Is your Baby Constipated? Are you Switching Over to Formula?

November 12, 2012

Is your Baby Constipated? Are you Switching Over to Formula?

Is your baby cranky and fidgety? This could be due to constipation brought on by formula feeding.

The topic of breast feeding and baby constipation if often difficult to find. This is not surprising since breast fed babies rarely experience constipation. This is more likely to happen if your baby is breast fed and taking formula or just on formula. Generally speaking, if your baby is breast fed and is experiencing constipation, you need to seek medical attention right away.

Constipation may begin when you introduce certain foods or perhaps formula. Interestingly, mother’s milk is known to have laxative properties. In fact, colostrum is producing the laxative effect and helps to remove the infants bowel of meconium. If you have started you baby on formula or foods early on, you may need to go back to more breast feeding and reintroduce foods/formula at a slower rate. This should correct the problem. Check the list below to know the physical and behavioral symptoms of baby constipation and the list of remedies below that.

Physical and Behaviors Symptoms of Baby Constipation

  • Infant has very few bowel movements. What we’re looking at less than 5 movements a week over a 2 week period. And, we looking at an infant that is less than six weeks.

  • If the infant is constipated, the fecal material will be hard and in pellets.

  • If you see excessive grunting and straining with a disgruntled look on the face that’s a pretty good sign their having poo poo problems. Your baby may be squirming and twisting the torso. It’s pretty easy to spot.

Remedies for Baby Constipation (this is for infants less than 6 months)

  • If you infant has been breastfed only and you see signs of constipation, seek immediate medical attention. It’s important to make a note of all the symptoms you observe. Make sure to write them down. It’s too easy to forget. That information will come in handy for your doctor.

  • If you are still nursing and have begun to introduce formula and you observe constipation signs, stop using formula and nurse only.

  • If you are giving your infant formula and you observe constipation signs, begin nursing. Essentially what we’re looking at is an infant that is less than two weeks old. You haven’t breast fed at all. You can get help to lactate from the IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). If for some reason you can’t produce milk, it is possible to get donor milk. They do have Milk Banks. I will warn you that this could be a tad expensive. Perhaps you know someone or have a family member that is currently producing more milk than they can use. This would be a good source of breast milk if push comes to shove.

Remedies for Infant Constipation (this is for infants over 6 months)

  • It could be that you are weaning the infant at this time and you see signs of baby constipation. Simply increase the number of breast feedings per day until constipation symptoms disappear. As time goes on, you can reintroduce solid foods. If this doesn’t work seek professional help.

  • Don’t go all panic stations if you see signs of constipation that are not severe. Quite often that situation will correct itself in time.

  • If you know your infant has constipation and your doctors is aware of it, he/she may give you the go ahead to administer a sorbitol-containing juice. It is often recommended to mix the sugar alcohol with something like prune or apple juices. Some doctors have suggested using corn syrup for constipation but make sure you talk with your healthcare professional first.

Category: Articles