After mommyhood, I realized that there were a few words that could scare me more than any horror movie ever. Constipation was one of these scary words amongst others like colic, sleepless nights, loosies, teething – you get the drift…
Deciding if the baby is really constipated is slightly difficult since there is no specific measure for this – like temperature in fever and a runny or blocked nose in cold where it is much easier to diagnose. So with this slightly vague notion of constipation coupled with so many different opinions and advises it sometimes becomes difficult to make a proper judgement. While I didn’t have the luxury to explore and figure out all the details in the initial days with big Z, later I did manage to get some expert opinions and figure out some measures that help understanding when the baby is constipated and the common causes for the same.
Once you figure out that the baby is constipated and can narrow down on the probable causes, the next step is to provide relief as well as work on preventing the same. Here are some of the common easy remedies that will help relieve as well as prevent constipation in children (and adults too). Needless to say, if the constipation is chronic first consult a doctor to provide immediate relief and follow these remedies as a preventive measure.
Soak about 10-12 raisins in water till soft and blend it to a juice. Strain it and give this to relieve from constipation. This can be given even to infants post 6 months once they start puree and other semi solids as well. This is very effective in both relieving constipation as well for prevention.
Castor oil application
Though this may sound a bit weird, application of castor oil around the anal area helps in lubricating the area. It also helps easy passage of stool. Apply the same gently using a Q tip.
Boil a glass of water with ½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera), ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain), ½ tsp fennel seeds (saunf) till the water is about ½ a glass. Strain this and add jaggery or honey. It stimulates the digestive system and thus helps in movement through your colon. This can be given at regular intervals till the constipation is relieved.
Warm water and honey/ lemon
Warm water and honey is another simple but effective method to help in providing relief from constipation. If you haven’t started giving honey to your baby, you could replace it with lemon. Give this instead of normal water at regular intervals in case the constipation has already set in and every morning as a prevention.
There are a couple of sitting positions that assist the digestion and relieve constipation. Vajrasana is one of them and this is the only yoga pose that can be done after eating as well top assist digestion. The butterfly pose is another pose which helps in providing relief from constipation. Both these poses are really simple and toddlers can perform them too without any worry.
Asafoetida (Hing) and coconut oil
If constipation is accompanied with a lot of gas and pain, application of a paste made with mixing hing and coconut oil on the stomach around the belly button provides instant relief.
Fresh and dry fruits
Including fibrous fresh fruits like papaya, banana, oranges, grapes, sweet lime in your diet helps in preventing constipation. Dried fruits, such as dates, figs, prunes, apricots, and raisins are a great source of dietary fiber that help in constipation relief. We hear so much about the benefits of Prunes in because they are not only high in fiber but also contain sorbitol which is a natural laxative.
Reduce biscuits, breads, milk
Reducing processed foods, fried foods, milk and milk products, breads, biscuits and packaged foods help in constipation prevention. Especially with kids since they are generally attracted to these in their diet.
With time a parent an easily judge if the baby has a tendency for constipation. In such a case following these remedies is very effective as a preventive measure. They are simple to follow and go a long way in helping relieve the pain and stress associated with constipation.
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