My LO has been having constipation issues since about 3 weeks of age when we had to switch to formula. Every time she tried to poop she screamed and screamed for a good 5 minutes before she was able to go. It was rough on her and horrible to watch and not be able to do anything.
So, a few tricks of the trade:
- We've been giving (per our pedi) K either Apple Juice (100% natural) or Gerber Apple-Prune juice since 4 weeks of age. 2oz juice mixed with 2 oz water. Does WONDERS!!! The apple juice gave some weird texture to her poop, so we lean towards the Apple-Prune. You have to get it in the baby food section, not just the juice section. DH's aunt was told by her children's doctor (years ago) any juice that starts with a P: Prune, Pears or Peaches. Once kids start on finger foods, you can give them these fruits and it will work as well.
- Many people may tell you to use a little Karo Syrup. Our Pedi told us that it's fine for babies a few months old, but for newborns, their immune systems aren't strong, and it can cause infant botulism. Something about a bacteria in the syrup. So, for kids or non-newborn babies, 1 tsp mixed in with a bottle or some water will do the trick!
- The 'Rainbow' trick. If they are pushing and pushing and crying and just can't get it out. Put the palm of your hand on their belly, a few inches below the belly button. Point your fingers directly to the right and kinda splay out your fingers. Pressing gently, make a rainbow on baby's belly with your fingers, pressing down, then run your fingers down the left side. You'll kinda need to push the palm of your hand down as well, to 'anchor' it. This was shown to me by a nurse. The way the intestinal track works, moving your fingers this way will push things in the right direction.They'll push their belly against your fingers, which helps them push, and your fingers are actually moving the poop for them at the same time. They'll still cry and scream as they go, but it will be over much faster!
- The 'I Love You' trick. This was also shown to me by a nurse. It's a little more awkward than the Rainbow trick, so I don't do it as much. The nurse recommended putting some lotion or baby oil on the belly before you do this. First, put your thumb to the right (baby's right) of baby's belly button, and just below the diaper line. Pressing down, draw a letter i starting from bottom. Dot the i next to their belly button... this part doesn't do anything but make it more fun! Next,Put your thumb back at the same starting spot and draw an upside down capital L, so that your thumb goes up to an inch or two above their belly button on the right side, then across to the left side. Finally, go back to your starting spot, and draw an upside down letter U, ending just below the diaper line on the left side.