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How do you prevent infant constipation?

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Quick Answer

Giving a baby water or fruit juice can help to prevent constipation or to treat constipation once it occurs. Switching from rice cereal to barley cereal also promotes regularity in babies.

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Full Answer

A small serving of water can be given to a baby in addition to the child's normal feedings. Alternatively, a serving of apple, pear or prune juice can be given. The Mayo Clinic asserts that two to four ounces of water or juice is ideal. If a baby has gone a few days without having a bowel movement, the child may be given a glycerin suppository, but never oil or stimulant laxatives, according to the Mayo Clinic. These suppositories should only be used occasionally.

Giving a baby a warm bath can also treat and prevent constipation by relaxing the body's muscles and making it easier to have a bowel movement. Massaging the baby's stomach gently after a bath or placing the baby on his back and lifting his legs to mimic the motion of riding a bike can help to treat and prevent infant constipation, and can also relieve gas in babies. If the condition persists or new symptoms such as vomiting appear, seek the advice of a trusted pediatrician right away.

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