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Newborn Basics

How Can I Fix Baby's Constipation?

Baby is constipated! How can I help him?

Baby gets constipated when the muscles at the end of the large intestine tighten, preventing the stool from passing, says Dr. Mehmet C. Oz. That slower passage allows more water to be drawn off from the stool through the bowel wall into the bloodstream, making the stool harder and more compact (and thus more painful).

Natural food “looseners” include fruits such as prunes, apricots, plums, raisins, cherries, and blueberries; high- fiber veggies, including peas, beans, and broccoli; and whole-grain cereals and breads. Extra water also helps for toddlers on up. However, too much water for newborns and infants can get their electrolytes out of whack.

For a baby, the doctor may have you add 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon of Karo corn syrup to one bottle of formula or stored breast milk a day, which draws water back into the bowel. If your child is over four months old, you may give her one ounce of water a day, either separately or added to a bottle of formula or stored breast milk, to lubricate the GI tract.

Plus, more from The Bump:

5 Common Baby Tummy Troubles — and How to Help

Baby Poop: What's Normal and What's Not?

Is My Baby Constipated?

By Excerpted from You Raising Your Child by Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD