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Constipation in babies

(20 Posts)
Lys60 Sat 13-Jun-15 12:01:51

Hi, any tips on how to alleviate constipation in a 3 month old bottle fed baby?

Elegran Sat 13-Jun-15 12:19:16

The traditional way is a very tiny pinch of sugar in the feed. Sugar is frowned on these days, so perhaps a drink of plain boiled water?

Andyf Sat 13-Jun-15 12:26:41

My DiL lays baby on her back on changing mat and gently moves her legs in bicycle pedal motion. She was given this advice by the health visitor. Also boiled cooled water between feeds.
40 years ago, when my son was a constipated baby the doctors advice was to add more sugar to his bottle! Of course no modern mum would do this now, and rightly so.

Mishap Sat 13-Jun-15 12:42:42

I would stick a pinch of sugar in. Breast milk is very sweet indeed (I know I have tasted it - yummy) so I would not be concerned about a pinch of sugar. It is not as if the babe is stuffed with sweet things - think of it as medicine! It usually happens when babe is getting insufficient fluid - so some water feeds would also be fine. Bottle fed babies often do get constipated.

MiniMouse Sat 13-Jun-15 13:19:17

I was advised raw cane sugar is best - being unrefined, it's got more of what's necessary to encourage 'action'!!

annsixty Sat 13-Jun-15 14:08:13

It didn't do our babies any harm. I was also told to put slightly less powder in but of course it was very different to today's formula, getting all those lumps out!! Today ,two shakes and it's smooth.

FlicketyB Sat 13-Jun-15 14:46:29

You do not say how long the baby has suffered from constipation. If it is a continuous problem see your doctor.

DGS has had problems with constipation since quite a young age, he is now nearly 5. All the usual possible causes and treatments have been investigated and tried with limited success and he has now been referred to a consultant for further investigations.

I had a similar problem as a child and was in and out of hospital until I was in my teens. The diagnosis was Hirshsprungs Disease. When you google this the information is all about the full blown syndrome, which is frightening and very quickly diagnosed after birth, where it is present, so this is clearly not this child's problem. But a number of children, like myself have a very mild form of it and our family concern is that DGS may have the same problem. As an adult I have consciously eaten a high fibre diet with plenty of liquids and regular exercise and rarely have any problems.

Tegan Sat 13-Jun-15 16:37:31

Interesting to hear about giving sugar because DGD has the same problem and has been prescribed Lactulose. And also the leg exercises because she'd been in a double nappy due to clicky hips and therefore wouldn't have had restricted leg movement for several weeks [although ok now].

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 13-Jun-15 17:04:33

Baby fruit juices in the recommended dilutions. (Sugar and liquid)

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 13-Jun-15 17:06:12

The sugar apparently attracts fluids to the intestines to make the poo soft.

Mishap Sat 13-Jun-15 17:09:54

That's how lactulose works - it is a sort of sugar too.
I think the idea of baby fruit juices is a good one - Mum need not feel so guilty that she is administering sugar!!

Iam64 Sat 13-Jun-15 18:23:57

This is another of those threads that makes me feel so much sympathy for young mothers. The list of can't do's seems to grow daily. I suspect it's true that breast milk is sweeter than formula and on that basis, surely a pinch of sugar can't harm.
My daughter was told not to give water - this is also now frowned on but I don't know why.

Nelliemoser Sat 13-Jun-15 18:46:48

I have heard the unrefined sugar idea. I do wonder if it's there is something special in the ingriedients of breast milk. but you would think by now that the manufacturers could have worked out what it was.

Lys60 Sat 13-Jun-15 19:32:50

Thank you everyone for your tips and advice on constipation. Certainly I will pass on to my DIL and son what I have read about today. I had read about sugar but had not thought of baby fruit juice. The young mums are told not to give water today whereas 30 years ago we were told to give a little drink of water especially in the summer months.

My 3 month old granddaughter was given medicines by the doctor but did not like them. Will let you all know what remedy worked well for the new first time parents.

tiggypiro Sat 13-Jun-15 21:05:31

Sugar worked for my DGS. At 2 weeks old he was very constipated and DD took him to the hospital where he had been born in China. Enough to say we were not impressed with their treatment. I researched on English Google and SiL on a Chinese site. We both came up with the same answer. A small amount of sugar is far preferable (and is unlikely to cause much harm) than constipation.
Young mums seem damned if they do and damned if they don't. I know a little knowledge is a dangerous thing but sometimes feel that today there is far too much information.

Eloethan Sat 13-Jun-15 22:07:50

I'm going back 43 years so this may not be applicable but:

I tried to breastfeed my daughter but gave up after a couple of months. I bought what was then considered to be the very best formula milk and she then started to suffer with terrible constipation. My doctor advised me not to change the milk but in desperation I did and, to my enormous relief, that solved the problem.

Iam64 Sun 14-Jun-15 07:55:10

I had the same experience 43 years ago Eloethan, struggled on with breast feeding to 6 weeks then moved to the "best" formula. My little one became constipated, mil advised sugar, health visitor advised water. I changed formula, the problem went away.

TriciaF Sun 14-Jun-15 10:19:21

I would have thought boiled water would help too. I wonder why it's not advised to give water to babies these days?

harrigran Sun 14-Jun-15 10:27:22

I find it worrying that they say water is not needed, babies can become dehydrated. DC were given cool boiled water as were GC and can remember my sister in the 50s being given water off a spoon because she was totally breastfed.

Elegran Sun 14-Jun-15 11:12:36

I believe it is because when you are breast-feeding, a thirsty baby will take more milk which then gets thinner to keep supply up to demand. I would imagine the net result is that poor mother gets dehydrated instead of baby.

It might be a hygeine thing, in case the water offered wasn't sterilised.

Boiled water was a godsend in the middle of the night instead of making up a bottle of milk with my eyes closed. After a short time mine found it wasn't worth waking up for, and slept through. A baby who is getting enough during the day doesn't need more in the night.