Your cart is currently empty!
What Baby Foods Help with Constipation?
When your little one starts solids, the game changes. While a little constipation is normal to experience when starting solids, we’ve got some tips to help get things moving again!
What Baby Foods Help with Constipation?
When your little one begins eating solid foods, it’s normal for them to get a little backed up. Until this point, your babe has only known breast milk or formula, and during this time, they probably pooped at least once or twice a day.
Once they start solids, their tummies work overtime to digest new foods so that a lot can change during this time with your baby’s bowel movements. But, don’t worry. We’ve made a guide to help you understand this brave new world of poop too.
If your babe is backed up or getting constipated often, here are some tips for when your babe needs a little help moving things along!
Infant constipation is a normal occurrence when little ones begin eating solid foods. However, the normal bowel movements of babies can change depending on what they’re eating, how often they’re eating, and how old they are. If you think your baby is constipated, it’s important to talk to your pediatrician.
Here are some reasons why your little one may be backed up:
- Your little one is eating too many low-fiber foods and isn’t getting enough fiber.
- You have introduced solids, and it is just taking a while to form more solid poop.
- Your baby doesn’t have enough variety in its diet.
- Underlying causes are rarely responsible for constipation, but if you notice any unusual vomiting, fever, or behavior, contact your pediatrician.
Signs and Symptoms
If your baby is constipated, they’ll be sure to let you know. Here are some of the signs and symptoms your baby will show if they’re getting a little too backed up.
- They will be more fussy than usual.
- Their bowel movements may be harder or pellet-like.
- Bloating, cramping, or discomfort in the stomach.
- Loss of appetite.
- They are spitting up more frequently than usual.
- While straining is normal for babies, crying or showing a disc is not. If your baby is arching its back or crying, this is a sign of constipation.
- If your baby suddenly has a change in bowel movement frequency and doesn’t poop for more than a day or two, they may be constipated.
- If there is any blood in their stool, this may also be a sign of constipation.
Foods that Relieve Constipation
Luckily, constipation is an easy thing to fix, and one of the best ways to relieve it is to change what your baby is eating! Here are some foods that are known to relieve constipation and get the bowels moving again.
If your baby is getting backed up, it’s always a good idea to go back to the easily digestible, basic purees. However, especially if your little one has moved on to stage four or five foods with more texture, these may be more of a challenge for your baby’s tummy to digest than their previous, single-ingredient purees.
Some examples of basic foods would be a zucchini puree, butternut squash puree, or blueberry puree. These are easy on your baby’s tummy and can help other foods move through them quickly and get the ball rolling to relieve constipation. You can also give them purees with avocado, spinach, and any whole fruit or vegetable to get things moving.
The “B vegetables” are packed with fiber and can help relieve constipation as well. Examples of B vegetables are broccoli, brussels sprouts, beans, and beets. To incorporate these into your little one’s diet, try feeding them a broccoli puree, broccoli and pear mash, or a beet puree. To find beans, try a black bean sweet potato combo that can also be effective in relieving constipation.
“P fruits” are also powerful poop movers. These include prunes, plums, peaches, and pears. P fruits are packed with fiber to help move things along in the digestive tract and loosen up hard stool. And, even though they don’t start with a “p,” you can also introduce dates to work the same way prunes do.
Fiber is an essential nutrient to health for a variety of reasons. It makes us feel full after a meal, helps lower cholesterol levels, regulates blood sugar levels, maintains a healthy weight, and helps move bowel movements along. So, incorporating enough fiber into their diet is important as it not only relieves constipation but promotes health!
There are two kinds of fiber in the body: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is found in foods like oats, peas, beans, apples, carrots, and fruits and is responsible for maintaining cholesterol and sugar levels in the body.
Soluble fiber is easily absorbed because it dissolves in water. Insoluble fiber is not so easily absorbed, so it helps move things along in the digestive tract. Sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, nuts, beans, and vegetables.
By incorporating sources of soluble and insoluble fiber into your little one’s diet, you can help relieve their constipated tummy and promote health. Once your baby is eight months old, you can give them whole grains such as oatmeal, quinoa, and other fiber-rich grains to get things going. Black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, lima beans, and pinto beans are also rich in fibers and help relieve constipation.
Add Some Water
Adding water to your baby’s purees can help loosen stool and get the bowels moving again. It’s important to note here that babies should not drink water until they’re six months old, and even then, only in a limited amount.
You may give your little one two to four ounces of water in a sippy cup or add a few ounces to their purees. This can help loosen up stool to make it softer and easier to pass.
Eat the Rainbow
And, perhaps the easiest way to relieve constipation and avoid it in the future is to make sure your little one is eating the rainbow! There are many benefits of a varied diet. A diet that includes all the colors of the rainbow provides a wide range of all the nutrients your body needs to thrive. In addition, a varied diet is the basis of nutrition and can help protect the body against disease and protect the cells from damage.
When you give your baby a variety of whole, organic foods, they receive many nutrients. It’s essential to make sure they get the nutrients they need to thrive and keep their bodies going. Our nutritionists here at Yumi hold this as a top priority. With our milestone meal plan, you can make sure your little one gets every ounce of nutrition they need during each different stage of their development.
Let our nutritionists do the work. Learn more about your baby’s milestone plan here!
Foods to Avoid
There are also some foods to avoid that could be causing your baby’s digestion to get backed up.
Heavily Processed Foods
Heavily processed foods lack fiber and the nutrients necessary to keep things moving along in the digestive system. Processed foods are also high in sugar and low in nutrients. When being processed, the modifications food goes through include blasting foods at extreme temperatures or refining and blanching foods.
These processes, however, can remove the nutrients of foods and leave them empty. This means the vitamins, fiber, and nutritious aspects of food are removed, and your baby’s body will have less fuel to move it through the digestive tract.
Many sources suggest juices as a reliever of constipation. However, while prune juice, plum juice, and apple juice may be able to get your little one’s digestive tract moving, there are also some risks involved.
It’s important to note that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only giving fruit juice to babies older than one. So even if you do decide to use fruit juice as constipation relief, it should only be after they turn a year old.
Even so, there are a lot of risks when giving your child fruit juice. Excessive amounts of sugar can be harmful to your little one, especially as their tummies are small and can only hold so much. The things that go into their tummies should be used for fuel, energy, growth, and development. Things like sugar act more like empty calories that can even damage the liver in high amounts.
Instead of fruit juice, opt for fruit purees or mashed foods to provide your baby with same constipation relieving benefits while avoiding too much sugar!
If you want to nerd out, check out our blog to learn more about why juices are one food your baby should always avoid.