To understand the internal health of your baby, it might become imperative to monitor or observe your baby’s diaper habit – the colour, texture and frequency of his poop. Your baby’s poop may undergo some transitions within a short amount of time, and it can become a source of worry if you are a first-time parent.
So when should your baby’s poop become solid?
As you start introducing your baby to solid food, you will notice his poop becomes thicker, a lot brownier and more stinky. This is as a result of the growth of healthy gut bacteria in your baby’s gastrointestinal tract. It should not be a cause for worry. You may also see undigested veggies or grainy food in his poop, like raisin, nut or corn. Again, it is perfectly normal because your baby has not begun chewing yet.
Some babies become constipated after being introduced to solid foods. Parents may get bothered about this.
Let’s analyze the signs that show your baby might be constipated.
Signs of constipation in babies
Hard, dry or clay-textured poop is a major sign of constipation. This poop may be difficult to pass, and older babies may go through strain while passing it out. You may also notice your baby is teary or crabby when excreting.
Infrequent bowel movement
Most times, infrequent bowel movements in babies occur at the same time when solid food is being introduced. Your baby may pass out poop once every two days because his digestive system is adjusting to the new nutrients. If infrequent bowel movement occurs together with hard poop, then it is a sure sign of constipation.
Blood in stool
Sighting blood in your baby’s poop can be very frightening. Hard poop, resulting from constipation, can anal fissure. This happens when your baby strains to push out hard poop, causing a small quantity of blood in the poop.
Refusal to eat
Because of the discomfort or bloatedness, your baby may be fussy and refuse to eat when fed.
How to avoid constipation in babies
Below are tips to help avoid constipation or excessively solid poop when your baby is weaned.
Your baby’s excessively solid, hard-to-pass, dry or pellet poop may be a resultant effect of not drinking enough water. Inadequate fluid intake can also cause dehydration in babies. You can even breastfeed your baby if he demands it. During solid meals, water should be provided.
Fruits are not only a spectacular source of vitamins and other essential nutrients; they can alleviate the symptoms of constipation in your baby. Fruits like apples, plums and pears are known for their ability to loosen stool and increase bowel movement in babies. This is because they are rich in fibre and sorbitol, which can soften your baby’s poop. Your baby will benefit from these fruits in his diet.
It is common for parents to favour fruits over vegetables. They, perhaps, do not know that vegetables are highly rich in fibre and easy-to-digest. Veggies are also healthy for your baby’s digestive tract. Squash veggies, parsnips and pumpkins are super rich in vitamins, beta-carotene, iron and fibre. For this, some paediatricians recommend parents opt for vegetables first when introducing their baby to solids.
Wholegrain or cereals
Though many parents regard wholegrain as a perfect food for maintaining their baby’s healthy gut health, undigested grains or cereals can cause problems for your baby’s digestive system. Babies do not find it easy to digest grains because they do not produce amylase in sufficient quantities. Amylase is the enzyme responsible for breaking down starch for easy digestion. Babies begin to produce adequate amylase at age one or two. Undigested grains can cause food allergy in babies. Therefore selectively and slowly introduce wholegrain in your baby’s diet. Avoid bran or gluten food altogether.
Exercise and movement
Apart from dietary change, infant exercise can stimulate the digestive system and ease constipation. For instance, tummy massage and bicycle legs are great exercises that can help to increase bowel movement in your infant.
A warm bath is a wonderful way to soothe and relax your baby’s muscles. This can positively impact your baby’s digestive system, provide some comfort and put an end to what makes his poop hard.
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