It is not a matter of great concern if an infant suffers from constipation once in a blue moon. However if the infant suffers from constipation over an extended period of time, it is up to the adults to discover the reasons and reduce the discomfort experienced by the infant.
There are several factors which lead to constipation in infants. Topping the list is lack of fluids beings fed to the child. When fluid levels in the body decreases it can lead to constipation. When infants are suffering from some allergic reaction to their baby food, constipation is the end result.
Babies also suffer from constipation during the periods of food transition i.e. shifting from breast milk to formula milk and later from formula milk to semi-solid food. During this period the delicate digestive system of babies have to get used to the change and often causes constipation.
When a baby’s diet contains insufficient amounts of fiber or when the infant ignores the normal bodily signals to pass stools, it leads to constipation. Sometime milk and dairy products can also cause constipation.
There are several remedies to counter the problem of infant constipation. Simple leg exercises like cycling, flexing and crossing the legs offer relief for the infant by stimulating bowel movements.
Massaging the babies back and stomach in a downward motion with a few drops of warm coconut oil can also relieve the discomfort associated with constipation and can kick start the bowel movement.
Increasing the number of feeds given to an infant while simultaneously reducing the amount of milk given at each time can help to avert the problems related to constipation. Liquid foods should be given to the infant till about 9 months. Then semi solid or solid food can be introduced.
To prevent dehydration and constipation boiled and cooled water should be fed to the child several times a day. The formula milk can also be digested better when body fluid levels are increased.
While preparing formula milk do not put excess amounts of milk powder. Follow the instructions on the packet while preparing the formula feed. These simple steps will prevent constipation in infants.