Having a baby that is constipated no matter what age can be challenging and stressful. In October, both of my daughters had horrible and painful constipation. It got so bad that we almost had to bring one of them to the hospital. After talking to many doctors and specialists and researching to ensure that this doesn’t happen again, we figured out what worked for them.
The first thing we did was changed the girls’ milk from cow’s milk to almond milk. We also started incorporated many of the foods and supplements listed below to ensure the girls had no trouble going forward. To integrate a combo of items listed below at least once a day, they are now doing fantastic and have had no issues since. I learned so much and want to share the tips and tricks I learned with other parents who may be going through the same situation to help you tackle your child’s constipation issues.
A change in your child’s diet can cause constipation, for example, if they go from breastmilk to formula or formula to cow’s milk. Once they start eating solids, it is common to experience some constipation. Ensuring your child is consuming fibrous foods like some of the ones mentioned below to help prevent. If any of these items or foods listed below seem not to work, consult with your child’s pediatrician.
Fibre is a carbohydrate that is found in grains, vegetables, beans, and fruit. I am not an expert, so if you’d like to learn more about fibre, please visit here. It is a great resource to help you learn more.
As mentioned before, it is common for some babies to have some constipation when starting solids. Their systems have only had formula or breast milk prior, and sometimes it can take a bit of time for their digest system to adjust. Starting with most vegetables and fruit, including the ones listed below, is a great way to help the digestive system. If you find them becoming constipated more often than before, talk to your pediatrician.
Shortly after we started giving the girls cow milk, we noticed that they were having such large and hard bowel movements. It was so bad that they would become extremely red from pushing, sometimes shake, and fall asleep after trying for 30 minutes or longer. It was so sad and heartbreaking, so I researched solitons because it was hard to watch both of them in so much pain and discomfort. We needed to soften up their bowel movements ASAP, so I learned a lot about cow milk and the effects that it can have on young children, and we made the decision to switch and haven’t looked back since.
After we switched them onto almond milk, we started to see a difference within two days. The only negative about almond milk is that it has far less protein than cow’s milk. Luckily Mackenzie and Victoria eat very well and enjoy eating food. We keep an eye on their protein intake serve them protein at each meal. I am so pleased we made that switch because they eat more now than they have before. We picked the almond milk with the same amount of calcium and vitamins as most cow’s milk because that is also important.
Prunes and prune juice is a fantastic way to prevent constipation. They are very high in fibre and contain a sweetener that is like a natural laxative called sorbitol. We have been adding small amounts of prune juice in girls’ bottles since they were six months old. It has done wonders for them, and I have also started baking muffins with prune juice in replacement for water. They turn out delicious and so moist and are still helping the girls with their bowel movements.
This is the prune juice we buy.
One of the girl’s doctors told us about RestoraLAX, and to be honest, I think the girls were too far gone for this to help. However, I still wanted to include it because it could work for your child. It is a colourless and odorless powder that you can mix into milk and water. You can buy it at most drug stores or stores with a pharmacy, and the pediatrician said to use a teaspoon at first and add accordingly. Speak to your pediatrician if this is something you are interested in using.
There are a few different probiotics on the market that are safe for infants to use. This is an excellent start to your baby’s gut health off right and a great way to tackle constipation. You may not notice a change, but your child will thank you in the long run. I linked the probiotic we use for the girls here. *affiliate link
Instead of buying children’s yogurt, which can be loaded with sugar, a pediatrician suggested trying Activia yogurt. It also has probiotics and is another way to help your child’s gut health. I was shocked young children could have it, but if you don’t want to buy probiotics and your child likes yogurt, this is the perfect solution for you. I wasn’t sure if they would like it, but once we started offering it, I found they enjoyed it so much more than regular children’s yogurt.
I am a big fan of water and drink it more than any liquid. It is crucial for your baby for so many reasons. Keeping hydrated is important whether it’s the middle of summer or a cold winter’s day. Offering water will help keep your baby hydrated, and this will help them keep their digestive system moving. When the girls were six months old, we served them water that we boiled and let cool. Now that their system has matured, we serve them water from a Britta filter.
Here is some more information about babies drinking water.
Navy Beans, Black beans, and split peas have very high fibre. Once your child has started BLW (baby-led-weaning), try and introduce beans to their diet when you think they are ready. The girls love kidney beans and chickpeas, and incorporating them into meals is always great. You can serve it to your child by themselves or cook/bake with them.
Here is a fantastic recipe for Bean Bites that have Navy Beans and another high in fibre foods. This would be a perfect recipe to make for your little one!
Broccoli is an excellent source of many essential nutrients and is full of fibre and other vitamins. I remember giving the girls broccoli for the first time; their reactions were hilarious; they weren’t fans at all. There was a while whenever we would serve broccoli, and it would be on the floor within the first 10 minutes of the meal. But, serving it often and over time, they are grown to love broccoli.
I recently tried Broccoli Egg Cups for breakfast, and the girls loved them!
Cereals made with whole grains like Shreddies or Cheerios can have a significant amount of fibre due to the grains used to make them. Personally, I like the multi-grain Cheerios because there are six different grains (oats, corn, brown rice, millet, and sorghum). Cereal can also be an easy snack or a part of a meal like breakfast.
Believe it or not, berries are a perfect way to treat constipation, and if your child doesn’t like eating them, don’t worry; they taste amazing in most things (i.e. muffins, pancakes, or smoothies). Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are very high in fibre and including just 1 cup to a recipe goes a long way.
Try these “Very Berry Muffins.”
Last but not least, a lovely warm bath can also do the trick. A warm bath is a perfect time for your baby’s muscles to relax. While relaxing, hopefully, it will allow your baby to pass that pesky bowel movement you’ve been waiting for so they can sleep beautifully.
I hope that this list will help you get a better idea of some of the things you can do to help prevent your child’s constipation. The reason why I am sharing this information is because I have suffered from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) since I was very young. I wish my parents knew all of this information when I was younger; it would have prevented so much pain and stress. So, I hope you find what works for your children like we did and so they can get the relief they deserve.
Here are some more high fiber foods to introduce/cook with to help prevent constipation.
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