, which is affecting their bowel movements. If that’s the case, you can try eliminating certain foods like dairy and monitor for any improvements to the newborn’s baby constipation. You’ll probably need to go through some trial and error before determining what works. Even then, there is no guarantee that these changes will have any effect on their condition. 

Home remedies for newborn constipation can also be simple as switching your child’s milk formula. Similarly, your child may react to certain types of formula differently due to their ingredients. Try offering low-lactose formula and observe whether it works for your baby. 

Feed Them Fibre-Rich Foods

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While solid foods can be the cause of newborn constipation, they can also be the remedy for it. You just need to choose the right ones. Feeding them foods with high fibre content like fruits and vegetables two times a day will stimulate the bowels and improve constipation. Otherwise, if they still can’t eat solids, you can try increasing their fibre intake through puree meals instead. 

Recommended: 9 Easy Homemade Puree Recipes For Babies Aged 6 To 12 Months Old

Replace Their Cereal

For babies eating rice cereal, try replacing them with other types of cooked cereal instead. Barley and oatmeal cereals are excellent substitutes, as they’re high in fibre and act as a natural laxative. Other good options include whole-grain crackers and bread, because they add bulk to the stool, making the bowel movement process easier and gentler. 

Encourage Exercise

Just like how we need regular exercise to keep our bodies healthy as adults, your baby needs to do the same. Moving about helps to quicken digestion and relieve constipation. If your child is old enough to crawl, you can try encouraging them to crawl around the house. Just remember to keep an eye on them for safety. Alternatively, if they’re too young to crawl, try getting them to do bicycle legs. First, place your baby on their backs. Then lift their legs and move them as they’re pedalling a bike. This simple exercise puts pressure on the abdomen and stimulates bowel movements. 

Give Your Baby A Massage

Other simple home remedies for newborn constipation include massaging your baby’s tummy. You just need to use your fingertips to massage your child’s stomach in gentle, circular motions. The action imitates bowel movements so that the stool gets pushed out more quickly. Try using baby oil to soothe the massaging procedure. 

A Warm Bath

warm bath, newborn constipation
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Warm baths are another great way to help relax your baby’s tensed abdominal muscles. Incorporate Epsom salts into the bath for the most effective results. The magnesium contained is good for soothing muscles and softening the stool to regulate the digestive system.

Ease Your Newborn’s Constipation Symptoms With These Natural Home Remedies

newborn constipation
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Most constipation symptoms will usually either heal on their own or with some aid from any of these natural remedies. However, if none of these strategies appears to be working, it’s best to schedule an appointment with a doctor for professional advice. Are you also noticing some redness on your baby’s bottom? Refer to this guide to check if your child is suffering from diaper rash.

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