Since baby arrived, you’ve probably talked about poop more than you ever imagined. While it might be frustrating to change all those diapers, it’s even more stressful when baby has trouble going or stops altogether. Baby constipation is rough, but sometimes, it’s hard to tell if baby is actually suffering (how little is too little?). Suffice to say, you’ve got poop questions, and we’ve got answers. So is your wee one plugged up, and what does constipated baby poop look like anyway? Here, we’ll give you the lowdown on baby constipation, symptoms to look for, remedies to try and more. You’ll learn what you need to know to get to the bottom of infant constipation and get baby’s belly back on track.
In this article. Baby constipation: What’s normal and what’s not? Signs of constipation in babies What causes constipation in babies How to help a constipated baby Baby constipation: When to worry How to prevent baby constipation
Baby Constipation: What’s Normal and What’s Not?
To figure out if your child has a bout of baby constipation, it’s helpful to know how often infants tend to go. For the first three months, a breastfed baby might have anywhere from 5 to 40 bowel movements a week. Since breastfed babies absorb so much of the milk they take in, some can go up to three or four days—or maybe even a week—without pooping. But as long as when they finally do go it’s soft, pain-free and blood-free, it’s all good, says Lisa Santo Domingo, a pediatric nurse practitioner and medical director of Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Pediatric Chronic Constipation Clinic. Their formula-fed counterparts can have anywhere from 5 to 28 BMs a week (or about two a day).
As infants age, breastfed and formula-fed babies start to have about the same number of poops—so from 6 to 12 months, they’ll both experience an average of two poops a day. Keep in mind, these numbers can vary greatly.
There’s a pretty wide range of what’s normal when it comes to how often baby poops. Children up to 4 years of age have to fulfill two or more of the following criteria for at least one month to be diagnosed as constipated, says Santo Domingo:
Two or less bowel movements per week
A pattern of painful or hard bowel movements
History of excessive stool retention
A large fecal mass felt in the rectum during a physical exam by baby’s doctor
Signs of Constipation in Babies
In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, you’ll probably notice a few other signs of baby constipation. Irritability and a decreased appetite, which might disappear shortly after baby passes a large stool, are often telltale clues.
Worried about all that moaning and groaning? Take a deep breath; it’s perfectly normal and isn’t a sign of constipation in babies. “Grunting and straining to push out a stool is normal in young babies. It’s difficult for them to pass a bowel movement while lying flat on their backs and not getting any benefit from gravity,” says Trina Blythe, MD, a pediatrician at Progress West Hospital in O’Fallon, Missouri.
Babies’ bodies often need time to figure out the whole pooping process, like learning how to relax their pelvic floor to have a bowel movement. “A lot of parents come in and think their child is constipated, when what they’re really dealing with is infant dyschezia—a condition in which an otherwise normal, healthy infant will have at least 10 minutes (though often more) of straining, crying, irritability and maybe turning red or purple in the face while trying to have a bowel movement,” Santo Domingo explains. These symptoms continue until baby finally goes—but the resulting stool is actually soft.
Baby constipation can cause a child to be irritable and fussy, refuse food and push away the bottle. Toddlers who can walk may start going to a corner and squatting or hiding. “The most prevalent cue is when a child starts tip-toeing,” Santo Domingo says. It’s like an instinct they have, feeling that the straighter their body, the better they’ll be able to withhold pooping, which may be painful or scary for constipated children. Even babies who are able to pull themselves to stand will try to straighten out as much as possible when they’re dealing with constipation.
What does constipated baby poop look like?
When baby constipation is to blame, baby’s poop comes out in hard balls. “We often use the Bristol Stool Scale, which shows the range of stool textures from one to seven: One is rabbit-like, pellet-shaped poop, and seven is pure liquid,” Santo Domingo says. “We define constipated stool as anything that falls into levels one through three, with three looking like a collection of grapes or corn on the cob. ”
Another common sign of constipation in babies is a small amount of blood on the outside of the stool—this can happen when a constipated baby passes stool large enough to create a tiny fissure around the anus. If you’re seeing a significant amount of blood, call your child’s doctor right away.
What Causes Constipation in Babies?
