Constipation in babies who have just started solid foods

Kid not feeling well
Constipation in babies can be a big problem, especially when they've just started eating solids. Photo courtesy: baby center

The damage was already done by that time and my baby didn't poop for six days in a row and was constipated. Once constipation struck her, it was a nightmare to get her to poop. And as she was not able to pass her bowels she became fussy and irritable. The mistake that I was making was that I was giving her mashed banana every day, which is something you should completely avoid when your baby is constipated as it is a binding food.

If your baby has just started solids too, chances are that you might have even experienced the same or must be wondering how to introduce solids to your baby that do not really leave him constipated. 

Here are a few tips that can come in handy, which worked for me:

Take it slow
We know that your baby is all grown up and ready for his first few solid meals, but remember to give only one teaspoon at a time so that his body is able to take the load.

Remember that a baby's digestive system is still immature and cannot really digest a lot of food at one time. Also, don't forget that your baby has been breastfed so far and breastmilk is far lighter and easy to digest than normal food.

Only fluids for a month
Understand that your baby has been on a liquid diet for the last six months and so it would not be a good thing to start eating solids at once. Start with liquid and semi-solid foods such as rice soup and clear vegetable soups and continue with them for a month so that the baby's digestive system gets used to it.
Vegetables would add more fiber to his diet and so would fruits such as apples and pears. Give binding foods such as bananas, rice, bread, and yogurt in moderation.

Try these exercises
Another useful way to make sure that your solid-eating baby is not constipated is by doing some leg exercises every day that ease the pressure of tummy and allow easy bowel movements. Try the bicycle movement by gently moving her legs in a forward, circular motion as if he were pedaling a bicycle.

Another great exercise would be to gently massage the area below the navel with your fingertips. Make sure you are gentle but firm to enable a smooth bowel movement. If your baby has started crawling, letting him crawl on the mat or floor would be another good exercise to ensure a great bowel movement.

Foods to avoid
If you feel that your baby is constipated avoid binding foods such as bananas, rice, bread, and carrots altogether. Add more of apple juice, pears, homemade vegetable soup, and other high-fiber foods.

Watch out for the poop
Another good way of finding out that your baby is constipated or going to be constipated is by watching out for his poop, especially when your baby has just started solids. Infants or newborns usually have runny poops when they are exclusively breastfed.

And once they start solids the consistency of the poop changes and it becomes more chunky and formed. However, if you notice that the potty is too dry and chunky, rev things up a bit and add more high-fiber foods to his diet. You can also increase his physical activity and try the exercises mentioned above.
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