Sugared Water for Baby Constipation – Is it Safe? Does it Work?

Sugared water for baby constipation? Yup, you will risk trying any home remedy to make sure your baby is pooping. And is relieved of that nasty constipation!

But is sugar water for baby constipation really effective? Let’s find out about all the things that help soothe your babies’ tummy. And stuff that you should avoid!

Also Read: Is Your Newborn Not Pooping But Passing Gas? What Should You Do?

Tummy Troubles?

Baby’s bowels are as delicate as your tiny toy itself is! And hence any tummy trouble should be rightly taken care of. Your baby can tell you when their bowels are not okay. And when they are having pooping problems.

As you monitor each cry, laugh, hiccup, and burp to see if your baby is doing well. Hence, it is very easy for you as a parent to be mistaken about these problems. A baby’s bowel habits change regularly from time to time.

So, at some times they may go days without pooping. But that does not necessarily define constipation. So then, what is constipation in babies?

Also Read: Having A Breastfeeding Baby Constipated? What Should You Do?

Constipation in Babies

So, a few days have passed by since your baby last passed stool. And you may think that surely your baby has constipation. But that is not always the case.

Constipation is more than just having less frequent stools. It also points to a period when your baby has harder than normal stools. Which makes it difficult for baby boo to poop.

Also Read: Best Toys For 6-Month-Old Babies

Signs Your Baby is Constipated

Bowel movements vary greatly from one baby to another. They are also linked to the type of milk a baby is consuming. Whether its breast milk or formula feed. Or if you have introduced solid foods, and what type of food at what time.

Babies who are exclusively on breast milk may not have a bowel movement every single day. That is because breast milk is full of nutrients. Almost all of which are absorbed. A fun fact to remember here is that babies who are on breast milk are highly unlikely to develop constipation!

On the other hand, babies who are having formula feed may have up to 3-4 bowel movements per day. Or may go about a few days without pooping.

Keep a watch out for the following signs to see if your baby is having defecation problems.

Also Read: How To Get Your Newborn To Poop? Safe Methods And Techniques

Not That Frequent Pooping Pattern

Infrequent pooping is one of the signs your baby has constipation. It mostly develops when you have introduced your child to a new food. And hence the number of bowel movements your baby has can fluctuate in response.

Apart from the number of times the baby poops. The consistency of the stool is also important. If the baby has passed a few days without pooping. And then passes a hard-tough stool with difficulty. That means your baby is having constipation.

Taut and Tight Tummy?

A firm belly is another indicator of your baby having constipation. Boating due to flatus and stool as well as pressure causes your baby to have a firm and taut tummy.

Straining and Crying while Pooping?

The hard, dry stool is difficult to pass. Hence your baby may be straining and exerting pressure while pooping. Most often, this causes your baby to become agitated and cry.

This straining can also tear the delicate blood vessel. And hence blood appears in the stool.

Not Eating Well?

Constipation causes your baby to become full quicker. Which is why your baby may refuse to eat normally like before.

Also Read: Broken Skin Diaper Rash In Babies – Causes and Remedies

How to Combat constipation?

So, now we have a fair idea of how to pick up constipation in babies. The next step is, how to get rid of it? Let’s dive into some remedies.

Sugared Water for Baby Constipation

There are several home remedies when it comes to combat constipation. One of them that you may have come across is sugared water for baby constipation.

This is an age-old remedy in use for centuries to curb constipation in babies. The sugar works as an osmotic agent. That is, it helps to draw water out into the baby’s bowel. And hence soften the stools.

In the past, honey was the go-to agent. But is not recommended now in babies younger than 12 months old. Due to the risk of botulism associated with the use of honey.

Both white and brown sugar can be used. The sugar can also be added to the formula feed. But won’t be a good idea as your baby is likely to throw a tantrum when he doesn’t get sweetened formula in normal days!

Hence it is better to give sugared water for baby constipation. For this purpose, add half a teaspoon of sugar in a small amount of boiled but cooled water.

Also Read: How Babies Get Colic? All You Need To Know About Baby Colic

Other Home Remedies to Curb Constipation

Apart from sugared water for baby constipation, there are a few other tried and trusted methods. As seen below.

