Baby is constipated. How can you help him ?
Of all the digestive problems common in babies, constipation figures prominently! Infrequent, irregular stools with a strange consistency, constipation has a number of causes but it is entirely possible to ease it.
What is constipation?
Infant constipation is when baby goes for a poo less than twice a week and their stools are hard and small1. During the first few months, especially if they are breastfed, baby may not go for a poo every day, but instead every two or three days1. This frequency is completely normal and there is no need to worry.
Constipation and diet
The food you are going to gradually introduce them to from the age of 6 months will naturally have an effect on the contents of their nappy. There’s nothing unusual about that, quite the opposite. It means that your baby is adapting to their new diet! This diversification can cause constipation, which is a sign that baby’s little stomach is reacting normally2.
Tips to beat constipation
When baby is constipated, you’ll know about it! The tense expression on their face and their clenched fists when they do a poo will tell you it’s not easy. Their stools are hard, like a sausage or little balls, and you may see traces of blood. Don’t worry: these traces are caused by little tears in the anus. To comfort baby, you can massage their tummy gently, circling from right to left to help relax their belly.
Another tip is to move baby’s legs like a little frog. How? By lifting their legs gently up to their tummy3 then stretching them out like a frog’s legs.
1 Vandenplas Y., Alarcon P., Alliet P. et al.: “Algorithms for managing infant constipation, colic, regurgitation and cow milk allergy in formula-fed infants”, Acta Pediatr., Volume 104, Issue 5; 2015.
2 Constipation et autres soucis de son petit ventre, à partir de 6 mois, by Dr Olivier Mouterde and Dr Pascale Roy, 13/03/18, mpedia.
3 Son petit ventre, décryptage des selles de 0 à 6 mois, by Dr Pascale Roy, Dr Olivier Mouterde and Dr Alain Bocquet, 09/07/19, mpedia
- Autre astuce, manipuler les jambes de bébé comme une petite grenouille. Comment ? En remontant ses jambes doucement sur son ventre3 puis en les dépliant comme des pattes de grenouille.
1 Vandenplas Y., Alarcon P., Alliet P. et al. : « Algorithms for managing infant constipation, colic, regurgitation and cow milk allergy in formula-fed infants », Acta Pediatr., Volume104, Issue5; 2015.
2 Constipation et autres soucis de son petit ventre, à partir de 6 mois, par les Dr Olivier Mouterde et Pascale Roy, 13/03/18, mpedia
3 Son petit ventre, décryptage des selles de 0 à 6 mois, par les Dr Pascale Roy, Olivier Mouterde, Alain Bocquet, 09/07/19, mpedia