An exciting milestone in your baby’s development is the switch to solids. It’s messy, fun and definitely frustrating for both of you at times, especially considering that introducing solids into her diet can also cause some issues in that tiny tummy.
First foods can be challenging for your baby as her digestive system is accustomed to formula or breast milk. While at this point the system has matured and developed, allowing her to digest more complex foods and absorb nutrients, the process of digesting solids takes longer and can often leave her constipated.
Why does your baby get constipated?
Adding solids to your baby’s diet can lead to constipation mainly because many of those recommended “first foods” don’t have enough fiber, causing her to become backed up.
Solids like bananas, applesauce, or low fiber cereals can induce constipation. Dairy-based solids like cheese or yogurt are also more difficult for your baby to digest which can lead to constipation.
How to help a constipated baby:
One of the best baby constipation remedies is to eliminate the guesswork of what is causing it. Start introducing only one type of solid food every other day or every third day. By adding foods individually, you will have instant feedback on what food causes constipation or if your baby has an allergy to certain foods.
Avoid the ABC Diet
Foods like applesauce, bananas, and cereals are very binding and can cause constipation in babies. Instead, choose more fiber-filled fruit or vegetables to help loosen her stool. Foods like fiber-rich cereals or fruits like prunes, peaches, or pears can help the stool pass through the intestines quicker.
Prune, apple, or pear juice can also soften the stools and make it easier to pass. They are particularly helpful in providing minor constipation relief.
Sometimes the baby’s bowels only need to be stimulated with a little help. Massaging the belly in a light circular motion near the belly button can help encourage your baby’s digestive system to get moving again. The massage may also help relieve the discomfort your baby is feeling from constipation and can relax her muscles which stimulates the digestive tract.
A warm bath can have a similar effect on relieving a constipated baby. The warm water relaxes the muscles, reducing the abdominal pressure and discomfort.
Exercise is necessary for regular bowel movements. It helps the food move through the GI tract faster. For babies, moving the legs in a bicycle movement can help stimulate the contractions of the intestinal muscles. By assisting the muscles contract more efficiently, it keeps things moving throughout the system and encourages regular bowel movements.
Just lay your baby on her back and move her legs as though she was riding a bicycle.
Probiotics can be a long-term solution for constipated babies. The naturally occurring bacteria help the healthy flora thrive in your baby’s digestive system. The probiotics support the healthy bacteria to break down the waste, making it easier for your baby to pass the stool.
Mommy’s Bliss Constipation Ease
Another option for your 6-month old’s occasional constipation is Mommy’s Bliss Constipation Ease. The all natural liquid supplement has prune juice and organic dandelion extract. The prune juice loosens the stools while the dandelion extract helps ease the discomfort and bloating, relieving your baby’s constipation without any harsh stimulants.