Baby constipation - symptoms, causes and treatment
Constipation doesn’t only happen to grown-ups; babies and children get it as well.
Aug 9, 2016
Constipation can cause discomfort, pain and may require intensive treatment if prolonged. That’s why it’s important that parents recognize the signs of constipation in their children so they can provide the right treatment.
How do I know if my baby is constipated?
Constipation occurs when your baby’s stool is harder than usual to be passed, for 2 or more weeks.
Other signs of constipation include intermittent abdominal bloating, a reduced appetite, and an overall irritable and angry mood.
What causes baby constipation?
One of the main causes of constipation is a lack of fluids in your baby’s daily diet. Your baby should have enough water daily as well as fibre from fruits and vegetables.
Constipation may also occur when your baby holds it in due to discomfort during defecation.
How can I help my baby overcome constipation?
Ensure your baby gets lots of water, as well as fruits and vegetables, which are rich in fibre. Starting your baby early on vegetables will also help your child adapt to the taste, and help inculcate good eating habits in the future.
Give your baby food, or your doctor may introduce you to some formulated milk powder for children. This formula milk often contains probiotics, which help to promote good bacteria in the gut.
If your baby has been experiencing prolonged symptoms of constipation you should seek further advice from your doctor. As in all things, prevention is better than looking for a cure, so it’s important to have your baby eating a healthy and well-balanced diet to prevent constipation.
Breast milk is best for babies. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. At around six months of age (but not before 4 months), infants should receive nutritionally adequate and age-appropriate complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.
Nestlé Singapore fully recognises breast milk’s primacy, value and superiority and supports exclusive breastfeeding as recommended by the WHO.
The content on this website is intended as general information for Singaporean residents only and should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice from your healthcare practitioner. The HPB recommends that infants start on age-appropriate complementary foods at around 6 months, whilst continuing breastfeeding for up to 2 years or beyond to meet their evolving nutritional requirements. If no longer breastfeeding, toddlers can switch to full cream milk after 12 months. This should be complemented by a good variety of solid foods from the four main food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and alternatives). For more information on the nutritional requirements of infants and young children, please visit www.healthhub.sg/earlynutrition.
Nestlé Baby & me is here to share the latest evidence-based information to ensure you feel supported and confident that you’re giving your baby the best possible nutrition.