Constipation in children under 1 year old

This is an automatically translated article.

Constipation is a temporary disorder or a symptom of many different medical conditions. Constipation in children under 1 year old makes it difficult for children to have a bowel movement, even causing fear of bowel movements and may cause physical retardation for children.

1. What is constipation?

Normally, when food has been digested, passes through the intestines, nutrients and water are absorbed, and waste becomes feces. For soft stools, two conditions must be met: the amount of water remaining in the waste is sufficient; The muscles of the large intestine and rectum relax and push the stool out along the intestines. Disturbance of either of these mechanisms, such as too little water or poor bowel movements, can cause constipation. Constipation is the passage of hard and infrequent stools.

2. When can it be said that a child is constipated?

Each person's body operates according to a separate law. In children under 1 year old, they are still constantly learning to adapt to the living environment. Each baby will decide for themselves the appropriate time to eliminate waste products from the body. Once a child's stool is soft, not solid, and does not cause anal bleeding, it is not called constipation.
Normally, babies have a few bowel movements a day, soft, viscous stools, especially breastfed babies. Infants 0 to 6 months of age who are formula-fed usually have fewer bowel movements, with harder, darker stools. When starting solids, the baby's poop will be molded and less frequent. In addition, breast milk contains laxatives, so if the mother has a reasonable diet, drinks a lot of water and eats a lot of fiber, the baby is rarely constipated. In contrast, formula-fed babies are more likely to have this problem.
The assessment of constipation in children is based on the nature of stools, not the number of bowel movements. Constipation is the passage of hard and infrequent stools. Constipated children are children with fewer bowel movements than usual, difficult bowel movements (hard or large stools, painful bowel movements, sometimes with blood). If a child has long-term constipation lasting more than 2 weeks, it is called chronic constipation, before this time it is called acute constipation.
Táo bón là một trong các triệu chứng bị tắc ruột ở trẻ
Việc đánh giá tình trạng táo bón ở trẻ dựa trên tính chất phân chứ không phải số lần đi ngoài

3. Symptoms of constipation in children under 1 year old

Children with constipation will experience the following symptoms:
Hard, round stools like marbles (like goat manure); The child has fewer bowel movements than the previous habit (less than 3 times/week); Stools with blood stains on the outside - a sign of an anal tear; Your baby cries when pushing, arching his back, keeping his bottom tight, tiptoeing, squirming, restless, or having an abnormal position; Baby is unusually fussy, stops fussing after passing many stools; There is a phenomenon of fecal leakage in the pants that the child does not know; Poor appetite, can have bowel movements, eat better; Abdominal pain in the stomach area, reducing and eliminating abdominal pain after bowel movements; Changes in psychology and behavior: irritability, unhappiness, impatience, restlessness; Severe constipation can cause bowel obstruction or fecal incontinence (inappropriate bowel movements).

4. Causes of constipation in children under 1 year old

Children from 0 to 6 months of age, especially those who are not breastfed, are at risk of constipation because the protein content of formula is more difficult to digest than breast milk and the baby's digestive system at this stage is not yet fully developed. completion. In addition, the excessive amount of protein in some formulas that exceed the intestinal absorption threshold also causes constipation because the intestines have to increase water absorption to dissolve this excess protein; The abdominal muscles and bowel wall are also factors that affect the risk of constipation. Children with rickets, born prematurely are often constipated; Constipation in 6-month-old children, 9-month-old children with constipation are often caused by eating foods with too much protein, fat and low minerals, hard foods or not having enough necessary vitamin B1 content; Children with constipation due to slow bowel movements; The behavior of holding back stools: children are busy playing, holding on to defecation makes stools bigger and harder, causing pain after defecation. This symptom makes the child afraid to have a bowel movement and the next time it will be more painful; Due to changes in the toilet environment: when the baby is sent to kindergarten; Other causes: the large intestine of the baby is too large (congenital megacolon prevents the baby from passing meconium in the first 48 hours after birth, then the baby has persistent constipation with abdominal distention, bowel disorders and narrowing). anus); endocrine-metabolic diseases, neurological abnormalities, neuromuscular diseases,...
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5. How to treat constipation for children under 1 year old?

