Monday, July 25, 2011

Constipation Aggravation

My poor little Kendall has issues with her "poop chute" as we tend to call it.  She has since she was a baby.  She started out with some jaundice as a baby.  I don't know if this is what has made it hard to move beyond but it definitely caused her difficulty back then.  When she didn't go for almost 4 days we called our doctor and got the go ahead to use some glycerin suppositories (non-prescription but behind the counter at the pharmacy).  The doctor told us to cut them into 1/4 as they were intended for 2 years of age and older.  I think the suppository was suggested due to it being such a time.  From there on out we began using prune juice in her morning bottle on occasion (not the most consistent) and she began getting better.  Then the solids came and constipation reared it's ugly head again.  So....

We tried prune juice in her morning bottle and bedtime bottle.  This helped at times and at times almost seemed to make it worse.  Our doctor suggested giving her prunes in baby food form.  It seems to do the trick better than the juice (I hope).  So far so good.

Prune Puree

First batch:  I bought dried prunes and mixed them in with quite a bit of prune juice and a little bit of apple juice and blended them up until it was a puree.  It was pretty syrupy (that's where the apple juice came in).  I spooned it out to freeze and it didn't freeze so well.  I called it "prune sludge".  I suppose I'm going to try mixing it with another constipation friendly food and see if this helps.

Second batch:  This time I pureed the prunes with all water.  I added more water until it was a little runnier than the first batch.  It froze a little bit better but still didn't pop out in cube form like I desired.  I ended up just storing the prune puree in a small tupperware in my freezer.  I scoop out what I need and throw it in the microwave and then serve it.  No more ice cubes for this one.


Constipation in babies is common with the introduction of solids.  Constipation typically means fewer bowel movements (usually 3 or 4 days between) and when there is one it is firm or even pebble like.  It often distresses the child (think crying and screaming;  grunting and some straining is typical of normal bowels for a baby) and can cause pain.  The pain then compounds the problem as the child may hold it next time, which allows the body to absorb more water as it waits and this then makes the stool more firm causing another painful movement to occur.

From what I have read most recommendations include adding diluted prune juice (either with water or with the child's formula).  Some also recommend apple juice or white grape juice.  Our doctor advised also to not overdue it with starchy food such as carrots, bananas, apples, potatoes and rice (we had already dropped rice cereal for oatmeal).  It was not to avoid these foods as they have their benefits but to use them within reason.  Foods that may help constipation are pears, peas, plums, prunes, green beans, oatmeal and fiber rich food.

In my research and questions to my pediatrician it was recommended not to add too much prune juice or other juice as the formula or breast milk is most important for you baby to get nutrients from.  Also my pediatrician did not recommend the prunes to help with constipation until 6 months.

**As always seek advice of your pediatrician if this a problem that you are having with your baby or child**

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