Simple Water!

Yeah, sugared water for baby constipation is sweet. But why not try plain water first? For babies less than 6 months old, try adding 1 ounce of cooled and boiled water, at least once or twice a day.

And for babies older than 6 months, you can give 2 ounces of cooled and boiled water.

Also Read: Best Nutrition For Children – What Do Experts Agree On?

Fruits and Fruit Juices

Fruit juices have the same effect as sugared water for baby constipation. Pear, apple, and prune juice are really effective in this matter.

But remember to dilute the juice with water. And start with lower concentration such as ¼ ounce of juice in 1 ounce of water. Then increase the strength if needed.

If you have introduced solid foods in your baby’s diet, adding fruits can help relieve constipation. Apples, pears, plums, and apricots can serve the purpose.

Exercise and Massage

Exercise really does the trick in getting the bowels moving. As babies themselves can’t do much, a parent or caregiver can facilitate. By gently moving the legs as when riding a bicycle.

This practice along with massaging the tummy helps activate the bowel movements. And have the baby pooping in no time!

Also Read: Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn – Breathing Difficulty After Birth

When to Consult with Your Doctor?

A lot of simple remedies are available to treat a troubled tummy at home. Including sugared water for baby constipation.

However, if there appears blood in poop. Or constipation is becoming a more persistent problem. Or if you have concerns regarding the change in your babies’ weight and growth. You should sooner, rather than later, talk to your doctor. As is in the best interest of your tiny tot!

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Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza
Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

Medical Officer at Ammar Medical Complex, Founder at Therightparenting and Owner and Founder at OOPER with Syed Ahmad Raza

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Having A Breastfeeding Baby Constipated? What Should You Do?

Basic things to learn if you have a breastfeeding baby constipated

Seeing a breastfeeding baby constipated can trigger parents to overthink a lot of stuff. But relax, you need to know some details before panicking. In young infants, the schedule of pooping is quite variable which makes frequency a poor indicator of constipation. So to define constipation in young infants, bowel movements play an important role.

A breastfeeding baby is said to be constipated if he has sluggish bowel movements along with hard pellet-like stools which are very difficult to pass.

Normal poop schedule in young infants

The schedule of pooping in young infants is highly variable. A baby who is exclusively on breastfeeding can go up to 2 weeks without passing stool. The reason is that breast milk is a pure form of nutrition for your baby with minimum waste. This makes pooping frequency low.

On the other hand, babies can even poop up to 6 times after every meal. This schedule is normal as well. However, it is seen that babies having formula feed instead of breast milk develop constipation more frequently.

Symptoms of a breastfeeding baby constipated

As the frequency is a poor indicator of constipation, it is hard to judge when your baby is constipated. Here are a few indicators which can help you assess whether the baby is constipated or not:

  • The baby has a tight, firm, and distended abdomen.
  • He passes hard stools like pellets.
  • Often cries while pooping.
  • Reluctant to feed.
  • You can find bleeding along with hard stools because of the tearing of the anal wall or sphincter.

Reasons for having breastfeeding baby constipated

It is pretty rare to find a breastfeeding baby constipated before 6 months because of the digestive nature of breast milk. Constipation usually occurs after 6 months when formula milk or solid diet is started. Here are some causes of constipation in a breastfeeding baby:

Rice

If your baby’s diet contains rice it can cause constipation as it absorbs water in the gut and makes the stool hard. If this is the case you should switch to barely or oatmeal for your baby.

Cow milk

Cow milk is more notorious for causing constipation as compared to breast milk.

Bananas

This fruit is a serious culprit of constipation and it is supposed to mess with the baby’s electrolytes causing constipation.

Low-fiber diet

Fibers make the stools soft and easy to pass. With fewer fibers in your baby’s diet, there is more chance of him having constipation. Things like white pasta and bread have low fiber content and you should avoid them.

Fewer liquids

Liquids make stool soft. There should be plenty of liquids in your baby’s diet if there is a complaint of constipation.

