Dr. Zak Zarbock with Families First Pediatrics answers a GTU viewer's question about constipation in babies and children.
Dr. Zarbock says constipation can be normal and nothing to worry about as long as bowel movements are soft.
Babies usually have about six bowel movements a day, but they can go several days without one. You can increase the fiber to help their bowels get moving. Prune juice is ideal, Dr. Zarbock recommends 2 oz. for a two month old a day. Sometimes taking a baby's temperature rectally is enough stimulation to get the bowels moving. You can also try to move the baby's knees up to their chest to give them a little exercise and move the colon around.
If babies get fussy, or if the stool is hard, you may want to talk to your doctor.
Constipation is common when the diet changes, for instance when a baby starts baby food instead of milk or formula.
It's also common in toddlers when they're potty training, because they try to "hold it". Also, when kids start school, constipation is common because they don't want to go away from home and then the stool becomes hard.
In those cases, Dr. Zarbock recommends increasing fiber in children's diet with fiber gummy bears (found right next to vitamins). Miralax is also a safe option.
You should take to a doctor if you've tried these options, or if the pain is significant.
Families First Pediatrics is located at 1268 West South Jordan Parkway in South Jordan. (801) 254-9700.
For more information, please visit: http://www.ffpeds.com