Constipation in babies is common and curable. During constipation, your baby is in discomfort and pain. In the first six months, when your baby is exclusively on breastfeed then it’s normal if your baby is not passing stool every day.
But when your baby started the solid foods then it is very important that your child has gut balance and bowel regularity for healthy bowel movements. Few babies have loose motions when we start solid foods while other face constipation issue.
It’s not easy for parents to see their child in pain and discomfort. Sometimes, parents visit the pediatric to cure this problem through medications. I always try home remedies first as it doesn’t have any side effects on child’s health.
There is no specific rule to consider your baby has healthy bowel movements because the frequency of bowel movements depends on your child age and what he is eating at that age.
Why Do Babies Get Constipated?
To understand the reasons of constipation, you have to understand that disturbed bowel movements depend upon many factors like
- Type of milk you are feeding to your baby
- The introduction of solid foods.
- Is any specific food you have introduced to your baby recently.
- Low water level: If your baby is suffering from cold, cough, throat infection, teething like problems then the water level in the body reduces drastically which can cause constipation.
- If your baby is under medication then intake of few medicines can cause constipation.
Foods That May Cause Constipation In Babies
- Rice / Rice Cereal
- Apple sauce
- Cow’s milk, cheese, ice cream are constipating foods.
- High-fat foods may slow digestion and trigger constipation.
Signs That Your Baby Is Constipated
- If a baby has to put extra pressure to pass the stools.
- Baby is crying and in pain when straining to have the bowel movement.
- If there are blood stains in stools because of rupture of blood vessels.
- If baby poop is really hard and dry then its sign that your baby is suffering from constipation problem.
- Your baby has the urge to pass stool but not able to do.
- Your child is refusing to eat his food because of discomfort.
- Firm tummy of your child.
- Your child may be suffering from constipation If he goes more than a few days without a bowel movement.
- if your baby may have vomited along with irregular bowel movements.
Constipation In Breastfeeding Babies
If your baby is exclusively breastfeeding then it’s normal that he may not have a bowel movement every day. On the other hand, formula fed babies have 3 to 4 times bowel movements in a day.
As per pediatric, It’s very normal if your breastfed baby goes up to 7 days without any bowel movement.
So, don’t consider your child constipated if he is exclusively on breastmilk. Constipation in babies and toddlers start when they are introduced to solid foods only.
Here are some reasons of why your baby is constipated when breastfeeding
- If your baby doesn’t have sufficient milk supply.
- Baby doesn’t get sufficient water through mother’s milk.
- Due to weather, the baby is not getting sufficient water to his body.
So, you must keep your body hydrated, have sufficient water intake if you are a breastfeeding mom. You must breastfeed your baby more often to keep baby hydrated.
Four P’s play an important role in treating constipation in babies.
Indian Home Remedies To Relieve Constipation In Babies Quickly
Few of home remedies was pass to me by my mom and grandma and few I searched and tried after reading on the internet. I am listing down all the proven home remedies to cure constipation in babies and kids.
Indian home remedies for constipation in babies and help to soften the baby stool.
#1 Prune Juice
Prune juice is one of the most effective solutions to treat constipation in babies and kids. It’s a natural laxative that helps your baby to promote soft and easy to pass stool.
Prune juice takes few hours to work effectively. If your baby is mildly constipated then prune juice may take 4 to 5 hours to work. It also possible that it doesn’t work for the baby if your child has gone several days without a bowel movement.
If your baby is below 6 months and you have not started solid foods yet then wait and consult pediatric before offering prune juice to your baby.
Recipe of Prune Juice
- Prune juice – 2 tbsp
- Water – ½ Cup
- In a ½ cup of water, add the 2 tbsp of prune juice.
- Mix it well and make your baby drink this juice.
- You can serve it in a bottle, sipper cup or glass.
- If your baby is 6 months old then can give 2 tablespoons of prune juice in each bottle feeding.
- For babies above 1 year of age, give 4 to 6 ounces of prune juice to your child.
