Who would have believed that you could actually use Vaseline to treat constipation in babies and toddlers? As a mother, you need to be on top of your game when it comes to utilizing homemade remedies for your baby.
A good knowledge and mastery of homemade remedies can go a long way in preventing severe complications. It can also help prevent unnecessary expenses that can be incurred when you seek the services of a medical expert. Before we discuss on how to use Vaseline to treat constipation in babies, let us talk the fundamentals.
What is Constipation?
According to medical experts, constipation occurs when the necessary movements in the bowel become less frequent and therefore, difficult to pass out stool.
It is common in babies and toddlers, especially when there is a change in meals or feeding routine. Also, your baby’s reaction to diet or illness can also cause constipation. A deficiency in dietary fiber can also increase the chances of constipation in your baby or toddler.
Except on rare occasions, constipation does not require medical attention. You should seek the help of a doctor when you notice blood in your baby’s stool and severe pain which lasts longer than three weeks.
Major Signs of Constipation in Babies and Toddlers
It is a common occurrence to notice constipation in babies less than one month of age. This is because the baby’s bowel and the system are constantly adjusting to a new dietary and nutrition pattern.
However, if you feel that the constipation is more severe than usual, consult your doctor to run a test on the baby. The test should be to determine if the baby is low on dietary fiber. The constipation could also be caused by nerve or structural malfunction in the baby’s lower large intestine.
Below are the major signs of Constipation in Babies and Toddlers. Your baby could be suffering from constipation if you experience the following:
1. Pains in the Lower Abdomen
If you notice that your baby is experiencing pains in the lower abdomen especially when you touch that area, your baby may be suffering from constipation.
2. Swollen Abdomen
You should notice changes in your baby at all times. When you notice that your baby is having a swollen abdomen – especially filled with gas, the baby may be suffering from constipation.
3. Liquid Stool
When your baby is having an overly liquid stool (like in the case of Diarrhea), the baby may be suffering from constipation. This type of stooling is also frequent and sometimes has no substance aside from a yellowish liquid.
4. Irregular Stool
If you notice the baby’s stool is looking different – like pebbles, or mushy and soft, it could be a sign of constipation. Naturally, your baby’s stool should not be too hard or too soft. When you notice a change in the baby’s stool, you should consider using a remedy.
[Also: Foods to Eat While Breastfeeding a Gassy Baby]
How to Use Vaseline to Treat Constipation in Babies
The best homemade remedy in the treatment of constipation in babies and toddlers is the use of Vaseline. However, mothers and caregivers need to take caution when trying to use Vaseline in the treatment of a baby or toddler suffering from constipation.
A Vaseline is a form of petroleum jelly, which is also known as petrolatum. It can be used as a homemade treatment for constipation.
Below, we have highlighted the tips to note when using Vaseline in the treatment of constipation in babies and toddlers.
1. Allow Baby to Swallow
Please be careful to give the baby a very small portion of Vaseline if you notice signs of constipation. This will serve as a laxative to soften or loosen the stool, enabling the baby’s stool to pass easily.
Do not apply a large volume of Vaseline to the baby’s mouth to prevent the risks of choking the baby or toddler.
2. Apply to Baby’s Anus
If you are skeptical about applying the Vaseline (especially in cases where you are not sure of its authenticity), you can apply Vaseline around your baby’s anus.
Apart from the fact that the jelly will make the stool come out easier, touching your baby’s anus will stimulate them to poop. Your baby will love the tickle and will poop! That is what you call ‘killing two birds with one stone.’
3. Vaseline and Cotton Wool Swap
Does this work? The answer is yes! The Vaseline and cotton wool technique has been in practice for a very long time. It is also one of the tested and proven ways of treating constipation in babies and toddlers.
The technique involves the application of a little amount of Vaseline on a cotton wool swab and putting it around your baby’s anus. Like a magical performance, the sensation will help your baby stool with ease.
Other Constipation Treatment Tips for Babies
Who says you have to use Vaseline? Apart from the use of Vaseline, there are other constipation treatment remedies that you can execute in your home without the help of a medical professional.
Some of the easy constipation treatment tips for babies include:
1. The Good Old Stomach Massage
Stomach massage is one of the most common ways of providing relief from constipation. To perform this technique, the mother and caregiver should gently massage the baby’s stomach and abdomen to stimulate movements in the bowel.
This will help your baby poop and feel better. The technique is best performed during the day.
2. Who Doesn’t Love a Warm Bath?
Warm baths always come to the rescue – don’t they? Just as adults love warm baths, babies enjoy them a great deal also. In addition to the great feeling babies get from a warm bath, it helps to relax the muscles around their stomachs – therefore helping them to stool.
3. The Famous Bicycle Leg Movement
Every mother and caregiver is familiar with the bicycle leg movement – and babies love it too! The playful exercise involves moving the baby’s leg as though she is riding a bicycle.
The movement helps to stimulate movement in the baby’s bowel area and in turn, relieves the baby from any form of contraction or constipation.
4. The Hydration Technique
When a baby is dehydrated, it can lead to constipation. You should try giving your baby some water, especially in situations where you are trying to wean the baby from breast milk.
The water can help to soften the contents in the baby’s little stomach and ease the passage of stool. It can also serve as a flusher for the system.
[Read: What to Eat And Avoid When Breastfeeding a Sick Baby]
On a final note, mothers and caregivers need to understand that constipation is a normal occurrence in babies and toddlers.
Between 0 – 12 months, babies are bound to experience constipation at different stages. An understanding of homely remedies comes a long way in reducing your stress and ensuring your baby is eased quickly whenever the need arises.