It's definitely possible to help treat your baby's tummy problems at home, but not all adult-sized remedies are right for them. For instance, how much prune juice can a baby have for constipation? It's a tried-and-true method to deal with this particular stomach issue, but nobody wants to give a baby too much of it.
"Prune juice is a great way to treat constipation in babies because it helps draw fluid into the intestines, thereby loosening the stools," pediatrician Florencia Segura M.D., FAAP, tells Romper via email. That said, a little goes a long way. The exact amount of prune juice you serve will depend on your baby's age. "For infants 4 months and older, 2 to 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice per day is a reasonable starting dose," Dr. João Pedro Locatelli Cezar, pediatric hematologist-oncologist, tells Romper. What about the younger set? "If your baby is younger than four months of age, the recommendation is to mix 1 ounce of prune juice in 1 ounce of water, one to two times a day," says Dr. Segura. (As with anything related to your baby's health, check with your pediatrician to find out the right amount of prune juice for your little one.)
If you don't have prune juice on hand, then other varieties of juice might work as well. In fact, Dr. Cezar recommends trying apple or pear juice instead of prune juice, because prune juice can cause abdominal pain in babies. Again, check with your pediatrician for advice on which type of juice is best for your baby.
Why is such a small amount of juice recommended? "I would not use any more than 2 ounces at a time, because little babies rely on formula and/or breast milk for nutrition, and apple, pear, or prune juice is not complete nutrition," gastroenterologist Dr. Steven Ciciora tells Romper over the phone. In addition to the potential for missed nutrition, babies' systems have a harder time managing water and sugar when compared to someone a bit older, Dr. Ciciora explains. With this in mind, it's smart to use just a little bit to help get your baby's system moving.
"You can give prune juice every day for about one to two weeks," says Dr. Segura. Hopefully your baby likes the taste.
After serving your baby the prune juice, what should you expect to happen next? The results may not be immediate. "Based on clinical experience, babies will respond within several days of this intervention," says Dr. Segura. "You can give prune juice every day for about one to two weeks." (Hopefully they like the taste.)
"If your baby is still exhibiting signs of straining greater than 10 minutes and having small and hard stools despite these interventions, check back with your pediatrician," adds Dr. Segura. For many babies, however, regular servings of prune juice can help ease constipation.
Dr. João Pedro Locatelli Cezar, pediatric hematologist-oncologist
Florencia Segura M.D., FAAP of Einstein Pediatrics