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Baby constipation… We all know it’s going to happen and it’s not going to be fun for anyone involved. I’m used to my son, Joshua having irregular bowel movements (yum). He has only been going once every other day since he was 3 weeks old, and his pediatrician is fine with that. He has been constipated a few times, but he always gets through it just fine on his own. After all, “infants often do not require active treatment for constipation.” In one of my favorite quotes on the subject of poo 💩, HealthyChildren.org says, “Infants normally work really hard to have a bowel movement, so straining at the stool isn’t necessarily alarming, even when the infant cries or gets red in the face. For an infant to have a bowel movement can be a major effort, and it shows. Just imagine trying to poop lying on your back and you’ll get the picture.”
When to Worry About My Baby’s Constipation
There’s little need to worry right up front if your infant is constipated. All these organs are new and still figuring out how to work properly. If your baby has started eating baby food or formula or taken a medication he has never taken before, his body is probably figuring out what to do with it (like when we gorge on Tex-Mex on Taco Tuesday 🌮🤠).
You ultimately know your child better than anyone else. You know when a grunt is just a usual grunt — we all grunt when we poo, right? — and when a red face is just a toot, and you will know when something is up and he seems to be in pain.
It’s Time to Break Out a Baby Constipation Remedy When…
- You can tell he is in more pain than usual when having a bowel movement.
- She is spitting up more than usual.
- He is having dramatically more or fewer bowel movements.
- Her belly is really taut or hard.
Call the Doctor About Your Baby’s Constipation When…
- She has been constipated for at least 4 days.
- A fever of 100.4°F or higher is accompanying the constipation.
- He has refused a meal.
- There is blood in her stool.
What to Safely Give Your Baby for Constipation
NOT Karo Syrup…
Last week, when Joshua first started having more trouble than usual passing stool, I called his pediatrician who recommended Karo syrup. I had heard of Karo syrup used for baby constipation, but didn’t actually know what it was. Come to find out, it’s just corn syrup. That’s right corn syrup; pure corn starch and man-made sugars.
Well, my mom-tuition kicked in because putting 2 tbsp of manufactured ick in my 5-month-old’s bottle just didn’t sit right with me, so I did some research and found that this is one of the many things — like laying an infant on her stomach to sleep — that we don’t do anymore because we have figured out it is dangerous!
According to Medical News Today, “… corn syrup is not sterile . . . might contain harmful levels of bacteria . . . [and] can cause a rare and sometimes fatal illness called botulism. Karo syrup may also increase the risk of dental cavities developing in older infants. As such, the syrup is not suitable for children.”
So, I’m sitting at the table with a hungry, constipated child with no time to research exactly what I can give him and no means to go get it, so I have to use what’s on hand. And it hits me… PRUNES! I had some jars of pureed prunes for Joshua on hand because he had tried them and liked them a few weeks prior, but they didn’t agree with his… diapers… to say the least…
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Let Them Eat Prunes!
Prunes are a NATURAL laxative and they come in many stage 1 baby food brands. Just a few spoonfuls will do the trick in getting things going.
But there-in lies another problem.
After you’ve given your little a few spoonfuls of the prunes and it does the trick, does the rest just go to waste?
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely HATE wasting food. The fact that I had opened a package of prunes and would have to throw out the rest within 24 hours because I highly doubted he was going to make it through 4 oz was driving me insane. I literally thought about those prunes sitting in the fridge for several hours after that and how they were just going to get thrown away, and how the next time he was constipated I would have to go buy more prunes that would eventually get wasted as well.
And then I had another spark of genius — humbly wipes genius dust off shoulders — WHY NOT FREEZE THE LEFTOVER PRUNES?! And so began my pureed-prune-pop-pursuit (patent pending 🤣).
Freezing Leftover Pureed Prunes
- When your little one (4 months old and over — for younger than 4 months, consult your pediatrician), shows signs of needing help with his constipation, open a new container of prunes and put 2-3 spoonfuls in a separate bowl. You should not feed directly from the package because once you put a used spoon back in the food it is considered contaminated and should be thrown away after feeding. I like using Gerber’s Supported Sitter packs because they come in 4 oz tubs and are, therefore, less likely to go to waste. I also like using Plum Organics Stage 1 packs because you can easily squeeze the prunes straight onto a spoon.
- Feed your baby the 2-3 spoonfuls; as much as she will eat of this portion. Throw away the rest of the portion.
- Place the leftover, uncontaminated, open package of prunes (resealed) in the fridge. It can stay there for up to 24 hours. If your child still hasn’t had a bowel movement in 2-4 hours, give him 2-3 more spoonfuls of prunes.
Related: 20 Baby Must-Haves in 2020
- Before the prunes have been in the fridge for 24 hours, scoop 2-3 heaping spoonfuls full into an ice tray and cover with tin foil.
- After they are frozen, remove them from the ice tray and put them in a zip lock freezer bag. You may need to use a butter knife and cut around the edges to pry them out.
- Write the expiration date on the bag (30 days from when you froze them) and put it back in the freezer.
- When your infant needs prunes for constipation, take out one of the prune-pops and put it inside of a container. Put the container in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water and let thaw.
- Feed your baby as much as she will eat and throw away the rest of the portion.
Prunes, Prunes, the REAL Musical Fruit!
I hope you enjoyed my crude post about constipation as much I enjoyed writing it! I pray your little one is feeling better soon! Here’s some more prune memes I absolutely loved but had no where to put… 🤣
What are some other natural and safe remedies you have used for your babies for constipation? Let us know in the comments!
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