#2 Brown Sugar Solution
Another home remedy is brown sugar solution to treat constipation.
Recipe of Brown Sugar Solution
- ½ teaspoon of Brown Sugar
- 1-ounce lukewarm water
- Mix the brown sugar and water, stir it well.
- Give this solution to your baby twice a day.
- Try to use the brown sugar/ palm sugar instead of refined white sugar to prepare this solution.
- Always use the cooled boiled water for this solution.
For 1 year above. Sugar and Salt is recommended for babies below 1 year of age
#3 Dates with Milk
This is an effective way to deal the constipation problem in kids.
Recipe of Making Dates Milk
- 2-3 seedless dates
- 1 glass of milk
- Add dates in a glass of milk, boil it over a slow flame for few minutes.
- Switch off the gas flame.
- Let the milk cool down to room temperature.
- Give this lukewarm milk to your child before bedtime.
- It’s really a healthy solution. You can give it once or twice in a week to keep your child away from constipation.
- Avoid to use it on a regular basis if the weather is hot.
For 1 year above. Cow’s milk is not recommended for babies below 1 year of age.
#4 Soaked Raisins in Milk
Raisins are one of the best home remedies for baby constipation. Raisins are the good source of minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. It is one of the easy to use home remedy in treating constipation problem. Raisins really help to regulate the bowel movement.
Recipe of Raisins Milk
- 4-5 raisins
- 1 glass of milk
- Take 4-5 raisins and soak it overnight in the water.
- In the morning, boil it in a glass of milk.
- Stir well. Give this milk to your child on the empty stomach.
- Or you can prepare this mixture in the evening and give to your child before bedtime. This milk will help to pass the stool easily.
- Recommended is to give this milk to children older than 1 year.
- If your baby is below 1 year of age then you can give 4-5 pieces of raisins to your baby to chew.
If your baby is older than 1 year of age then you can try this home remedy for your child. My mom suggested this remedy when my son was 1.5 years old and suffering from constipations.
She told me that honey can work as magic in loose motions as well as in constipations.
In Loose motions, give 1 teaspoon of honey with room temperature water.
For Constipation, give 1 teaspoon of honey with lukewarm water before bedtime daily. Repeat it for few days, it will help your baby to pass the stool in the morning without any discomfort.
You can also give this solution twice a day to regain the healthy bowel movements.
For babies above 1 year of age.
#6 Organic Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is the best and natural laxative which helps to relieve difficulty in pooping and infrequent bowel movements.
You can try to give 2 ml virgin coconut oil in baby’s diet to loosen the stool.
You can apply a small amount of coconut oil to baby’s anus for fast relief. It will lubricate the passage and encourage your child to poop.
You can buy the Virgin Coconut Oil from here.
- You can feed the coconut oil to your baby after 6 months of age.
- But below 6 months, you can apply a small amount to baby’s anus.
Tomato is really helpful in treating constipation. Give tomato juice to your child in the daily diet to maintain healthy bowel movements.
Recipe of Making Tomato Juice
- 1 Small sized tomato
- 1 cup of water
- Cut tomato into two pieces.
- Boil it in a 1 cup of water.
- Once it’s completely cooked, extract the juice and filter out the seeds.
- Give 3 – 4 spoons of this juice to your baby once in a day.
- You can give this solution for few days to improve the bowel movements.
For babies above 6 months of age.
#8 Increase Fluid Intake
Dehydration is one of the prime reason of constipation. It is important to keep your child hydrated for regular bowel movements. For babies below 6 months of age, breastfeeding is sufficient to keep them hydrated.
For toddlers, you have to ensure that your child is drinking sufficient water throughout the day which helps in smooth stool passage. A growing toddler should drinks at least 32 ounces of water each day.
Make a routine for your child to have a glass of water on getting up in the morning. It really helps to get a normal urge to pass a motion.
For babies above 6 months of age.
#9 Fennel Seeds
I have used this home remedies for a very long time for my son. Once my son started the water after 6 months, I used to give this solution twice or thrice a week.
