You must hear parents complaining about their children not eating all the time. While that could be genuine or a cultural habit, not pooping or having a constipated bowel movement in children is a very serious issue. Not only because it is painful to your child but also because it can lead to complications very soon if it is left untreated.
But sometimes, little children have irregular bowel movement if they are being breastfed or if there is a change in the diet. Even older children cannot express themselves very comfortably. So, it all comes down to you – you need to keep a track of their bowel movement and see if your child is suffering from constipation. So, how can you know when your child is constipated? Watch out for the following symptoms of constipation.
Symptoms of Constipation in Babies:
Just because your baby isn’t pooping as per your schedule or regularly like an adult, does not mean that your baby is constipated. A baby’s stool – its colour, consistency, and regularity – can be very different from an adult and from another child. It’s best to discuss anything ‘abnormal’ you see with your doctor. However, here are a few common symptoms of constipation in babies.
- Less than 3 bowel movements each week
- Decrease in the frequency of bowel movement
- Pain while passing stool
- Hard and dry stool
- Small balls of stool coming out instead of a long lump
- Dark coloured or black stool
- Blood stains in stool or leakage of blood during or after passing stool
Apart from these symptoms of constipation in babies, irritability, excessive crying and loss of appetite might also indicate the build up of a constipation issue.
So, what causes constipation? There are several possible reasons. A few of the most common causes of constipation are noted below.
Causes of Constipation in Babies:
- Baby food formula: Babies who drink breast milk rarely have any tendency of constipation. The balance of fat and protein in breast milk is best suited for a human child; it always results in soft poop. However, formula food does not always suit every baby. While some brands work for some babies, some other brand could work for your child. Sometimes, formulas do not suit your child’s need at all. In that case, you have to talk to your doctor to find an alternative.
- Solid food: If your baby is transiting from liquid food to solid food, you might observe that her or his stool gets harder with the increase of solid food in her or his diet. This is generally not a issue to worry about. Your baby will gradually adjust to the change and her or his stool will become normal in sometime. However, you could use some supplements or natural remedies to ease the process.
- Dehydration: It might be difficult for you to understand the water requirement of your child, especially, if s/he is still in liquid or semi-liquid diet. But the fact is, even then, you child can get dehydrated. And the body can take some time to adjust if your child is in the transition phase. If your child is dehydrated, the body absorbs more water from the food and hence, the stool becomes dry, resulting in constipation.
- Other illness: Sadly, constipation can be an indication of an other health issue. Your child might also lose appetite because of some other health issue. This can also be a cause of constipation in children.
- Medication: If the baby is under some kind of medication due to another health issue, components of those medicines can also constipate his or her bowel movement. Generally, doctors will aware you of any such chances and give you medicines to use to counter the effect. However, not everything can be anticipated. SO, never hesitate to call your doctor.
- Prematurity: The early life of babies born prematurely are definitely more challenging than the other babies. Constipation is one of those hurdles which your premature baby might have to deal with. The digestive system of such a baby isn’t developed up to the mark. Hence, her or his system will take longer to process food which can lead to constipation.
Not all types of constipations become serious. Some disappear over time. Some disappear with light medication or even with some home remedies. A doctor can assess the condition correctly. So, to be on the safe side, consult a doctor to know what can help your child best to manage her/his constipation.
About the hospital
Ankura Hospitals is a chain of super-specialty hospitals for women and Children’s Hospital in Hyderabad. Set up in the year 2011 in KPHB, near Hitech Railway Station, the Ankura Hospitals family has today spread its wings to Secunderabad, Khammam and Vijayawada.