So what causes constipation in babies? Really, it could be due to a number of factors, from foods they’re eating to passing illnesses to family history. Here, we break down the most common reasons behind baby constipation:
Change in diet. More often than not, a change in diet is the culprit causing baby constipation—whether it’s because you’re shifting from breast milk to formula, transitioning baby to cow’s milk or introducing solid foods. “The introduction of cow’s milk protein—and an allergy or intolerance to it—is probably the largest contributor to baby constipation,” says Santo Domingo. When baby has a cow’s milk protein intolerance (CMPI), their immune system sees the milk protein as something bad it needs to fight off (like it would with harmful bacteria or viruses). This negative reaction to the protein is what leads to a constipated baby with an upset stomach and other intestinal problems. But the good news is that most babies will grow out of it: 50 percent of infants who have CMPI regain tolerance by 12 months, and more than 75 percent will be back on track by age 3.
Solids. When baby is about 4 to 6 months of age, you can start experimenting with different solid foods. This is when many little ones begin to experience baby constipation for the first time. “For infants who have already started baby foods, giving foods that are high in fiber will help treat and prevent baby constipation,” says Blythe. She recommends feeding them at least two servings of fresh fruits and vegetables daily, and making sure they’re well hydrated.
Illness. When baby’s not feeling well, they’re probably not eating or drinking as much as usual, which can throw their system out of whack and result in infant constipation.
Certain medications. High-dose iron supplements or and certain pain medications can lead to baby constipation. Your doctor can let you know if baby’s medicine could be to blame.
Prematurity. Premature babies tend to have more trouble with infant constipation than full-term babies. Since their digestive systems aren’t fully developed yet, food moves more slowly through the GI tract and isn’t always properly processed, which can lead to dry, hard stools.
Family history. Certain issues like Hirschsprung’s disease, cystic fibrosis, chronic constipation and celiac disease (which often can’t be diagnosed in children until they’re closer to age 3) can also be a contributing factor.
How to Help a Constipated Baby
No parent likes to see their child in discomfort and distress, so knowing how to help a constipated baby can make a world of difference. First and foremost, though, it’s important to realize that constipation in newborns can be a different issue than constipation in older babies. If your baby is not even a month old yet, talk to your pediatrician right away—at this age, constipation could be a sign of an underlying issue, such as Hirschsprung’s disease, a rare congenital condition that happens in about one out of 5,000 births and typically requires surgery. (FYI: This is among the reasons everyone at the hospital is so obsessed with the timing of your newborn passing their first meconium.)
Additionally, if you’re exclusively breastfeeding, it’s important to count those dirty diapers each day because infrequent stooling might actually be a sign of not enough feeding volume, says Blythe.
But if you’ve spoken to your pediatrician and ruled out other issues, there are some baby constipation home remedies and treatments you can turn to. Here are some things you should—and shouldn’t— try to help a constipated baby:
Baby constipation home remedies
For baby constipation relief, you can try giving infants under 6 months with hard bowel movements some water—about one ounce. Heard of giving apple or prune juice for baby constipation? Babies 6 to 12 months can have two to four ounces of apple, pear or prune juice a day until their stools soften. “The sugars in juice basically bring water into the bowel to help soften the bowel movement,” Santo Domingo says.
You may have been told that using a rectal thermometer can help offer some infant constipation relief, but Santo Domingo doesn’t recommend any kind of rectal stimulation as a remedy. “You always run the risk of perforation, especially given that that area could be irritated,” she says.
She also discourages giving baby mineral oil or Karo syrup for baby constipation. “We’ve found that it doesn’t help. Karo syrup doesn’t soften the stool—it just coats it to make it easier to pass, but you’re still passing a large stool. And with mineral oil, there have been some reports of aspiration.”
Baby constipation medicine
Wondering what to give a constipated baby? The options are limited. For children who don’t respond to water or juice, you may consider trying a small glycerin suppository to help relieve baby constipation, suggests the Mayo Clinic. It’s important to note, however, that these are meant for occasional use, and shouldn’t be a regular part of baby’s routine.
Some well-meaning friends may recommend gripe water or gas drops. These remedies are generally considered safe, but there’s little evidence these options work to relieve baby constipation. However, many parents say that the former alleviates colic and other tummy troubles and the latter works miracles breaking up gas bubbles. If your doctor gives you the go ahead, there’s no harm in trying either option.
Similarly, probiotics for baby constipation have been increasing in popularity lately, but Blythe remains skeptical. “Probiotics haven’t yet been proven to relieve constipation in infants, so I generally don’t recommend them.” Still, anecdotally, many parents swear by infant-safe tummy and probiotic drops that can help balance bad and good bacteria in the digestive tract. What’s more, while the evidence isn’t concrete, some research indicates that prophylactic use of probiotics can help alleviate some types of digestive troubles in infants. Suffice to say, it doesn’t hurt to try. Of course, before you give baby constipation medication or remedies at home, check in with your pediatrician.
