Constipation is a common cause of concern in parents and also one of the common most causes of tummy pain in babies and toddlers.
However, Constipation is considered normal if the baby or the toddler is constipated once in a while.
What is constipation?
Constipation is an abnormal pattern of bowel movements that causes a person to pass stools less often than usual.
The stools may be difficult to pass or harder than usual. Constipation makes passing stools uncomfortable and painful.
Symptoms to lookout for:
#1.) Discomfort, irritability, pain or crying before passing stool.
#2.) Dry hard and pellet like poop.
#3.) Decrease in bowel movements.
#4.) Hard belly.
#5.) Visibility of blood in stool.
Food causing constipation in babies:
There are several factors which may cause constipation in babies and toddlers.However, the main cause of constipation in babies could be a switch from breast milk to formula milk to solid food.
#1.) Formula milk:
Yes, you read it right, a baby on formula milk is more prone to constipation as it is harder to digest than breastmilk, causing poop to be firm and bulky.
A breastfed baby is unlikely to get constipated. Breastmilk produces poop that is almost always soft, even if a baby hasn’t done a poo for a few days.
#2.) Introduction to solids food:
Babies are often constipated when they start solid food, as their bodies learn how to manage new foods.
Initially low-fiber food diet and lack of enough fluids contribute to constipation. This is what I have faced initially with my daughter when she started taking solid food.
Yes, apart from food it is also a major reason for constipation in babies.
Your baby may refuse milk because of many reasons like teething, a throat infection, cough and cold or an infection but if your baby is not drinking enough milk or water with their solid foods, they may suffer from dehydration which can cause dry, hard poop that is difficult to pass.
To prevent constipation in babies stick to breastmilk as much as possible and when switching to solid food make sure to keep them hydrated with enough water.
Food causing constipation in toddlers:
Like babies, the main cause of constipation in toddlers is also lack of water and fiber intake and also some other food items being consumed by your kids which lack fiber.
#1.) Too much Milk:
Replacing wholesome fiber rich meals with milk is often the main cause of constipation in toddlers as their body`s need for fiber is not fulfilled and is replaced by milk.
So make sure you make your kid eat their lunch post school as they are often tired when back and demand milk instead of lunch just like my daughter.
#2.) Excess consumption of dairy and refined products:
You read that right, your child could wind up constipated if they eat a lot of cheese, ice cream, butter, white bread or pasta as they are low in fiber as compared to fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
#3.) Fried food:
Fried foods are typically low in fiber and high on fats which leads to constipation if consumed in excess.
Kid’s all-time favorite French fries, potato wafers and chicken nuggets are the common example for the same.
#4.) Processed or Packed snacks:
Many parents rely on pre packaged snack because they are convenient and portable.However, they are also high in fat and low in fiber which when consume without moderation can lead to constipation just like fried foods.
Parents should limit the consumption of snack cakes and cookies in kids to avoid constipation.
#5.) Aerated drinks:
They contain caffeine and fills up a child’s stomach, leaving little room for the fiber-filled food they need to relieve and prevent constipation.
Adequate water intake is important to regular bowel movements. This means that a child who drinks soda over water is at risk of developing constipation.
Water helps a child’s digestion occur regularly. However, sugar and caffeine in soda prevents this from happening.
Constipation can be cured and prevented if parents encourage their kids to eat good wholesome fiber rich food and drinking plenty of water.
However, if a baby or a toddler suffers from constipation frequently then a doctor needs to be consulted.
Do share your views or experiences about constipation in your babies or kids …