Constipation is a common condition affecting both children and adults alike. Even infants can become constipated. While it is uncommon for babies who are exclusively breastfed to become constipated, formula fed infants who start eating solids may experience difficulty to pass bowel movements.
Many parents look for efficient and safe ways to promote smooth passage of stool in infants. One effective remedy for constipation in infants is prune juice. Since prune juice may be work quickly for some babies than others, it is always best to consult your child’s pediatrician for proper assessment and evaluation.
Signs And Symptoms Of Constipation In Babies To Watch Out For
The amount, as well as the type of bowel movement for a baby, will vary on their developmental age and the food that they eat. Constipation often starts when the baby starts eating solids.
So, how can you tell if your baby is constipated? Parents should watch out for the signs of constipation like irritability or any other behavioral changes, poor appetite, a hard belly, and straining when passing stool.
Safety Considerations To Make Before Giving Prune Juice To Your Child
As a general rule, parents should not give their children any other fluids aside from breast milk or formula milk until they are six months or older. If your child is younger than six months, you should refrain from giving him or her any other fluids like prune juice.
When your baby starts eating solids at six months, you can occasionally make use of prune juice as a natural laxative for your child. However, you should note that breast milk or formula milk should still make up most of your child’s diet.
Also, you should make sure that the prune juice you are giving your child is ideal for children. You should opt for those prune juice products that contain fewer sweeteners and sugar.
What Is Prune Juice?
Prune juice is made from dried plum or prunes. This juice often contains nutrients that make up part of a healthy dietary regimen.
Prune juice for babies is often noted to be a natural and efficient treatment for constipation.
How Much Prune Juice Should You Give Your Baby?
You should dilute the prune juice with water before giving the juice to your baby. You can dilute one to two tablespoons of prune juice in two to three ounces of water. The amount of water that you should add, however, should depend on your baby’s taste preference.
For babies older than six months, you can offer more prune juice as necessary. If you are in doubt, you should consult your child’s pediatrician regarding the right dosage of prune juice you should give your child, as the dosage will depend on your child’s degree of constipation.
How To Make Homemade Prune Juice For Babies?
Instead of buying commercially prepared prune juice for babies, you can always try making homemade ones for your child. This way, you know that the stuff that you are giving your child is all natural, safe and contains no preservatives.
To make your homemade prune juice, you can mix one part of dried plums and five parts of water. You have to simmer the mixture for about three to four hours. Once done, you can puree the mixture and strain the chunky parts.
For this recipe, you can even save the leftovers and make it into a jam.
Another way to make your homemade prune juice for babies is to cook the plums without the seeds until they become tender. Then, you can drain, mash the prunes and save the liquid.
Other Ways To Relieve Constipation In Infants
Aside from giving prune juice to your child, there are other ways to relieve constipation in infants.
- Small Frequent Feedings. You can try giving small frequent feedings to your child. This way, your child’s digestive tract will be relieved, allowing it more time to digest the food you are feeding your child.
- Lubricate. You can also try putting a little lubricating jelly on your child’s anus. The lubricant will make it easier for the stool to pass.
- Gentle Stomach Massage. Another way to relieve constipation in infants is gentle stomach massage. You can massage your child’s stomach using a circular motion. You have to be gentle when performing the massage.
When Should You Call The Doctor?
If giving your child prune juice and the other mentioned ways do not work, you should consult your child’s pediatrician. Your child’s doctor can reevaluate your child’s condition and can formulate a treatment plan for him or her.
Your doctor may prescribe suppository medications like glycerin for your child. This medication is inserted into your child’s anus and works to promote bowel movements.
The Bottom Line
Constipation is a common problem even in infants. If you think your child is constipated, you should look for the signs of constipation.
Prune juice for babies is effective in relieving constipation. However, it is important to remember that this natural laxative may work quicker in some children than others. The factors affecting the promptness of the effects of this natural remedy will depend on the severity of constipation as well as the age of your child.
To relieve constipation in infants, it is still best to consult your child’s pediatrician to check whether it is already safe to give prune juice to your child. Prune juice is a natural and effective laxative that promotes bowel movements.
If it is safe to give prune juice to your child, it is important to note that you should dilute the prune juice with water before giving it to your child. Moreover, you should not give more than six ounces of prune juice in a day.