Baby foods that help with constipation
In some cases, your baby’s doctor may want to consider eliminating cow’s milk for a short period of time to see if that’s causing constipation.
For babies eating solids, you can also offer certain baby foods that help with constipation: Try feeding barley or oatmeal cereals, prunes, peaches, plums, apricots and most vegetables. There’s no need to completely eliminate binding foods like bananas and rice, but it’s a good idea to cut back on them if you’re noticing baby constipation symptoms. “Bananas and rice are common binding agents, because they are soluble fibers that soak up water as they pass through your system, and tend to bulk stools,” Santo Domingo says.
Baby massage for constipation
Want to know how to relieve constipation in babies quickly? One of the easiest things you can try is giving baby a massage. Blythe recommends trying a gentle tummy massage of the left side of the belly to help stimulate the colon. And you can do exercises with baby as well. “Bicycling the hips and holding the knees up in a squat position helps simulate the movements needed to have a bowel movement,” Blythe says. You can also try a warm bath. ‘
Baby Constipation: When to Worry
Baby constipation can be pesky, but it’s typically not cause for concern. Still, if constipation lasts for two or more weeks or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms, including fever and abdominal swelling, reach out to your pediatrician, recommends the Mayo Clinic. If you see blood in your child’s stool, you’ll also want to check in to make sure there are no other issues at play.
How to Prevent Baby Constipation
As for preventing infant constipation, unfortunately there’s a lot you can proactively do. “Prevention really comes down to recognizing the warning signs, and trying to stay on top of them,” Santo Domingo says. Of course, monitoring baby’s diet for foods that cause constipation, giving them a diverse assortment of fibrous fruits and veggies and keeping them hydrated may help.
About the experts:
Trina Blythe, MD, is a BJC Medical Group pediatrician at Progress West Hospital in O’Fallon, Missouri. She received her medical degree from Albany Medical Center in New York.
Lisa Santo Domingo, DNP, MSN, is a pediatric nurse practitioner and medical director of Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Pediatric Chronic Constipation Clinic. She received her doctor of nursing degree at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
Plus, more from The Bump:
What to Do for a Gassy Baby
Colic 101: How to Help Soothe Your Colicky Baby
Why Babies Get Hiccups (and How to Get Rid of Them)
The Scoop on Poop - Boulder Medical Center
One of the most common concerns I hear from parents regards their children’s bowel movements. From the newborn period through early childhood and later, children’s stools constantly change in content, texture, and frequency. Parents often don’t know what’s normal and when to be concerned. Here is a guide to help you troubleshoot whether your child’s stool is typical or if there’s something you should address with the doctor.
Newborns: Colors, Consistency, and Frequency
The first type of stool that you see after your baby is born is called meconium. This substance is black and tar-like and only lasts a few days. As the baby starts to eat, the stool transitions from black to dark green, to light green, to a seedy yellow substance that looks like deli mustard (sorry, we pediatricians love to compare gross things to food). This color and texture will continue for quite a while until you introduce solid foods between 4 and 6 months.
The frequency of newborn stooling varies and can change for no apparent reason. Anywhere from 8 to 10 stools each day to once every 5 to 7 days is considered normal. As long as frequent poopers do not have watery stools and infrequent poopers do not have hard, formed stools, you should be fine. Also, your baby may start out as a 10-times-a-day pooper and switch to once a day and vice-versa. This is typically not concerning. However, don’t hesitate to speak with your child’s physician if things seem abnormal.
Parents often become concerned about their baby’s comfort when they have not pooped for a few days. Babies can become quite gassy in these cases. This condition is usually not concerning, even if the stool comes out in a squishy explosion after 5 to 7 days. Having said that, if your baby is miserable and refusing to eat, it is acceptable to use one-half of a pediatric glycerin suppository to relieve the discomfort. If you find you have done this more than once, tell your baby’s doctor.
There should never be red or black in the stool; those are signs of blood. Stools should never look completely white. These colors warrant a call to your physician. As the intestinal environment matures in your child, you may notice days of green or brown in addition to yellow. I would consider all of these colors typical.
Parents often tell me they think their newborn is in pain during stooling. Most likely, this is not true “pain.” Babies certainly do not like to stool or pass gas.
My favorite analogy is this: try to picture defecating while lying on your back without any abdominal tone. It doesn’t sound pleasant, right? Babies tend to be extra gassy in the first few months as their intestinal environment matures. Please know that while gas pain is unpleasant, it is not dangerous or damaging, and babies typically grow out of this issue after the first few months. It is fine to try gas drops like simethicone or gripe water, but keep in mind that while safe, these are not miracle medications. There are infant probiotics available as well, and there is some soft evidence that this may help. You can try abdominal massage or bicycle kicks to help things pass. Probably the most important thing you can do is shower your baby with smiles and love.
