Constipation has symptoms that can make a parent question whether or not if their little one has it. One of the big concerns that parents have when choosing to feed their baby formula for constipation.
In babies, constipation looks like there are hard, clay balls in your baby's diaper. Normal bowel movements look more liquidy or pasty, perhaps with a seedy texture. There may be some grunting or crying, but that is not a tell-tale sign of constipation. Before you make huge changes that can impact your baby's diet, here are some suggestions to troubleshoot the situation.
As mentioned before, your baby can be a grunter or a crier. This does not automatically mean that they are struggling with a bowel movement. It is also normal for your baby to go a few days without a bowel movement. When you change your baby's diaper, check for poop that looks more like pellets than loose stool.
One of the causes of constipation is not baby formula in general, but how the formula is mixed. A higher concentration of formula can cause constipation in babies because it is not balanced as intended by the manufacturer. For that reason, it is important to follow the directions on the packaging.
Measurements are important as well. Even though your baby's bottle has graduated measurements on the side or on the liner, you should use a measuring cup to count ounce for ounce. This will give you a more accurate amount. Also, add the baby formula powder to the water and not water to the powder. The most important step that some parents may not realize they do is how they scoop the formula. Each measurement by the manufacturer is based on a level scoop. A heaping scoop will make the formula too concentration.
Storing your baby formula can also affect the concentration. Follow the guidelines on the package. Never put your baby formula in the refrigerator and never leave it out in a damp, humid area. The reason is that the formula will clump, and the measurements will be more concentrated even if you level off the scoops.
It is possible that your baby needs a little more liquid to help soften their stool and make it easier to move their bowels. Check with your pediatrician if you know that your baby is constipated. They may recommend one or two ounces of water in between bottle feedings. If your little one is already starting solid foods, you may introduce a little fruit juice diluted in water.
There are many steps that you can take to make sure that your baby's formula is not the cause of their constipation without changing the brand or type. These minor corrections will make you feel better as well as your little one.