Stress

Stressful conditions like travel or heat can cause constipation. It normally relieves with rest and a healthy diet.

Sickness

Constipation is often associated with other sicknesses like common cold or infection. In such situations, it is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and other symptoms of the disease.

Medical issues

Multiple medical diseases can cause constipation in young infants. However, you should consult a doctor and should not take them lightly as these can slow the growth of the baby.

Constipation remedies – If you have a breastfeeding baby constipated

Here are a few home remedies which can help with the constipation problem of the breastfed baby:

Increase Fiber

You should add fruits and vegetables to your diet as they contain higher fiber content. If rice is causing constipation, you should switch it for barely and oatmeal.

Increase Hydration

Give plenty of fluids to your baby. It helps with the general condition of the baby and helps with the irritation besides softening the stool.

Tummy massage

Gently rubbing the baby’s abdomen in a circular motion especially around the umbilicus helps with constipation. It stimulates the digestive system and helps with excretion of the stool outside the body.

Exercise

Moving the hands and legs back and forth like riding a bicycle stimulate the digestive tract helps the baby poop. You can also place your baby on his tummy and encourage him to squirm with a toy. The theme is to increase the activity of the baby which in turn activates the digestive system to relieve constipation.

When to seek consultation if having a breastfeeding baby constipated?

So when is the right time to seek consultation? Constipation can be irritating for the baby and you shouldn’t hesitate if your gut says you to seek help from a doctor. However, here are a few indicators which can help you make the decision:

  • Constipation is persisting for a long time and home remedies are not effective.
  • The baby is irritated and distressed.
  • Your baby is not eating.
  • There is a fever or vomiting associated with constipation.
  • Your baby’s belly is tender and distention.

Can the mother’s diet be a reason for having a breastfeeding baby constipated?

Your baby is too little at this time and is completely dependent on you. From nutrition to protection everything depends on you. This makes healthy eating an important factor. If you are taking good care of yourself your baby is going to be healthy.

However, the mother’s diet does not affect constipation. A popular Korean study carried out in 2017 showed that the mother’s diet has no relation to constipation in the breastfeeding baby. Thus, adding fibers or hydration to the mother’s diet will not affect the baby. Breast milk develops from the blood not the digestive system, therefore, what you eat has little to no effect on the baby.

However, your baby gets all the nutrition from breast milk. Thus eating a healthy diet is always necessary for the well being of your baby.

Follow:
Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza
Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

Medical Officer at Ammar Medical Complex, Founder at Therightparenting and Owner and Founder at OOPER with Syed Ahmad Raza

Find me on: Web | Facebook

How To Get Your Newborn To Poop? Safe Methods And Techniques

We can imagine how concerning it can be for you as a mother to try to understand your newborn baby’s bowel habits. How to get your newborn to poop is a frustrating question for most moms. Bowel movements vary from baby to baby. So before you psych yourself out over your baby’s pooping habits, it’s important to know what normal poop for infants should look like and how frequently should they be needing a diaper change.

Is my baby really not pooping right or am I worried unnecessarily?

The first two to three diapers that your baby soils right after being born might have a dark greenish to black poop and that’s totally normal. That’s the meconium (poop collected in your baby’s gut while it was growing inside you).

After the baby starts feeding, the color of the stool will get lighter and the consistency will remain soft. Newborns usually have pasty light yellowish poop, that’s almost the consistency of peanut butter.

It is normal for breastfed babies to go a few days, even about a week at times without having any bowel activity. Bottle-fed babies usually poop once during the day if not more.

The question that arises here is: how do you know if your baby is pooping normally or if he/she is constipated if the pooping habits are so variable? The answer to that question is that paying close attention to your baby will be the best indicator of your baby’s health. What I mean by that is to look out for certain signs that may indicate that your baby is in pain or discomfort.

Signs that your baby is in pain due to bowel problems

  • In case your baby strains and cries too much for too long
  • Your baby has a hard belly
  • In case your baby strains a lot while pooping and the poop is hard or comes out like pellets
  • Your baby has a lack of appetite
  • Streaks of blood present in the baby’s stool

If your baby is exhibiting any of the above-mentioned signs, he/she is most likely constipated. The presence of blood in the stool prompts a visit to the pediatrician. It’s important so you can find out the exact cause for it and rule out any serious conditions.