Older Babies: A Changing Diet
A reliable baby stool rule: what goes in is what comes out!
As you introduce solid foods, baby’s minimally smelly, yellow, seedy stools slowly become the stinky poop that we all know. Remember that what what goes into your baby’s body is what comes out. If your baby chows down on peas and carrots, you likely see all of these foods in the stool. Don’t worry that the food looks undigested; this is normal. Your child’s stool will probably look different daily.
Keep in mind that some foods such as apples, bananas, and carrots are more constipating than others. If your child’s stools appear more formed, it might be time to serve them additional water in a sippy cup.
As you advance your child’s diet, you will see the frequency of stooling change. If stools are getting firmer, in addition to extra water, you might try what I call the “poop fruits” — prunes, peaches, and pears — to help with loosening. It may take some trial and error, but a bit of experimentation will help you find a good mix of foods to help your child stay. regular.
Children: Keep on Tracking
As your child grows, bowel movements should generally be smooth and soft, formed but not too bulky. Stools should come out easily, without pain or too much effort. Frequency is generally daily, but some children go multiple times per day and others every 2 to 3 days.
Stools in older children are generally brown, but the “what goes in comes out” rule still applies. If your child is sick and only eating crackers, the stool may look lighter or more green. Intense colors like food coloring and beets will come out the same. Yes, you may see that blue cupcake icing again in the toilet! Some foods, such as tomato and corn, may still come out looking whole and undigested.
Constipation is one of the most common causes of abdominal pain in childhood. Constipated poop looks like little balls or very bulky and rocky. If your child’s stool has these characteristics and associated abdominal discomfort, they are most likely constipated. Adjusting the mix of “poop fruit” (see above), fiber, and fluids is an excellent first step. This is the one circumstance in which pediatricians will recommend juice; prune or apple juice may be helpful. Also, because we live in a dry environment, making sure your child is drinking enough water may be all it takes to get things back to normal.
If these dietary interventions are not helping or have helped soften the stool but abdominal pains continue, this would be a good reason to see your child’s physician. For all significant abdominal pain complaints, don’t wait; make an appointment with the doctor.
I hope that this brief primer on pooping has helped you feel more confident in managing this part of your child’s health and well-being.
About Pediatrics at Boulder Medical Center
The Boulder Medical Center pediatrics department is one of the largest practices in the area with clinics in Boulder, Louisville, Longmont and Erie, Colorado. Our board-certified pediatricians are committed to providing personal, high-quality and compassionate health care for newborns to young adults.
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The information provided in this article is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.
how to distinguish from gaziki, symptoms, what to do and how to help when intestinal colic begins during breastfeeding
From the age of four weeks, my son began to cry almost every evening at the same time. Yes, so bitter that I wanted to cry with him.
doctor, mother, survivor of colic
No matter what my husband and I did at that time, he would not calm down. After about an hour, the crying stopped, and the son was again the calmest child in the world. We thought that we were doing something wrong: I needed to change either my diet or my daily routine. But the pediatrician explained that it was colic, and everything would go away on its own.
Intestinal colic is diagnosed in 30% of children in the first four months of life. To save a child from suffering, parents are ready to give any money. And this is often used by charlatans, manufacturers of biological supplements and infant formula.
What is intestinal colic in newborns
Intestinal colic is cramping pain in the abdomen. During an attack, the baby behaves restlessly and cries. At the same time, the rest of the time he is calm and looks healthy.
The term "colic" was introduced by the American pediatrician Morris Wessel. He noticed that some healthy children cried more than others. The pediatrician decided to call this phenomenon colic. There was no talk of any illness.
How long does colic last in newborns
In total, colic lasts up to three hours a day. Some parents think that the baby is crying all the time. Therefore, pediatricians recommend keeping a diary with the time of each episode of crying. In it, mark the beginning, end of crying and the reason. At the end of the day, count how much the child cried in total and separately - how much he cried for an unknown reason.
Baby crying diary
Beginning and end of crying
05:33 - 05:46
08:14 - 08:57
11:00 - 11:22
15:13 - 15:20
16:49 - 17:15
19:38 — 21:02
Other known cause
23:00 - 23:20
Crying for unknown reason
05:33 - 05:46
Dirty diaper 9000 3 08 08
11:00 - 11:22
15:13 - 15:20
16:49 - 17:15
Reason: 38 - 21:02
Another known reason
23:00 - 23:20
Crying for an unknown reason
The diary will help you calculate how many minutes a day crying lasts and what is its cause. Download a copy of this plate and fill it out online or in print form.
When does colic start in newborns
After a natural birth, colic in babies can begin as early as three weeks. They occur during feeding or 20-30 minutes after it. With a caesarean section, colic may begin a week earlier. Pediatricians suggest that this is due to a lack of microorganisms in the child's gastrointestinal tract. During natural childbirth, they enter the baby's body from the mother's birth canal, but this does not happen during caesarean section.
Gut Microbiota Development and Health Implications - PubMed
Causes of Colic
The exact cause of infantile colic has not been established.
The causes of colic in formula-fed and breast-fed children are the same. They do not depend on gender and skin color, whether the child is full-term or not. And they are found not only in children, but also in the cubs of other mammals. Puppies, for example, can take a pose with an arched back and tucked paws and whine, even if their mother is nearby.
Which children are more likely to have colic, article in UpToDate
Natural dog health remedies: symptoms of colic in puppies
Scientists suggest that colic occurs for several reasons.
Immaturity of the nervous system. Up to three months, nerve impulses may enter the digestive system chaotically. As a result, the muscles in the walls of the stomach and intestines sometimes contract incorrectly. It's like pedaling a bicycle with one foot forward and the other back. Due to the disconnected work of the intestine, painful spasms occur.
Development of the digestive system, article in Pubmed
From three to five months, the supply of nerve impulses improves, the muscles begin to work synchronously, and spasms become less.
Enzyme deficiency. Food cannot be digested without special proteins - enzymes. They break down food into simpler constituents. In the first months of life, the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas and small intestine produce few enzymes. Therefore, their number is not always enough to digest food. Poorly digested food enters the large intestine, where it is processed by bacteria. The fermentation process begins. Gas is formed, and the more, the more it presses on the intestines from the inside. Gas formation leads to discomfort and pain. When gases leave, the child becomes easier.
Parental alarm. Scientists have noticed that children of anxious parents were more likely to be diagnosed with intestinal colic.
Maternal Anxiety Disorders and Baby Crying, Pubmed article
Children are empaths, reflecting the inner state of others, even if they try to hide it. For example, if the mother is often sad, the child will become anxious. Older children are able to express feelings in different ways, and babies, experiencing negative emotions, cry.
At the same time, the frequency of colic is in no way connected with parental experience. The fifth child in the family may have colic, even if the previous four children did not have them, and the parents are sure that they know all the secrets to preventing colic.
Migraine. Infantile colic is considered as a reaction to pain. The source of pain can be not only the stomach, but also the head. In 2013, it was found that children who were diagnosed with migraine were more likely to suffer from colic in infancy. And in 2014, researchers concluded that colic may be an early manifestation of migraine. There is also a suggestion of a feedback loop: children who have had colic are more likely to have migraines in the future.
Relationship between childhood migraine and colic, article in Jama
Maternal smoking and nicotine replacement therapy. A large study confirmed the relationship between maternal smoking and colic in children. We are talking about both the mother's smoking during pregnancy and the inhalation of tobacco smoke by the child. Nicotine interferes with the passage of nerve impulses to the intestines, causes inflammation of its mucosa and reduces blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, colic occurs.
Pediatrics: how maternal smoking increases the risk of infantile colic
Allergy to cow's milk proteins. Cow's milk protein can enter the child's body directly from artificial formulas or through breast milk from the mother. In the blood, the protein reacts with antibodies. As a result of this reaction, substances are formed that can damage intestinal cells. Inflammation begins in it, which becomes a source of pain. In a European study, 12,050 children with colic were examined for allergies to cow's milk protein. Among them were children on artificial and natural feeding. Allergy was confirmed in 1% of children.
Another study found that only 1.7% of mothers get enough cow's milk protein into their breast milk to cause an allergy. This means that even if the child has an allergy, in most cases the mother can continue to drink cow's milk.
Cow's milk protein allergy is easily missed or confused with another disease. Most often, with an allergy in a child, blood appears in the stool, visible to the naked eye. Less common symptoms:
Excessively vivid colic: bouts of intense, inconsolable and prolonged crying.
Delayed weight gain.
Mid-feeding cry with early sucking stop and malnutrition.
Skin rash: if it develops, take the child to the pediatrician.
Diagnosis and treatment of protein allergy in children, a practical guidePDF, 383 KB
Does mom's diet affect colic. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe a cow's milk-free diet to the mother, a blood test for antibodies and a fecal occult blood test to the child.
Changing diet for colic - Cochrane
How to tell if a baby has colic
Colic appears to be part of normal baby development. Outside the seizure, the baby looks healthy and happy. Therefore, the following symptoms appear only during colic.
How to understand that a child has colic:
Crying starts suddenly, more often in the evening.
The face turns red and the skin around the lips turns pale.
Abdomen swollen and tense.
The child's legs are bent and brought to the stomach, and during especially strong crying they can be tense and straightened, cold to the touch.
Fingers clenched, arms extended and tense.
American pediatrician and scientist Ronald Barr about six characteristics of crying during colic in children and how parents can survive this and not harm the child
Relief can come after the child poops. At the same time, gases are released and spasms associated with improper coordination of the intestines stop. Sometimes colic can end just after the baby has farted.
What colic looks like in a newborn: the baby is screaming, the lips and skin around the mouth are pale, the hands are clenched into fists, the legs are brought to the stomach. Source: Luck Club
Colic can occur in the form of contractions: the child cries, then calms down for a few minutes and starts screaming again. And so in a circle.
Less than 5% of children have colic due to illness. Then other alarming symptoms appear in the child:
The temperature is above 38 °C.
Diarrhea more than 8-10 times a day.
The child does not poop for three days or more.
Blood in the stool: streaks of blood, jelly-like red or crimson impurities, black loose stools.
Increased regurgitation and vomiting.
Breathing rate less than 40 breaths per minute, wheezing and whistling may be heard on inspiration, blueness around the mouth.
Any rash on the skin.
The child is less active than usual, eats less.
No matter what you do, you cannot calm your child for more than three hours.
How to distinguish colic from gas in newborns. To understand that discomfort can be associated with gases, you can see the swollen and tense belly of the baby.
Excessive flatulence may be associated with colic: for example, relief in a child may occur after the child poops. At the same time, gases are released and spasms associated with improper coordination of the intestines stop. Sometimes colic can end just after the baby has farted. Therefore, to help a child with colic, gas tubes are sometimes used.
First aid for a child with colic
You can try one of the ways to calm the child for a few minutes. If there is no effect, go to the next one:
Offer him a pacifier.
Turn on the tummy.
Ride in your stroller or car.
Carry your baby in your arms, in a sling or equivalent.
Rock while standing, in a rocking chair, sitting on a fitball.
Change location, shade the room.
Swing on the children's swing.
Take a warm bath.
Stroke your tummy.
Turn on heartbeat audio.
Turn on white noise.
Sing a lullaby or talk to your baby.
How to cope with colic, an article in KidsHealth
Pathways. org: how to properly lay the baby on the tummy and how it is useful
The baby does not have to be rocked in your arms or in a stroller, you can do it. Photo: Ekaterina Yusupova Stroke the baby's belly clockwise, without effort. Photo: Ekaterina Yusupova With loose swaddling, the baby's legs can move freely With loose swaddling, the baby's legs can move freely
If all else fails, you can put a gas tube on the child. You can buy it in a pharmacy, specify what it is for a baby. It is worth using this method when other methods do not work, and the child's stomach is still swollen and tense.
Lubricate the tip of the gas tube or enema with petroleum jelly or other oil and gently insert it in a circular motion to a depth of three centimeters. You will hear when the gases begin to come out. At the same time, the child may begin to poop. Soon after a bowel movement, the baby will calm down.
From sterilizer to infant carrier: baby shopping list
You will eventually find a method that is right for your baby. But be prepared that it will not always work.
How it was with us
My son's colic began from the fourth week and was almost every day, always in the evenings, at the same time. At first, it helped well to rock in a chair to a movie. Worked for a week. On New Year's Eve, the garlands on the Christmas tree came in well, for another week.
There was a period when nothing helped. My husband and I took turns waiting out this time in the evenings with the baby in our arms. The sling helped from time to time. Then I randomly found one song - Alexey Kosenko, Rain with Me Original Mix - where the piano played and there were sounds of rain. I turned it on on repeat and rocked the child while standing in this rhythm. It helped for two whole weeks. The song still plays in my head sometimes.
If the baby won't stop crying:
Call a loved one who can support you or babysit. At this time, you can rest. Children are great at reading emotions - if you rest and calm down, then the child may stop crying.
If all else fails, put your baby on their back in a crib without blankets or soft toys, go out and close the door. For 10 minutes, do something that will help you relax and calm down. For example, take a shower, have a snack, read or listen to music. After that, return to the baby and try to calm him down again.
