Struggling to get your newborn to, err, do a “number two”? Learn how this first-time mum dealt with her newborn’s constipation issues, and how she managed to get him to poop.
Being a mum changes you in a way that you’ll never understand until it happens. From a kick in the womb to a kick to my face, I’ve learned to love every moment – even the poop-namis (no need for an explanation there!). It’s a constant masterclass in learning how to take care of a baby. Unfortunately, learning how to bathe my son and breastfeed on-the-go are things you don’t learn in mummy school. And of course, what do you do if your baby has constipation? What do you do then? Well, here are some things I learned about getting your little one to poop…
The first attempt
My son, Gale, first began to show interest in food when he was four-months-old and would open his mouth when we brought a spoon close to his lips. Right before he was old enough to start eating solids, my husband and I read tons of articles about ‘baby first foods to try’ or ‘baby puree recipes’. Think: apples, bananas, carrots… the list just goes on and on. So, when he turned five-months-old, we sat him in his high chair several days a week and fed him a few spoonfuls of pureed fruits or cereal. It was so cute to see him stare at the food on our dining table, drooling constantly. Naturally, we started to see some changes in his poop when changing his diapers. For one, we noticed his diapers weren’t as soiled as per usual. Not to mention, the smell was intense, but we didn’t think much of it. At least, not yet…
Here comes trouble
A month later, my husband and I started consistently feeding him solids twice a day. It was so heartwarming to see him get excited at mealtimes. Sometimes, he would even cry when food wasn’t being fed to him fast enough! Adorable. And, seeing my six-month-old be so eager for each spoonful of puree brought us and our families so much joy. Alas, this was only short-lived – soon after, the constipation problems soon came. He didn’t poop for four days, and on the fifth day, he kept trying to push his poop out of his body.
Cue the tears. My heart broke as I saw my newborn try his darndest to “do a number two”. Also, as new parents, we were definitely struggling in this area, having never experienced it before. It was certainly hard watching my son cry and try to poop at the same time! Not to mention, I hadn’t yet figured out what fruit purees to try at the next mealtime…
Though, I did notice that when he was on breastmilk and formula, he had a normal poop schedule every alternate day or so. That left me wondering: what could I do to help my son relieve his constipation and help him poop?
A mum’s worry
Naturally, the first thing I did was turn to Google, and I also asked fellow parents for help. Many offered advice and different fruits and vegetables to try. And so we did. One food after another. From peas and spinach, to plums and peaches… We literally tried every poop-inducing fruit under the sun. It wasn’t till we fed him papayas that he finally wasn’t constipated anymore, and could poop with ease. Phew, what a relief – I didn’t think I would ever look forward to the day my son poops, but here we are!
3 Ps for the big P
At the end of the day, being constipated is no fun. Not for adults, and definitely not for babies! So, here’s what I learned as a new parent. Hopefully, this will help your little one poop with ease, too. Of course, not every fruit works the same for every kid, but here are some general tips to remember…
Tips for when your baby is constipated
#1 // It’s normal to get worried
Sometimes, things just need to take their natural course. Your baby just might not be used to pushing out a solid poop, and might find it painful. Perhaps, it’s just something that gets better with time. Relax, and don’t forget to breathe!
#2 // Variety is the spice of life
Not sure what to feed your baby? Your best bet? Feed him a good mix of fruits, vegetables, and carbs. Remember to have the 3 Ps on standby for the big P, too: prunes, pears, or papaya for poop! These fruits generally work for babies, but don’t be disheartened if they don’t work for yours – every child is different.
#3 // Drink more water
Just like us adults who require water to stay hydrated, constipation can develop when stools become dry. So, let your little one drink water more often to give them some relief. It’ll soften a baby’s poop, making it easier to pass.
Now that I’ve solved my son’s problems with constipation… Can someone tell me what to do about the red spots that have started to appear on his face? Help!
Top image: Fiona Ghui