Constipation can be just as stressful for parents as it is for babies and toddlers. Seeing one’s child suffering from the stomach pain and discomfort associated with constipation is never easy, but a parent need not feel helpless in facing such a situation.
For formula-fed babies, constipation is not a rare ailment. In addition, trying new foods can also cause stomach issues which result in it. For instance, introducing cereal to a baby’s diet can cause constipation. When this happens, there are several things a parent can do to help his or her child.
Adding water to the child’s diet can have a positive effect on constipation.
Changing formulas could also significantly improve a baby’s digestion. Cow’s milk is hard on an infant’s digestive system, and this is what regular formulas are made with. Soy formulas tend to be easier on a baby’s stomach. However, even just switching to a different milk-based formula can sometimes ease constipation.
Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in a child’s diet can aid the digestive system. These foods are higher in fiber, so they help to combat and prevent constipation. It is important to remember to introduce new foods slowly to avoid confusion should an allergy become apparent.
In addition to adding high-fiber foods, giving a child apple, pear, carrot or prune juice can also be a good treatment for constipation.
Rice cereals can increase the likelihood of a baby having issues with constipation. For this reason, it may be helpful to start giving an infant barley cereal instead. These cereals have more fiber, which aids digestion.
Another very simple treatment for constipation in babies and toddlers is karo syrup. For an infant, adding one teaspoon of karo syrup to a bottle can help him or her have an easier bowl movement. It can be given in water or formula.
Finally, if none of these tactics seem to help, a parent should talk to the child’s pediatrician about an infant or toddler laxative. It is best to try the other treatments first, and one should always discuss the option of giving a young child a laxative with a doctor before doing so. In addition to a laxative, the doctor may suggest a suppository. However, these should be used sparingly.
Treating constipation in an infant or toddler can be very easy. It is often caused by diet and can, therefore, often be successfully treated by changing aspects of that diet.
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