Infants usually have bowel movements 2 to 3 times a day, although each individual is very different. Some infants empty their bowel many times in a day and some only once in 5 days. Constipation is when you child has hard bowel movement less than once a week and even that is an effort.
My baby has constipation quite often
Important: if your baby has ongoing digestive trouble, you should speak to a paediatrician about it
Constipation with exclusive formula feeding
If your child is only fed on formula, please check to see that you are using the right amount of powder and water, using the measuring spoon provided. Your child will only get the amount of liquids he/she need with the correct powder to water ratio.
Breast milk contains natural dietary fibres – one of the reasons why breastfed infants usually have softer stools than bottle-fed children.
Make sure that your child gets regular exercise, because digestion is stimulated by rolling and kicking. Baby gymnastics can also help and is great fun for your baby!
Stroke or massage your baby’s stomach gently in a clockwise direction.
Constipation on introducing weaning food
When weaning foods are introduced, stool often becomes harder, and there is usually less bowel movement. It is normal that the children have to push a bit harder sometimes. As long as your baby does not cry, and is not in pain, you do not need to worry.
Usually, bowel movement is self-regulating and after a while, the digestive system gets used to the new food.
To make stool softer, the following tips can help:
- Make sure your child gets enough to drink. Some tea or fruit juices with a stool-loosening effect (e.g., HiPP Mild Apple Juice) between meals can often help relieve this problem.
- When it comes to baby food, you should use varieties with stool-loosening effects (see label for information on stool effect). Products include HiPP Mild Apple Juice or meals with wholemeal cereal (Fruit & Cereal).
- Also, movement or gentle massages can aid digestion. Give your baby enough opportunities for activity. This loosens the muscles and stimulates digestion.
Important: For prolonged stool problems, please contact a paediatrician