Constipation is a very irritating condition of the digestive tract wherein the stools that are formed become very hard and firm. Many individuals experience this, especially if they have a change in diet or have eaten something different from what they usually do. As an adult, you have experienced constipation on many occasions and may have found it as a very serious experience. When you are constipated, your stool becomes so hardened that it cannot be expelled. There may be times when you just break wind and spend almost an hour on the toilet just to defecate.
Babies also get constipated. This may be caused by the ongoing adjustment of their gastrointestinal tract. Breastfed babies do not get constipated that much because breast milk is quickly digested. It is just right for their premature digestive tract. Their large intestines have very helpful bacteria that breakdown some of the very complicated proteins in milk. As a result, the breastfed baby’s stool is softer and easier to get rid of. They have increased levels of motiline (a hormone that improves bowel movement). Bottle-fed babies have higher risks of constipation because milk formulas are much harder to digest or breakdown. Their stools are usually a lot thicker and green. Food and an underlying disease also cause constipation in babies. When this happens, your baby will be very uncomfortable and will experience pain.
When a baby is constipated, it really hurts to pass stool. So, your baby will tend to hold back the stool to keep from getting hurt. This makes more and more stool to get impacted in the large intestine. Because of this, colic pains occur. Because of this secondary condition, your baby may not want to eat anymore. You could effectively treat constipation by giving your baby a safe baby laxative. Here are some of the laxatives that you can consider:
1. Apple juice and prunes
One excellent natural baby laxative is either prune juice or apple juice. These two natural fruit juices are very high in fiber. An increase in the amount of fiber could very well mobilize your baby’s bowel. Prune and apple juice are much better for your baby to take in at this stage of development. A natural baby laxative is very good for your baby’s sensitive digestive system. So make sure that you keep these juices in your fridge.
Water is a very effective natural baby laxative. Your baby is constipated because the water is reabsorbed into the body, leaving the stool dry, packed, and very solid in the large intestines. If your baby drinks a lot of water, then there will enough water to lubricate the formed stools in the colon. With this, there is easier bowel movement. You should train your baby to drink water at a very young age so that conditions like this may be avoided as development ensues.
3. Glycerine suppository
A glycerine suppository is a baby laxative that is like a small gel-like tube. It is well-lubricated and is manually inserted into the anus. Most preferably, the suppository is inserted while the baby is lying sideways. The anus should be allowed to stay in the anus until its effects manifest.
4. Butter oil
Butter oil is a very safe and natural baby laxative that you can use in place of mineral oil. It is also a very important source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Butter oil doesn’t only slide through your intestines to facilitate easier bowel movement but it also provides nutrients for your baby’s health. This is given everyday, ¼ teaspoon mixed with breast milk or any suitable liquid that your baby could take in.
Magnesium is also a baby laxative that also comes as magnesium citrate. Magnesium effectively stimulates peristalsis in the digestive tract to help expel the stool. It also leaves nutrients for the muscles of the intestines to work properly. This is given, one-sixteenth of a tablespoon dissolved in a bit of water, which is then introduced into the anus. It will then take effect upwards until bowel movement takes place.
If all else fails, a baby enema is the most effective baby laxative is administered. The tip of the bulb syringe is inserted into the rectum to about half an inch. This bulb should carry one to three tablespoons of lukewarm water, which is then squeezed into the colon. No amount of air should be present inside the bulb to make sure that all the water gets in when you squeeze it. After a few minutes, stool will be expelled. If you need to do this again, you may do so.
Aside from these laxatives, you could also massage the tummy, bathe your baby in warm water, turn your baby’s legs in a repetitive, cycling motion, give cool, boiled water for drinking, and check your baby’s milk formula. You should always coordinate with your pediatrician when you use the baby laxative of your choice because if any of these don’t work, stronger laxatives may be prescribed.