Parenting

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These Are The 6 Best Foods To Give A Constipated Baby

The right foods can get things moving smoothly again.

No one likes a leaky diaper, but the alternative — constipation — isn’t a good option, either. And while seeing your baby making that face while they’re pushing (and hearing them grunting) might be kind of funny, it’s no laughing matter when your little stinker can’t poop. Fortunately, there are foods to give to a constipated baby, to keep things, um, moving.

Pooping shouldn’t be painful, but when your baby is plugged up, you’ll need to help them so that they stop straining. “When it comes to treating constipation, I always tell my clients to make sure they are getting in the 3 Fs daily: fluid, fat, and fiber,” Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian, tells Romper in an email. “If a baby is lacking even one of these, it can be hard to resolve constipation.”

And just as you should look for foods that can help your baby have a bowel movement, you should also understand which foods can cause constipation, too. Bananas, rice, and even some dairy can be binding, according to Palinski-Wade. In most instances, your baby’s tummy troubles “should resolve within 1-3 days, but you should always discuss constipation with your child’s pediatrician to determine the right treatment plan for their individual needs,” she says.

Here are some foods to help get your baby's digestion running smoothly,.

1
Prunes

There’s a reason why prunes have a reputation for conquering constipation. “Rich in fiber, prunes provide a sweet tasting choice to help aid gut health and provide your baby with the fiber she needs to improve constipation,” says Palinski-Wade. “For young children, pureed prunes as well as 100% prune juice can both offer benefits.” Palinski-Wade advises one teaspoon to start, depending on your baby’s age, and eventually working up to two tablespoons as your child’s appetite allows.

2
Avocado

Apart from being delish in their own right, avocados are an excellent way to relieve constipation. “Avocados provides a double benefit when it comes to managing constipation in young children since they contains a source of fiber as well as beneficial, unsaturated fats,” says Palinkski-Wade. Since it has a soft texture, it’s super easy to mash into many foods or can even served alone to help alleviate constipation. Adds Kara Hoerr, MS, RDN, CD, a registered dietitian: “Avocado is a good source of insoluble and soluble fiber as well as unsaturated fats. If your baby doesn't get a lot of fat in his diet, unsaturated fats like those found in avocado may help aid in digestion and move things along.”

3
The “P” Foods
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When it comes to pee and poop, one way to make sure that you see some results (in your baby’s diaper) is by offering “p fruits,” like prunes, pears, plums, and peaches, advises Hoerr. “These fruits are high in insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to the stool,” says Hoerr. “They also contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that is poorly digested in the body and can act as a laxative.” To serve a baby these fruits, try pureeing or adding a small amount (like two ounces), since a little can go a long way.

4
Beans & Lentils

Again, it’s fibrous foods for the win, especially when you want to help your baby have a BM. That’s why beans and lentils can help your kiddo poop. Hoerr explains: “Beans and lentils are high in fiber — which makes the stool soft and bulky — and can also get things moving in the right direction,” she says. You can mash and serve them on their own, or mix them in with other foods for flavor — and some much-needed fiber.

5
Hydrating Foods

While you might not want to give your baby water as a way to hydrate, hydrating foods —such as fruits, soups, or yogurts— can help your baby’s digestion, advises Hoerr. “Keeping your baby hydrated, especially if you're increasing how much fiber your baby is getting, will help prevent and relieve the constipation,” she says.

6
Chia Seeds

Sure, they might be yummy sprinkled on your smoothie, but they can also help your little one poop… finally. “Chia seeds or ground flaxseeds are a good source of soluble fiber, which can help soften the stool,” says Hoerr. And just like your meals, you can add them into your baby’s oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothies. Pureed foods are also ideal for getting some chia into your baby’s diet.

While constipation typically resolves on its own, seeing your child struggle can be uncomfortable — for the both of you. Try to serve up healthy, high-fiber foods and dietary fats, and keep your baby hydrated, too.

Experts:

Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian and founder of Healthy Mom Happy Family

Kara Hoerr, MS, RDN, CD, a registered dietitian