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How to treat constipation in babies & children

As both a mother and dietitian, I deal with constipated babies and kids a lot. Two out of three of my own babies suffered for months after starting solids. It’s difficult to watch your little one in pain while trying to pass stool, or because they are so backed up!

The first thing to assess if you think your young child is constipated is the definition of constipation. The Canadian Pediatric Association defines constipation as “ bowel movements that occur less often than usual, that are hard and dry, and/or painful or difficult to pass.” So it’s not the frequency of stools as much of the consistency that is important. Your exclusively breastfed infant isn’t constipated when they don’t poo for 2 weeks, as long as their poo is regular breastfed-baby-poo consistency!

Causes of constipation can include toilet training, starting daycare or starting solids. It seems a tough transition for most babies to go from breastmilk to starting solids. If...

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