Topic: What can i do my 14 month old is getting constipated on dairy products?
September 17, 2019 / By Evalyn Question:
I give him whole milk, yogurt from whole milk, regular cheese. I also give him pudding (Jello) which uses skim milk. He gets 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. He has fruits at least 3 times aday, and sometimes with his snacks. Vegetables with lunch and dinner. Plus graham crackers, fish crackers, and a sippy bottle of water where ever he is playing. Idon'tt want to cut back on his milk and dairy, but even with the fruit, vegetables and crackers he still manages to get constipated. He has either cheerios and milk or instant oat meal, fruit and milk. What else can i give him to avoid being constipated? Im only allowed to give him about 4 oz of juice with water a day. (Pedriation).
Coco | 5 days ago
Skim milk is not a good food. See link. Instead of getting the pre-made pudding, buy your own mix and make it up with whole milk.
The fact that he's having constipation makes me believe he's having trouble digesting the cow's milk. Why don't you want to cut back on his dairy? At his age he only needs 500mg of calcium, or 2 servings of dairy. Check the yogurt and pudding but it sounds like between the cheese, milk, yogurt and pudding he's far over that. This is what I would try...
First is to decrease the milk until he doesn't have constipation, then treat that as the maximum milk he can have. The third link is a study talking about how to avoid anemia in toddlers and you'll notice that in the second year they recommend staying under 16-24oz of cow's milk, or even using toddler formula until they're 2 years old. The 16-24oz recommendation is not "somewhere between 16-24oz" but actually "some kids can handle 16oz, some can handle 24oz, so somewhere between there is the upper limit for most kids." I saw a doctor's website once saying that for the second year he recommends an upper limit of 12oz, increasing to 16oz in the third year (so when they're 2.) Another thing to keep in mind is that if he's drinking 16oz a day, but guzzling 8-10oz all at once then he may get overloaded and be constipated. Meaning if he can handle 24oz a day, split it up all through the day, don't let him guzzle it all at once, use sippy cups to slow him down.
Second, if he wants more milk than his daily limit, then replace with toddler formula.
Third, the 4Ps for pooping are prunes, peaches, pears and pineapple. He may react to pineapple due to the citrus, but like use peaches/apricots/nectarines, prunes, and pears to help him poop. They're high in sorbitol and that acts as a natural laxative. The fruit is ALWAYS better than the juice. To firm up poop, the BRAT diet helps. That's bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. If you are trying to avoid constipation, avoid those foods. Soy milk is also a natural constipating food for some, so avoid it. High fiber food is not a cure for constipation, it just keeps things moving along, and while that CAN help, it can also make him more uncomfortable.
Fourth, is this really constipation, and is it from his diet? Okay, constipation is when the poop is thicker than peanutbutter and usually dry or hard. When my son gets constipated it's just little hard turds. Another sign is that there's blood on the edges or when you wipe (don't wipe too hard.) Now, if your baby is having trouble pooping then it hurts, and he's going to hold onto it, which will make him constipated. It's sort of a vicious cycle. If it hurts to poop, he'll stop the poop, and he'll get constipated from that no matter WHAT you do.
Fifth... how hot is it where you are? Is he drinking enough water? The biggest constipating problem is not enough fluids. On hot days, try a soup for lunch if he will. I know that it seems countertuitive, but chicken soup on a hot day really helps rehydrate.
How much dairy is he getting? Toddlers should have no more than 16-24oz. of milk a day. Keep in mind that if he's also getting cheese, pudding, and yogurt, he needs even less milk.
I'd also cut back on the crackers and offer even more fruits/veggies.
The whole dairy thing is highly overrated. You realize that there are millions of children raised where there's little to no fresh milk? Once they are not breast fed any more, they rarely get dairy products.
Many children have a reaction to a protein in cow's milk. I know 3 toddlers right now- one was breast fed for a year, and now drinks some of the alternative milks- almond, flax, etc. The only thing you need to be careful with is to supplement with good fats- avocado, for example. One is still a baby and is on soy formula. The other was on soy formula till he was weaned off that. The doctor wants them to give him milk again, but he has bad reactions to it still.
Cut the dairy for a while, give him an alternate milk, and see what happens.
Stop giving dairy for a week but keep the rest of his diet the same. See if that solves the problem. Of it does then he might have a dairy allergy. Also try to up his fiber intake.
Originally Answered: What can I do for my two month old who is constipated?
The straining and turning red alone actually don't mean your baby is constipated, but if her stools are basically hard and pebbly then she's probably constipated. (Another sign is if your baby pulls her legs in close to her as she's straining.)
At two months you don't want to start with juices, and unless your doctor suggests it you don't even want to start with plain water -- she should be getting the proper hydration from the breastmilk/formula. If she is formula fed, however, you may want to 1) talk with your doctor (which you should do in any event) and 2) try a different formula. It's not unusual for a baby to have digestive issues with one formula and not another, in addition to which the iron in the formula could be contributing to the constipation issue (but don't switch to something without iron unless it's on the specific advice of the pediatrician).
Okay, assuming liquid is fine...a couple of things that can help:
1) Take your baby's temperature rectally. Seriously. I remember when the nurse showed me how so I wouldn't be nervous when I actually *had* to do it, and the pediatrician told me how it's actually an extremely helpful tool when a baby is constipated...it provides stimulation and can actually get things going again pretty quickly. (And sure enough, just a few minutes after the nurse took baby's temp, that little theory was proven right!) When either of my twins had any degree of constipation this was pretty much the first thing I did. No, they don't love it, but it beats straining and suffering, and, quite often, it does just the trick.
2) When babies are very young it can still help to move their legs around during diaper changes. That is, at every diaper change when your baby is on her back gently take her legs and move them as if she's bicycling. Do this for a few minutes. This stimulation also often helps move the bowels, and was the first tactic of every NICU nurse I ever knew.
3) Glycerin suppositories -- I never used them but I have read about them. As I understand it these are nonprescription and soft. Speak with your pediatrician first, of course, to be sure it's okay, but this should help to ease the way. It can also be a good idea, if you use them, to wait for your baby to give signs that she's about to "go" and then insert the suppository, to make it easier for her.
4) If she's formula fed, in addition to investigating other formulas out there, try feeding her smaller amounts of formula more frequently. This gives your baby more time to properly and fully digest the contents of her somach.
5) Messy but effective: when your baby is in a warm bath (with warm water about "chest high" for her) gently massage her belly.
As for the Karo, I don't recommend it. It's the kind of thing that has been used by lots of moms and grandmothers, but that, today, is considered to be not-such-a-good-idea because of the perceived risk of botulism. I've read several articles on this and what I've walked away with is this: while this is not the concern now that it was, say, 10 years ago, it's still possible that karo syrup contains botulism spores. Botulism can be fatal for babies -- that's why they should not be fed honey until they are over one year old. My personal feeling: I don't know whether there is a risk at all, and if there is a risk it seems to me that it must be a tiny risk indeed...but, why take the risk at all? It's not like karo syrup is something they need -- there are other ways to treat constipation.
Anyway, please talk to the pediatrician who is more familiar with *your* baby than anyone here on Y!A, but there's no reason at all not to try taking your daughter's temp rectally a few times in the interim.
Good luck, and congratulations on the birth of your daughter!