Do not shake the baby during colic. In children under two years of age, the neck muscles are not sufficiently developed, the walls of the vessels of the brain are fragile, and the head is disproportionately large in relation to the body. Therefore, when shaking, the brain moves inside the skull, which can lead to injury. This is how shaken baby syndrome occurs.
The Period of PURPLE Crying: how shaken baby syndrome develops and causes
Don't blame yourself or your child for crying. Find a way for yourself to relax and know that the child will outgrow this period.
How to help a newborn with colic
There are few high-quality studies on the treatment of colic. Those that exist say that most methods are no more effective than placebos. As a criterion for the effectiveness of the method, scientists usually take the time by which the crying of the child is reduced. It is believed that if a treatment reduces crying time by less than 30 minutes a day, then it is ineffective.
Among the effective methods are only probiotics with Lactobacillus Reuteri and diet. Other methods reduced crying time by less than 30 minutes. Source: Pubmed Among the effective methods are only probiotics with Lactobacillus Reuteri and diet. Other methods reduced crying time by less than 30 minutes. Source: Pubmed
Nutrition correction. The method helps children who have colic due to allergies. In this case, the doctor excludes allergen foods from the mother's diet. A bottle-fed baby can be transferred to a deep hydrolyzate. The body of a child with an allergy to cow's milk protein cannot break down this protein. Therefore, in hydrolyzed mixtures, milk protein is already split. Such an experiment lasts a week, if there is no effect, the previous diet returns. The effectiveness of the diet for treating infantile colic in a situation where the child does not have allergies has not been proven.
Probiotics for breastfed babies. These are live microorganisms that alter the intestinal microflora and aid in digestion. There is speculation, as yet without conclusive evidence, that the gut microflora of infants with colic is different from that of children without colic. Therefore, it is believed that microorganisms can improve digestion, reduce gas and reduce pain.
What to do? 07/02/20
The doctor prescribed dietary supplement along with the usual medicine. This is fine?
But it's not that simple:
It is not known how many of which microbes each person should have.
Research is carried out with different types of microorganisms. Each type can have its own effect. Therefore, the results cannot be generalized to all probiotics.
There are few data on the safety of probiotics. Only 2% of studies state that the product is safe.
Many probiotic studies are sponsored by infant formula manufacturers and drug companies. This raises doubts about the objectivity of the results obtained.
In 2017, a probiotic containing Lactobacillus Reuteri strain DSM 17938 was proven to be effective and safe. In breastfed babies, it reduces the duration of crying by an average of 50 minutes per day. By other criteria, this probiotic is no more effective than a placebo. Therefore, you can use the drug only as directed by a doctor. The probiotic is prescribed for a month to evaluate the effectiveness. With a positive effect, the doctor can extend its intake for another three months.
average price for BioGaia and Rela Life probiotics containing Lactobacillus Reuteri. You will need at least two bottles per month
Research on the effectiveness of the probiotic with Lactobacillus Reuteri in artificially fed children is just beginning.
Hydrolysed formulas for formula-fed babies. Studies show that hydrolyzed protein formulas reduce the duration of crying throughout the day. They switch to a new mixture gradually: it is added to the usual one within four days. This is continued until only a hydrolyzed mixture is obtained.
If the new formula helps relieve symptoms of colic, continue taking it for up to three to six months. After that, you can resume taking the usual mixture. This method can reduce crying by 37 minutes a day. But it can only be used as directed by a doctor. Incorrect selection of a new mixture can increase colic or cause allergies.
Baby colic: how to recognize and treat, article on the American Academy of Family Physicians website
Dealing with parental anxiety. This method does not reduce the duration of colic in any way, but in 9In 0% of cases, doctors recommend starting with it. If the words of a pediatrician do not help to cope with anxiety, then you can turn to a psychologist.
How to deal with anxiety
existential psychologist, blogger and mother of three children
To calm a child, you must first of all cope with your anxiety. I often communicate with parents who are not sure that they are doing the right thing in relation to the child. They think they are not up to the task. At such moments, you need to understand where your anxiety comes from. Then it will be easier for you to get rid of it.
What does not help with colic
Switching from breastfeeding to artificial feeding. No treatment algorithm recommends eliminating or reducing breastfeeding. This leads to the rapid disappearance of milk, increases the tension of the intestines of the child and weakens his immunity.
amount per year that artificial feeding can cost
The duration of baby crying may decrease when switching from breastfeeding to artificial feeding. But this is because breast milk is digested faster. As a result, the baby feels hungry more often and gets new portions of milk more often - it seems that during sucking he screams more often. And after the transfer to the mixture, he sleeps longer, which makes it seem that he has become better.
Colic is three to five months, and breastfeeding should continue longer. The decision to cancel it must be taken very carefully.
Acid suppression therapy. Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole are not effective in treating infant colic. Their effectiveness is not higher than that of placebo.
Painkillers. Evidence for the effectiveness of pain relievers for treating infantile colic is sparse and biased. Their use is not recommended without a doctor's prescription.
Homeopathic preparations. They are used at very low doses, their mechanism of action is not clear, and their effectiveness has not been proven. They are not recommended for the treatment of colic in children.
Use of homeotic remedies for infantile colicPDF, 260 KB
Drinking water. Breast milk is more than 80% water. It is enough to quench the thirst of a child up to four to six months, even in the heat. Supplementing babies with water puts them at risk of diarrhea and malnutrition. It can also cause the baby to suckle less at the mother's breast, producing less and less milk, and stop breastfeeding too soon.
WHO: why is it harmful to give water to infants
Phytotherapy. Few studies have been done on the effectiveness of various herbs. Chamomile, peppermint, lemon balm, licorice, and dill water are reportedly no more effective than placebo. Some herbs can be dangerous for a child and cause allergies. For example, fennel in large quantities can cause vomiting and impair the functioning of the baby's muscles. This is the same plant, from the essential oil of which "dill water" is made.
Simethicone. This is a synthetic substance that reduces bloating. Included in, for example, "Bobotika", "Espumizan baby", "Sub simplex". Simethicone is not absorbed, it acts only in the intestinal lumen on gas bubbles, which causes them to disintegrate. No study has proven that the use of simethicone is effective in treating colic in children.
average price per bottle of simethicone
If colic is mainly due to increased gas formation, then simethicone can help. You can only find out by trying. If after a week of taking you have not noticed any difference in the frequency and intensity of colic attacks, it is pointless to continue using it.
Tea for lactation. Hot drinks are generally not prohibited. It promotes the release of oxytocin, relaxes and calms. And it is easier for a calm mother to cope with a crying child. But herbal tea can be harmful for both mother and child. For example, fennel, lemon balm and sage reduce lactation. Carefully read the composition and recommendations for the amount of tea so as not to overdo it.
E-Lactanciya: compatibility of medicines and herbs with breastfeeding
Chiropractic, osteopathy. These are alternative medicine methods that use physical manipulations such as stretching and massage. Studies have shown that chiropractic and osteopathy are not effective for treating colic. The safety of these methods for children has not yet been proven.
Manipulative techniques for the treatment of infantile colic, article in Pubmed
Acupuncture, or acupuncture. Proponents of the method insert fine needles into the skin at certain points. They believe that the impact on these points restores vital energy, and pain goes away from this. Acupuncture is useless and is not recommended for treating colic. The safety of this method has also not been proven.
A review of the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for colic in infants, article in Pubmed
When colic in newborns goes away three days a week, and ends by three months.
Rome IV Criteria: Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders in ChildrenPDF, 828KB
Since 2016, colic has been considered to last up to five months. After that, the baby begins to cry less often. If after five months the crying time has not decreased, you need to contact your pediatrician.
Prevention of colic in newborns
There is no method of prevention that would prevent colic. But proper feeding will help ease their flow and reduce the duration.
Keep your baby on your tummy for as long as possible before each feed. Start with two to five minutes, gradually increasing the time. By three months, the baby can lie on his stomach for about an hour a day.
Attach the baby correctly to the breast: not only the nipple, but also the areola should be in the mouth.
Mayo Clinic Feeding Position Slideshow
Carry your baby upright for 5 to 15 minutes after each feed to burp up any swallowed air. If feeding at night, lay the baby so that his head was raised.
If formula-fed, try using nipples and anti-colic bottles. Inside these bottles there is a valve that equalizes the pressure.
average price per anti-colic bottle
Colic is optional, 70% of children do not have it. If, even before the birth, the family tunes in to the fact that even if colic makes itself felt, they will stop sooner or later, then the first months of parenthood are more likely to pass calmer.
You can use a pillow or your free hand to lift your baby's head. The baby must grasp not only the nipple, but also the areola. Even in the horizontal position, the nipple is always full of milk. Air does not get into it. Source: philips.ru
Not everyone has colic.
Colic is part of normal baby development.
The exact cause of their appearance is not known.
Treatment of colic begins with parental anxiety.
More often than not, the treatment of colic does not cost anything - most therapies have not been proven to be effective.
Colic ends in all children by a maximum of five months. It just needs to be experienced.
Coloproctologist online consultation - page 22
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