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Causes of Baby Constipation
Constipation is a painful and aggravating condition for adults but it can generally be handled effectively with an all-natural laxative and some modification to diet. Baby constipation, however, can be a true nightmare because it is hard for parents to know when the condition is even present. Often, several days pass without a bowel movement before parents begin to suspect that baby constipation may be present.
Parents generally have a pretty good idea of how often their baby has a bowel movement. Therefore, they will know within a few days if baby constipation is present. However, the presence of hard or dry stool should be considered a warning sign, particularly if the child seems to be in pain or having difficulty when having a bowel movement. But what actually causes baby constipation and can anything be done to prevent it?
The causes of baby constipation are basically the same as with adults. Not getting enough water or liquids will definitely cause hardened stools and lead to difficulty in having a bowel movement. A diet that is low in fiber also causes baby constipation and modifications may have to be made if this is suspected as a potential source of the problem.
Now waiting too long between bowel movements will cause baby constipation too—just like with adults. The difference is that parents rarely suspect this cause because they assume babies just “go” whenever they like. However, if the child has already had a dry stool and some pain when having a bowel movement, they will then hold in later movements. This then creates a cycle of baby constipation that is hard to break without taking the child to a doctor.
Another cause of baby constipation may be too much formula or milk. Because babies lack certain enzymes necessary to break down the proteins found in milk. Breastfed infants rarely develop baby constipation, however, as breast milk has different properties than formula or store-bought milk. In fact, babies who are breast fed tend to have large bowel movements, with soft stool.
Now once baby constipation is present, your child will suffer until the condition goes away. Because holding bowel movements in can lead to more constipation, your baby may get stuck in a cycle of pain and misery. In such cases, it will be necessary to essentially force a bowel movement in order to end the baby constipation as well as the cycle causing it.
Harsh laxatives made with chemicals are simply not an option with baby constipation due to the difficulty administering the laxatives as well as their effect upon the body. Gentle suppositories are generally recommended for infants and toddlers because they are easy to administer. However, any product used to treat baby constipation should use all-natural ingredients as they are gentler on the body and lead to less side effects. Should the baby constipation persist beyond 3 or 4 days, it is highly recommended that you take the child to a doctor in order to remove the blockage and check for physical causes of the condition.