Trouble in the tummy : Home remedies to cure constipation
A bloated tummy can cause a significant amount of discomfort to any little toddler – especially if they’re not old enough to tell you what’s going on.
So if you’ve been weeping watching your toddler get restless and cranky while passing a bowel motion, here are some home remedies you can try to ease the discomfort.
How do I tell if my child is constipated?
Quite a lot of babies look like they are concentrating hard or get very restless when passing a bowel motion. This is normal, providing the bowel motions are soft and there is no blood. Constipation is when bowel motions are very firm and look like little pebbles. Your older child may mention that it hurts to go to the toilet, complain of tummy pains or cramps, or (for toilet trained children) soil their underwear.
What can I use from my kitchen
- Prune Juice: The No 1 tried and tested home remedy for constipation. Soak prunes in boiling water and feed 2 – 3 spoons of the prune juice (once cooled) every couple of hours.
- Hing Water: Mix a pinch of hing powder in warm water and feed 2 – 3 teaspoons.
- ‘P’ Fruits: Papaya, Pears & Plums – the fibre in them helps digestion. If your baby has not made the transition to solid foods yet, try some of the foods listed in their pureed form
- Amaltaas Fali seeds: Mix in one spoon of warm milk and feed your baby.
- Figs & Raisins: Boil figs or raisins with a little water and give that water to your little one. Typically 2-3 spoons should be good.
- Water intake: Proper hydration is essential for regular bowel movements. Water and milk are great for keeping your baby hydrated
- Exercise: Any form of movement speeds up digestion, which can help move things through the body more quickly.At change time, leave the nappy off for a few minutes, and do ‘bicycle’ motions with the baby’s legs, gently moving their legs backward and forward as if they were pushing the pedals of a bike.
- Massage: Gentle stomach and lower abdomen massages may stimulate the bowels to pass a bowel movement. Do several massages throughout the day, until your child has a bowel movement. You can also try applying castor oil around the navel with the stem of a paan leaf
- Breast Milk: If you baby is being breastfed, there might be something in your diet that is causing the discomfort. Try altering your diet to suit your baby’s need.
Foods you should avoid
- If you’re feeding you child cow milk – stop it for a while. Your child may not be reacting well to it.
- BAP is a big no for constipation – no Banana, no Apple and no Pomegranate
- If your baby is eating baby cereal, decrease the amount for a few days
When to seek help
If you are confused or concerned at any point, don’t hesitate to call your child’s pediatrician. In almost all cases, your child’s constipation will clear on its own or with a natural treatment or two. If those strategies don’t work, asking your doctor for advice or suggestions will be helpful. Your doctor will also be able to help you spot other signs and symptoms (such as fever) that could be an indication of a larger problem that may require medical treatment.
Your doctor can help recommend some of the following techniques:
- Rectal Stimulation
- Glycerin Suppository
As for preventing infant constipation, unfortunately, there’s not much you can really do. “Prevention really comes down to recognizing the warning signs and trying to stay on top of them