As new parents, we quickly learn that “poop” becomes part of one’s daily conversation. You start to calculate how much and how often baby poops. The doctor will ask you what it looks like and smells like.
When a baby is suddenly not pooping, we start to get concerned. Especially if he becomes cranky or cries while pooping. This can be a sign of constipation.
It can happen to breastfed or formula fed babies and often begins when switching to solid foods. When their digestive systems are only used to breast milk or formula, solid foods can be tough to digest.
The frequency of bowel movements, or the lack of, is not the only clue your little one might be constipated. If your baby’s poop is very hard or seems difficult to pass he may also be suffering from constipation.
There are certain foods that are more likely to cause constipation and discomfort. If you suspect your baby is suffering from constipation, read on. We will run through the foods that can trigger constipation and foods to relieve constipation in babies.
Foods That Can Cause Constipation in Babies
- White bread
- Unripe bananas
- Cooked carrots
- Rice cereal
These foods are known to trigger gassiness and constipation in most babies. But, it is important for you to keep track of your own baby’s symptoms related to what they are eating. What triggers constipation in one child may not necessarily be the same in another baby.
To help avoid constipation in babies, you need to feed your little one foods that are high in fiber content or have natural laxative properties. Just some small dietary changes can make your baby feel better and get his digestion flowing more smoothly.
By adding some of the following foods to your baby’s diet you will surely get the “poop talk” back to a more positive conversation.
Foods to Help Relieve Constipation in Babies:
Cheerios: High in fiber. Try the whole grain option for babies who are already eating finger foods.
Soy Products: This can be especially helpful for babies who are allergic to milk proteins. If mom avoids dairy and replaces it with soy products, her breast milk may become more favorable for baby’s digestion.
Berries: Berries of all kinds are packed with fiber and their natural sweetness is a favorite of children of all ages.
Prunes and figs: Packed with fiber and also a natural laxative. You can cut them into small cubes and allow baby to feed himself or serve as a juice or ice pop.
Oatmeal and other whole grains: These are naturally high in fiber and energy. Oatmeal is available commonly as a pre-cooked baby cereal and whole grain bread is a good source of whole grain for your baby. **Try mixing the cereal with a little prune juice!
Beans: “Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot!” We already know that beans, of any kind, have a great mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber both of which help in digestion and help to promote more regular bowel movements.
Pears, Plum, and Apples: All are rich in fiber and are available to be purchased in baby food jars at your grocery store or can be served cubed to baby.
Sweet Potatoes: These are extremely rich in fiber, it’s best to have them with the skin on, however this can be difficult for babies to chew so consider a puree.
Nuts: Most nuts are a great source of protein and fiber – but feed them in moderation because they are also high in fat. Most pediatricians recommend waiting until one year of age to serve nuts and tree nuts to children for the sake of allergies.
Water: Additional liquid into baby’s diet will help to keep stool softer. Offering water or diluted juice in a sippy cup will help with constipation.
(However, always check with your doctor before adding water or other liquids to baby’s diet as babies younger than 6 months generally get all the water they need through breast milk or formula.)
Hopefully just some simple diet modifications will leave your baby pooping freely and feeling much more comfortable! Remember that every baby is different and their body will react differently to certain foods.
If simple diet changes don’t seem to make a difference please seek out the advice of your doctor so they can rule out any other serious issues.