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Constipation relief

Dealing with constipation in babies  Get things moving

SUMMARY

Constipation in babies might be common, but that doesn’t mean it will resolve itself. You should always talk to your health visitor, pharmacist or GP if your baby is showing signs that they are constipated. This will ensure they get a correct diagnosis, and if they are suffering from constipation, you get the necessary advice to manage it.

Constipation treatment will depend on its severity, which your healthcare professional can assess. However, there are a few practical tips you can try to ease the symptoms – these vary depending on whether your baby has been weaned or not.

Non-weaned babies1,2

  • Give cooled boiled water between normal feeds to keep your baby hydrated, but don’t dilute their feed.
  • For babies who are formula fed, don’t over-concentrate or dilute their formula milk. Read the instructions on pack carefully to make sure it’s made up correctly.
  • Gently move your baby’s legs in a bicycling motion.
  • Carefully massage their tummy to help stimulate their bowels.
  • Speak to your health visitor, pharmacist or GP about other nutritional solutions available.

Weaned babies1,2

  • Give them plenty of water with and between meals and try sitting with them to make sure they drink it.
  • Never force them to eat food if they do not want to. You don’t want to turn mealtimes into a negative experience for them.
  • Encourage them to eat fruit and vegetables. This can boost the amount of fibre they’re getting and help keep their digestive system healthy.
 Never force them to eat food if they do not want to.

Persevering with constipation treatment

It’s really important that you find a solution that offers constipation relief for your baby as, the longer your child is affected, the more time it will take for them to get back to normal. Treatments can take up to a week or two to take effect, so perservere for this long, then contact your health visitor, pharmacist or GP if there is no success.

Remember, if you need to talk to somebody about your baby’s constipation, our expert careline team are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for support.

Next Steps

  • Talk to your health visitor, pharmacist or GP about the best constipation remedies for your baby.
  • Start the constipation treatment as soon as possible and see if it has a positive effect on symptoms.
  • Keep your health visitor up to date.

View references

Hide references

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1. NHS Choices. Constipation [Online]. 2015. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/constipation/pages/introduction.aspx [Accessed: April 2016].
2. NHS Choices. Constipation in young children [Online]. 2015. Available at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/constipation-and-soiling.aspx [Accessed: April 2016].

Last reviewed: 1st July 2016

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