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Causes of infant constipation
The first thing to know about a newborn bay is that they are very sensitive to the world around them. This includes its diet and how its body responds to it. One way an infant can respond to its diet is to become constipated. Infant constipation occurs when your infant's bowel movements are dry, hard, dark and appear to cause some pain while it is being passed. Infant constipation is not characterized by infrequency of bowel movements like it is in adults. Infrequent bowel movements are common in a baby and are usually not a cause for alarm. Baby constipation itself is not a serious condition, other than the fact that it is causing your child pain. In only a few cases is infant constipation the sign of a more serious underlying condition called hirschsprung's disease. Although this condition is quite rare, you should still see a pediatrician of your baby becomes constipated. Infant constipation can be caused be a number of these factors:
Formula. When babies are exclusively breastfed, they rarely experience constipation. This is because breast milk contains the absolute perfect balance of proteins and fats that a baby needs. This means that it will produce stools that are always soft and painless to pass. If a baby is on a formula, there is a chance that something in the formula itself is making the baby constipated. Before switching brands, consult with a doctor about what might be best for the child.
Dehydration. Sometimes, if you baby is not getting enough fluid in its diet, it will become dehydrated. The babies system will respond by taking more fluid out of the waste system causing stool to be dry and hard and painful to pass. This can occur even if the baby is being breastfed simply due to the fact that some bodies just use more liquids than others. If this is the case you could try adding about 2 ounces of water to a babies daily diet. You can alter this amount based on how the babies bowel movements are responding.
Introduction of solids. When a child is first introduced to solid food, it is quite common for them to become constipated. This is perfectly natural and should not surprise you as a parent. You are introducing something completely new to the babies body and their body has to learn how to deal with it. Sometimes you can help this transition by adding pears or prunes to a babies daily solid food diet. You can also use cereals that are made out of barely and not rice since rice absorbs more liquids than barely and other grains do. Do not feed your child sugary foods because sugar is one of the leading causes of dehydration in infants and children.