Also read: Why Does My Baby Make Weird Noises During Sleep?

What to do? How to get your newborn to poop?

If you have made the conclusion that your baby is in pain due to constipation and you’re wondering how to get your newborn to poop, here’s a list of some of the things you can do at home that can remedy your baby’s condition:

Hydration

Mothers often tend to think that the breast milk or formula feed is sufficient to keep their babies well hydrated because their total intake is an all-liquid diet. If a baby, however, shows signs of constipation and is soiling his/her diaper with hard stools like pellets, giving the baby 2/3 teaspoons of water after every feed can help replenish hydration and make the stool soft.

Massage

A gentle tummy rub can be relaxing for your baby. It can help relieve constipation because it encourages bowel activity in babies. There are a few ways you can go about this step:

  • Gently walk your fingers around your baby’s belly button in a clockwise fashion.
  • Softly make clockwise circles on your baby’s stomach with a finger. Be mindful to not put too much pressure.
  • Running the flat of your finger from the ribcage of your baby all the way down till a little below the belly button.

It’s preferable to use slightly warm olive oil or coconut oil to make the massage more relaxing for the baby and to buffer any friction against his/her delicate skin.

Getting anxious over how to get your newborn to poop can take a toll on stress levels too. Take some time out to indulge your baby in a massage. It will help you unwind and bond with your baby.

Changing your baby’s diet

Babies who are being given formula milk can at times show a very drastic improvement in their bowel habits and digestion just by changing the brand of formula milk. If switching to another formula hasn’t helped your baby it will not help to keep changing it so it’s not advised to keep switching. It is also better to take your doctor’s advice before changing to a formula that is lactose-free or has less dairy content.

Exercise

Hold your baby’s feet and legs together and press them gently against his/ her belly. Hold this position for about two to three seconds and release the legs slowly. Repeat this two to three times during the day

OR

Gently hold your newborn’s legs and move them in a bicycle motion for a few seconds. Do this two to three times during the day.

A warm bath

Upon asking some new mothers on how to get your newborn to poop I found that none of them realized how a warm bath could do wonders for their baby. A warm bath is not only relaxing for the baby in general. It helps the baby loosen his/her body and releases tension from the abdominal muscles too which may help alleviate your baby’s constipation.

Fruit juice

Giving your baby fresh apple juice starting at about two ounces per day improves constipation. Fruit juice has sugars because of which more liquid moves to the gut and helps soften the stool. It also increases gut motility. It’s important to be cautious while giving it though because too much sugar in the gut could lead to diarrhea and that’s not what you want. Dehydration is dangerous in babies.

Rectal temperature

Bowel movement can be stimulated if you take your baby’s rectal temperature with a clean, disinfected, lubricated thermometer. Be careful not to resort to this method too frequently. That is because it could even worsen your baby’s constipation if he/she gets too used to pooping only when you stimulate the anal opening.

Other solutions on how to get your newborn to poop

  • Enemas
  • Colic drops/ Laxatives
  • Glycerin Suppositories

I’ll advise you not to resort to these methods without the advice of a pediatrician.

When to go see a doctor?

If you feel like none of the above-mentioned methods are improving your baby’s constipation

OR

if he/she

  • Starts to lose weight rapidly
  • Refuses to feed
  • Is vomiting out all the milk after every feed
  • Has streaks of blood in the stool
  • Has been running a fever
  • Is continuously crying and straining
  • Is not very responsive when awake along with any of the above-mentioned symptoms

It is imperative that you go see a Pediatrician and seek expert advice on how to get your newborn to poop if none of the above-mentioned methods seem to help.

Also read: My Baby Doesn’t Sleep Unless Held – Should I Be Worried?

Follow:
Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza
Dr. Syed Ahmad Raza

Medical Officer at Ammar Medical Complex, Founder at Therightparenting and Owner and Founder at OOPER with Syed Ahmad Raza

Find me on: Web | Facebook