Infant constipation is a common problem and requires instant attention. Infant constipation is diagnosed when an infant or child has difficulty to pass stools or has hard stools. Infants are to be noted for straining too much or having difficulty passing stools.
Symptoms of constipation in infants:
• Dry or/and hard stools which are difficult to pass, regardless of frequency.
• Visible discomfort when passing bowels.
• Reduced frequency of bowel movements, particularly if your baby hasn’t had even one for more than two days.
Potential reasons for infant constipation
If you notice that your child is not having regular bowel movements as earlier, you must see your pediatrician. Normally, as the digested food travels through the intestines, water and minerals get absorbed and the remaining waste is passed out of the body in the form of stools. In order to form a soft stool, there must be enough water in the stool and the lower intestinal muscles and rectal muscles must contract and relax to move the stool out of the body. If there is a malfunction in any of these mechanisms, poor muscles movement or too little water can cause constipation.
Before you get started with the treatment of constipation, it is important to understand the reason behind it. Once you understand the reason behind it you can avoid the situation entirely in the first place.
Constipation in infants is very common and occurs mainly because their digestive system is not as developed yet. For example, formula milk is hard to digest as compared to breast milk and studies have shown that babies who are fed boxed milk are more likely to suffer from constipation.
Another possible reason could be dehydration. If they are not getting enough liquids throughout the day, their poop will be much harder and compact and it will be a struggle to pass.
Once you have tried all the available methods to relieve your newborn but nothing works, then you must go for an enema. To administer the enema, lubricate the tip of the enema bulb syringe with coconut oil or olive oil. Fill the enema bulb with 1-3 tablespoons of lukewarm water and insert the tip half an inch into your baby’s rectum. Gently squeeze the water into the colon, ensuring that only water and no air goes into the colon. Now, wait for a few minutes for your baby to pass stools. Repeat the process if necessary.