Written by Alessandra Macaluso
I can’t believe it: Ciro is 6-months-old! With this milestone comes the joys of feeding, but also for us, an all-too-common problem: the dreaded infant constipation.
If you’re curious to know what he’s been eating, here’s the run-down: we started Ciro with sweet potatoes, which he seemed to like. Since his first bites he’s also tried prunes, bananas, peas (all good!), pear, and carrots (what is this poison you serve me?!).
I decided to hold off on introducing cereals early on because I remembered the issues Penelope had with constipation, and I didn’t want Ciro to go through that. But guess what? He got constipated anyway. Turns out that babies his age have such sensitive and young digestive systems that the introduction of any solid foods can cause constipation. A quick call to our pediatrician offered some relief (to me, at least) in knowing that it’s normal and very common – even though it is breaking my heart to see my sweet little guy struggling!
While all foods can cause constipation at this age, there are some that are easier on tiny tummies and can help alleviate the problem. I’ll share with you what we are doing to help Ciro, starting with the foods that are best for helping with his constipation, and some other natural tips that are working for us.
Baby Constipation: Tips for Helping Your Infant
If your baby is constipated, remember the “p” foods – these can help soften his stool:
We’ve been rotating these with Ciro for the past three days, and little by little, we are making progress.
Foods to avoid:
These foods are binding, and can harden stool – definitely not what you’d want for a constipated baby. Even for older children, it’s good to remember when they become constipated or have too-hard stools to get the BRAT out of their diet – Bananas, Rice, Apples, and Toast.
“BICYCLE” HIS LEGS
Lay him on his changing pad, and gently “bicycle” his legs. This helps get things moving again, and alleviates pressure. With Ciro, he was so tense because he was uncomfortable, so to get him to relax and loosen his legs, I sang to him. I have a terrible singing voice, but somehow it worked!
MASSAGE HIS TUMMY
Gently rub his tummy in a clockwise motion. This didn’t work with Penelope because she was a squirmy wormy little girl who wouldn’t sit still for anything. But the idea of a massage made me laugh with Ciro, because we can already tell that he is a little man inside a baby body who enjoys the finer things in life – a massage being one of them. He manages to smile when we do this even though he’s uncomfortable, and his little face cracks us up!
The warm water is thought to help babies who are constipated, as it helps relax their muscles and get things moving. Use a warm wash cloth to gently rub your baby’s tummy in a clockwise motion while soaping him up, and do the same when drying him with the towel.
We checked with Ciro’s pediatrician and they gave us the OK to offer a small amount of juice – 2 oz. – to him to help soften things up. I pureed some pear and added enough water to make it super thin and served it in a sippy cup. Bonus points that this was the first time he used one, so he was super curious – and he drank it all. It was so cute watching him explore the cup!
These are the best natural tips we’ve found to help an infant around Ciro’s age – 6 months old – through a bout of constipation. We’ve been going steady with them for the past few days and I’m happy to report that, as of today, it’s working! Do you have any more tips to add that can help with infant constipation?
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