Home Remedies for Newborn Constipation

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Francis

Newborn constipation can be a common problem for new parents. It can cause discomfort for the baby and leave parents feeling helpless. While there are over-the-counter remedies available, many parents prefer to use home remedies to alleviate their baby’s constipation. In this article, we will explore some effective home remedies for newborn constipation that are safe, natural, and easy to administer.

Understanding Newborn Constipation

Newborn constipation can be a stressful experience for both the baby and the parents. It’s not uncommon for babies to have irregular bowel movements, but constipation is characterized by infrequent, hard, and painful bowel movements. The frequency of bowel movements may vary from baby to baby, but typically newborns should have at least one bowel movement a day. However, some babies may only have a bowel movement every few days, which does not necessarily mean they are constipated.

Causes of Newborn Constipation

There can be several reasons why a baby may experience constipation. It could be due to the baby’s diet, dehydration, or a medical condition. Breastfed babies are less likely to experience constipation than formula-fed babies. Formula-fed babies may experience constipation if the formula is not mixed correctly, or if they are not getting enough fluids. A medical condition such as hypothyroidism or Hirschsprung’s disease can also cause constipation in newborns.

As a parent, you may be worried about giving your newborn medication for constipation. Fortunately, there are several home remedies that you can try to help relieve your baby’s constipation.

Key takeaway: Newborn constipation can be relieved with home remedies such as increasing fluid intake, massaging the belly, bicycle legs, warm bath, prune juice, and changing formula. However, if the baby’s constipation persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause.

1. Increase Fluid Intake

One of the most effective ways to relieve constipation in newborns is to increase their fluid intake. Breastfed babies should be fed on demand, and formula-fed babies should be given extra water in between feedings.

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2. Massage the Belly

Gently massaging your baby’s belly can help stimulate bowel movements. Place your baby on their back and gently rub their belly in a circular motion. You can also try to bring your baby’s knees up to their chest and hold them there for a few seconds.

3. Bicycle Legs

Another way to help relieve constipation is to move your baby’s legs in a bicycle motion. This can help stimulate the digestive system and encourage bowel movements.

4. Warm Bath

A warm bath can help relax your baby’s muscles and relieve constipation. Make sure the water is warm, but not too hot, and keep your baby in the bath for at least 10-15 minutes.

5. Prune Juice

Prune juice is a natural laxative that can help relieve constipation in babies. You can mix a small amount of prune juice with water and give it to your baby once a day.

6. Change Formula

If your baby is formula-fed, changing to a different type of formula may help relieve constipation. Speak to your pediatrician before making any changes to your baby’s diet.

When to See a Doctor

If your baby’s constipation persists even after trying these home remedies, or if your baby is experiencing other symptoms such as vomiting or fever, it’s important to see a doctor. Your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend further testing to determine the underlying cause of the constipation.

FAQs – Home Remedies for Newborn Constipation

What is newborn constipation?

Newborn constipation is a common digestive issue that occurs when an infant has difficulty passing stool. In general, constipation is defined as having fewer than three bowel movements per week while newborns should ideally have at least one bowel movement a day. The stool may be hard, dry or pellet-like and may cause the infant discomfort.

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What are some home remedies for newborn constipation?

If your newborn is constipated, there are several home remedies you can try before seeking medical intervention. One remedy is to increase their fluid intake by offering small amounts of water, breast milk or formula more frequently. You can also try giving your baby a warm bath, which may help to relax their abdominal muscles and encourage bowel movements. Massaging your baby’s tummy in a gentle clockwise motion can also help to alleviate constipation.

Can I give my newborn prune juice to alleviate constipation?

Prune juice is a popular home remedy for constipation in newborns, and it can be effective for some babies. However, it’s important to note that prune juice is high in sugar and can cause diarrhea if given in excess. It’s also not recommended for newborns under six months old, so be sure to speak with your pediatrician before giving your baby prune juice.

What other foods can help relieve constipation?

If your baby has started solid foods, introducing fiber-rich foods like pureed prunes or pears, peas or oatmeal can help to relieve constipation. Additionally, foods that are high in water content, such as pureed watermelon or cucumber, may also help to ease constipation. However, it’s best to introduce new foods slowly and in small quantities to avoid digestive upset.

When should I be concerned about my newborn’s constipation?

In most cases, constipation in newborns is not a cause for concern and can be alleviated with home remedies. However, if your baby is showing signs of distress, such as crying or straining to pass stool, or if they haven’t had a bowel movement in three or more days, it’s important to consult your pediatrician. These symptoms may indicate a more serious underlying condition, such as an intestinal blockage.

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