Parenthood changes a person in many ways, and for lots of caregivers, that involves an iron stomach when it comes to diaper duty. Seasoned parents can unflinchingly change diapers that would make other people turn green in a second. So when you're deep in diaper duty, it's smart to keep an eye out for the ways your baby is trying to tell you they're not pooping enough. It isn't like any of this is going to gross you out, anyway, so you might as well use the information for your baby's benefit.
Sure, the signs of infant constipation aren't a favorite topic of conversation. But because your little one isn't able to verbally complain about feeling plugged up, you have to use the forms of communication that are available. Unfortunately, this mostly involves in-depth and graphic descriptions of poop. But hey: it's nothing you can't handle.
To make matters more difficult, there is a huge variation in what constitutes normal baby poop. As noted in Baby Center, some babies poop after every meal, whereas others may only go twice a week or so. Both extremes are normal. Furthermore, a wide variety of colors and textures are also normal. So here are the signs you may need to watch out for to know when your baby is constipated.
1. Their Poop Is Clay-Like
Does your baby's poop look like something you could throw on a potter's wheel? Clay-like stools are often a sign of constipation, as noted in Parents. Take note of this unusual texture.
3. Their Stools Are Dry and Hard
When your child does poop, pay attention to the results. If it's hard and dried out, then your child may be dealing with some constipation, as noted in New Kids Center. It's probably very uncomfortable to pass, too.
3. They Give You Uncomfortable Looks
Granted, even babies with no tummy troubles can put on quite a show when they're going to the bathroom. But if your baby is really straining, then this may be a sign of constipation, according to Women's Health Care Topics. Just how uncomfortable is that grimace?
4. Their Stool Is Black
Does your kid's diaper look like something out of the La Brea Tar Pit? If your baby has black, tar-like stool, then this may point to constipation as the culprit, according to WebMD. It's generally a sign that something is wrong.
5. Their Tummy Feels Tight
Some signs are detectable outside the diaper. For instance, if your baby has a tight-feeling tummy, then this may be another sign of constipation, according to Baby Center. If nothing else, your little one is probably uncomfortable.
6. They Dispense Rabbit-Like Droppings
You know how rabbits produce tiny pellet-sized poops? Well, if your baby's poop looks more like rabbit droppings, then it may be a sign of constipation, according to Baby Center. At any rate, it's a sign that something is likely a bit off with your baby's digestion.
7. They Are Irritable
Some signs are more mood-based than anything. And as noted in About Kids Health, infants who are constipated often show signs of irritability. (This is likely just as true for adults as well).
8. They Are Pooping Blood
This may be the most alarming sign of all. As noted in About Kids Health, constipation may result in anal tears, causing blood to appear in your baby's stool. This is definitely cause for concern, and you may want to get advice from your kid's pediatrician to help cure this constipation.
9. They Aren't Pooping
This may be the most obvious sign of all. If you baby goes a long time, such as several days, without pooping, then this may point to constipation, according to Parents. (On the other hand, it's normal for some babies to go a few days between poops. Your mileage may vary.)