How to treat your Newborn's Constipation

When you become a new parent, there are so many things to worry about when it comes to that precious bundle that has been placed in your arms. From the right diapers to the right method of feeding; every issue seems to come with more questions than answers. The same holds true with newborn constipation. How do you know if your infant is suffering from this problem? Perhaps he is having frequent bouts of crying and infrequent dirty diapers. Is this newborn constipation? The answer is, maybe. That may not be helpful, but the good news is that there are some other signs that you can look for to determine if your baby does indeed have constipation issues. The other good news is that if you decide that he is suffering with painful tummy aches from this problem, there are things that you can do to help him find relief.

Is your Newborn Constipated?

The first step in treating newborn constipation is to determine if your baby even has a problem in the first place. It is not at all unusual for infants to pass stools infrequently. In fact, some babies, especially those that are breastfed, might only have one or two soiled diapers a week. As long as your baby is passing stools that are loose and watery, you do not have to worry about constipation in your newborn, no matter how infrequent those stools are. It is also not unusual for infants to grunt and act like they are straining when they pass stools. Again, if the stool is loose there is no cause for alarm. Newborn constipation does not occur until your little one begins to pass hard, dense stools that seem to cause him pain. At this point, you can begin to look at your options in treating newborn constipation.

Since you will be spending a significant amount of time at the doctor's office during the first few months of your baby's life, it will probably be convenient to ask your doctor about your newborn's constipation trouble. Your doctor can suggest changes to your baby's diet that will most likely bring relief from the tummy trouble. Most breastfed infants will not have issues with constipation because breast milk is very easy for an infant to digest. If you baby is having some trouble, your doctor might suggest some changes that you can make in your own diet to make things more comfortable for your little one.

If your baby is on formula, you have the option of trying a different product that is easier for your infant to digest. For many babies this might mean switching to a soy formula until the digestive system has matured. You can also offer your baby diluted fruit juices. The best choices to relieve newborn constipation are apple and prune juices. Finally, if your baby is over four months of age, you can offer some high fiber foods like cereals or strained apricots or prunes. Chances are very good that with a few diet changes, you can get your newborn's constipation under control and bring him greater comfort and you peace of mind.