Solid Foods and Constipation
It was a mixed blessing when our daughter started eating solid foods. On the one hand, it was a joy to see her move on to the next level and share a jar of food with her that we might actually eat too! (Apple sauce, yes! Sweet potatoes and chicken, no thanks.) On the other hand, all that solid food was producing stools that were also, well, solid. Not sure of what to do about it, we got on the Internet and did some research.
First of all, we learned that symptoms of constipation are generally when babies have hard and difficult to pass stools. Babies who are constipated may also have bowel movements less frequently than what?s ?normal? for that child, and may not have one at all in three or more days. When a constipated baby does have a bowel movement, it?s usually difficult and uncomfortable.
So what can parents do to ease the discomfort and get baby onto a more ?normal? schedule? We found three things that helped:
- Increased fluids. Adding an extra serving of juice (pear juice worked wonders for our daughter, but any fruit juice should help) to your child?s diet can help to soften his or stools. Also try to give at least a few sips of water after feeding your child solids.
- Increase exercise. Putting our daughter in the jumper or another activity where she is on her feet helped to get both her and her digestive system moving. Increased crawling or cruising can also help.
- Avoid certain solids. Certain foods can be more binding than others ? we found that pears and prunes helped to soften her stools, while bananas, rice, and oatmeal made things worse.
Constipation in babies and toddlers can be difficult for both you and baby. Switching to solids can cause constipation, as can a medical condition or illness, or dehydration. Be sure to talk to your pediatrician if your child is experiencing constipation.