Tips for Relieving Newborn Constipation

Published: 11th June 2008
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A couple of years ago I needed some tips for relieving newborn

constipation when my niece asked me to keep her infant daughter while she

returned to work. I never had any children so her mother had to tell me what

to do when the baby was constipated.

Since then I've asked some mothers how they dealt with newborn

constipation. I learned that one of the reasons for infant constipation is the

iron contained in infant formula; some babies don't need the additional

iron. Some babies have allergies, usually to formula, which can cause

constipation, although one woman shared that her son was actually

allergic to the water she was using to mix his formula with.

In no particular order, here are some of the best tips for relieving

newborn constipation:

Fruit Juice

Diluted apple or prune juice is one of the more popular methods for

relieving infant constipation that I heard. However, it shouldn't be used

for infants under 3-4 months, and should always be diluted. The acid

content of some fruit juices can contribute to diaper rash unless diluted

with water.

Karo Syrup

Another of the more common cures for newborn constipation is Karo corn

syrup. Some used the light or dark corn syrup, while others insisted

that only the light corn syrup should be used. Mix 1-3 tablespoons of

the syrup in a bottle of warm water. NOTE: Since corn syrup has been

linked to obesity, you may want to limit its use.


Once the baby is taking baby food, applesauce will usually keep them

regular, and they also enjoy the flavor. If the baby is too young for

baby food, try mixing a little applesauce with rice cereal and diluting it

so it can be drunk out of a bottle.


One woman found that her baby's constipation would be eased when she

fed him formula to which oatmeal baby cereal had been added.


Massage can be accomplished in two different ways. The first is to use

a bit of baby lotion and use the tips of your fingers to gently massage

the belly and lower abdomen. The second method is to bend the baby's

legs so the knees press gently against the belly. This can be done with

both legs together or one at a time in a "cycling" motion.

Glycerin suppositories

Glycerin suppositories will work when all other methods have failed.

That is actually what my niece had me use on her daughter. The

suppository would be gently inserted into the rectum, then her legs would be

"bicycled" placing light pressure on the lower belly. Usually within a

matter of one or two minutes she would have a bowel movement.

One of the most important tips for relieving newborn constipation was

the necessity of seeking medical attention should home remedies fail to

work. There may be something more going on and failure to get medical

help could result in long-term problems.

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