Constipation - Children

What do you do when your baby or child is constipated? Please share your experience with treating constipation in kids.

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How is constipation treated in infants and children?

If an infant is younger than four months old and seems constipated, it should be discussed with the pediatrician. For older children, home remedies may help relieve constipation. If a child has been constipated for a short time, changing the diet may be the only treatment needed.

The following natural treatments may be used for infants older than four months of age, or children with constipation:

  • Dark corn syrup (Karo syrup) contains complex sugar proteins that keep water in the bowel movement. One teaspoon per four ounces of formula or expressed breast milk until the infant has a bowel movement.
  • Prune or apple juice work best to treat constipation in children. Four ounces/day for children 4 months to 1 year of age.
  • High-fiber foods. If your infant is eating solid foods, barley cereal may be used. Other high-fiber fruits and vegetables (or purées), including apricots, sweet potatoes, pears, prunes, peaches, plums, beans, peas, broccoli, or spinach can be fed to the child.
  • Your doctor may recommend increased fiber in the child's diet, through supplementation.

Parents caregivers should contact the physician immediately if the child has severe abdominal pain, swollen or bloated abdomen, rectal pain, or bleeding. If there are any concerns about the child's bowel habits or questions about diet, parents or caregivers should talk to their pediatrician.

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