25 October

Concerned about your baby's bowel movements?

Many new mothers are eager to start babies on solid food.

Introduction to solid food can be a significant milestone for the baby and in a way to the mother too. This switch can sometimes change the bowel pattern of the baby. He or she can get constipated and sometimes strain while passing stools. The little tummy of the baby can take some time to get through changeover in its diet. But, knowing that subtle bowel changes are normal can make you spend happy time with your baby.

Many mothers complain that their baby had a normal bowel frequency while they were breastfeeding, but introducing solids has made the baby uncomfortable.  Loading the baby's tummy with variety of foods when starting solids can cause constipation. Babies build enzymes for each food and it may take more than 3 days after the consumption for the baby to get used to the food. So it is important that you introduce solids to the baby in a phased manner.  if the gut of the baby is introduced with more than one food within 48 hours then they can go havoc.

 The food choice

  • Mashed banana
  • Stewed apple
  • Well steamed and pureed vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin
  • Pulse soup (moong dal ka pani)
  • Rice Water (Chawal ka pani)
  • Homemade cereal like rice mixed with breastmilk or formula milk

 one vegetable at a time for 3 days introduced with one teaspoon for lunch or dinner on the first day and then graduate to two spoons the following day and three spoons on the third day. 


Helping the baby with constipation comes in many forms. Massaging the baby's tummy slowly with some baby oil can help in relieving the gas. 


The biggest is the belief in 'something's wrong' with the baby's digestive system if the baby failed bowel movement for a few days. Remember, there is no normal amount of bowel movement. Anything from several times a day to once a week can still be considered within the range of normal function. So don't fret as long as the bowels are soft, pain-free and blood free.


Tips for treating constipation in babies

• Try baby massage or a warm bath to help your baby's muscles to relax. You can also gently move your baby's legs as if she was riding a bike, to help get her stomach moving.

• Offer your older baby high fibre foods: pureed fruits including apple, pear. Fresh green peas available in winters are loaded with fibre. It can be given as a simple snack by just boiling and seasoning. Infants can be given blended puree of boiled peas to ease the process of releasing stool.

• Don't give prune juice – even if it is diluted – to babies under six months, as it can be too strong for little tummies.

• If your baby is still drinking formula, give her extra water between feeds. Don't dilute the formula.

• Gently move your baby's legs in a bicycling motion to help move the hard poo along her intestine. Continue using the recommended amount of formula.

• Give plenty of fluids to make sure your baby is well hydrated.

• Seek medical advice if your baby hasn't moved her bowels for three days, or isn't moving them regularly and if there is the presence of blood or mucus.

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 November 2018 09:37
Venkatesh Rathod

Venkat handles content management for MedHealthTV.

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