I remember the first time when B got constipated. He was less than 2 months then and hadn’t had a bowel movement since more than a week. Doctors say its normal for exclusively breastfed babies to not poo for upto 12 days. Sounds crazy in the adult world but apparently its normal in babies. Hmmm…

Breastfed babies are rarely constipated as breast milk is almost 100% completely digested and utilized by baby’s growing body. Breast milk leaves little “leftovers” to cause constipation. Many breastfed babies do have infrequent bowel movements however this does not mean that they are constipated.

What causes constipation in babies? The common reasons are:

1. Introducing solid foods in the infant’s diet

2. Diets low in fiber (i think this was the cause for B’s constipation..my diet!)

3. Diets of excessive dairy products

4. Foods such as bananas, breads, cereals, pasta, white potatoes also cause constipation

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How to treat constipation in babies?

There are many things you can do to help relieve baby’s constipation. You can change baby’s feeding pattern and/or engage in some physical exercises.

Tummy Massage – Gently massage and rub baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction.  Place your hands at baby’s navel and massage in a circular motion, moving your hand(s) out and away from the center of baby’s belly.

Bicycle Legs – Place your baby on her back and lightly hold her legs in a half-bent position.  Gently begin to move your baby’s legs as if she is riding a bicycle.  Alternate “Bicycle Legs” with Tummy Massage. “Bicycle Legs” also help to relieve a baby who is gassy or colicky. This is the most common exercise i made B do then, after every diaper change!

A Warm Bath – Some medical professionals suggest giving your constipated baby a warm bath.  The thought is that this may help relax baby and “get things moving” again.  Give a tummy massage as you are drying baby.

Diluted fruit juice – 2 ounces of diluted prune or apple juice twice daily for babies under 4 months.

Change the food diet – For babies 4 months+, try adding more fibre in their diet. Try strained foods such as plums, prunes, apricots, peaches, pears,  peas, spinach. For older babies, add barley or oatmeal cereals too!

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Winter is here in Auckland. and so are the season’s first sniffs and coughs. B’s under the weather too, so i know how the sleepless nights can be!

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There are many home remedies one can try. i will tell you the ones i tried out on B.

Under 1 year – I remember when B got his first cold at 7 months. It was his first winter here and everything was new to us. he could not breath at nights and would just cry it out.

1.Nasal Saline Drops

Your ped will surely prescribe saline drops for babies (as they dont prescribe any other meds). You can also make your own nasal saline drops at home but i would prefer the ones you get in the market than the home-made ones as there is a risk of bacterial growth.

2. Ajwain (carrom seeds) potli (pouch)

Ajwain ( carrom seeds) are known for its anti bacterial and anti viral properties. Dry roast 1 tbsp of ajwain on a tawa and once cooled make it into a potli / tight pouch with a clean muslin cloth. Place this potli in your baby’s cot or where your baby sleeps. The ajwain smoke from the potli would help baby to open the blocked nose and relieve from congestion. I used to pin it on B’s clothes during the day. But make sure not to keep it within the reach of your baby to avoid the chances of putting into mouth / choking  / breathing hazard in anyway.

3. Elevate Baby’s Head

Keep your baby’s head elevated while sleeping so ease the breathing. You can elevate the cot at the head side. this was not possible with B as he keeps moving around in his cot during sleep.

4. Give warm water at regular intervals to keep the baby well hydrated.

5. Give baby plain water steam or a warm shower.

Massage the nose with index finger and then give baby a warm bath. it will help loosen the mucus.

6. Vaporubs

i apply Vicks Baby Balm on B’s chest and a little on his nose. Before sleeping i apply it on his night clothes too.

7. Vegetable/Chicken Soup

Soups increase the immunity of the body. But B sadly is not a ‘soup’ person.

Babies over 1 year

You can try 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 here too. I still do the vaporubs for B and its really effective on him. Apart from these i found some other home remedies too. will try one of these today.

8. Grate ginger and add honey to it. A tsp. of this can be given at regular intervals. Helps to soothe the throat and cough.

9. Lemon juice and honey. Add a little warm water to it and give it your baby to drink.

10. Milk with turmeric is effective for dry coughs.

11. Dry roast 5 cloves and grind it well once cooled. Add honey to it and give it before sleep.

Hope these cold and cough home remedies help your baby/toddler. if you know any other remedies for cold (i am sure there are many more than these), do share in the comments below!

Does your baby cry inconsolably everyday at the same time? Is your baby a colic baby?

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I totally understand what it feels like. B was a colic baby! Evenings were a frustrating and testing time for M and me. He would cry endlessly and nothing would soothe him or stop him from crying till the bout would not end or he fall asleep. Sigh those days..

SO i read and researched on this topic endlessly then, and this post is a result of that excess data stored up there. AND for the benefit of other moms sailing in the same boat. Read on.

Who is a colic baby?

Baby colic (according to researchers) is basically when your otherwise healthy baby cries for more than 2-3 hours a day for more than three days a week for three weeks between the ages of two weeks and four months. In some cases, it lasts longer, but don’t worry thats a rare case. B got out of it by 3-4 months.

Causes of Colic

The cause of colic is generally unknown. But researchers say it could be due to constipation, gastroesophageal reflux disease, lactose intolerance, cows’ milk allergy, or gas pains (when baby has difficulty in releasing gas). B had the case of lactose intolerance (or so the doctors told) and gas pain.

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Remedies of Colic

There are many medicines available now such as anti-gas drops, anti-reflux medicines, and homeopathy drops for colic (surveys say many parents found these affective). You can also use gripe water (alcohol free) or Himalaya Bonnisan drops (B has literally grown up on these two!).

There are also many home remedies you can try. Mix a pinch of hing powder in 1/2 tsp ghee and rub it around the child’s belly button. Really effective in releasing gas. I’ve tried it on B and it works. The only draw back is it gets a bit messy, but hey if it works, who is complaining! Also massaging the tummy anti-clockwise 2-3 times a day will release the gas and prevent pain at the end of the day. I also used to do a simple exercise by lifting B’s legs and doing a cycling motion in air. it would help him to release air. And after sometime, B would do it himself. And that’s when his colic started to reduce.

Certain sensory stimulations also help.

1. Swaddling your baby (B hated being tied up)

2. Carrying her/him in a front baby carrier

3. Baby swing

4. Putting your baby in a carseat on or near a dishwasher or dryer (we used to put B in a carseat and M would walk around carrying it. It would silent him in a sec!)

5. Bathing your baby in warm water

6. Taking your baby out for a ride in the car

Colic usually gets over by 5 months but if it persists, consult your baby’s pediatrician. Hope this posts helps your baby!