Recipe of Making Fennel Seeds Water
- 1 tsp of fennel seeds
- 1 cup of water
- Boil 1 Tsp of fennel seeds in a cup of water.
- Let it boil for 3-4 minutes.
- Cool it down to room temperature.
- Feed to your baby through spoon or bottle. You can give this solution 3-4 times in a day.
- For babies above 6 months of age.
- If you are a breastfeeding mom then you must have fennel tea twice a day.
#10 Apple Juice
You should strictly avoid the applesauce in constipation because of the high amount of pectin which firms up the stool and encourages the irregular bowel movements.
Pectin is a naturally occurring fiber found in fruits like apple, grapefruits, figs. It provides a laxative effect on the hard stools and helps the stool to move easily through the digestive system.
Give your baby a small amount of apple juice to triggers the bowel movements. Don’t overfeed the apple juice to your child as it can worsen the constipation problem.
You can give 2 to 4 ounces of apple juice in a daily diet to your toddler. Give homemade apple juice to your baby rather than packed apple juice.
For babies above 6 months of age.
#11 High Fiber Foods
You should increase the fiber intake in your child’s daily diet. High fiber foods help to loosen up baby’s stool and encourage the regular bowel movements.
If your baby is more than 6 months old then you can include the fiber rich foods in his diet.
- Foods like whole wheat bread, whole grains, brown rice, high fiber cereals, lentils, beans, broccoli, peas, whole wheat pasta are high in fiber content.
- Add Oatmeal to your child’s diet as it has the high amount of fiber.
- Include a spoon of flaxseed meal in shakes, smoothies for your child.
- You can give a small portion of cooked grains like quinoa, barley, broken wheat porridge to your child.
- If you are a breastfeeding mom then you should have high fiber food in your diet to maintain the regular bowel movement of your little one.
For babies above 6 months of age.
#12 Stomach Massage
Stomach massage is very effective for relief from constipation. Gently massage baby’s belly with mustard oil or coconut oil in a clockwise direction. Pressure should be very light.
Massage with your fingertips in small circular clockwise motions around baby’s navel. Stomach massage reduces the discomfort and pain and gives the relaxation from tummy tightness.
You can watch this video to learn about stomach massage.
After 2 months of age.
Exercise is a very effective way to treat constipation. Different types of exercises help to trigger the bowel movements.
In this exercise, keep your baby on his back. Gently move baby’s leg in such a way that if baby is paddling a cycle. Do it slowly but continuously. This exercise will loosen up the tight intestines. Always give the relief from gas problem.
Tummy Time with Thigh Lifts
Tummy time is a great way to treat with stomach discomforts of your baby. You should only do this exercise while baby is awake.
- Place your baby on his tummy on the play mat.
- Put one hand under his thigh, close to knees and the other hand, on his ankles.
- Now gently lift baby’s thigh from the floor slowly.
- Pause for a moment in particular position and return to the starting position.
- You can do this exercise 3-4 times while your baby is doing tummy time.
After 3 months of age.
#14 Warm Bath
If your baby is suffering from constipation then this tip can be really relaxing for your baby. Fill a tub with lukewarm water, let your baby sit in this water for 15-20 minutes. The warmth of water relaxes the anal muscles and help to produce a bowel movement.
You can add 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda in warm water. The purpose of adding baking soda is to give the relief from pain and itching because of anal fissure.
I had this kind of bathtub for my son, you can buy it from here.
After 4 weeks of birth.
#15 Lubrication to Anus
Lubricants to Anus helps your baby to get rid of discomfort of passing stool. You can apply water based lubricant which is herbal and organic to baby’s anus in a small quantity. Lubrication process helps your child to pass the dry and hard stool easily.
At the time of changing your baby’s diaper, rub the water based lubricant to the anus and wipe it gently. This will encourage your child to poop.
