What Causes Baby Constipation?
Research has shown that a baby’s bowel habits can be unpredictable for a number of reasons. Knowing what may cause constipation can help you relieve constipation in babies.
- Changes in your baby’s diet—adjusting feeding schedule, transitioning to solids, starting a new food—can bring on constipation.
- Changes to your baby’s routine—traveling, starting a new child-care arrangement—could cause constipation.
- Extreme weather—when it’s very hot—could also be the cause.
- If there’s a family history of constipation, your baby may inherit it. This could be caused by genetic and/or environmental factors.
- If your baby is taking a certain medication, this could lead to constipation.
- A lack of fiber can lead to constipation. If your baby is formula-fed, consult with your pediatrician about switching formulas. Look for a formula that contains prebiotic fibers similar to those found in breast milk, which will make it better for your baby’s belly.
How to Relieve Constipation in Babies?
Some simple, natural steps can help treat or even prevent irregular bowel movements in babies.
- Boost good bacteria with prebiotics and probiotics. Research has found that children with chronic constipation have different bacteria in their stool when compared with non-constipated children. Many experts suggest boosting good bacteria to help keep the bad bacteria population under control in the digestive tract. You can do this by giving your baby either prebiotics or probiotics: Prebiotics are the fuel that helps probiotics thrive.
- Help your baby’s bowels with movement. The more sedentary your baby is, the more they’re at risk for constipation. Keeping them moving (crawling, walking, even rolling over from back to front) help relieve constipation in babies. If your baby is young, you can try moving their legs by gently guiding their knees toward their stomach, one at a time.
Is there a connection between iron and constipation?
While many people think that iron-fortified baby formula might be one of the causes of constipation in babies, recent studies have debunked that myth. Iron is an extremely important part of your baby’s diet and should not be eliminated. In fact, if your baby is low in iron, your doctor may recommend a supplement like Enfamil® Fer-In-Sol® iron drops. Iron plays a role in brain development and creating healthy red blood cells.
Now that you know more about what causes constipation in babies, clear up some common misconceptions about constipation.