Constipation in children, especially infants, is a common phenomenon that parents worry about. The reasons are varied, some more, some less serious, but don’t panic as healthy children are often affected by this problem. There are effective ways to fight constipation.
Various causes of constipation in an infant.
Each child has a different metabolism and their digestive system functions differently. Some babies who are breastfed have very little bowel movements, while others have a daily bowel movement. The same applies to feeding with formula milk. However, if your infant’s bowel movements are rare and your toddler is seen to be painful to have a bowel movement, it may be constipation.
Constipation is less common in breastfed babies than in formula-fed babies, but the problem may worsen when solid foods are introduced into the diet. If the child’s diet is low in fiber or if the child drinks insufficient amount of fluids, constipation may develop.
An infant’s digestive system is not yet fully developed and may therefore be more sensitive to dietary changes or certain nutritional mistakes. The most common are: food allergies, including cow’s milk protein allergy; improper preparation of modified milk (e.g. too thick); too early expansion of the diet with solid foods; excess in the diet of foods that cause constipation; abnormal bowel function resulting from the immaturity of the digestive system.
Constipation in children, especially infants, is treated only under the supervision of a specialist.
Only under the supervision of a pediatrician should constipation be treated in children , especially in newborns and infants. You need to evaluate the diet and make sure your baby is gaining weight properly.
Constipation in an infant who is expanding his diet can be combated by drinking more water, introducing fruit and vegetable purees, as well as grain products and groats. At the same time, for a few days, you should refrain from giving constipating foods, including bananas, boiled carrots, and rice.
Parents of formula-fed babies may consider switching to one that is appropriate for babies with bowel problems, but discuss with your pediatrician beforehand.
The pediatrician may decide to administer medications from a pharmacy to regulate your bowel function. In the treatment of constipation, osmotic drugs – lactulose or macrogol – are used, which cause a greater inflow of water to the intestine and relaxation of the fecal masses. After consulting your pediatrician in advance, you can give your child glycerin suppositories that help move the fecal content in the intestines and speed up peristaltic movements. Probiotic oral drops for children support and maintain the proper bacterial flora of the intestines and help reduce the occurrence of baby colic, constipation, improve the functioning of the digestive system and strengthen the immune system.