I usually use the organic coconut oil, mustard oil or olive oil to use as Lubricant
#16 Orange juice
Orange juice really helped my son in his constipation. If your baby is 6 months old then you can start giving fruit juices in diluted form. In which you will add three portions of water along with two portions of fresh juice.
It usually happens that when baby starts solid foods, constipation problem happens in babies. To treat constipation, it is necessary to increase the liquid intake. So orange juice can work great to maintain good bowel movements.
After 6 months of age.
#17 Pear Juice
Pear juice is an effective way to treat constipation in kids. Pear is high in pectin and dietary fiber which helps to improve the bowel movements.
You can extract the pear juice at home by simply grating and pressing it. Always give the pear juice in diluted form to your baby. Take 2 ounces of pear juice, mixed with equal quantity of water and feed to your baby in a bottle or sipper.
After 4 months of age.
Fruits like papaya are natural laxatives. Papaya aid in regular bowel movements. Papaya helps to improve the digestion system and prevents the constipation problem as well. Papaya is a good source of fiber.
You can feed it to baby by cutting into pieces or by grating it to form a pulp. You can also make papaya salad, papaya smoothie for your toddler.
After 6 months of age.
#19 Psyllium Husk (Isabgol)
Psyllium husk is the seed of a plant known as Plantago ovata. Psyllium Husk a natural laxative and uses as a common health supplement to treat constipation in kids and adults.
Isabgol is a rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber and it has 70% soluble fiber which acts as a bulk forming laxative.
Isabgol increases the water amount in the stools and as result, the stool becomes softer and easier to pass.
Recipe of Making Isabgol solution
- Take 1 glass warm water
- Add 1 tbsp Isabgol and mix well
- Give this solution to your child at bedtime. It will help in regulating the bowel movement.
- You can give 1 teaspoon a day to your toddler on their favorite cereals or just with water.
This remedy is helpful for 2 years older kids.
Never take psyllium husk for a longer period of time. It’s a supplement with precautionary use. You can consult the doctor for dosage prescription.
#20 Ginger and Honey Solution
Ginger is really helpful to treat the digestion problems.
Recipe of Making Ginger Honey Solution
- In a ½ cup of water, add the ½ inch of ginger.
- Let it boil for few minutes. Switch off the gas flame.
- When it’s warm, add 1 Tsp of honey into it. Stir well.
- Give your child to sip it 1-2 times a day.
- This solution will ease the constipation problem.
This remedy is helpful for 1 years older children.
If you are feeding the formula to your baby then try to change the formula. Sometimes, a particular type of formula is not suitable for the baby which causes constipation. So consult baby’s pediatric and try to change baby’s formula milk.
Things to do’s in Constipation
- Guava is a very effective remedy for constipation. You should eat it with its seeds.
- Few moms use the Vaseline trick to lubricate baby’s anal.
- Few people suggest to use the castor oil but I don’t recommend. It’s not a right choice for your little one’s still developing tummy.
- Keep your baby active so that his bowel movements can be more regular.
- Give all the fruit juices in a diluted form otherwise, it can cause diarrhea.
- Try to keep your baby as relax as you can.
- If you are a breastfeeding mom then limit dairy intake in your diet.
- Make a routine of going to the toilet as first thing in the morning. Encourage your child to poop in the morning.
- Ground flaxseed can be used as supplemental fiber.
Things Not to do in Constipation
- Do not feed the bananas, it can cause constipation.
- Avoid White Toast, rice cereals in baby’s diet.
- Avoid cow’s milk for your baby as it is difficult to digest for still developing a digestive system.
- Avoid cheese, ice cream or any milk based products while the baby is constipated.
- Avoid carrots, potatoes, pasta, all other kinds of processed foods.
- Don’t give any kind of medication to a baby without consulting with pediatric.
- Regular usage of ragi/finger millet can cause constipation in your baby so avoid to give it in excess.
If your baby is suffering from constipation then try above-mentioned home remedies before consulting the doctor. These home remedies are safe and easy to use. Just try one home remedy at a time, don’t use all remedies together.
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