5.1 Adjusting the diet With a nursing baby suffering from constipation, the mother needs to review her diet, should drink more water and eat more fiber; For babies to drink enough water, with formula-fed babies need to mix milk in the right ratio, too little water can lead to constipation, too much water can cause malnutrition; Give children small meals, divided into several meals a day to facilitate the intestines to better digest milk. It is best for parents to divide each milk meal in half and increase the number of times the child's meals are doubled; Observe closely, when the baby shows signs of wanting to go out such as frowning, pushing, ... it is necessary to quickly use supportive measures to help the baby go out more easily; Add diluted prune juice or apple juice to your baby's bottle (children under 4 months should use 10-20ml of prune juice, mixed with milk in a ratio of 1:6, drink once a day; children over 4 months should mix 30ml of water. plum and milk in the ratio 1:4, drink 1-2 times a day; children over 6 months can use apple juice instead). Persistence for children to use prune and apple juice will help them have easier bowel movements; If the child is starting to eat solids, parents can give the baby barley cereal instead of rice cereal. In addition, parents should also give their children high fiber fruits and vegetables (crushed) such as apricots, plums, sweet potatoes, pears, peaches, beans, broccoli or spinach to prevent and control the disease. treat constipation. 5.2 Massage Parents use their fingertips to gently massage the child's belly in a clockwise direction, pressing gently on the right side. A soft abdomen is good, while a hard stomach is a sign of constipation. Massage your baby's belly for 5-10 minutes to promote bowel movements, help your baby digest better, and effectively treat constipation. If the baby's belly is distended, take the baby to the doctor; Grasp the baby's ankles and then move with the baby's bicycle movement for about 5-10 minutes. This movement increases abdominal muscle pressure on the intestines, making it easier for the baby to pass stools; Carry your baby around the house in a squatting position (putting baby's bottom on your arms, legs bent over belly). This position increases pressure on the rectum, making it easier for the baby to pass stools; Massage the baby in the bath: soak the baby in the bath water so that the water is up to the chest, gently massage the baby's belly in a clockwise direction, when the baby shows signs of wanting to push, parents need to raise the baby's legs, pressed against the abdomen. Then the parent waits for a while and prepares to clean up the baby's waste. Doing this many times will help children get into the habit of going to the toilet on time and not be constipated anymore; When changing diapers, parents should gently wipe around the anal area to stimulate the baby to have a bowel movement at the right time. When applying the above measures to care for children with constipation but still not improving the situation, it may be because the baby is intolerant to protein in cow's milk. Parents should consider giving their children partially hydrolyzed protein milk, in consultation with a doctor. In addition, children with hard stools, difficult bowel movements, anal fissures may need to be prescribed by a doctor to soften stools for children to have easy bowel movements, then practice the habit of having a bowel movement at a fixed time of day.

6. When should children with constipation go to the doctor?

When a child is constipated, the best measure is that parents should take the child to see a pediatric gastroenterologist so as not to miss other diseases, helping to treat the disease early and more effectively. In addition, it is necessary to take the child to a medical facility when he has the following signs:
The baby has severe abdominal pain; Has not had a bowel movement more than 24 hours later than usual in a child under 4 months of age; Abdominal distension, vomiting; Slow-growing; bloody diarrhea; Neurodevelopmental retardation; Abnormal anus; There are signs of pathological constipation. The best way to prevent constipation in children under 1 year old is to train them to have a habit of having a bowel movement at a fixed hour of the day. At the same time, with children after the age of weaning, parents should give them lots of vegetables and fruits to provide the necessary fiber, soften stools and make bowel movements easier. If constipation in children persists, parents need to quickly take their children to medical centers for examination and treatment. As a key area of ​​Vinmec Medical system, Pediatrics Department always brings satisfaction to customers and is highly appreciated by industry experts with:
Gathering a team of leading pediatricians: including leading experts with high professional qualifications (professors, associate professors, doctorates, masters), experienced, worked at major hospitals such as Bach Mai, 108.. Doctors All are well-trained, professional, with a mind - range, understanding young psychology. In addition to domestic pediatric specialists, the Department of Pediatrics also has the participation of foreign experts (Japan, Singapore, Australia, USA) who are always pioneers in applying the latest and most effective treatment regimens. . Comprehensive services: In the field of Pediatrics, Vinmec provides a series of continuous medical examination and treatment services from Newborn to Pediatric and Vaccine,... according to international standards to help parents take care of their baby's health from birth to childhood. from birth to adulthood Specialized techniques: Vinmec has successfully deployed many specialized techniques to make the treatment of difficult diseases in Pediatrics more effective: neurosurgery - skull surgery, stem cell transplantation. blood in cancer treatment. Professional care: In addition to understanding children's psychology, Vinmec also pays special attention to the children's play space, helping them to have fun and get used to the hospital's environment, cooperate in treatment, improve the efficiency of medical treatment.

Please dial HOTLINE for more information or register for an appointment HERE. Download MyVinmec app to make appointments faster and to manage your bookings easily.

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